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Thread: My Nokia 5300 Review:

  1. #1
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    My Nokia 5300 Review:

    I’ve been using the Nokia 5300 for a solid 4 weeks now off and on and wanted to put up my thoughts on the phone.
    I have also used the 5300 with a slew of accessories. The first review out the gate was the BH-302 headset with more to come.

    I initially started using the phone with the Rogers Retail firmware with all intentions to render a review on the SW that comes with the phone. After putting up with the DRM locks and the inability to use the external MP3 controlls i quickly gave up after about 3 days and consulted an associate to get the phone flashed generic. Henceforth this review is based upon 3.92SW and an RM - 146 product code.

    I highly suggest that if you're considering purchasing this phone that you consult the marketplace advertisers or PM myself as the generic SW makes this phone work the way it's supposed to. You'll thank me later.

    Quick Specs
    The nokia 5300b Generic consists of:
    *Triband EDGE/GPRS operation for the Americas (1900/1800/850) Class 10 Device
    *Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support
    *QVGA 240x320 screen with 262k colours
    *1.3Mpix camera with 8x digital zoom
    *Vid recording
    *Music player supporting MP3, Midi, AAC, AAC+, enhanced AAC+, and WMA formats
    *FM stereo radio
    *MicroSD hot swap memory card with support for up to 2 GB memory (128 packaged)
    *Up to 5MB free internal user memory

    Note: At the time of writing this review the 5300 will net you a free 1 gig MicroSD card on 3 year signs from Rogers Wireless

    Reception
    The 5300 did me well. It handled my daily travels well which is typically the case with Nokia product. The 5300 handled my whole barrage of tests without any issue or complaint. From the Cantina test to the drive* test the 5300 just hummed along like the faithful cellular companion it was expected to be

    The Drive test specifically impressed me. The 5300 handled the whole stretch of Bayview from Bloomington right to Stoufville RD and through that turn without any issues. This is quite remarkable and definately worth mentioning. The 5300 served me quite well and seems to hold on where others tend to slack a bit.

    *The drive by test is:
    Yonge and 16th, east on 16th to woodbine. North on woodbine to 19th. West on 19th to Yonge. North on Yonge to Bloomington. East on bloomington to Bayview.
    South on bayview to Stouffville sideroad. East on Stoufville sideroad to Leslie and Leslie back to the Hill


    Oddly enough, the manual of the 5300 makes mention to not hold the phone on the top part of the slider by the camera. I dunno why this is so. The Antenna on 5300 in on the bottom of the slider and holding the phone on top near the camera lens seemed to work best for me yielding the best results.





    Sound Quality
    Incoming
    The 5300 has a decent sound to it. while not the best I've used, it's also not the worst. It's loud enough for my liking and has the Nokia volume boost feature as well. The phone, like many these days, has a sweet spot. Once you find it you'll instinctively go to the spot but it could take some getting used to. There also happens to also be some background hiss as well so it's not a totally clean sounding phone. However, based on the antenna placement at the bottom of the slider, many of you will be happy to know that the 5300 routinely has no transmitter buzz. Only in the most extreme conditions, Like my Cantina, was i even able to detect the slightest EEEeeeEEEeeeEEEE sound. I really had to listen as well to hear it.

    Outgoing
    Outgoing sound was a bit of a mixed affair. Generally it was good until you got into the noisy enviroments. The 5300 has a "voice clairty" option which does help pick out your voice to the background noises but it usually ends up digitizing your voice. It's the lesser of 2 evils though and I left it on. You'll know the phone is using voice clarity by an icon that will light up on your home screen looking sorta like this ~

    Volume
    it's also worth noting that the 5300 is quite loud on the speaker. I'm talking W600 loud. As a result of this ringtones are loud and easily able to be heard in loud enviroments. Also worth noting is that the speakerphone uses the same volume and is equally loud and useable. Although at full volume some distortion is heard though.

    Camera
    stills
    The Camera on the 5300 is a 1.3 mpix unit with an 8x digital zoom capable of 1280x1024 Pics. the 8X zoom can also be used at any picture size as well. The camera itself takes decent shots for a phone and will be used for spur of the moment photo taking. This tends to be the case anyway unless you're serious about your camera's and have probably opted for a K790 anyway.

