Nokia 5230 Review – Follow-Up XpressMusic Touch Phone

Nokia 5230 Review: The Nokia 5230 was released at the end of 2009. By this time, much had happened in the phone world: Samsung, Apple and HTC were in the ascendancy with their touchscreen handsets and at the top-end Nokia was playing catch-up.

Nokia had not moved into the mainstream touch arena as yet: it’s flagship Nokia N95 and Nokia N96 models easily surpassed the iPhone in terms of specification but lacked touchscreen. But times were changing: ditching a keypad altogether would allow for bigger screens and media consumption was gaining in popularity.

The Nokia 5800 heralded the release of the new Symbian S60. This was more optimised for the touchscreen and featured a similar icon-rich grid as seen on the Apple ecosystem. The ‘XpressMusic’ tag also was brought to the phone, although this did not symbolise much aside from media functions and a microSD card. And Nokia couldn’t abandon physical keys altogether: the bottom of the handset featured no less than three buttons.

The Nokia 5230 was a stripped-down version of the Nokia 5800 aimed at the budget market. It looked almost identical cosmetically and in many other aspects it was similar. That was a measure of how quickly things were moving in these years of quick development.

Full specifications here.

There was a very similar variant released shortly after – the Nokia 5233. But this was largely the end of the road for resistive touch and the Nokia C6-01 was the successor and went to the multi-touch format.

Nokia 5230 Review: Pros

Cosmetically this was similar in look to the Nokia 5800. It also came with the same screen size and resolution – 360 x 640, 3.5 inches making it good to watch media on. Not bad considering the price difference.

Despite the ‘XpressMusic’ tag being dropped, there was still plenty for music lovers. A microSD card slot combined with the Symbian 60 apps made this easy to store files.

The phone contained GPS navigation – a good addition for a mid-range phone. This synced with the bundled Nokia maps app.

Nokia 5230 Review: Cons

The resistive touch screen was unchanged, and still difficult to use relative to multi-touch. The Nokia 5800 came with a built-in stylus on the rear cover to make things easier. For some reason, this was not reproduced on the Nokia 5230.

The camera was a big downgrade on this model, and lost 1MP of resolution and the flash sensor on the back. It also lost the TV-out port seen on the previous model.

The Nokia 5230 also did not come with Wi-Fi – this was quite a big miss at a time when most feature phones included this.

Current Pricing and Future Prospects

These phones may be remembered fondly, although they do not compare very nicely to phones nowadays. By contract, ultra -basic models never really go out of fashion. This being said, these phones always have demand at lower prices and may end up being more collectable in future.

Where can I get one?

Both Ebay and Amazon have second-hand and refurbished models.

Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.

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