While Sony Ericsson Walkman phones continue to dominate our list of best mobiles for music, Nokia has this year released a small handful of competitors which it brands XpressMusic, with dedicated music keys and bundled headphones.
When we saw the 5700's little brother earlier this year, the , we were impressed with its cute design. The 5700 has similar styling, with a wide black midsection around an otherwise glossy white case (it's also available in white and red as pictured above).
Unlike the 5300, which was a slider phone, the 5700 features a twist mechanism we first saw on theto swap between the phone, camera and music player modes. Basically the lower third of the phone can rotate through 270 degrees, clicking into place in four different positions. When spun 180 degrees the music controls become active; there are two massive buttons to skip and rewind tracks and a relatively small play/pause button in the middle. In any position the navigation keys on top still let you traverse menus, read messages and such, but you'll need to spin around back to the keypad for texting. With the lens uniquely on the left side of the handset, a quarter turn on the twisty lower-half puts the 5700 into camera/video mode. We had to hunt a little for the camera shutter button, which constantly moves due to the Rubik's Cube nature of the design.
The 5700 is slightly larger than the 5300, but its chunkiness didn't bother us too much as it provides ample room for a fairly large 2.2-inch screen and adequately sized keys. There are, however, much thinner and smaller phones on the market -- if this is what you seek, check out our favourite fashion phones. Tipping the scales at 115 grams, the 5700 could be considered in the "healthy" weight range as far as phones diversify; its smooth edges make it comfortable to hold and to slide into your pocket.
As a music-focused handset it is not surprising that the 5700 supports a wide range of file formats, including perennial favourites such as MP3, WMA and AAC. A radio is onboard but as usual requires the headphones to be plugged in to act as an antenna. The upcoming Nokia Music Store is also supported, giving you access to a one million-track music library through a monthly subscription fee or for individual purchase over-the-air.
A hot-swappable microSD card slot, a mini-USB connector and the power jack are all tucked away by a small rubber flip-down panel on the right side of the 5700. Nokia included a 512MB card with our review model, but this might differ regionally. While Nokia provides a Windows application to help transfer your music, Mac users are left to drag-and-drop songs onto the handset. Windows Media Player can also be used to sync playlists.