Nokia 5230 review

Bargain-priced smartphone with some advanced features

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Our Verdict

The Nokia 5230 is an intelligent enough device, although doesn't do enough to mark itself out from the rest of the smartphone crowd.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 70 MB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 2 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 7 Hour

View full specification


  • Light and portable
  • Good battery life
  • Plenty of apps
  • Good Bluetooth support
  • High call quality


  • Lack of Wi-Fi
  • Slow speeds
  • Touchscreen lags
  • Confusing menus at times
  • No physical keyboard

One of the great truths about smartphones is that you should always match a phone to your actual needs. The Nokia 5230, despite falling short of expectations, is an intelligent device that offers a wealth of unique features. Whether these features match your needs is the real question.

Before covering the failings, let's cover the basic advantages of using this phone. The Nokia 5230 is the bargain-bin version of the flagship phone, the Nokia N97.

We say 'flagship' as a somewhat slippery term, because the N97 is by no means as powerful as, say, the Google Nexus One and is actually second-rate compared to the much faster Nokia N900.

Yet, the N97 is the touchscreen phone set to compete with the Apple iPhone and just about every Android, Palm and Windows Phone device.

Nokia 5230

As the entry-level version of the N97, the Nokia 5230 is about £118, or about half the cost of competing smartphones that run well over £200.

That's an attractive price point – one that provides all the functionality of a touchscreen device, apps galore, GPS, media playback, a 2MP camera with advanced options such as setting ISO level, and 4GB of storage (on an included microSD card).

Nokia 5230

No, the Nokia 5230 is not an iPhone or HTC Desire competitor, but does have some powerful features.

What you don't get is Wi-Fi, and that is one of the major problems with this device. Wi-Fi is useful because it means you can continue using the device inside when your carrier service goes AWOL or when you want to download huge files.

The Nokia 5230 also lacks a full hardware keyboard, runs a bit slow at times, has a confusing turn-by-turn voice nav for GPS routing (although the phone supports many languages), low camera quality at just 2 megapixels, and a few minor glitches.

Nokia 5230

In the box Nokia has included the typical charger, manual, and a pair of earbuds with a 3.5mm connector that you will likely discard for a much more adequate set. Our test unit included a 4GB card already inserted into a side compartment, which is included with every Nokia 5230.


Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported16 GB
Built-in Memory70 MB
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyHSDPA, HSCSD, GPRS, EDGE
SAR Value1.08 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedWCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution2 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack, Red
Operating SystemSymbian
Brand NameNokia
Battery Talk Time7 Hour
Product Model5230
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Weight (Approximate)115 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE, ENERGY STAR
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Processor ManufacturerARM
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.0
Operating System VersionSymbian OS 9.4
Messaging TypeInstant Messaging, Email, SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service)
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height111 mm
Width51.7 mm
Depth15.5 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time438 Hour
Product Name5230 Smartphone
Processor Speed434 MHz
Processor TypeARM11
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number5230RED
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The eye-catching Nokia 5230 brings together innovative design and cutting-edge technology with its vibrant colours, touch-based user interface, large widescreen display, and enhanced media player.

Package Contents
  • 5230 Smartphone
  • Nokia High Efficiency Charger (AC-8)
  • Nokia Battery (Bl-5J)
  • Nokia Stereo Headset (WH-102)
  • Plectrum Stylus (CP-306)
  • User guide
  • Nokia Mobile Holder (CR-119)
Limited Warranty2 Year