Nokia 5230 review

Bargain-priced smartphone with some advanced features

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Nokia 5230

If the slow speed and lack of Wi-Fi keep coming up as problems on the Nokia 5230, one saving grace is the exceptional camera.

The quality is actually no better than an iPhone – at two megapixels, you won't be submitting your stunning images to a glossy photo magazine any time soon.

Yet, the Nokia 5230 provides some slick camera features beyond just setting the white balance (which helps you adjust lighting options so that subjects appear the correct colour).

For example, this is one of the only phones that lets you set exposure level (amount of light allowed in through the lens) and ISO speed (how quickly the shutter opens and closes).

The Nokia 5230 also has settings for a self-timer, multiple shots in sequence, colour and contrast level options, and sharpness level.

All of these settings do lead to better photos. In a scene with some ducks on a river, the exposure settings provided a slick way to brighten up a photo before ever using Photoshop.

With the self-timer, it was possible to take a family portrait without having to relegate one family member to being the photographer.

Unfortunately, like every other cameraphone except the beefier N900 and maybe the Motorola Milestone, the Nokia 5230 is just too light for serious photography. It's too easy to set up a nice shot, then nudge the camera a bit and take a blurry photo.

Nokia 5230

Nokia 5230

Nokia 5230

Nokia 5230

Nokia 5230

For video, this lighter-than-air problem is a bigger problem. It is difficult to hold the phone steady enough for any real video clips unless you rest it on a table or chair. Even then, it's hard to record a video that isn't jerky and unwatchable.



John Brandon (Twitter, Google+) has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.