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Review of T-Mobile's new Nokia 5230 Nuron S60 touchscreen smartphone

Review by Michael Oryl on Monday March 22, 2010.

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The Nokia 5230 Nuron is the first touchscreen equipped Nokia S60 smartphone to be sold directly by a major carrier in the United States. While devices like the Nokia 5800, which I loved, and the Nokia N97, which I loathed, both have sold well overseas, S60 Touch smartphones have failed to garner any carrier interest here in the U.S. so far. Until now, at least.

So in this review we take a look at T-Mobile USA's version of the 5230, called the Nuron. It features a large touchscreen display, a cool white and silver body, and a user interface that the average consumer here has yet to see.

Physical Aspects

The Stylish Nokia Nuron features a smooth and well rounded body that is primarily white, but includes some silver trim around its face. The phone feels very good in the hand, and with dimensions of 111.5mm x 52mm x 15.5mm (5.4in x 2.0in x .6in) and a weight of only 115g (4.8oz), it feels equally good in a pants pocket or handbag. The 5230 Nuron's resistive touchscreen(INFO) offers what Nokia calls nHD resolution, which is a fancy way for saying that at 640 x 360 pixels, it offers exactly one quarter of 720p HD resolution. The screen is bright and colorful, and requires very little pressure at all to activate. I like it quite a bit. No styus silo is to be found on the phone's body, but Nokia includes a guitar pick-like device that can be attached with a lanyard that might suit some people, though it seems absurd to me.

The main buttons on the front of the phone offer call send, call end, and menu/multitasking functions. When the device is active, the buttons light up in green, red, and white, respectively, making them very easy to find. The buttons offer a nice click and I have no complaints regarding them. Above the display can be found a small button that is used to bring up a quick-access media menu. On the right hand edge one can find a spring loaded lock/unlock key and the camera shutter button. I really like the lock/unlock key - it has a very obvious ridged feel to it that you just can't miss. The volume control is also on the right hand edge of the phone.

On the left edge you'll find two covered slots, one for the microSD card and one for the SIM card. While you can easily insert a SIM card into the slot from the outside of the phone, you have to remove the back cover and battery to take it out, which makes this design a bit odd. The rear cover is pried off with a fingernail to get to the battery compartment, and it goes back on with a simple snap. On the top of the phone are the power button and the 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as the covered mico-USB data port (no USB charging) and the small Nokia power jack receptacle.

From a hardware perspective, I really like the 5230 Nuron. It is good looking, solidly built - though still light in weight, and it offers up a large, bright, and sharp display that can be viewed in direct sunlight without any problems. It's a good design that I think people will appreciate.

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hl @ 1:22:30PM EDT on Monday March 22, 2010

The screen resolution is 640x360, _not_ 540x360.

allensha @ 1:56:31AM EDT on Thursday April 1, 2010

I found your review very helpful. I was considering purchasing this phone and you have made my decision easier.I will purchase it. I feel like I already know how to use the phone just from watching your video. Thanks!

El P @ 5:02:06PM EDT on Thursday April 1, 2010

Did you find any issues with the alarm? I can't seem to shut the thing off. Great job btw, I'll keep MB in mind for future reviews.

WillI @ 12:49:50PM EDT on Friday April 16, 2010

Put my lovely 7 year old Nokia 3650s (also S60) in the drawer, and got these for 1c on Amazon. KOOL. NO req'd data plan. AMAZING call quality. A little quirky but you get used to it. Useable virtual qwerty. Easy to use one-handed. GREAT REVIEW! I DID have some trouble shutting the alarm off one day...kept snoozing me every 15 minutes.

Kyle @ 6:57:08PM EDT on Tuesday April 20, 2010

For the internet, is this phone able to use wifi to search the internet or would I have to purchase the mobile internet service from tmobile?

mohammad zyout @ 2:33:26PM EDT on Sunday May 2, 2010

Nokia 5230 nuron is good but useless becuase you can't use it outside amarica it needs unlock code which is not avalable any where . Is there any one knows the unlock code for it ????