    To launch into the camera just a quick press is all you need. Pressing and holding the cam button will launch Video, which is a nice touch so you don't have to fumble around with menu's inside the camera app

    The camera will take pics in these sizes:
    1280x1024
    1280x960
    800x600
    640x480
    320x240
    160x120


    Of Course the 5300 features the famous nokia night mode which basically does miracles in low light situations, providing you have a still hand.
    Here are a few pics for your viewing pleasure

    Click the first 2 for full image size










    Night mode



    Video
    The 5300 also features video capture.
    a great feature on the 5300 is that you can launch directly into Video by pressing and holding down the camera button. It's pretty much the standard offering here though and is good for quick little vids that you want to MMS to friends.

    Video sizes:
    176x144
    128x96


    External Memory
    The 5300 features a Hotswap MicroSD slot which is right under the battery cover, but NOT under the battery which makes life easy. You simply pop off the back cover and the card is right under the 2.5mm headset jack.


    I have noticed though that if you pull the memory card with the unit on (hotswap) the ringtone and wallpaper won't maintain requiring you to reset these items. The only way to maintain your tones and images is to turn the unit off and remove the card, making sure to reinsert the card prior to power up.

    However, most people will just connect to the phone via USB anyway since it's fast easy and painless. This option also doesn't require a reboot or power down of the phone either. Just quick painess USB access.

    Connectivity
    The 5300 features a slew of connectivity options right out of the box so getting your media onto the phone is a very simple affair. Let's take a look at the various connectivity options available to you.

    USB cable
    When using the USB cable as a connectivity options it's straightforward and ridiculously easy.

    When you insert the cable you're prompted with 3 options:
    Nokia mode
    Printing and Media
    Data Storage


    Nokia Mode is the profile you'll need to select when you want to connect to nokia's PCSuite program, which is completely free and really good.
    Printing and Media is a Profile which will grant you access to the phone and memory card to browse the media and copy/print that media as needed.
    Data Storage is pretty straightforward. It makes the nokia phone a virtual drive allowing you to drag and drop files to and from the Nokia 5300 and a PC

    The best part of the nokia connectivity options is that regardless of what you choose, the phone always stays online in case calls/sms/mms come in

    The only downside is that the USB port doesn't charge the phone.. so while it's connected to the PC it won't get any juice oddly enough.

    the Nokia 5300 is a USB 2.0 device so transfers are fast and painless. Especially if you're into music. Drop all the songs into the Media card into whatever folder you select and then launch the player and update it so it'll scan in your new media. Done. Painless.

    Bluetooth
    the Bluetooth system on the 5300 is quite good. It has excellant range and amazing throughput. It's also straightforward and easy to opperate.

    Visibility
    You have 3 visibility settings as well. Shown to all, Temporary visibility and Hidden.
    the Temporaty visibility has a window of 2 minutes as well.

    Data throughput
    Amazingly enough, i was getting some amazing throughput on the 5300's bluetooth. From my PC to the 5300 i was getting speeds of 217kb/s where the average fast phone is around 40kb/s. That's really fast. Here's a Vid of this baby motoring as well for you to check out.

    KRESSI FAST BT

    A2DP
    The Nokia music player itself has A2DP and it works well. With an A2DP headset connected to it like the BH-601 (review coming shortly) the phone is smart enough to automatically funnel songs to the headset itself instead of you having to start the music, then select "play via Bluetooth".

    Infra-Red
    Also present is IR.
    I'll be honest, i haven't used IR in a long time. But for many it's still a viable option to connect. As such Nokia saw fit to include the option and it's there for those of that need it. If you use an older Palm, for example, you can take advantage of the IR PORT for transferring contacts or having the phone dial up a contact saved in your Palm.

    Memory card
    I already touched about the memory card above, but that in itself is another connectivity option for those of you who like poping out the card and putting it into a card reader. Although, with the speed of the USB 2.0 connection or even BT i dont' forsee a reason for doign this INMO

    Nokia itself claims up to 2 gig of external memory card storage.
    I don't have a 2 gig MicroSD card handy to test that but i don't see it being a problem.

    Aesthetics
    The nokia 5300 is a youth oriented slider design with a focu on music. At least that's the impression it gives. I myself like the design as the keys are big and blocky and the slide action is positive feeling up or down. I do wish a higher quality plastics were used though as the unit does tend to exibit a bit of a plasticy demeanor. The 5300 also isn't exactly the "tightest" slider out there, but it would appear that it's not going to get any worse so that's a comforting feeling.






