Quick Hands-On With The Nokia 5230

It might be a little late to review the Nokia 5230 since other vendors are invading the market like crazy but the Nokia 5230 is an unsung hero in my opinion.

Nokia has nailed it again with such a low price along with awesome feature in a complete package in the form of the Nokia 5230.

Design/Hardware

The handset is a little bulky when compared to others mobile phones out there. Slim phones have become a fashion but Nokia’s approach to it’s unique form factor for the Nokia 5230 is really cool.

The phone feels big but comfortable in hand. It has three hardware keys underneath the screen which are for sending calls, menu and ending calls. On the right hand side is the volume rocker and a lock/unlock switch along with a dedicated camera button. On the top there is a 3.5mm headphone jack, a microUSB port for data transfer and a port to plug your charger into for charging your phone.

On the back there’s a 2MP camera which does not have autofocus capabilities but it snaps pretty good photos and is good at shooting high quality video as well.

Overall I was quite impressed with it!

It also has a built-in accelerometer for auto rotation of the screen and to be used in different games. And last but not the least, it has a built-in GPS receiver to get your position accurate to street level on the built-in Ovi Maps app or you can just download the all time favorite Google Maps which supports giving directions in every major city here in Pakistan.

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Software

The 5230 runs on top of Symbian S60 v5 which is optimized for touchscreen devices, if you’ve used the Nokia 5800 or the Nokia N97 before, then you’ll feel no difference in software.

Symbian is fun to use especially when it comes to multitasking, there are tons of apps and games that are readily available for the device, which makes the whole experience of using the 5230 a whole lot of fun.

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Display

The display is really bright and has a screen resolution of 360 x 640 pixels with a size of 3.2 inches (diagonal).

The screen uses resistive technology instead of capacitive therefore it’s a little sluggish in response. It’s a TFT display which is great when viewing outdoors especially in bright sunny conditions.

Images and video look crisp and clear on the display and the high screen resolution is a treat for everyone.

Connectivity

The phone is quad band, therefore it’s ready to be used on any network you can imagine. It’s 3G capable but we all know that there’s no 3G network in Pakistan so just forget about it for now.

It has Bluetooth which supports sending files and connecting wirelessly to your favorite Bluetooth headset. But the sad part is that it doesn’t have WiFi, it would’ve been great if it was there but not a big deal if it’s not, you can always get a good data package for your phone.

It has Email capabilities and supports almost every type of Email service. Keeping up with your friends and contacts on Facebook is not a problem with the Nokia 5230. The web browser is not that great but it’s not bad either, I would suggest replacing it with Opera Mobile which does the job perfectly and is way faster than the stock browser and uses a lot less data.

Battery

I was able to get a solid one and a half day of battery life from the Nokia 5230. It’s battery backup is just superb!

I was able to make several phone calls, lots of text messages and lots of internet usage during the time I spent with it and still I was left with one bar of battery.

Price and Availability

I have been doing a little window shopping lately and noticed that the Nokia 5230 is kinda hard to get hands on to, either it’s sold out or it’s not available due to high demand.

The handset is available throughout Pakistan from every major outlet but the chances are high that it will be sold out. For a price of just Rs. 13,500, no wonder it’s sold out in most shops!

I would highly recommend this phone if you’re on a budget but want a good quality handset with a good touchscreen, the Nokia 5230 is the way to go!


  • Saif

    Just advertisement I would say. WiFi is something so needed that no data package can even come close to it. In pakistan, you cant even think about having even a decent voice call over skype on your regular GPRS. Seriously, this phone is not worth it. Theres a reason why they didnt add Wifi in it. It also lacks many other version. It is basically a cheaper version of 5800. Bad camera, No Wi Fi. Bad resolution, Less Memory expansion limit. Its better to spend more on 5800 than buying this. Anyways. Thanks for the article.

    • WiFi is in its early stages in Pakistan, How many people have WiFi routers? Can you easily find a Hotspot in your area?

      • Saif

        almost all offices, restaurants, airports, libraries, hotels and many home owners have wireless hot spots . Are you living in stone age?

        • proZardari

          not every office, restaurant, airport, library, hotel or home owner has wireless hot spots in Pakistan !!

          Are you living in Utopia??

          • Saif

            I live in lahore buddy . In gulberg. Speaking the truth, if someone doesnt need Wifi, he/ she doesnt even need a smart phonwe./ seriously. Here from ziafat to pizza hut, sichwan, arizona grill, lotus and every noticeable resturant have wifi. Apart from this, in my office and every other office oi go; there is always wifi. What time and age are you living it. Every good hotel like PC, Avari, Ambassador, Holiday Inn and even guest houses have it. A wireless router costs only 1500 in pakistan now buddy. Wake up.

        • Sorry but every person in Pakistan hasn’t the access to these Offices, Restaurants, and Hotels etc. Those who use low end phones like this one. Moreover 100 in 1 Million is not “many“, Even in ISB, LHR, KHI thousands of people don’t know what DSL ROUTER or WIFI is? and Yeh! i sometimes live in stone age – Thanks to Raja Parveez Ashraf ;)

          • Saif

            theres no need to be angey man. Those who need smartphones are usually professionals and they definitely need better internet performance all the time. Data packages are not cheap and 3G is non existant in Pakistan . Thats why i said that.

