Nokia recently announced 3 new phones that have a huge focus on music. They include the Nokia 3250 XpressMusic, 5200, and 5300 XpressMusic. You may be wondering what Nokia’s clever little title “XpressMusic” means. XpressMusic is Nokia’s way of letting you easily access your music collection on a Nokia phone. For example, the 5300 XpressMusic has dedicated music buttons that are easily accessible no matter what position the phone is in. These buttons include play/pause, track-skipping controls, and volume controls all on the sides of the device. The 5200 has a similar design, but comes with only a play/pause button and lacks certain features the 5300 XpressMusic possesses.
The 5300 XpressMusic has some great features aside from dedicated music controls. It comes with a 1.3MP camera with 8x zoom, a 262k-color display, FM Radio, a 1GB microSD card included for your music, Bluetooth 2.0, and comes in red and dark gray. A wide range of music formats is also supported as well. They include MP3, WMA, M4A, AAC, and AAC+. So don’t worry if you have albums in different formats in your music collection, Nokia has you covered. You’ll also get a nice pair of earbuds to listen to your tunes on.
Nokia XpressMusic 5300
When you look at the 5300 phone, you’ll immediately notice it is a slider-style phone running the Series 40 OS. The phone is also very lightweight (106g) and is something you’d be comfortable keeping in your jacket. Nokia also allows you to capture movies and 1280×1024 JPGs with the built-in camera. The quality of the camera isn’t too shabby, but it’s far from perfect. I’d like to see Nokia improve the camera and lens inside the 5300 XpressMusic to be honest. It just doesn’t seem up to their standards.
What’s the difference then between the 5200 and 5300 XpressMusic? The 5200 is just a lightweight version of its older brother. It still has Bluetooth, but the camera is downgraded to VGA-quality and doesn’t have as many dedicated music keys. If you want to save some bucks but still rock out, the 5200 may be your best bet between the two. They both are planned for a Q4 2006 release with the 5300 XpressMusic costing about $320 USD and the 5200 priced about $255 USD.
Nokia XpressMusic 5200
Also announced is the 3250 XpressMusic phone. With a cool design that lets you flip your keypad around to dedicated music controls, this is no low-end phone. The aforementioned keypad twists around in 3 different positions for multiple modes of operation: camera mode, music mode, and phone mode. Each twist uses the Nokia phone in an entirely new way to let you squeeze 3 great devices (MP3 Player, Phone, Camera) into one product.
Music fans will enjoy what the 3250 XpressMusic has to offer. It comes with a set of earbuds with remote control that allow you to skip tracks and pause your songs without the need to touch the actual phone. You also can easily manage your content with Nokia’s Audio Manager software, but audiophiles should stay away if they’re not content with AAC+ as their music format of choice. You can always just drag-and-drop your collection onto the phone as well since the 3250 XpressMusic can be recognized as a mass-storage device on your computer.
Nokia XpressMusic 3250
Did I mention the camera is absolutely great? It’s 2MP camera allows you to capture video and pictures easily and quickly. Just twist the keypad mid-way and the phone turns into a mini-camcorder; very similar to how you’d use Nokia’s N90. It also runs Symbian’s Series 60 OS so there is a plethora of great applications ready for you to download.
Other features the 3250 XpressMusic includes are Bluetooth, FM Radio, USB mass-storage, a 262k-color display at 176×208, multiple format support, and a 1GB microSD card. You’ll also be able to net this phone in colors ranging from black and pink to silver and red. The phone is due out in Q3 of 2006 and should retail for around $512 USD.
Battery life isn’t terrible on these 3 phones, but it’s far from perfect. The 5200 and 5300 XpressMusic get approximately 12 hours of battery life while the 3250 XpressMusic gets 10 hours. Combined with all the talking, texting, and music-listening you’ll be doing, you better have a charger on handy because I don’t see the battery lasting more than 24 hours despite 10 days of standby time.
Overall, Nokia’s new phones really put a focus on music and give Sony-Ericsson and Motorola some real competition in the music-phone industry. The 3250 XpressMusic is very feature rich but it carries a $500+ price tag. The 5200 is fine for a mediocre phone but isn’t worth getting when you can step up to the 5300 XpressMusic for not much more. This phone is a great music phone with a camera that needs a little improvement. Both are solid phones that will probably be appealing to a younger audience.