Nokia 5200 : Review



The Nokia 5200 XpressMusic is a lower cost version of the Nokia 5300 XpressMusic. And it shows. The CSTN display is low-grade and the camera is just a VGA. But if you're on a budget, those are lesser issues. It seems like Nokia wanted to make a phone that everybody could afford, and they did so by saving a few bucks on specific components. But the Nokia 5200 also has some very good features.
The Bottom Line: The Nokia 5200 could be a fairly good low-price cell phone, especially given its nice sound and call quality. Most "cons" listed here are bearable but the camera bug is a real turn-off. Unless you absolutely don't need the camera feature, wait until Nokia releases a software fix or updates the next units.
Hardware & Design Quality
Pros:
The keyboard is nice. The keys are large enough and simple to use.
It has a light weight and an adorable small size though it is thicker than many recent small cell phones.Cons:
The back cover is a hassle to remove and you can't insert or remove the memory extension card without popping it out. Since this is a music cell phone, you might actually want to swap your memory extension card quite often. An outside memory card hinge would have been preferable.
The CSTN display doesn't compare to most cell phones today (generally equipped with a TFT). Images are pale and when you type a number, the digits are blurry as they move from right to left. But, hey, Nokia's goal with the 5200 was obviously to offer a very affordable version of its XpressMusic cell phones and that kind of technology choice is part of the cost-lowering equation.
Software
Pros:
Software performance and simplicity are just average. I've seen better. Menu behavior, for instance, is sometimes unbelievably slow.
The Nokia 5200 comes with Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Instant Messenger. However, the unit I was testing wasn't properly programmed and I was unable to use those features. Cons:
The Nokia 5200 clearly has a camera software bug. It occasionally refuses to take a picture without any specific reason other than the error message "Unable to save," followed by "Camera on standby." That happens intermittently, no matter if the memory is full or empty or if there is a memory card or not. Nokia sent me a second Nokia 5200 in case it was an isolated incident but the same problem happened again. Furthermore, a user on Yahoo Answers claimed to have had this problem. This is an annoying issue and if you plan to use the camera, hold back on buying the Nokia 5200 until Nokia releases a fix. I'm waiting for some news from them regarding this problem.
Menu items can be accessed by numbers but only if you learn the whole sequence for a specific item and type it all out.
Performance
Pros:
The battery life seemed to match the advertised performance.
Call Quality
Pros:

Sound volume was adequate but not excessively high. In noisy area, you might want to use the speakerphone while still sticking the Nokia 5200 to your ear.
The speakerphone was very efficient in cutting out ambient noises and people I talked to didn't complain about the sound quality. Its output volume was above-average but still, some phones offer an even higher speakerphone volume.
Sound quality was above-average and I did not experience any weird signal reception issues.Cons:
A common annoyance with most Nokia phones is that, in order to activate the speakerphone, you must first dial your call and wait a few seconds so that the right soft key shows "loudspeaker" as an option. If you press it too early, the soft-key means "end call" and it cuts the call. That's really unfortunate.
Multimedia Experience
Pros:

The music player is satisfying enough. It includes an Equalizer and a few other tweaking options.
Music sound quality is acceptable, especially the sound generated by the phone's speaker, which is surprisingly good. The provided stereo headset outputs a slightly more muffled sound but was good enough for me.Cons:
The Nokia 5200 has only a VGA (640 x 480 pixels) camera but its image quality was above my expectations (since it's just a VGA). It produced a brighter, sharper image in low light conditions than many higher-end cell phones I tested. Due to the camera's bug, I was unable to take an outside picture.
Liberty Level
The Nokia 5200 has a very good liberty level. It will let you do anything you like, from saving a downloaded midi file as a ringtone to creating your own ringtones with the voice recorder. Bluetooth, infrared or a MicroSD card (not included) will also let you transfer your pictures in and out of the Nokia 5200.
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