Nokia 5300 – Music to Your Ears
In 2006, the cell phone rage included more than the telephone-with-little-more style of just five years earlier. Not only are phones of 2006 full of great looks, they are packed with musical features to make them more like Walkman's than a way to phone home.
The Nokia N91 has everything except the kitchen sink, much more than most users would ever need. Nokia answered the call of the casual user that wanted integrated music features without being able to beam satalites in space when they introduced the 5300 Xpress Music phone.
When you first set your eyes upon the Nokia 5300, you won't necessarily say "WOW!" The outer design is a little more boxy and bulky than the average top-of-the-line mobile phone. The 5300 measures 3.6 by 1.9 by 0.8 inches thick, but it is lighter than it looks, weighing in at just over 3.5 ounces.
While the closed device is not terribly remarkable, try to open up the little gem and you'll find it's not the clamshell design of last year. This is a slider phone, one of the first put out by Nokia, though you wouldn't know it when you feel the ease of the slide. You won't get that baby-in-your-hand cradle feel of the clamshell but that's the nature of a slider phone.
The display is a full 2 inches and supports over 250K colors. Graphics and texts pop off the 320 x 240 pixel screen. You can adjust the font size and backlight time, though you can't adjust the brightness. Not to worry, the screen is plenty bright in the dark and shaded areas outside. Nokia took advantage of the color perfection with their eye catching, but not gaudy, menus.
Speaking of menus, Nokia really got it right on this phone. They provided clear, concise descriptions of new applications users of yesteryear aren't familiar with when you place the cursor over the menu icon.
The navigation controls are covered in a rubber film that provides some traction for fingertips. There is a five-way button that makes navigating the menus a breeze in addition to providing a shortcut to any four functions you program. Additional shortcuts are available on the standby screen, too. The two familiar soft keys are programmable and the standard Talk and End buttons are in the same place as other Nokia phones.
Looks aren't everything, however, and at some point you'll probably do much more than stare at your new mobile phone. This is where this cell really shines. To the left of the display are dedicated music buttons for playing your favorite tunes. You'll pause, play, fast-forward and rewind your tracks effortlessly. Adjust the volume with the dedicated rocker on the right side of the phone.
The music player is far superior to other mid-range priced devices. The stereo Bluetooth makes for easy music file transfer from computer to phone. The speakers are much better than other Nokia models and most other music phones. Support for MP3, AAC, AAC+, and WMA files are all included.
While you're playing music tracks, the display will present to you the name of the song, artist, album and song length. It will additionally show you how to use the musical navigation buttons that are along the side of the screen. Play modes include shuffle and repeat. If you like to personalize your listening experience, you'll love the Nokia 5300. The equalizer has five preset modes and two that are customizable. You can effortlessly save your tracks to ringtones as well.
Sound quality is second to none. The speakers will please you at any volume level. The headphone volume is just as clear and crisp as your home stereo.
More than a phone and a music device, the 5300 has a lot of additional applications to offer. The phone book is large capacity, allowing for up to one thousand contacts, complete with information like email addresses, web URLs, up to five numbers each, birth date, company, job title, notes and address. The SIM card is capable of storing an additional 250 contacts. Organize contacts by groups or add a photo to the caller ID so you can keep everyone straight. You can also assign a ringtone to each and every contact or a group.
The text and multimedia messaging features meet and exceed the expectations of most users. With T9 data recognition, this Nokia will complete your words for you. Other integrated standard features included in this phone are the timer, alarm clock, calendar, to-do list, notepad and calculator.
If you need even more space for music, photos or contacts, the SD card will expand your storage by 2 GB. Nokia didn't consider that some users would be swapping SD cards, apparently, because it's located beneath the battery. If you don't take your cards in and out often, you won't find this to be problematic. If you are change cards often, though, you might want to keep a thin screwdriver handy.
I can't tell you about the Nokia 5300 without spending a few words on the Bluetooth feature. The infrared port is convienantly located on the side of the phone, making synching simple. Check and send email, surf the net and download tunes whenever you like.
Snapping pictures with the camera feature won't leave you disappointed. The 1.3 megapixels will capture shots in one of six resolutions. Ranging from 1290 x 960 to 160 x 120, you'll find the jpg pictures will be crisp and colorful. There are three camera modes, color effects, the ability to add notes to the pictures, a 10-second timer, sequence shooting for taking three pictures in rapid-fire, an 8x digital zoom and the ability to adjust contrast. You can't adjust the brightness and there is no flash but those are the only real places this camera comes up short.
Shoot video in 3GPP in one of two resolutions – 176 x 144 or 129 x 96. The quality is nothing worth writing home about but is pretty standard for a 1.3 megapixel camera.
With the price tag hovering around 0 when it was released in early 2006, this phone is music to your ears without blowing out your wallet.
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