:) @ 12:36:40PM EDT on Saturday May 29, 2010

im doingh the plan with my sister that you get 2 for free and save $430.00 but befor i made big decisions i went to moblie burn and from my stand point a fairley goood review

nikitik @ 4:25:20PM EDT on Sunday June 6, 2010

i absolutely loved my phone in the beginning. however, i noticed that the phone kept powering off. i called and ordered a new battery which btw they sent a faulty one to me :^( i was upset about that. i spent $9.99 for s&h. and also they instructed me to do a master reset in which that only erased ALL of my contacts and pertinent info. totally disgusted w/ that. and @ the end of it all, i called again and they are now sending me another ph. due to the fact that my ph. continuously powers off for no apparent reason. if it worked properly i would absolutely love it. but we'll see the next time around. everyone cross ur fingers.

shazi @ 9:15:04PM EDT on Monday June 14, 2010

I liked my new nuron 5230 phone. What I didn't like is, there is no way to stop alarm, even though stop/snooze appears on the screen but selection doesn't work. I am kind of upset for this behavior. I had to switch off the phone to stop the alarm which was set to snooze every 15 min.

Cici's Pizza @ 2:09:15PM EDT on Thursday June 24, 2010

are the internet and the radio free, or do you pay for them??

pooky @ 11:41:17PM EDT on Thursday June 24, 2010

does there have to be a required data service? can you keep the contacts w/out?

Cici's Pizza @ 2:08:20PM EDT on Friday July 2, 2010

Come on guys! I'm getting this phone tommarow!! Are the internet and the radio free, or do you pay for them?!?

Mobilephonehut @ 2:54:49AM EDT on Friday July 23, 2010

is there anyone here who have this phone for 8mos or more and still working properly as it should be"?

som @ 10:10:07PM EDT on Friday July 23, 2010

For people having problem shutting the alarm off, you have to slide your finger in the direction shown. Just touching stop / snooze wont work.

If somebody knows how to shut off vibration for alarm please let me know.

abu @ 8:01:47PM EDT on Friday July 30, 2010

Nokia 5230 nuron is good but useless becuase you can't use it outside amarica it needs unlock code which is not avalable any where . Is there any one knows the unlock code for it ????

Sarah @ 9:05:59AM EDT on Thursday August 5, 2010

My husband and I just got our Nokia Nuron's. So far so good! Ive had Nokia's in the past so it's been real easy for me to figure out as they sort of stick to the same set up. What does suck is the User manual that we got does not help very much. Does anyone know what the 3-D ringing tone effect and 3-D ringing tone echo do?? Its located under Setting, Profile, click on Normal, Options, Customize, click 3-D ringing tone effect, chose something besides off and then the other 3-D ringing tone echo option will show up. If someone knows or figures it out, please let me know as the manual has NOTHING reguarding these features...

Winski @ 2:04:23PM EDT on Sunday August 8, 2010


chelsea <3 @ 2:40:32PM EDT on Wednesday August 11, 2010

i got this phone yesterday, and I LOVE IT! I had an iPhone with a broken camera and the interne on it didn't work. So i'm glad to have a new phone!!

benjamin @ 3:25:00PM EDT on Saturday August 14, 2010

I'm so happy with my new unlocked cell phones! This has an unbelievably fast processor, great feel and easy to text on. I used to own a unlocked htc phones, but I'm so much happier with my brand new unlocked nokia phones. This Nokia Nuron 5230 is so much better for my business and pulls my email in so much faster. And I really couldn't be happier with it since it is an unlockedtmobile phones and it's a unlocked 3g phones I can take it overseas. My family loves my new phone and can't get enough of the games. I'm going to purchase another one for my son for his birthday from gsmauthority.com. Definitely would recommend this phone.

