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Nokia 5610 XpressMusic
In a change from the dozens of phones that Nokia floods the market with, the 5610 does seem a refreshingly different, and pretty stylish.
The phone, available in red and blue color schemes, features a sliding form factor, with an interestingly useful music dial that slides to either side and offers a change from the norm (2-way spring loaded Music Slider music key). The phone is quite sleek in its own right, boasting dimensions of 98.5 x 48.5 x 17 mm. It's pretty lightweight too.
The five-way D-Pad that also makes up the play/pause button is surrounded by the open keys and the call, cancel buttons. This flat-surface touch given to these keys really feels nice. The keypad on the inside is equally easy to use and responsive.
The fact that it uses a microUSB adhering to the protocol of the newly adopted "industry standards" gives you the feeling of staying in the loop. The rear of the phone has a black rugged look, and has the camera, a flash and the Nokia logo in blue (or red, if that's the color of the phone).
The phone features the Series 40 OS, and is essentially a music phone (hence the XpressMusic tag). For old Nokia users, this is like a getting better, faster phone that's been stripped down to suit current trends.
Navigation is pretty simple, and you will find all your useful applications scattered on the main screen. This makes for a "keep, grab and use" action, so you don't have to go hunting in the menu.
The 2.2-inch TFT screen is quite bright and clear, and can display upto16M colors (240 x 320 pixels). It takes a microSD card, which will require you to take off the battery cover to access. Now this is a real bitch! It's something that really sucks about the phone. The whole act of taking the battery cover off gives you the impression of pulling the phone apart. You have to literally pry it off.
The phone is equipped with a voice recorder, which has a warm reception. As far as features are concerned, it's like any other series 40 phone. To make websurfing fun, the phone comes equipped with Opera Mini browser. You can open more than one page at a time. The phone supports 3G, WAP, GPRS and EDGE. It has full Java MIDP 2.0 support with Over-the-air (OTA) download of Java based applications included.
To talk about the music, which is probably why you are looking at buying the 5610, Nokia has paid a lot of detail to make the music bit very user-friendly. Apart from a dedicated dial to access the radio and music player, the phone also comes bundled with the 2.5mm to 3.5mm converter cable. You can buy a better pair of headphones if you wish, and you are ready to go.
If I have to compare this phone with another of its kind in the market, then I would opt for the Sony Ericsson W580i. This Nokia sports similar features and fits the bill aptly. It's loud and clear, and the sound is evenly balanced. The bundled earphones may lead you to think the phone is bad at dealing out the lows, but with the Bose Quite Comfort I had a blast. Obviously, this proves that you can stretch the sound to its full potential.
One good thing about the phone is that where music is concerned you will never be disappointed. Even the phone speakers can emit sound loud and clear enough, which is nice.
While the other phones in the XpressMusic category are quite similar, the 5610 differs in terms of its camera. It has a 3.2MP camera with autfocus and two LED flash, which is surprisingly quite good. It offers various effects like grayscale, sepia etc, and also effective white balance options. I have always been of the opinion that phones have mediocre cameras, but what I like about the 5610 is that the pictures taken were clear and vibrant. The amount of detailing was surprisingly better than most cameras, and it helps that the pictures aren't "washed out" at all. It can manage sequential shots, and supports JPEG and GIF formats. As far as video recording is concerned it supports VGA, QVGA and QCIF formats with sound, with 4x smooth zoom in H.263 and MPEG-4 in .3gp format. Music formats include MP3, MP4, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-NB and WMA.
The FM radio happens to be the most effective I've heard lately. Even indoors the reception was brilliant. I also liked the featured RDS and AF, technologies that you often see only in car stereos. To explain it in brief, RDS allows small amounts of data to be transmitted using "conventional FM radio broadcasts". In this case it makes use of AF (alternative frequency), which allows the phone to look for a different frequency of the station you are listening to when the signal is weak.
Battery life is not that great though. For a music phone, one would expect the battery to conk off after prolonged use, but manufacturers should probably realize that stronger battery life means dependability. In this case, you have to charge every evening, if you are listening to about 2 hours of music through the day. The Sony Ericsson W580i offers more in this regard.
This is the phone you should pick up if you are a hardcore Nokia fan and want an excellent music player, period! Apart from that the 5610 has style, a fast interface and is up to date as far as connectivity is concerned. Its street price is approximately Rs 13,200, so if you have made up your mind, I'd say go for it!
Nokia 5610 XpressMusic
|UMTS / GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|98.5 x 48.5 x 17 mm, 75g|
|2.2-inch TFT, 16million colors (240 x 320 pixels)|
|20 MB built-in user available memory, Memory Stick (MicroSD)|
USB, Bluetooth with A2DP profile, GPRS, 3G, HSCSD
Up to 320 hrs standby, 6 hrs talktime (according to product manual)
Approx. Rs 13,200