Even though music files can be directly played either from within the file manager, the best way to listen to music is by using the Music player. Forget the usual S40 music player. The new version is seriously updated meaning that now it's on par with the Sony Ericsson Walkman music player ver. 1.0. We must say that the new Walkman 2.0 player outperforms the Nokia one by a wide margin.
The player can play in the background and while doing that it would scroll the current track artist and title on the Active stand-by screen. Once it is in the background you can control it with the dedicated side music keys. In the meantime you can start a java application such as a game and enjoy it while listening to music. Turning the camera on pauses the player though.
The supported file types are AAC, AAC+, eAAC, eAAC+, MP3, MP4, WMA, and AMR. The Nokia player allows you to filter available music tracks by Artist, Album, Genre and Composer. Beside that, you can create your own playlists or use the built-in playlist filters such as Favorites, Most played, Recent tracks or Recent additions.
A serious drawback to the playlists management is that once you add some tracks to a playlist - be it a single one or several, you cannot add any more tracks to that playlist no matter what.
If you minimize the player, the name of the currently running track appears on the active stand-by display. From active stand-by you can even choose to play the next track or fast forward or rewind the current without opening the player back. Repeating and shuffle options are available, too. If you stop the player in the middle of a song, the next time you turn it on, it would continue playing from the place it has stopped on. The music sounds very nice from the integrated loudspeaker and there is a certain bass element to it. Even at the loudest volume levels and you can hear virtually no cracks or creaks from the speaker.
Listening to music with the Nokia HS-47 headset provided in the retail package of the phone is entirely a different matter. In reality they do their job on a satisfactory level, but it's got to be mentioned that the Sony Ericsson Walkman headset kits sound noticeably better.
We did a rather subjective quality test purely out of curiosity and let us tell you our opinion on music quality with the Nokia 5300. When we played one and the same song on the Nokia 5300 and a sample Sony Ericsson W900 which we had available at the time, the head-on competition was indeed lost by the Nokia 5300 when using the original headsets supplied with the respective phones. When we used a third-party full-size stereo headset on both mobiles, it turned out that they sound pretty much the same with no noticeable differences in quality or bass frequencies. That was the case though before we turned on the Walkman MegaBass preset which really made the W900 shine. But after playing a little bit with the manual equalizer on the Nokia 5300 we managed to achieve the same results by gradually gaining up the low and high frequencies. So in the end, it turns out that Nokia 5300 is a pretty good match for a Sony Ericsson Walkman handset when used with a regular stereo headset.
Video in Nokia 5300 is played within an application called Media Player, which also supports streaming and can open pictures and play individual music files. The previous S40 Nokia phones had no option to fast forward videos but now you can set a user defined time jump with a minimum of 10 seconds.
If you get bored with the music/media player, switch on the FM radio. Here you can save up to 20 broadcasting stations. In general, however, it does not offer any special functions, not to mention RDS. Stored stations get saved with a user input name, so you can enter the station name and make up for the lack of RDS. The radio can be turned on only when the headset is plugged in since its cable serves as an antenna. Furthermore the radio signal cannot be transferred to a stereo Bluetooth headset due to limitations in its Bluetooth implementation. The radio application also supports the Nokia Visual radio feature, but in order to use it you need to establish a data transfer connection with a Visual radio server of the radio station, meaning that the station itself must support Visual radio broadcasting.
The file manager is on a very good functional level. You can create folders, mark several or all files and then move them. Previous S40 models such as Nokia 6270 or 6280 do not allow marking several files and then mass send them through Bluetooth or Infrared. We personally think that this is a great improvement. You can sort the file list either by name, by date, by format, or by size. The phone has a limited integrated memory of 5MB but the retail package should include a microSD memory card.
You can view the files and folders list either as a list with small thumbnails, as a list with details and larger thumbnails, or as a 4 x 3 grid matrix which offers the largest thumbnails.
You can view the pictures themselves in normal mode or in fullscreen landscape mode and move through the files with the help of the D-pad at a pace of your choice.
The phone allows you to either zoom in the pictures to their original size or set their contrast. You can even print the images through direct USB connection using the PictBridge standard. There is even a simple image editor, which allows for basic functions such as inserting text, frame, clip art or another image to an already existing one. You can also crop the existing image.