Xpress music with Nokia 5610

CIOL Bureau
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Innovation doesn't come easy. But the 5610 does manage to innovate without costing an arm and a leg. Plus it really lives up to its Xpress Music name. You may have noticed the slider key, placed right above the soft keys. You just have to move the slider left or right and you will instantly switch between the home screen, music player and FM radio. As far as design goes, it's quite trendy, and available in a choice of muted blue-black or the much louder red-black. It's a Series 40 interface, so technically speaking, it's not a smartphone. But to its credit, phone start-up is blazing fast, the interface is quite quick and responsive, there are some nice apps pre-loaded and the media playing abilities are good too. All that's missing is the ability to install additional Symbian apps.

As a bonus, you also get a 3.2 MP (2048 x 1536 pixels) auto-focus camera with twin LED flash. I was able to click some really neat shots both indoors as well as outdoors and the flash was really helpful. But video recording was a bit disappoint- ing. The brilliant 2.2-inch QVGA (240 x 320 pixels) screen supports 16 million colors and is accompanied by an ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts brightness. It works well and conserves power too. There's a micro SD expansion slot, and though 512 MB card is bundled, you can go up to 4 GB.

On the connectivity front the 5610 has it all covered. There's a micro USB port and a 2.5 mm audio out port on the top of the device. It would have been easier to provide a 3.5 mm audio out right on the device, but Nokia is bundling a 2.5 to 3.5 mm adapter so that you can use any earphones of your choice. It has stereo Bluetooth (to use with wireless Bluetooth earphones) and it's got all the data connectivity options like EDGE and 3G. Even though it's a Series 40 interface, you can simply connect the phone to a PC and select mass storage mode to drag & drop audio files. For about the same price, you can also consider the Sony Ericsson K810i, which has a better 3.2 MP camera with Xenon flash, but it isn't really a music phone. Overall, the 5610 is a sweet deal as there's no other music phone with a 3.2 MP camera at this price.