Mobile manufacturers are making handsets cheaper and still managing to keep the features quite relevant. They easily meet the demands of today’s youth looking for quick connectivity and transferable media for on the go entertainment. They even manage to throw in a few extras. In this particular case, I’m not referring to the ultra budget Java mobiles, but bigger brands like Nokia, specifically this, their much awaited 5233.
Before I proceed with the review there’s something that needs to be clarified as there seems to be quite a bit of confusion regarding the features of this handset and that of the 5230 that’s been advertised. What seems like a bit of a faux pas on Nokia’s part is that the 5230 has been advertised all over but doesn’t seem to be available in the market and this, the lower-end version, the 5233 is available. The difference between the two models is that the 5230 is the 3G version and is equipped with integrated GPS according to Nokia’s website. However, the same website doesn’t mention that this, the 5233 has A-GPS when it actually does. Me thinks Nokia themselves are a bit confused.
It’s a carbon copy of its older brother the 5800. The only difference is that it weighs a couple of grams less than the original, that’s also because it lacks a Wi-Fi and 3G radio, ergo, less weight. It’s still has a 3.2-inch resistive touch screen display. Not that it’s an issue as it’s quite responsive. The stylus is almost useless. Like the original, the 5233 also has a hot swap slot for both the SIM card and the microSD card. The camera’s resolution has also been dropped a little bit to 2 megapixels and is now devoid of the dual LED flash. A 3.5mm handsfree socket and micro USB port are located on the top.
It’s just as good looking as the 5800, which is of course a matter of opinion. I’ve got an innumerable amount of mixed responses to the question – is it a good looking handset? What no one can argue with is that it’s very well designed.
Features and Performance
The 5233 is also equipped with an ARM 11 434 MHz processor used to run its S60 Symbian OS (v9.4, rel. 5). It’s smooth but the double tap process to access certain features can be a bit of a pain. That still hasn’t changed. You can get used to it though. The layout is very finger friendly though and the large display is crystal clear and easy to navigate. The only issue is that it gets a bit sluggish if you’re trying to run more than 3 apps at a time. That’s still pretty good as multitasking goes for a handset that’s priced less than Rs. 10,000. The touch sensitive Media bar option just above the display makes it really easy to access all multimedia features. The Home Screen’s Contact bar is also another handy addition to the UI.
All the sensors, including the accelerometer and gesture turning control for silencing the handset work just fine. The accelerometer though, is still a bit oversensitive. The virtual keypads are easy to use and there’s also the handwriting recognition option available for those who prefer that.
Thankfully the handset’s media functionality hasn’t taken a hit except for the fact that the 5233 doesn’t support TV out though it does have a Line Out option for audio only. The music player with Stereo Widening, EQ presets and of course the customizable option is great. From the quality of delivered audio the decibel level is all good. This time you’ll even get a couple of freebie vouchers for the Nokia Music Store. The FM radio has pretty decent reception in most places. Nokia’s Podcast feature as well as the voice recorder are both present.
MPEG4 and 3GP video files play without a hitch and you can also adjust the aspect ratio for videos, if you don’t mid a bit of stretching here and there. I still wish Nokia would include a few more video codecs, however it does play FLV files quite well. The video center service available allows you to access video feeds from different sites.
The 5233 is quite well equipped for connectivity. Except for Wi-Fi, there’s plenty of connectivity to go around. It’s not 3G capable but you still have EDGE or GPRS connectivity. It also comes with Bluetooth that supports A2DP and USB 2.0. The browser has never been much of an issue so no complaints. Nokia’s Facebook apps is at hand for the social networking and of course you can download apps for other sites as well through the Ovi Store. Nokia has still not managed to offer more services to upload images other than Vox.
Setting up emails of the POP and IMAP variety is a simple step by step procedure and doesn’t require you to enter too much information. Nokia’s Switch feature is quite handy especially if you’re switching from one Nokia handset to another. It allows you to transfer data via Bluetooth seamlessly from a compatible device to this one.
The 5233 also has A-GPS support for Nokia’s Ovi Maps that are preloaded onto the handset. I constantly received a flashing message that it was trying to locate GPS satellites which is odd as the app never asked me to pair the handset up with a GPS module like most others would if one tried to access the maps. So at the end of the day, although Nokia’s Indian website seems a bit confused about this feature, the one I tested had A-GPS functionality for sure.
Like any other Nokia handset the 5233 also comes with quite a few relevant features. A calculator, alarm clock, Dictionary, unit converter and notes option are all available. It lacks Nokia’s Active Notes but the basic will just have to do. Nokia has also shaved the cost down by including just a single game, but if you have Flash games on hand, those will work.
For a 2 megapixel camera, the 5233’s camera is loaded with plenty of features. Those features include Scene modes, White Balance, ISO levels, Sharpness and Contrast adjustment, a self timer and a few color tones as well. An image editor is also provided for post processing. It offers quite a few settings to help either adjust the image or make it a bit more ‘creative’.
Image quality for a 2MP camera is pretty good, both indoors and outside as well.
While Nokia claims that the 5233 is capable of about 10.7 hours of talk time, in reality it offers a little over five hours and 15 minutes. That’s still really good.
The Bottom Line
The 5233 comes with a price tag of Rs. 8,289 (MRP), which could make the Samsung S3650 Corby run and hide. But the only difference between the two is the large display and the fact that the 5233 comes with GPS. However when it comes to social networking, the Corby is preloaded with Twitter, Facebook and Orkut apps and offer a bit more when it comes to uploading images. The 5233 is a quite limited in this context but it’s a pretty good handset for the price and its overall functionality.