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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nokia 5230, owner's review

I was a little disappointed at first when I received my Nokia 5230, because, out of the box the UI was very slow. Then, after a hard reset it started to work properly. I don't know why Nokia ships this model with the presets it does because all they do is cast a bad light on the phone itself, which doesn't do the phone justice.

First thing I noticed was the outdated S60 UI. Looks like an 80's car compared with iPhone or Android's modern looking UIs.

The second thing I noticed was that I had better inter-application integration on my previous phone, a Samsung 3650. That was somewhat solved when I installed the SPB Shell, which completely changed the Nokia's user experience, but I'll cover the SPB Shell on another post.

The third was the Ovi Store. I was looking forward to downloading and even purchasing apps from the Ovi Store. The first apps I downloaded were free and I felt pretty good about my phone. Then I noticed that the 5230 had no document editor, which I believe every phone should have (even my old Samsung S3650 had at least a document viewer). The only software that I found on Ovi for document viewing/editing was QuickOffice, which is free as a viewer, but paid as an editor, and it's very overpriced. Same goes for the pricey PDF reader.

Another thing that I would expect a smartphone to have by default was an AVI player, and again the 5230 let me down. No video player here, not even a paid one. And it's not like it's impossible, the Samsung Omnia HD has one, so why doesn't Nokia have one.

The telephony is brilliant, I have now the best signal I ever had, and the best in-call audio quality. I you get passed the outdated look of the applications, you'll find quite a useful bunch packed in this model. The calendar app is very good, and if you download the Mail for exchange app from Nokia (I fail to understand why it doesn't come with the phone) you can synchronize your phone's calendar, contacts and tasks with your Google account, but only after you visit Google's mobile Sync page, where there is a detailed tutorial on how to get things working. Maybe Nokia wants to shove the Ovi services down your throat instead of Google's.

What I liked most about this phone, was the speed of Java apps, which sometimes are as fast as the Symbian native ones.

Another plus of this phone is it's camera. It's only a 2MP camera but it is able to record VGA resolution videos and it's the best 2MP camera I've ever seen. It takes brilliant photos in broad daylight even in poor light conditions. Maybe that's because the phone processes practically every photo it takes. That increases the time between two snaps, but provides a quality that will make it worthwhile.

The GPS reciver seems to take some time before it gets a lock on your location. Comparing the two nav apps I've installed, I found Ovi maps to be more accurate than Google maps, but it was only a matter of 20 meters.

In conclusion, the Nokia 5230 is a phone that surpasses the expectations of the 130 Euros I paid for it.

Here is a video review of the 5230