With its bright, brash colour scheme, funky slider design and music playing features, the Nokia 5200 looks like it can put some fun back into the world of mobile phones.
It costs around £90 SIM Free from Nokia or around £70 on pay as you go on various networks, making it one of the cheaper music phones around at the moment.
Nokia describes this phone's styling as 'street smart', which is just another way of saying that it's aimed at young 'uns rather than fuddy duddies. The phone's chunky, bulbous feel and loud colours certainly give it a cheeky look that's rather endearing, but undoubtedly won't be to everyone's taste. We had the blue and white version, but it's also available in red and white or all black if you prefer.
The handset's case may look rather plasticy, but thankfully the slider mechanism feels smooth and opens with a satisfying clunk. Once it's fully extended it reveals a decent sized keypad that's a pleasure to use for texting. In fact, thanks to the friendly menus, pretty much all the phone's features are very easy to get to grips with.
Like most recent Nokia mobiles the reception was very good, even in weaker signal areas, and the call quality was never less than sparkling. Battery life isn't too shabby either. You can expect to get over 3 hours of talk time from it and around 11 days worth of standby time.
As this is a music playing handset, there's a dedicated music button on the left hand edge that can be used to quickly start and stop playback. The music applet is not quite on a par with Sony Ericsson's Walkman handsets, but it's still easy to use. The sound quality was good, too, although the supplied headphones are rather a disappointment.
Despite the low cost of the phone, Nokia has managed to cram in support for infrared, as well as Bluetooth. There's even a menu option in the music player to beam music to a Bluetooth headset or wireless speaker system.
As the phone only has 5MB of onboard memory, you'll have to shell out for a microSD card if you want to make use of its music playing features. However, memory cards are now relatively cheap and Nokia isn't exactly alone in not supplying them with lower priced handsets. More of an issue is the quality of the headphones. They're absolutely dire for music listening as they lack bass and sound frizzy on higher frequency sounds like cymbals, but replacing them is not so straightforward as the phone uses a non-standard jack plug and there's no standard headphone adaptor supplied in the box.
The other issues relate to the camera and the screen. The camera only has a VGA resolution, which is surprisingly naff for a phone aimed at the youth market. It's good enough for taking snaps to use as your phone's wallpaper, but pretty useless for anything else. The screen is also relatively poor. It only has a 160x128-pixel resolution, so icons and text tend to look quite blocky.
Overall, the Nokia 5200, priced at around £70, is a mixed bag. We like the funky design, easy-to-use menus and good battery life, but these plus points are dampened by its rubbish camera and woeful headphones.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Jon Squire