Nokia X5-01 review: Round the square

GSMArena team, 01 November 2010.
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Introduction

On occasion Nokia will experiment with form factor and shape. The Nokia X5-01 is the kind of phone that might just leave you wondering. Is it having a bad slider day or a great square day? No, the Nokia X5 is better than that. It’s a neat and chubby Symbian smartie with a QWERTY keyboard and a 5MP camera.

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Nokia X5-01 official photos

The struggle to provide a better system of text input while keeping the size down is still ongoing. Touchscreen provides an answer of sorts, but nothing yet really beats an old-fashioned hardware QWERTY keyboard.

The full four-row keyboard on the Nokia X5 has a long list of applications – from SMS and email, to IM and social networking. The Nokia X5-01 sports a dedicated media key too – it’s no square when it comes to having fun.

The 5MP camera is a constant source of photos to share with friends and you can do it over Wi-Fi, no need for a data plan. The Nokia X5-01 is a full-blown smartphone too – 600MHz and 256MB RAM put it within a stone’s throw of the Nokia N8 performance. And the Ovi Store is steadily growing with new and useful apps.

We were a little disappointed to find the X5-01 doesn’t have a GPS receiver. Check out our list of pros and cons to see what made the cut and what didn’t.

Key features

  • Full QWERTY slider form factor
  • Quad-band GSM/EDGE, tri-band 3G with HSDPA and HSUPA
  • Symbian S60 UI, 3rd edition FP2
  • 600MHz processor, 256MB RAM; 200MB user-accessible storage
  • 2.36" 256K-color QVGA display
  • 5 megapixel fixed-focus camera, LED flash, VGA@15fps video recording
  • Standard microUSB port (charging)
  • microSD card slot (32GB supported, 2GB included)
  • Wi-Fi b/g; DLNA and UPnP support
  • Bluetooth (with A2DP)
  • Accelerometer-based controls
  • Dedicated media key
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS, Internet radio
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Comes With Music bundle in select markets
  • Good email and social networking support
  • Office document viewer; ZIP file support
  • Quick Business and Personal homescreen toggle

Main disadvantages

  • No GPS receiver
  • No office document editing
  • Small, low-resolution screen
  • Non-hot-swappable microSD card under the battery
  • Fixed focus camera
  • Poor video recording
  • No camera lens protection
  • No DivX or XviD video support out-of-the-box
  • No smart dialing

So, some things were left out, but Nokia managed to fit a lot of features in a small package. The last square-shaped QWERTY messenger we reviewed was the Motorola Flipout, which had its own set of pros and cons. For one thing, the Nokia X5-01 is a cheaper entry into the world of smart messengers. And it’s an entry with a bang.

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Nokia X5-01 live shots

It’s clearly not a phone that will appeal to everyone, but some will fall for its looks and rectangular charm. And as far as non-touch smartphones go, the Nokia X5-01 actually ranks pretty high on features.

It has a couple of nice accelerometer-based tricks too. If you press and hold the volume key, then shake the X5-01 it will “knock” several times – according to how many new messages you have. You can also skip a music track by shaking the phone.

Now, you can go ahead and skip to the next page for the hardware tour. We begin with unboxing and the 360-degree spin.

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