Nokia 5730 XpressMusic Review

Introduction and Design
This is a global GSM phone, it can be used with AT&T's 1900MHz 3G band, and with T-Mobile without 3G.


Nokia 5730 XpressMusic is the first music-oriented handset of the manufacturer to feature full QWERTY keyboard and comes with all necessary features to take its place among the other high-end smartphones of the company. It is a running Symbian S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2 smartphone and aims to deliver a full set of functions, including GPS, 3G and Wi-Fi for a fully fledged web surfing and social networking experience. Nokia is shooting a line about the great audio playback quality of its product, no matter the headset you plug into the 3.5mm jack. Whether or not this is the case indeed is something we will tell you later in the review. Now let´s take a look at what´s in the box:

•    Nokia 5730 XpressMusic
•    Wall charger
•    8GB microSDHC memory card
•    Nokia WH-205 stereo headset
•    Short microUSB кабел
•    Software CD
•    User guide
•    N-Gage leaflets


The overall design of the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic is completely in character of the latest XpressMusic handsets that lack touch-sensitive screens, i.e. contemporary and youthful. Actually, it looks like a prettified version of the 5630 XpressMusic. The manufacturer has gone to great lengths in terms of workmanship and its first music-oriented handset equipped with full QWERTY keyboard does feel solid in your hand. The overall size, weight and functionality of the 5730 are well balanced and we like that.

You can compare the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic with many other phones using ourSize Vizualization Tool.

The screen measures 2.4 inches, comes with native resolution of 240x320 pixels and supports 16mln colors. Similarly to most Nokia handsets that we have reviewed lately, the 5730 is equipped with display that delivers saturated and beautiful colors and using it in direct sunlight is not a problem at all, thanks to the trans-reflective LCD technology (also available on the E75, N86 8MP and other models that are totally useable in bright lighting conditions). The light sensitivity sensor, earpiece, video-call camera and dedicated N-Gage buttons are above the screen and we can´t say the latter are really handy to press.

The navigational keys are not comfy to use either – they are rather small, the D-Pad is raised and makes the buttons around it even harder to press. The audio controls typical of XpressMusic handsets are on the left of the display. They are easy to press and we do not have any gripes about them. The buttons of the numeric keypad remind us of the 5630 XpressMusic, because they both come with similar designations and overall styling. It seems the manufacturer hasn’t spent too much time on their design though, since they feel unhandy to use.

The buttons of the QWERTY keyboard come with the same styling and look quite spectacular, especially in the dark. You might strike you as a bit odd at first, but you will get used to them really fast. Just like with the Nokia E75, they are large and feature proper, four-row alignment. Most of them are easy to press, but those in the uppermost row are way too close to the edge, which makes them inconvenient. All told, the QWERTY keyboard of the 5730 XpressMusic is by far, not the best when it comes to speed entry, so we cannot recommend it, especially if you happen to be into lengthy messages.

The volume rocker and camera shutter are on the right hand side. The former is easy to use, but the latter is slightly harder to press than we would have liked.

There is a panel that takes up the entire back side of the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic, but doesn’t get to the edges of the body and we do like the whole idea. It´s really easy to remove and fit back and it can´t fall off by itself or anything. The back houses a 3.2-megapixel camera with Carl-Zeiss Tessar optics and LED flash. The loudspeaker is just one and is placed underneath the back panel, above the SIM card slot.

Nokia 5730 XpressMusic 360 Degrees View:

Interface and functions:

We have already mentioned the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic runs Symbian S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2, just like the Nokia 5630 XpressMusic. There are no differences and novelties about it, so we will tell you about its interface without going into details. It´s easy to use and we don’t think that even people who see Symbian S60 OS for the first time will have problems with it.

Messaging is an important feature of the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic, but given the particular keyboard, you just can´t type in really quickly. Come to emails, you will have to make do with the standard client that comes with the operating system. It would have been great if the handset featured support for Nokia Messaging (take a look at our review of the Nokia E75), because the app makes email communication much easier, alas, this is not the case. Actually, it runs on the Nokia 5630 XpressMusic, but we would strike a snag anytime we tried to install it on the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic. We hope Nokia releases a compatible version soon.

Even a quick look at the menus should be enough to show you the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic comes well prepared for social networking. The Internet menu hosts shortcuts to Facebook, Myspace, Hi5, Friendster and Windows Live Messenger, plus you can share videos and different files over YouTube and Ovi Share respectively. The phone connects to the Internet via 3G (HSDPA 3.6Mbit/s) or Wi-Fi. The built-in Symbian browser is capable and opens heavier pages without a hitch. It features support for YouTube videos, but not for other Flash elements. Aside from the plethora of things to do on the Internet, say visiting on regular, you will be able to play games from the N-Gage portal as well. There you can find free and paid titles and you can share your highest scores with other players and see how you fare against them.

