Nokia X5-01 review: Round the square

GSMArena team, 01 November 2010.
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Image gallery is fine

The image gallery used on the Nokia X5-01 is the Nseries Gallery that’s been around for quite a while. It offers all the needed functionality and works quite fast.

Nokia X5-01 Nokia X5-01
Nokia X5-01 Nokia X5-01
Browsing the image gallery

Photos can be organized by Albums and you can add tags to them – so even if you have a vast photo collection, the Nokia X5-01 will keep things neatly in order.

Nokia X5-01 Nokia X5-01
Nokia X5-01 Nokia X5-01
Zooming in • Tags and Albums keep things organized

Zooming and panning are fast and smooth, even for 5MP photos. Not that we expected anything different from a 600MHz processor pushing images to a QVGA screen.

Using the Home Media app, you can easily share photos, videos and music from your phone over Wi-Fi with DLNA capable devices and also play files from those devices directly on the Nokia X5-01.

An impressive music player

The music player on the Nokia X5-01 is the exact same one found on the other Xseries devices. It is accessed either through the dedicated hardware Music key, through a shortcut on the homescreen or through the main menu. The music player handles the most common audio formats - MP3, AAC, eAAC+ and WMA, and the standard 3.5mm audio jack is a welcome perk.

By spinning the device you can make it play a random song. You only need to put the phone on its back, spin it, and once it stops spinning, the next track will start playing.

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The music player "Now playing" interface

Sorting your songs by artist, album, genre and composer is automatic and searching tracks by gradual typing of the desired name is also available.

Nokia X5-01 Nokia X5-01
Searching the music library

It is worth noting that the 950mAh battery of the X5-01 is supposed to play music up to 24 hours on a single charge. That’s a whole day – music fans should be pleased.

The player comes with five equalizer presets and, should they seem insufficient, you can edit them or create new ones in a matter of seconds. There are also Bass Booster and Stereo Widening options.

Nokia X5-01 Nokia X5-01
Nokia X5-01 Nokia X5-01
Five equalizer presets are available • creating a new one • Bass Booster and Stereo widening are here

The Playlist DJ app lets you easily create playlists that suit your current mood.

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The Playlist DJ in action

Impressive audio quality

The previous Xseries device we tested was Nokia X3-02 and that turned out to be a disappointment in regards to audio quality. However the X5-01 lives up to its moniker with a great all-round performance in the audio quality department. Not only is this one of the loudest handsets we have seen but it also has one of the cleanest outputs.

Starting with the spot-on frequency response and excellent noise levels and ending with the virtually non-existent stereo crosstalk - it's all perfect about the Nokia X5-01. And the best part is that it doesn't worsen noticeably when you plug in a pair of headphones. Sure the stereo-crosstalk isn't record breaking anymore and the intermodulation distortion increases a bit but it's minor.

In general the X5-01 easily ranks among the best handsets we have tested all time. Here go the results so you can compare it to some of the other handsets we have tested so far.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Nokia X5-01+0.07 -0.32-90.190.10.0064 0.016-91.6
Nokia X5-01 (headphones attached)+0.37 -0.18-90.190.10.019 0.421-70.7
Nokia X3-02+0.04 -0.15-63.264.00.051 0.134-61.0
Nokia X3-02 (headphones attached)+0.56 -0.17-63.663.60.061 0.413-50.4
Nokia 5250+0.03 -0.05-85.885.70.0034 0.018-82.2
Nokia 5250 (headphones attached)+0.64 -0.12-83.383.00.0077 0.305-55.8
Nokia X2+0.10 -0.87-85.785.60.0100 0.021-85.6
Nokia X2 (headphones attached)+0.56 -0.64-85.685.50.014 0.314-58.3
Nokia N8+0.07 -0.33-89.990.00.0059 0.015-90.9
Nokia N8 (headphones attached)+0.50 -0.18-89.989.90.016 0.300-55.6
BlackBerry Torch 9800+0.20, -3.87-89.087.50.00890.019-89.2
BlackBerry Torch 9800 (headphones attached)+0.27, -3.49-85.783.30.00880.248-40.4
Apple iPhone 4+0.01, -0.07-90.190.00.00680.012-89.6
Apple iPhone 4 (headphones attached)+0.01, -0.07-90.490.40.00360.092-68.4

Nokia X5-01
Nokia X5-01 frequency response

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

Video player is passable

Nokia X5-01 features Real player (as Symbian phones typically do). You can browse and watch your videos in the gallery, file manager and the Video Centre – they’ll be handled by the Real player either way, the only difference will be in the layout and the browsing experience.

Nokia X5-01 Nokia X5-01
Nokia X5-01 Nokia X5-01
The Video center

With such a small screen though, video playback is not this phone's strongest suit. And to confirm that, you'll need to install a third-party player if you want a taste of DivX/XviD video.

FM radio with RDS and Internet radio

The FM radio on Nokia X5-01 has a nice simple interface and can automatically scan and save the available stations in your area. RDS is supported of course.

Nokia X5-01 Nokia X5-01 Nokia X5-01
The FM radio interface

And if you get bored with local radio stations, you can switch on the Internet radio and listen to a long list of stations broadcasting on the World Wide Web. Station directories are available per country and per genre so finding something you like won’t be a problem.

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The Internet radio can tune in to stations from all over the world

Keep in mind that Internet radio uses your phone’s data connection, so check on your plan’s data usage. The connection bitrate can help reduce traffic if you’re not on an unlimited plan.

The Shazam app is available and ready to perform TrackID duties if you need it.

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