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Nokia 5130 XpressMusic mobile phone   10 -07- 2009

Nokia 5130 xpreressmusic Nokia's XpressMusic series adds another device to its portfolio, which targets young music lovers with not-so-high budgets. The new Nokia 5130 XpressMusic is one of the latest mass-market mobile phones and it offers a complete music solution to those who are fans of the series. Before going into more details, I have to point out the fact that we will be seeing this device more like a music phone and we will not be so harsh regarding the other features that might interest users, such as: camera, GPS, memory, operating system, emailing and more. While including some of these features into the phone is a good idea, do not expect too high a quality from any of these, as the handset simply concentrates on the music aspect.
Announced at the beginning of November 2008, Nokia 5130 XpressMusic was made available on the market in February 2009. The candybar can be acquired for around 120USD, depending on location and plan.

In case you are familiar with Nokia's music phones, you'll definitely recognize the 5130 as belonging to the XpressMusic series. Even though it very much looks like its 5320 predecessor, the handset is made from a more stylish plastic that eliminates the idea of a cheap phone. The rounded shapes contribute even more to the nice feeling that you get when you keep the device in your hand. The aerodynamic shape will probably make you believe that it's smaller and slimmer than its 5320 brother, but the truth is that both devices are nearly the same in size. Nokia 5130 XpressMusic measures 107.5 x 46.7 x 14.8 mm and weighs around 88g (including battery). The shiny plastic that covers the insides of the phone, even though it makes it a fingerprint magnet, looks much better than the usual opaque plastic that is largely used for manufacturing the cheap handsets of the company.
The 2-inch display, while not the biggest, does its job well under almost any circumstances. The layout of the keypad is pretty relaxed, the keys being spacious enough and very responsive. I haven't noticed any controlling problems with the big D-pad in the middle; on the contrary. Around the main controller you'll be able to notice two available soft keys and the usual Accept and Reject ones. On both sides, in the upper part, the phone features a grid pattern that looks like two loudspeakers. In reality, only the left side sports some red LEDs that highlight the dedicated music keys when you start playing music. These lights are somewhat synchronized with the music sound, as they shine to the rhythm of the music.
The dedicated music keys have been placed right under these LEDs, on the left side of the device: Forward, Play/Pause, Back. On the right side there's a small microSD slot card and two volume keys. The 3.5mm jack port together with the microUSB and charging ports have been placed on top of the phone. The 2 Megapixel camera on the back doesn't feature any flash or autofocus capabilities, but that's understandable if we think about the target of the handset. The camera lens is somewhat protected by a metallic frame, but I don't think that it will be used too often anyway.
Nokia 5130 XpressMusic is definitely a win in terms of design. Much more attractive than most of its series predecessors, the phone will definitely bring the Finnish giant a big chunk of profits on the medium-to-low music phone market.

As a music device, Nokia 5130 XpressMusic should include advanced multimedia features to please target customers – music lovers. Seeing as how the company is already known for the fact that its XpressMusic-series phones include a dedicated audio chip for decoding MP3 files, there's no reason why we shouldn't have high hopes with 5130 model, even though it's only a mid-budget handset.
The product comes with Nokia Music Headset WH-102 headset, but you can easily dispose of this and add a better one, as Nokia 5130 XpressMusic features a 3.5mm jack port. The music player interface looks exactly like previous XpressMusic series music players, and supports an impressive number of file types (including MP3, WMA and eAAC+). I was impressed by both its loudspeaker sound quality as well as music player sound. Nokia 5130 is definitely one of the best choices in its price range for those going after a music phone with high-battery autonomy. The music player features an Equalizer that includes five available settings, Stereo widening, Loudness and Balance.
The FM radio has a standard interface, and can automatically scan and save the available stations. It features RDS support but lacks Visual radio. Both functions, radio and music player, respectively, can be run in the background with no problems.
Nokia 5130 also includes Real player for playing video clips. The video player can be displayed in both normal and fullscreen modes. Unfortunately, the small screen makes the whole experience rather frustrating.
The new 3-megapixel camera takes great still photos, too, thanks to built-in autofocus and a handy new feature that lets you tap the display to focus on anything (or anyone) you want.

The Good
The first things I would like to mention here are the nice finishes, the easy-to-handle music controls, excellent music sound, and good shiny plastic that improves the usual XpressMusic design. Also, one of the most important things, Nokia 5130 XpressMusic can be bought for a decent price, while it offers excellent features.

The Bad
I would've liked to see a more decent camera and the possibility to add a better memory card. Even though some higher-capacity cards might work with the device, it doesn't officially offer support for these. I also think that the short microUSB cable that comes with the phone is a joke, as you can only use it while keeping your handset near the USB port.

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