Nokia is known to experiment with various forms and shapes and the Nokia X5-01 is one of them. The struggle to provide users with a better system of text input is still ongoing. This can be seen by the implementation of the sliding QWERTY physical keyboard on the X5-01. Keep in mind that this phone does not have any touch screen features.
The design is not impressive and is the worst looking in the X-Series in our opinion. The phone is completely square in shape and looks odd aesthetically and ergonomically. It packs a 2.36″ QVGA display screen, 5 megapixel camera and a sliding QWERTY keypad into its 74.3mm x 66.4mm x 16.8mm “unique” looking frame.
The main keys are packed together right below the screen. Right in the middle you will find the Up, Down, Left, Right navigation keys with the Enter key right in the middle. The Up key is fairly hard to press because it is located right below the screen with no spacing in between.
Slide the slider down and the QWERTY keyboard is revealed. The spring assisted slider is smooth and feels great. It can be set to automatically answer calls when the slide is opened. The keys located below the screen are packed together and there is no clear distinction between them. Our problem with it is that it does not slide a little further down because the top row of the QWERTY keyboard is cramped against the screen’s top half.The size of each button is not too big and is able to provide sufficient comfortable pressing experience if you do not have large hands, granted most men have and but most of us found it manageable.
The phone weighs about 129 grams and it does not feel heavy at all which came to our delight. Unfortunately, the display screen could have been wider as there are many spaces left around the screen edges. The image quality provided by the screen is merely average but bright enough. Viewing angles are decent and sunlight legibility is fairly good.
For those who are familiar with the Nokia E71, E63 or N73, thе best раrt аbουt thе handset іѕ thаt іt wіƖƖ feature Symbian 9.3 OS and the similar s60 3rd edition release UI.
The X5-01 features quad-band GSM connectivity and tri-band HSDPA support for wireless roaming. Connectivity is further complemented with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, microUSB and 3.5mm audio jack.
Speaking of the 3.5mm audio jack, the Nokia X5-01 is touted for having excellent sound quality and loud speakers. Music consumption on the phone will be intensified by clever new gestures. For example, skipping to a random track requires a spin on the phone. You only need to put the phone on its back, spin it, and once it stops spinning, the next track will start playing. It certainly is an impressive and interesting gimmick to add as its selling point and yet, we doubt anybody would be putting it to good use after some time.
The device supports all the major instant messaging and webmail services out of the box and also offers easy access to major social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Hi5 on the Internet menu. Facebook gets a dedicated app to itself while the others are shortcuts to their respective web pages.
The camera offers 5MP, 4X digital zoom and an LED flash. There is no auto focus but the LED flash is sufficient for picture taking at night. The picture quality is not too good in our opinion. We could still get better pictures with the N73’s 3.2MP camera. However, the pictures are okay enough to be uploaded into Facebook.
The resolution of video recording is 640×480 pixels. Video is recorded in MPEG-4 and H.263 formats. Onboard memory comes in at a modest 200MB, but there’s a 2GB Micro-SD card included, which can be upgraded up to 32GB. Like most recent mobiles from Nokia, the battery life also looks impressive, with up to 16-days standby time.
The one thing about the X5-01 which impressed us the most is the web browser. Browsing through the Internet with the device is as good as it gets on a non-touchscreen phone. Web pages are rendered really well and the zoom levels are easily adjustable. The only setback with this isthat such a good browsing experience deserves a larger screen to complement it. The smallest of fonts are not always readable. When zoomed in, it limits the amount of text which can fit on the screen. This ruins the browsing experience slightly and becomes irritating when trying to read huge blocks of texts.
Pros and Cons
The 950 mAh battery is supposed to be able to provide up to 24 hours battery life, playing music! That is a whole day’s worth on active which is very impressive.
The screen size and keyboard is certainly lacking and making it a setback for users who would like to give the phone a go. While it offers a great web browsing experience, the limited screen size and sometimes limited typing space is a huge disadvantage to its selling value.
Although we do not like the design at all, we got used to it after a while. All in all, it is a decent all-in-one smartphone, messenger and music player, minus the touch screen feature.