    Screen
    The First thing you notice on the 5300 is it's screen. Being a Slider, it's front and centre ready for viewing. The screen on the 5300 is a very nice unit and is reflective in direct sunlight making outside viewing possible. It's a 240x320 Qvga unit and is very clean and rich. There doesn't appear to be any brightness settings though, in the Rogers or Generic flashes which impacts battery life but more on that later



    Keys
    The keys are nice and big and easy to use.
    I had no complaints with this keypad and liked it very much. It's good to see that some companies still make functional vs fashinable keypads in some of their offerings. The keypad was very easy for me to dial and SMS with and provided enough of a tactile feel for my liking. It's a very good keypad and is evenly lit when it's dark as well.





    Sizing
    The 5300 is of a moderate size. It's not tiny, and it's not huge.
    I've put it back to back against some other units courtesy of sizeeasy.com as well as snapped a few pics for your viewing pleasure:








    OS


    This phone is a series 40 3rd edition as i understand it.
    it's the typical robust nokia with some new graphical tweaks to get it feeling fresh. it supports Groups and you can also set ringtones per individual but it's a bit of an effort do so. You have to go into the contact and add that specific tone to their name. A bit of work but still having the ability to do it is a welcome addition.

    The OS itself is fairly fast though.
    My only gripe is when you're browsing through your media files there's no way to jump to specific files based on letters. I got used to having this on the SE's so when i'm looking for "iphone ring" i would just punch in I. Not so on the 5300, you just have to keep scrolling. You can sort the folder by date if you know the tone is one of your newer ones but this isn't a viable solution all the time.

    The OS is also customizable as well as you can add/remove options from your goto menu, change the functions of the Dpad and the softkeys as well. There's quite a bit of room for setting the 5300 up as you like it.

    battery
    The battery life on the 5300 was the weak spot for me. Touching back on the screen brightness comment, because there appears to be a lack of brightness controll the screen is always at 100%. I have seen this impact battery life on several phones from the D606 and D807 and A706 to the W810. The simple fact is that if you can set the screen at 50% brightness it's usually nice enough to look good and provide a significant boost to battery life. Im my own trials when using the above mentioned phones i was able to get 1/3rd more out of the day out of them by using 50% brightness.

    Aside from that the 5300 would only last my work day. 9am till about 6pm before it would complain to me about low battery. This is with pretty heavy use however, as i tend to really use phone's i'm reviewing to try and get accurate battery results.

    a typical day's usage on the 5300 would consist of:
    *50 SMS
    *Lots of Hofo wap browing
    *1 hour of calls
    *30 mins of streamed music (for BH-602 review)


    so if this usage is similar to yours you can expect similar battery results

    SMS
    The SMS system on the 5300 is classic nokia T9.
    However, now it will start to detect what words you actually want and move then to the forefront over time. No more hitting * 10 times to have seb come up like on my 6230b

    having the space on the 0 key still has it's disadvantages though. Namely, you can't save alphanumeric strings in your dictionary like 5300b, W810i, A2DP etc etc.

    also worth mentioning is that the SMS storage on the 5300 is quite large. I had about 700 SMS total (350 inbox, 350 sent bod) before the nokia started to display almost full warnings. This is a very good feature for heavy SMS'ers as they won't have to empty their inbox/outbox frequently

    Voice Dialing
    The 5300 does have Voicedialing, similar to Voicesignal in which you don't need to pre-record which people you want to voicedial. However that's where the similarities end. The actual usage of the voice dialing on the 5300 was a poor experience for me. Often getting the wrong name or command I quickly stopped using it.

    Ratings:
    Performance…………….……….9
    Build Quality……………………..8
    Battery life………………………..7
    Features…………………………...9
    Software…………………………..10 (classic robust Nokia)
    Keypad……………………..………10
    Camera…………………………….7
    Features for $...........................9

    Overall........................9

    An excellent offering from Nokia at an excellent price point.
    You can't go wrong

    PRO's
    *Excellent Screen
    *LOUD ringtones
    *positive sliding action
    *External Media controls
    *Rugged Durability
    *Fast data throughput
    *A2DP profile
    *Excellent RF
    *loud enough earpiece
    *Good outgoing audio
    *Easy interface
    *ability to flash generic

    CON's
    *Battery life
    *plasticy feel
    *Rogers SW doesnt' work external MP3 controls
    *Triband (not a big deal except if world travelling)
    *Average camera
    *2.5 jack (instead of 3.5)
    *Poor Voicedialing
    Last edited by Treatz; 04-16-2007 at 10:04 PM.

  2. #2
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    Very thorough review there Treatz. Thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
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    great review...this is a really good mid-end phone!!

    btw...will you be reviewing the htc s621 anytime soon? i see 2 boxes in the pictures you took

  4. #4
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    That is blazing fast for BT transfer. What's up next on your list to review?