The built-in GPS is a snappy performer and pinpoints your location in 15-20 seconds after cold start, which is quite a decent result indeed and almost instantaneously after hot start, so everything seems to be just fine. Similarly to all the other handsets of the manufacturer that feature a built-in GPS, Nokia maps comes preloaded on the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic (the app is now known as Ovi Maps).

Camera and Multimedia:

We know the interface of the 3.2-megapixel camerawith Carl-Zeiss Tessar optics quite well from other Nokia models, like the 5630 XpressMusic, N86 8MP, 6710 Navigator, E52 etc. It comes with a simplified design, but you´ve got the handy option to choose all shortcuts in the row on your right hand side, so as not to waste time rummaging through the options all the time.

The process of taking pictures is really fast and we are satisfied with the results of about 2.5 seconds in between consecutive snapshots. We are, however, not pleased at the image quality. Stills taken outdoors are noisy, there is noticeable purple fringing, colors are often washed and unrealistic and exposure is not proper. Finally, the level of details is mediocre and pictures look blurry. The flash is pretty useless, because it just can´t provide enough light when it´s dark or dusky. Ultimately, we are of the opinion that pictures taken with the 5730 XpressMusic are acceptable for social networks, where images get published in low resolutions anyway, but certainly not good enough for normal computer screens.

The videos, however, are pretty bad – there are almost no details and colors appear rather thin. The only good thing about them is the audio stream. Take a look at the test video we took at the maximum allowed resolution of 640x480 pixels at 30 frames per second, so you can see for yourself.

Nokia 5730 XpressMusic sample video at 640x480 pixels resolution

The gallery unifies all videos and snapshots. If you have a picture in full screen and want to browse to the next one, a reduced preview window will pop up and once the other picture has been selected, the phone will smoothly switch to full screen again.

The audio player on Symbian devices is not something to brag about in front of your friends, that’s for sure. If the album art gets recognized eventually, it will appear magnified on the screen. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. There is an equalizer and you can fiddle with its settings, plus you have the options to enhance basses and expand stereo output.

Unfortunately, despite the big promises that the manufacturer gave about the audio playback quality, we are far from enthralled with it. The loudspeaker is not really powerful and makes music pretty sharp. The boxed headset, the Nokia WH-205, fails to deliver proper quality and performs below average. In terms of power alone, it can´t hold a candle to the earphones that are boxed with second generation iPod nanos, not to mention there is no well-pronounced bass or trebles we can speak of. Environmental noises get isolated properly, but the set comes with just one pair of ear tips, so you´re out of luck if they don’t fit. Now, let´s get to the good news. The phone is equipped with 3.5mm jack, meaning you can plug in another pair right away and that´s what we did. We tested the phone using several different sets, from mainstream to high-end headphones and frankly, the manufacturer has kept one of its promises, because the result, no matter the earphone we used, remained equally unsatisfying. We expected much more from the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic in terms of audio quality.

Real Player is fairly standard with Symbian S60 devices and plays MPEG4/H.264 and H.263 videos coded at the native resolution of the screen (320x240 pixels) without a hitch. With higher resolution content, however, playback gets stuttering, not that watching movies on the 2.4-inch display is an unforgettable experience anyway.


With its 128 MB RAM and 256 MB ROM, the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic has no problems handling several applications running simultaneously. Unfortunately, the 359 MHz ARM 11 processor gets out of breath too often and the phone feels sluggish, especially when compared to the 5630 XpressMusic with its faster, 600 MHz core.

In terms of in-call quality, the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic is a mediocre performer. Voices of people sound sharp on both ends, tend to get monotonous and sometimes you can´t even understand what the other person is trying to say. Loudness is proper, but it´s nothing to do with in-call quality itself and can’t help with that.


The Nokia 5730 XpressMusic tries to appeal to young people, who are on the lookout for a smartphone that is equally good at audio playback, writing messages and social networking. Unfortunately, Jack of all trades typically goes with master of none and that´s exactly the case of the Nokia 5730 XpressMusic - it´s average at best, which sadly, doesn’t hold true for several key aspects, including its QWERTY keyboard and in-call quality. Ultimately, the price tag of the phone is unjustified given its mediocre performance in almost any respect.

If you need another option, meaning a cell phone equipped with QWERTY keyboard, the Nokia E63 is another viable option - it belongs to Nokia´s business lineup, but sports a youthful design and a 3.5mm jack. In case you´re willing to give up on the QWERTY, take the 5630 XpressMusic – it doesn’t deliver better audio playback and comes without GPS, but is a lot faster, thinner and lighter. Although just a feature phone, the Sony Ericsson W705 is a decent alternative as well.

Nokia 5730 XpressMusic Video Review:


  • Proper build-quality and youthful design
  • Fast GPS


  • Unhandy QWERTY keyboard
  • Mediocre audio playback and in-call quality
  • Inconvenient navigational buttons
  • No Nokia Messaging support

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