nokia 5730 xpressmusic

Nokia's certainly packed plenty of functionality into its latest music-centric smartphone; the 5730 XpressMusic is the most feature-heavy of its non-touchscreen XpressMusic line-up, with Wi-Fi, HSDPA, A-GPS, a terrific music player performance – plus that slide out QWERTY keyboard for added messaging muscle.

It does have a hybrid feel about the design, though. It's chunky for a phone that's majoring on music – after all there aren't that many music players that are so solidly built.

Whether that QWERTY keyboard fits well into a dedicated music phone concept is a moot point – the added bulk the keyboard adds certainly makes it less appealing as a portable tune-playing device.

We liked:

In functionality terms, the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic offers plenty, including Wi-Fi and HSDPA connectivity, A-GPS and Nokia Maps, and it has a good spread of smartphone features.

With its usable thumb-typing QWERTY keyboard, messaging is well catered for, and the browser is sufficient for visiting your favourite websites.

The top-of-the-bill music player user interface may not be much different to many previous Nokia S60 models we've seen, but its audio performance is excellent for this sort of phone.

Decent earphones are supplied, along with an 8GB MicroSD card, plus there's a regular headphone socket that allows you to plug in your own ear gear.

We disliked:

We found the overall bulkiness unappealing for a phone that's dressed up to be a fashion-conscious music mobile.

For its target audience, it's a bit of a pocket-bulger. We also didn't like the way the control panel was arranged around the D-pad – some keys are fiddly to operate accurately and open to mispressing; the glossy plastic numberpad isn't one of our Nokia favourites either.

The QWERTY keypad, while serviceable for thumb-tapping, isn't well-balanced or defined enough for quick fingertip typing.

With so much functionality going on here, some feature options and settings take quite a few presses to get to – reflecting some of the limits of the S60 3rd Edition UI.

Verdict:

The Nokia 5730 XpressMusic has plenty of decent features that should make it very attractive, and it delivers an exceptional music performance. But overall it has a hybrid feel to it that helps make its design less than appealing.

Its bulkiness is a drawback unless you're really taken with the idea of a QWERTY keyboard on a music-centred mobile. Pitched at a target market where it's competing for attention against plenty of slick, well featured touchscreen smartphones, it's unlikely to be a chart-topper.