Nokia 5730 XpressMusic review: Full musical keyboard

GSMArena team, 14 August 2009.
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Decent retail box

The Nokia 5730 XpressMusic is reasonably equipped considering the price tag. The phone comes with a 8GB microSD card, a USB cable and of course a regular 2mm-pin charger.

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The retail package

The supplied headset is one-piece, which means you cannot use the music-enhanced remote with another headset. Alternative headphones are of course an option given the 3.5 mm audio jack.

The supplied headset seems better than standard though the white earbuds hardly match their overall style. By the way the same headset is supplied wth Nokia 5530 XpresssMusic as well.

A word of caution to you all though: shipping contents usually DO vary across regional markets. We received our Nokia 5730 straight from the local Nokia center as a press sample in retail boxing. The contents of the retail packages in your region may be different make, model or color.

Nokia 5730 XpressMusic 360-degree spin

The slide-out QWERTY keyboard doesn’t make the 5730 XpressMusic the most compact of phones, but it’s quite compact for a device that has a full QWERTY keyboard. But it’s not a hard to handle chunk either – at 112 x 51 x 15.4 mm, it’s about the size of an N78, which is more than alright.

The weight of 135 grams won’t be a burden either. The 5730 is surprisingly only 4 grams lighter than the steel-covered Nokia E75 but the important thing is the phone handles very nicely. Great balance is vital for slider handsets and the 5730 XpressMusic is especially comfortable with the QWERTY keyboard slid out.

Design and construction

The Nokia 5730 XpressMusic is a nice looking phone with a very distinct XpressMusic styling. The red frames around the front and the QWERTY keyboard contribute to the familiar feel. Actually, the handset’s front is an almost exact replica of the 5630 XpressMusic. It’s all plastic there, no fancy stuff and that’s no news.

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The 5730 XpressMusic build has its issues

The very solid looking, ample QWERTY keyboard is an excellent performer. It has the same font styling as the alphanumeric one and its handling is comfortable and secure.

The ambient light sensor and the video-call camera are at the top of the front panel of the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic, either side of the earpiece. The secondary camera is enabled for QVGA still shots and QCIF video at 15 fps. Between the screen and the earpiece is a rocker key – those are the two gaming buttons.

Below them is the 2.4" display, followed by the D-pad, which is very comfortable to use. It has a programmable LED in the center that can be set to indicate missed events or simply serve as a standby breathing light.

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Ambient light sensor, video-call camera, N-Gage button and the earpiece

There are six system keys around the D-pad, including the usual Nokia foursome - Call and End keys and two soft-keys. The End key also doubles as a power switch. The other two knobs are menu and backspace.

The problem of the soft keys and the call controls is – quite surprisingly – the great D-pad. It’s ample and comfortably raised for precise and effortless handling. But it does make the completely flat and deep-set soft keys harder to press right. The buttons bordering on the D-pad must be pushed precisely in the center or otherways they just won't work. Press feedback is quite poor and every now and then you might need to push again and again to get a response.

The Menu and Clear keys are slightly raised and sufficiently apart from the D-pad, hence a lot more comfortable.

On the left side of the screen are the standard music player controls, typical of the XpressMusic lineup. They are thin, with overall adequate press and friendly white backlighting. The problem is there plastic coating looks and feels quite frail.

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The excellent D-pad obscures the soft-keys • the music controls are comfortable but of questionable durability

The left side of the Nokia 5730 is where the microUSB port and the microSD card slot are. They're both covered with plastic lids to avoid getting filled with dust.

Those fit firmly in place and can be somewhat tricky to use: they are a little stiff and you’ll need to use your nails to open them. Just like on the 5630 XpressMusic, it's quite hard to pull the microSD card out using your fingers only since the card sinks too deep into the slot and is very difficult to reach. We guess you'd need a pointed tool every time you want to take it out.

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The Nokia 5730 XpressMusic left: connectivity and storage

The bottom is where the lanyard eyelet and the standard charger port are. Next to the charging port is the mic, right at the very edge.

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The charging port is at the bottom right next to the mouthpiece

The right side of the 5730 features two controls – the volume rocker and the shutter key. While it has full functionality, including half-press for autofocus and camera launch, it is small and poorly designed. While half-press is quite distinct and comfortable, full press is not always adequate on the tiny wobbly knob.

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The right side packs the volume rocker and the camera key

The only thing to note at the top is the 3.5mm standard audio jack. It's not sealed for protection but is comfortably placed.

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The 3.5mm standard audio jack is at the top

The handset’s rear looks a whole lot better. We do appreciate the completely fingerprint-proof and stylish opaque plastic. There we find the 3 megapixel camera lens and the smallish LED flash.

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The back cover and the camera lens

Removing the battery cover is a tough job: you need to poke a nail or a thin pointed object and push up. Underneath lies a 1000 mAh Li-Ion BL-4U unit, the SIM bed and the loudspeaker. We were surprised to find no actual loudspeaker grills on the casing of the 5730 XpressMusic. Actually, the handset doesn’t sound muffled, but we wonder whether it could have been louder.

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The 1000 mAh battery, the SIM bed and the loudspeaker

The 1000 mAh battery needed recharging every other day during our tests, extensive use of Wi-Fi and GPS on top of a few calls a day obviously taking its toll.

In terms of design, the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic is hardly a revelation. The styling is obviously taking after the 5630 and of course the Nokia music lineup is keen on keeping things simple. The handset handles pretty nicely and the side-sliding QWERTY is very well implemented.

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The Nokia 5730 XpressMusic in hand

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