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    thanks for the review

  6. #6
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    i have one and i find

    a) the mic position isnt that great &
    b) i dont like how you can see through the plastic in the dark when the top half of the phone lights up
    Past Phones:
    LG: TG800, TU720, TU915
    Motorola: A1200, C332, C350, K1, T720, U6, V3, V3i, V60, V66, V70, V300, V360, V361, V400, V551, V600, V635i, Z3
    Nokia: 3120b, 3220b, 3390, 5190, 5300b, 6061b, 6101b, 6103b, 6126, 6131, 6133, 6160, 6230b, 7270, 8390, 8801
    Samsung: D606, D820, E316, M620, P207, T609
    Sony Ericsson: T200, T637, W300i, W600i, W710i, W810i, Z200, Z600
    BlackBerry: 8100, 8900, 9700
    Apple: iPhone 3G 8GB, iPhone 3GS 32GB


    My Feedback

  7. #7
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    Although I like Nokia, two things set me off from blowing my upgrade on this:

    1) I played with a dummy of it today and ended up with a screen in my hand... yeah, yeah, a dummy, but still
    2) The fact that you have to flash unbranded to get basic functionality out of it scares the hell out of me

  8. #8
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    nice review...interesting phone

  9. #9
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    I'm impressed. I played with this for 30mins or so awhile back at a store when I was doing a corp hup. Could you take a photo of the STOCK firmware desktop? I forget how it looked.

    I see the generic firmware you have sets ALL the usual desktop bells and whistles in a very nice and sleek micro font, that allows your desktop WALLPAPER to actually show in it's full nicety. Very Nice.

    Are you evaluating this based on the stock or the flashed firmware (sorry I missed that)? IE on what someone would get out of the box, or after the tweaks?
    300 @ 5pm●5K SMS●Auto Roadside●Unlim Inc●1000LD●R2RLD●VP●6Gb LTDizzle+credits = <$36
    34+|0|0 119+|0|0

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    Maybe it's time to update this....nahhhhh

  10. #10
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    Wirelessly posted (The Eliteness: SonyEricssonK790a/R1KC Browser/NetFront/3.3 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1)

    Excellent review. Couple comments I wanted to add:
    -the screen on the 5300 I played with ghosted. Did you notice this at all?
    -i totally agree about having the zero as a space is a limitation. You can save alphanumeric strings, just not zeroes
    -how's the sound quality, ie. Bass, treble, surround, etc
    -did you like the active standby feature? Does it work well?
    All thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

  11. #11
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    I have one issue. Why is when I change themes it changes the ringtone back to the nokia tune? This is annoying. None the less the phone is great.
    Forca Portugal!!
    MY_FEEDBACK

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP
    Wirelessly posted (The Eliteness: SonyEricssonK790a/R1KC Browser/NetFront/3.3 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1)

    Excellent review. Couple comments I wanted to add:
    -the screen on the 5300 I played with ghosted. Did you notice this at all?
    It wasn't an issue with me personally, usually if something's bad I'd notice it, but the screen was really nice for me
    -i totally agree about having the zero as a space is a limitation. You can save alphanumeric strings, just not zeroes
    Yes, I prefer the * key or the # key these days for those reasons
    -how's the sound quality, ie. Bass, treble, surround, etc
    using the headphones i presume.. Good. with the corded ear cans in the box it sounds nice. the senheizer's sound nice and rich (review coming) and the BH-602's also sounded good. the EQ actually sounds different to when you play around with it
    -did you like the active standby feature? Does it work well?
    yes, the feature works, i myself don't really use it though. I'd prefer to see the wallpaper

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatguy
    I have one issue. Why is when I change themes it changes the ringtone back to the nokia tune? This is annoying. None the less the phone is great.

    all Nokias (s40 anyway) are like that.

    great review Treatz.

  14. #14
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    sweet spot?


    Hit me for feedback !!!

    I carry a lighter in my back pocket. I'm not a smoker, I just really like certain songs......

  15. #15
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    Very nice and thorough review.

    I have Tmobile branded 5300. Besides battery life, the background hiss is a bit irritating, I even replaced the phone once hoping it will go away, but I don’t think it did. From my experience, the hiss is noticeable when volume is 6 or higher (out of 10) and I hear it with and without corded headset. But the way, after replacing my first 5300 I’m pretty sure that the second phone has better battery life (by about 25%).

    Another thing that drives me crazy is the 6 sec FF skip in the music player. It makes navigating through long podcasts impossible :-(.

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