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Nokia answers prayers; announces new Xpress Music phones

The 5310 and 5610 are the newest Nokia Xpress Music phones, offering similar high-end multimedia and connectivity features to the 5300 and 5700.

Crave has made no secret of its love for Nokia's Xpress Music phones. And what's not to love? Both the 5300 and the 5700 are fun, stylish handsets that offer excellent features and superior performance. In fact, our biggest disappointment was that Nokia seemed to be dragging its feet in introducing more Xpress Music models.

Nokia 5310 Xpress Music
The Nokia 5310 in red. Nokia

So you can imagine that were excited to learn that our wishes had been fulfilled. Today in London, Nokia unveiled two new 5310 and 5610 Xpress Music phones. Though they take a different design approach, the phones offer similar high-end multimedia and connectivity features. From what we could tell, the music players on both handsets were up to the usual Xpress Music standards. And while we didn't get to test the call quality when Nokia showed us the phones, the company has never been a slouch in that department.

The first handset, the 5310, is a candy-bar model with a slim design that comes in blue or red. Nokia didn't jump on the slim-phone trend with the enthusiasm of, oh let's say Samsung, but it definitely works here. At 4.09-inches tall by 1.76-inches wide by 0.39-inch thick and weighing 2.47 ounces, the 5310 is a sleek, eye-catching mobile with compact dimensions that make it eminently portable. Even with such a trim profile, the 5310 includes dedicated music controls and a 3.5mm headset jack on the left spine.

Nokia 5610 Xpress Music
The Nokia 5610 in blue. Nokia

Besides the music player, the 5310's feature set includes a 2-megapixel camera, full Bluetooth with a stereo profile, an FM radio, a microSD card slot for cards up to 4GB (that's about 3,000 songs), a speakerphone, and messaging and organizer applications. Two versions will be available: a tri-band (GSM 900/1800/1900) model for the European market and a tri-band (GSM 850/1800/1900) handset for North America.

The 5610 is a sexy slider handset that also comes in red and blue editions. It's a bit larger than the 5310 (3.88-inches tall by 1.91-inches wide by 0.67-inch thick; 3.9 ounces) but it's still small enough to take on the go. It doesn't have the same side-mounted music buttons, but it does have a sliding control above the navigation toggle that activates the music player with one swipe. Also, the camera lens on the 5610's rear face has a flash.

Features on the 5610 are a bit different than on the 5310. The camera has a 3.2-megapixel resolution, and the phone includes support for 3G bands used in North America and in Europe. Other goodies include full Bluetooth with a stereo profile, an FM radio, a microSD card slot for cards up to 4GB, a speakerphone, and messaging and organizer applications. Only one quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) version will be available.

The phones are scheduled to go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year, and both will support the new Nokia Music Store. We don't have carrier information yet, but the 5310 and 5610 should cost in the $250-$300 range. And rest assured, we'll have full reviews just as soon as we can.

Nokia 5310 Xpress Music