Nokia 5320 review: Teensmart

GSMArena team, 08 August 2008.
Pages: 1234567

Keypad OK

The alphanumeric keypad on Nokia 5320 fares decently with large and solid to press keys. Touch orientation isn't the best we've seen and this somewhat hurts the typing experience. Once you get used to the phone and the particular keypad pattern you'll sure be fine.

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The keypad provides for a good enough typing

The selection keys, as well as the call and end keys, are much to our liking, with ample size and proper placement. The D-pad is very comfortable, causing little trouble even to people with very large hands. The menu and the clear keys are just a tad small and may need some time getting used to.

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Well sized and nicely laid out main controls around the comfortable D-pad

The backlighting is solid and strong enough, no issues with Nokia 5320 in the dark.

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Usability and good looks in the dark

Good retail package

Considering its midrange standing, Nokia 5320 has a very decent retail package. The medium-sized box has most of the things you are going to need when using the phone.

A 1GB microSD card starts the list in our case but in some regions a smaller 512MB card will be shipped instead. A DC charger goes without saying, and so do the bunch of papers and the PC sync software CD.

The star of the retail box is the smart XpressMusic handsfree, that comes in two parts. You've got the essential 3.5mm standard audio jack and the remote pad, and you can replace the actual headphones if you like. The remote is also equipped with a lapel clip. Finally we found a microUSB cable to be used for connecting your phone to a computer.

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Nokia 5320 retail package the handsfree set

Telephony

With Nokia 5320 signal reception is great. The phone has commendable speaker quality and the sound during calls is clear and free of any interferences. Vibration is also strong enough to make sure you never miss an incoming call or message.

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Calling Dexter on the Nokia 5320

The results from our loudspeaker test are at your disposal - Nokia 5320 XpressMusic turned out to be a very good performer in this respect. Check out the table showing how it stacks along some of the handsets we've put to the same test. In case you want to find out more about the test itself or a complete list of tested devices, hit the link.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOveral score
Apple iPhone 3G66.162.171.7Below Average
Nokia 531064.862.075.9Average
O2 Cocoon65.165.775.7Good
Nokia 532074.366.678.3Very Good
Sony Ericsson W91077.570.782.7Excellent

S60 3.2 UI is the best a Symbian smartphone can offer

Nokia 5320 runs on the Symbian 9.3 OS with Series60 3rd Edition user interface. Being among the first devices to have the Feature Pack 2, Nokia 5320 brings both visual and performance upgrades.

The first thing to notice is the standby screen, which now offers four different modes, allowing to arrange the shortcuts as you please. There is a horizontal and vertical layout where you get to pick the shortcuts in the first tab and a new layout we're seeing for the first time. It has shortcuts to the music player, search application, the web browser and the gallery of your Nokia 5320. Finally you can disable the active stand-by and assign shortcuts to the four directions of the D-pad.

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The four different standby screen layouts: the first one is the default music-centric one

Nokia 5320 also has a My own key which has nice functionality. It allows you to assign any function you like to it and access it from anywhere around the user interface. The two soft keys' functions can also be varied according to the user preferences but they only work when you are on the stand-by screen.

Finally, the S60 UI Feature Pack 2 brings some graphic improvements as well. Animations are now available when browsing the menus. The task manager has also received a face-lift and is now appearing on every pop-up menu. It's actually placed on top of every list, which may seem somewhat irritating at times. In addition, you can still use the well-known shortcut by pressing and holding the menu key.

The 128MB of RAM is an important factor to OS performance. In Symbian terms 128MB is virtually impossible to deplete even with several applications running in the background. As a whole, you shouldn't expect any Memory full warnings on you Nokia 5320.

The 369 MHz ARM 11 CPU is also doing a pretty good job and there is no lagging or hold-ups when working with the Nokia 5320. Navigating the menus is fast with instant response to user commands. The blue circle next to the icon of a running application is a well known Symbian indication reminding users to quit unwanted applications that are still running in the background.

The Nokia 5320 built-in memory is 125MB, which is a good amount by most standards. The included 512MB or 1GB microSD memory card comes in very handy for extending it but you can go for an even higher capacity card if you like. Our test showed that Nokia 5320 had no problem handling an 8GB microSD memory card, but if you fill it up with too many small files it does slow down a bit. In all other cases, accessing applications or any other files from the memory card is quick and you probably won't notice a big difference from accessing content on the phone memory.

As with any Symbian phone, there is a built-in voice recognition system. It's doing a good job, being fully speaker-independent and recognizing a high percentage of user commands. Its performance still falls short of what the Nokia N95 and N95 8GB were capable of, but not by a great margin.

Customizations

The Nokia 5320 main menu offers four different view modes. Two of them are the well known 4 x 3 grid and a simple list. However there is no option for making the icons animated, as in the Nseries handsets.

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The traditional grid and list view modes

The other two available modes are the 3D V-shape and Horseshoe views. Visually appealing though they might be, those are not really as usable as the oldies. Font sizes are also configurable depending on your preferences.

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The V-shape and horseshoe view modes favor looks over usability

In addition, you can change the currently active theme. There are five preinstalled themes on Nokia 5320, the rest being left to the imagination of the user, as many other themes are available online.

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The four remaining preinstalled themes

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