JACK @ 8:58:49AM EDT on Thursday September 23, 2010


Mr. Awesome @ 10:23:07PM EDT on Saturday September 25, 2010

Ok first I wanted to say that I have this phone and I do not like it that much... anyways you cant look at this sun in direct sunlight. if its even a little sun you cant see like anything at all on the screen... just saying...

Anthony @ 1:07:04AM EDT on Sunday October 3, 2010

Very helpful and informative video, it helped me make up my mind.I've read tons of reviews but none as helpful as your video. Kudos

Nokiaman @ 10:10:37PM EDT on Tuesday October 26, 2010

If you like to stick to a brand for interface consistency, & you like Nokia, skip this POS. Even if you don't mind relearning everything on a new phone, it's still a POS. Get an E73.

brandon... [markedivlife] @ 3:17:18AM EDT on Wednesday October 27, 2010

well, i have a blackberry curve 8320 right now... im getting the nokia nuron tomorrow and im not 100% sure if it seems like a good phone or not, im tired of having the blackberry anyways. but i havent quite got to mess around with the nokia nuron and just wanted some help and for some reviews about it..

Trina @ 9:08:14PM EST on Tuesday November 9, 2010

how do i delete all of my messages at once? i can only figure out how to do it one at a time?

tc13 @ 12:24:40AM EST on Wednesday November 17, 2010

I have the Nokia Nuron 5230..and there are some things in this review..that are not really true. Not against the reviewer..because I thought the same. For example.the scroll seeming so narrow..I found that you can and I use now..just use your finger and drag the screen up or down. I didn't buy this phone or any..for the camera..but the camera in this phone takes great pictures..camcorder..and has as much functions as a digital camera. you really have to study it..it can save copy as 5"x7" etc..not just camera phone size. you can print from it. I use my bluetooth all the time to connect to my computer. It has great connectivity..I think because there are few that have quad channels and 3G. 3G strength and connection has more to do with your proximity of the satellite signals..not the phone. I can't find one thing bad about this phone. It has the longest battery life I have ever seen. Now..some folks get disenchanted..because they really wanted a iPhone. I personally get great use from the 5230..the iPhone is just a larger, more mini computer. I don't use my phone as a main computer..I do use online a lot though.
Nokia gives you service with Ovi.com which gives you free maps/navigation. there are all sorts of free apps and music..for the price of this phone..and it's very stable Symbian OS system..I will have this phone for a very long time. It is extremely popular in Europe. I heard that many Tmobile stores are stopping offering this phone..(maybe because they have a load of DROIDs and Blackberrys to sell..all who do not perform any better than this Nokia 5230.

skye @ 11:21:25PM EST on Saturday December 11, 2010

I have the samne phone but i'm trying to send a text message and it's telling me to delete some data first , this has happend before and i just delete previous text messages and i'll be able to send it , now thers nothing more to delete yet it still is telling me to delete data first before i send it , cause it wont let me . help . ?

Steve_W @ 9:24:25AM EST on Sunday December 19, 2010

Been using this phone since August on Vodafone UK and it almost always shows 3.5g on the signal meter. I had to lend the phone to a friend so he could make a call because his iOverrated, sorry, iPhone couldn't get a signal. Overall, very impressed, does everything I need and more.

lil mama @ 8:34:09PM EST on Tuesday December 28, 2010


jasyy @ 1:40:35PM EST on Wednesday January 12, 2011

Does any one know how to take the sim card out ?

Rikin @ 12:22:09PM EDT on Friday March 18, 2011

When Nokia 5230 Neutron Unlock code will release in server?

lillolo @ 10:53:04PM EDT on Friday September 2, 2011

does this phone have a front camera? it looks and ive heard it does but i wasnt sure, ive already ordered this phone and ive gotten a neon grren case for it! :)

jj @ 5:26:03PM EST on Tuesday November 29, 2011

my nokia nuron's screen keeps fading away and it says the memory is full when the sim card is in or out.

About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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