Nokia Xpress Music 5700 review: Nokia Xpress Music 5700

As a Nokia Xpress Music phone, the 5700's highlight is its music player. Like the 5300, the 5700 has everything we look for a in a music handset: there's stereo Bluetooth as well as a large selection of features; it's easy to transfer files to the phone with the Nokia Music Manager software; it's user-friendly with a simple interface and well-designed controls; it has few restrictions; it offers plenty of memory; and last but certainly not least, it offers exceptional sound quality over stereo speakers. The player supports, MP3, AAC, AAC+, and WMA files.

Though the player's design is minimalist, it's still attractive and easy to use. It displays the track name and length, artist, and album name, while an icon mimicking the music player buttons indicates each control's function. The 5700 also supports album art, and you can choose from several player visualizations. Player features are solid and include shuffle and repeat modes, stereo widening, loudness and balance effects, an equalizer with five settings (two are customizable), and an airplane mode. To personalize your collection of tunes, you can save them to playlists and group tracks by artist, album, music genre, and composer. When listening to tracks, you can minimize the player so you can access other functions and the player automatically pauses when you receive a call. Please see below for an explanation of the player's performance.

Nokia 5700 Xpress Music
The Nokia 5700's camera comes with a bright flash.

For your imaging needs, the 5700 offers a 2-megapixel camera that takes JPG pictures in four resolutions (two fewer than the 5300): 1,600x1,200; 1,152x864; 640x480; and 320x240. You get a variety of camera settings including three quality modes, three color effects, a panorama mode, a self-timer, a sequence mode for shooting six photos in rapid succession, an adjustable white balance, and a 4x zoom (half that of the 5300). There's no brightness setting, but the flash works remarkably well as camera phones go. The camcorder shoots videos in three resolutions (320x240, 176x144, and 129x96) with sound. Other options are similar to those of the still camera, and you can mute the sound if you wish. The short mode lasts about 30 seconds, but you can also shoot longer clips, depending on the available memory. The 5700 includes a Movie Director application, in case you want to channel your inner video artist.

Nokia 5700 Xpress Music
We weren't impressed with the Nokia 5700's photo quality.

Though the 5700 offers a higher resolution camera than the 5300 we didn't notice a corresponding jump in photo quality. In fact, images from the 5700 almost looked worse under certain circumstances. Many of our shots were relatively grainy, with fuzzy object outlines and muted colors. They're not terrible by any means, but we'd expect more from a high-resolution camera like this one. Video clips were fine--a bit grainy, as expected, but suitable for short clips. Besides saving photos to the phone, you can also send them via Bluetooth or a multimedia message, or use the USB cable to transfer them to a computer for printing.

Gamers get Java (J2ME) support, and our test phone came with two Symbian titles: Marble and City Bloxx. Our 5700 also offered a number of additional multimedia applications including a Flash player, RealOne player support for watching videos, and an FM radio. The latter needs a wired headset to act as an antenna, but you can save as many as 50 station presets and listen to the radio in the background while you use other phone functions. Support for visual radio is also onboard, so you can view the name of the song and artist while it is playing. Lastly, the 3G support means streaming video is a possibility as well, but that functionality will be network and carrier dependent.

You can personalize the 5700 with a large variety of screensavers, wallpaper, color themes, animations, menu styles, and alert sounds. Remember that if you're bored with what's on the phone, you always can download additional applications, ringtones, games, and personalization options using the xHTML Web browser. Even better, you also can use the browser to buy music tracks from online stores.

Performance
We tested the quadband (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) in San Francisco using T-Mobile service. As a world phone, the 5700 is optimized for making calls in many regions but at present it supports only the 2100 WCDMA (3G) band that is used in Europe. Since the United States uses the 1900 WCDMA band, 3G coverage will be nonexistent here, so we weren't able to test streaming video or video calling. But if you're hoping to use the phone in all its glory somewhere across the Atlantic, you should be good to go.

Call quality was quite good overall, with exceptional voice clarity and plenty of volume. We encountered no static or interference from other electronic devices. We noticed the phone picked up a bit of wind noise, but in an improvement over the 5300, voice-response systems had little trouble understanding us. On their end, callers reported few problems. They could understand us clearly, though they could tell we were using a cell phone. Also, a couple of callers said we sounded a bit robotic. We couldn't test push-to-talk calls because T-Mobile doesn't offer such a network.

Speakerphone calls were also admirable. The sound didn't become muffled at the higher levels, and there was little of the bass-heavy effect found on other speakerphones. Callers weren't quite as pleased, however. We had to stand rather close to the phone in order to be heard clearly. For Bluetooth, we made a few calls using the Nokia BH-501 but we weren't always happy with the results. The pairing process was painless, however.

The 5700 follows the 5300 by offering fantastic music quality. The output from the stereo speakers was much better than almost any other music phone, and it offered plenty of volume for an impromptu party. Deep bass was a little lacking, but otherwise we had few complaints. Not surprisingly, though, our tracks sounded the best over stereo headphones. At first we tried the wired earbud headset that comes in box. For a generic model, it did a great job, but you can attach your own headphones using the 3.5mm adapter. And no matter which headphones you use, the adapter includes a remote control for interacting with the music player, making calls, and adjusting the volume. Or if you're a Bluetooth buff, you can listen to music without the tangle of wires. We used the BH-501 here again and but this time we enjoyed a more satisfying experience.

Getting music on to the phone was a breeze with the included Nokia PC suite. Transfer time was quick, and the software was easy to install and use. You can sync tracks via a USB cable or a Bluetooth connection, but keep in mind that you can't transfer protected files. Alternatively, you can use a PC-based Windows Media Player to transfer files, or you can use the 5700 as an external hard drive. For best results, you should use a microSD card for storing music.

The 5700's promised battery life is rather short for both a Nokia handset and a GSM phone. Ratings include 3.5 hours of talk time, 4 hours of video playback time, and 10 hours of music time. Only the promised standby time was about what we expected, at 12 days. We managed to get a decent 4 hours and 3 minutes of talk time in our tests. The 5300 has a digital SAR rating of 1.33 watts per kilogram.

What you'll pay

    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Editors' Top PicksSee All

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Where to Buy

    Nokia 5700 Xpress Music - black (Unlocked)

    Part Number: 5700BLKULK
    Pricing is currently unavailable.

    Quick Specifications See All

    • Talk Time Up to 210 min
    • Technology WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
    • Combined with With digital camera / digital player / FM radio
    • Service Provider Unlocked
    • Weight 4.1 oz
    • Diagonal Size 2.2 in
    • Sensor Resolution 2 megapixels