Nokia 5230. User review

Usually, good looks is the last thing one would expect from a Nokia. Thats the only reason why Nokia eluded from the list of almost half a dozen cell phones, I owned till now. Also thats the reason why the other brands get a chance to compete!

But with 5230, (and of course 5800, 5233...) the things are different, not because there is some radical drift in design, (for everything in 5230 yells out that “I am a Nokia”) but because every external details are offset by its excellent high resolution screen and its themes. Yes, 5230 is a beauty and like any other Nokia, is very practical.

5230 is a frugal version of 5800, cheaper by almost 5K. The latter have a 3.2 mp camera and wifi connection while the former sports a 2mp camera without flash and no wifi. ( Some say 5230 have a faster processor- I am not sure) The other differences are in softwares.

The specifications, you will get it from a hundred sites. So I don’t go into the details. Any way it is a 3.2 “ touch screen, 3G supported, with GPS. It runs on Symbian Os S60 version 5, which is the latest. The reason I selected the phone was of the GPS navigation. It is an assisted GPS, which means some kind of support is channeled from a provider server in data assimilation and collation. This means quicker positioning and calculation, but the flop side is that it requires a net connection for total functionality. Don’t worry, it works well even offline.

The phone doesn’t come with built in maps. You need to download them. Nokia is kind enough to provide them free of cost from their site. But you need to do some serious amount of downloading. No software come bundled with the phone. You need to download everything from Nokia PC suite which is around 33Mb. Then Ovimaps which is some 8Mb. This is a smaller version. For serious navigation you need to use map installer (28Mb), and to install this, have to download and install some 55Mb of windows patch. With the Map installer in your PC, download 128 Mb of Indian map data to your phone. But every thing is worth the effort. You have a near perfect GPS navigation system with audio directions at hand!

The touch screen is resistance type, so at times we may fell it a less sensitive. But not much of trouble. The menu are quite intuitive and very user friendly. The phone have a built in accelerometer so it automatically change the display format according to the way its held. This also help to provide some interesting feature like silencing the phone by turning it display down and also support third party softwares like step counter, leveler, dice games etc. It also have a proximity sensor, which shut down the display when you bring it close to your ears and switches on when taken away. Power management!

The inputs are through touch screen. You can do it perfect with fingers. Still Nokia provides a stylus and a fancy triangular one which you can thread to the wristband. The key pad can be predictive or Qwerty type depending on the way you hold the phone. Quite cool!

This phone comes with two java games. In the office section, we have an English – English dictionary which is quite good, but the word collection do not seem to be exhaustive. No other productive utility is included other than a converter. But we can freely download and install Quickoffice viewer, (supports Word, Excel and Powerpoint) the one without editing features. If you badly need to edit, buy one for $19. So after all these downloading and installations you have brought the phone close to 5800.

The music player is of fair quality, and the phone is bundled with a no frill headphone. The camera is fair, but as you can understand, a 2mp camera with a miniature lens is not enough for any serious photography. So is video.
The ring volume is not loud enough, you will easily miss it if the phone is in the next room. But the sound quality is excellent. The phone also features a stamina battery which will go for almost 3 days with average use. Very good indeed.

Though the phone is 3G supported, it do not have a second camera for video calls, which is a disappointment. But for this price you will be asking for too much with such wishes. Also it do not come with a USB connector. Still no problem, it is freely available with computer and mobile shops for around Rs 100. (Ask for micro USB connector)
Up dating.
(Image courtesy: GSM arena)
It was only today I could try out the Navigator feature to full extend. The reason was so silly, I couldn’t find a proper holder for the phone. Today I got one from the Fiat dealer, and ’navigated’ back home, some 50 km. The result was beyond my every expectations. She guided me precisely through every turns and corners at Kochi, and even in state highways in interior areas, the map was precise. It got a bit confused when I took too many short cuts and detours (of course deliberately) but was swiftly back in full performance when opted ’different route’ in the menu. Its a full fledged navigator, real real good!

Another thing, Nokia releases software update for 5230. It offers quicker transition from display orientation which was a bit sluggish earlier. Also provide better music search. I installed it and the transition change is evident and quicker. Very good! But Do NOT try it unless you have a broadband connection. It is 125 Mb and any interruption during the updating process can be catastrophic!

One thing of relief! Release of new software may be a gesture that alleviate the fears about the discontinuation of this model.

So my conclusion ( something some of my friends were dieing to get!) If what you need is just a phone, go and buy any phone. But if you need a navigator, buy Nokia 5230, save at least Rs 5000 and get a phone, music player, a camera and many things more for FREE!!