Nokia 5210 Review – First Tough Splash and Dust Proof Phone

Nokia 5210 Review: Released in 2002, the Nokia 5210 had no real predecessor to go by. It was an entirely new type of handset. Having seen a demand for a more robust phone, the 5210 delivered this in a way which was seen by very few phones at that time. The phone came decked in a rubberised cover which made the phone adept to be used in the workplace. It was dust-proof and splash-proof as well as offering the standard Nokia operating system.

Technology had not moved along at this stage where ‘proper’ rugged phones were available. Later models would come to have IP68/IP69 certification which clears the phone to withstand certain levels of water, temperature or pressure. The Nokia 5210 was none of these, and dropping this in water would most likely still result in a inoperable handset due to the fact that the handset was not totally enclosed by the elements.

But the selling point was that the Nokia 5210 had gone further than most. It also had very little real competition in the market. Another novel addition was the use of ‘shells’ for the housing of the phone. These were very simple to remove from the phone, and simply by having another set spare, the phone could look new again.#

Full specifications here.

Sitting as a mid-range phone, this was a very successful model. A large part of its success was the lack of real challengers to it. One year later, this phone was replaced by the Nokia 5100. This was a very similar phone, but added a colour screen.


Nokia 5210 Review: Pros

The design was the major selling point. A rubberised cover gave the phone greater durability than other models of phone, most notably being shockproof. Whilst not resistant to damage itself, the integrated design of the keypad made the phone less susceptible to moisture and dust.

The phone software was a little upgraded from the previous year. There were more games – a total of 5. Perhaps aimed at the working people, the organiser was upgraded over the Nokia 8310 and more alerts were possible. There was a thermometer function that took the temperature of the phone, a reasonable proxy for the outside.

The phones pricing level was good. This was not a premium phone and was cheaper than the flagship Nokia 7210 (although the 7210 had a colour screen).

Nokia 5210 Review: Cons

The phone was not entirely waterproof. The rubber housings also meant they wore away a bit quicker than the plastic ones. Replacement housings (at least the official ones) are expensive.

Some items in the operating system were left out. A flashlight and FM Radio may have been real handy applications for some users but were not present.

Despite an increase in terms of size, the screen was not bigger. Removing the phone from the cover showed the phone to be around the same size as the Nokia 8210, so some of this space was wasted.

Future Prospects and Current Pricing

This phone presents a classic conundrum. Anything that has good use will not be in good condition. The cover degrades over time and replacements are not made any more. Thus a phone in good condition will gain a seriously good price which should only increase into the 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.


Leave a Reply