            • MoNo

              I’m wondering that Saif talks about what?????
              5230 Cell Phone or another one,if you just go and read the specifications of 5230 at Nokia website you will see that:
              1-5230 screen resolution is 640*360 that is the same as 5800.
              2-5230 screen size is 3.2 inches same as 5800.
              3-5230 screen contrast is 16000000.1 same as 5800.
              4-5230 operating system is “Symbian OS v9.4, Series 60 rel. 5” same as 5800.
              5-5230 Processor is “ARM 11 434 MHz processor”
              same as 5800.
              6-5230 supports “A-GPS” same as 5800.
              7-5230 makes videos with quality of VGA 30fps same as 5800 that’s so good for mobile at this price.
              8-5230 has an accelerometer that works so good same as 5800.
              9-5230 supports “MicroSD Memory Card up to 16GB” same as 5800.
              10-and the best specification of 5230 is that there is no bug after working with phone to crash the display and make noise lines for some seconds on the screen,if you ask those who have 5800 most of them will tell you that they have experienced this bug with their 5800.

              *there only two differences between 5230 & 5800,5230 photo camera is 2MP while 5800 is 3.2MP
              and the last is that 5230 has no WiFi that is the reason of low price of 5230,it’s obvious if you want everything in your phone you can’t get it with only about 175 US Dollars.
              besides,in which middle east countries all of the people has access to WiFi or 3G.who wants to use WiFi goes and buys WiFi enabled phones and pay for it,but those that don’t need it or don’t have access to WiFi should have some options or not? or they have to pay for what that they can’t use at all??????

              Thanks:)

              • Kamran khan satti

                Hi’dear plz u help me that actually i wana buy it 5230 so tell me that i buy it or not.Thanks plz inform to me my at e-mail adress or contact 03417811381 [email protected]

  • Tranquil

    Assalam o Alaikum!

    I bought this phone a couple of months back and guess what from day-1 i was getting sudden restart problems with the phone. Mostly while sending SMS in bulk (50+ recipients). It really annoyed me at times and i manually flashed the firmware twice but to no avail. Last Saturday i again flashed it with firmware (21.6.005) which is available as the current firmware of Nokia 5230 CwM(or alternatively Nokia 5235 Comes with Music). After upgrading to this firmware my phone shows its model to be 5235 but i don’t have any problem with that as sudden restart issue has not been observed since then and i’ve texted a lot over the weekend.

    Overall impression about the phone is good and satisfactory. It really provides you handy set of features at very economical price. And not to forget the battery backup is really commendable as mentioned in the review above and i second it.

    Interestingly some folks have over-clocked this phone to run at 800MHz while actual operating frequency is 434MHz but overclocking will have serious impact on the battery backup. Check out the link below for further details:

    http://mobile.engadget.com/2010/09/22/nokia-5230-brutally-overclocked-to-800mhz/

    Additionally people have released custom firmwares for this phone eliminating futile built-in applications like ‘My Nokia’ which don’t work here in pakistan and also swallow phone’s internal memory for nothing, freeing up 5MB internal memory which is by default reserved for FOTA(Flash Over The Air); plus applying some modifications to have better touch screen sensitivity, porting some of the features from Nokia C6, adding flash based home screens and stuff.

  • Anis Ahmed

    Hello, looks like its not a review but a PAID ADVERTISEMENT of the phone. All CONS turn to something ‘Really Nice’, ‘Superb’, ‘quite impressed’ etc etc., Plz publish unbiased reviews as people believe Pro Pakistani website to be picturing the truth. Thank you.

  • There is a better site for mobile.gsmarena.com

  • Zinnia

    What’s the difference between Nokia 5230 and 5233?

  • Sajid

    I have found following issues in this set:

    1. You can’t install too many softwares due to low internal memory. There are so many softwares which only install in Phone’s internal memory rather than Memory card.

    2. Phone becomes very slow when you open any web page with size more than 1Mb.

    3. When you transfer any file via bluetooth it goes directly to phone memory. As it has got low internal memory so you can’t transfer larger files to your phone via bluetooth.

    4. Most of the time large applications close without any error or simply they disappear from the screen and you can easily lose your work.

    5. Initially nokia advertised Quick Office and PDF Viewer coming pre-installed on this set but when it was relesed there was no such software and after that nokia removed this info from their web site as well. :)

    6. After upgrading to the latest software release it shows wrong GMT settings for Pakistan and when I set my phone’s time to be synchronized with Network it always shows one hour ahead of time.

    Overall its just OK; you can have feeling of having a phone with all types of advanced features (mostly required in Pakistan) which are only available in expensive phones but you can’t use them reliably.

    My honest suggestion is that don’t buy this set if you are really interested in high end features and want to use them reliably and comfortably.

  • Saif

    There you go. Quite True

  • AniQ

    Its better to buy 6760 slide rather than buying this phone.Perhaps 6760 slide is a bit expensive however, the over all performance is far more better than 5230 & 5233.

  • MONO

    REPLY TO “When you transfer any file via bluetooth it goes directly to phone memory. As it has got low internal memory so you can’t transfer larger files to your phone via bluetooth”

    you can easily go to messaging/options/settings/other
    and set memory in use on E: then your received files through bluetooth
    will directly store on your memory card without limitation of size.