Nokia 5730 XpressMusic review

A new mid-range music phone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard

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nokia 5730

Getting the balance right for your target audience – it's something Nokia's done plenty of times with its mid-range workhorse business models.

Whether the 5730 XpressMusic does too is debatable. When the fashion at the moment is towards slimmer touchscreens, a chunkily built phone really needs to deliver something head-turning to grab attention.

The sideways slide-out QWERTY keyboard certainly is a sit-up-and-take-notice feature. It's chiefly responsible for the bulky look – the phone measures 112(h) x 51(w) x 15.4(d)mm closed and is 80mm wide with the slider out, and weighs 135g.



It's a similar size to Nokia's 5800 XpressMusic, although there's no touchscreen here – just a regular 2.4-inch, 16 million-colour QVGA (240 x 320 pixels) display.

The overall look of the phone is consistent with recent XpressMusic models – a black glossy front with contrasting zingy red, blue or pink trimming. Three slim dedicated music player controls are lined up on the edge of the phone, and there's a standard 3.5mm headphone socket up top.


Although the glossy main numberpad has slightly contoured keys, they're not differentiated enough for our liking and they can feel a touch slippery under your texting thumb. When pressed, though, they're pretty responsive.


The control pad is constructed around a typical navigation D-pad. This works sufficiently well, sitting proud enough to be accurately workable. The control buttons around it are a bit cramped, however; it's tight for large-thumbed precision, although they are slightly curved to aid finger finding.

The two softkeys taper off to the side, the one on the right above the Clear button, which can cause some mis-press bother if you're heavy with your digits. It isn't one of Nokia's most enjoyable control pad experiences.


Nokia's rolled out plenty of QWERTY keyboard-equipped devices over the years, and the slide-out QWERTY keypad here is usable and its slider tray also feels sturdy. The surface is flat, and not particularly well defined – there's minimal spacing between them. But the keys are large and spacious for accurate thumb typing.

The QWERTY keypad's not cluttered, and the 39 keys are positioned sensibly in four rows 10 keys wide, without any fuss or tricksy positioning. They move pretty well too, with just enough give to require light pressure, so it's still responsive but stray finger brushing doesn't activate the wrong keys.

However, it's not ideal for fast typing. Fingers can stray and mis-press if you try a bit of speed-tapping, and its setup is not balanced well enough for fingertip typing. It doesn't have the tilting screen action of the top-of-the-range N97, but overall it's a reasonable mid-level keyboard effort from Nokia.

Elsewhere around the phone's bodywork, a microUSB slot is present, adjacent to a flap covering the MicroSD card slot. The 5730 XpressMusic also has a dedicated camera button, volume rocker and a separate connector for its thin 2mm pin Nokia charger.