After failing to capture the touchscreen market in 2009. Nokia is back with a bang in 2010 with a slew of touchscreen handsets (or smartphones I must say) being released one after the other. With the 5800 doing well initially but failing to maintain the steady sales with time because of various shortcomings in terms of pricing and other issues like an unimpressive touchscreen and slow UI when used with various apps. Nokia seems to have got hold of the situation and their developers have come up with newer software versions for their S60 5th edition phones. Now with these problems taken care of, Nokia has started afresh and launched new phones like the Nokia 5230, 5233, 5530 and 5235 (this will be launched soon). Not to forget that the 5800 got a good price cut a few months back.
Unable to ignore the fact that the Nokia 5233 is the most basic; lacking advanced features like 3G and Wi-Fi (also its the cheapest of the lot), we decided to do a quick review of their basic touchscreen phone and compare it with Nokia 5800. Now the 5233 costs only about Rs. 7500 approx. compared to the Rs 13000 for a 5800 (India). So what has Nokia really done with this phone that justifies this steep drop in price. Hmmm. Lets take a look.
On first look you can easily notice that this one does not have a secondary camera (for 3G) in the front, a scaled down 2.0 MP camera with no LED flash and only a single speaker (it has a very low output I must say). They have done away with the free 8GB micro-SD card. You get a WH-102 headset instead of the way better HS-45, AD-54 music headsets. A VGA camera for video recording. Most importantly, its got 3G & Wi-Fi missing. Being heavier by 4gms (weighing 113g), lack of mini qwerty input method are the other minor differences. Now the 5233 costs only about Rs. 7500 approx. compared to the Rs 13000 for a 5800 (India). So what has Nokia really done with this phone that justifies this steep drop in price. Hmmm. Lets take a look.
The 5233 borrows its design from the good old 5800 which influences the entire touchscreen brigade currently. On the right of the device you have volume control, the screen lock and the camera buttons. The left side houses the two separate compartments for the SIM and the microSD card. The top of the phone retains the ergonomic lining of the switch button, charger plug, 3.5 mm jack and the USB plugin. The bottom just has the microphone. The screen of the 5233 is 3.2 inches wide and a resolution of 640 x 360 pixels (nHD) with 16:9 picture just like the 5800 but has a display of up to 16.7 million colours (which is better than 5800).
- The 5233 Homescreen
The 5233 Homescreen
What this phone does have is a better display and touchscreen. A customized homescreen better than its predecessor. And all the other important features that a touchscreen phone must have. It can play almost all the latest audio and video formats. The music sounds great on the earphones (we tried it on the Nokia HS-62). The 2MP camera is worth the price. The phone looks classy and sturdy at the same time. Though it still gives the pla-sticky feeling of the 5800.
With the 5233, Nokia has made a late entry to the low cost touchscreen market where Samsung has already sold as many as 40 million units last year alone. Cos like LG and Samsung have multiple touchscreen models in the market with different designs (though it can be said that they are all inspired from the iPhone) and are sold in the range of $200. The Corby and the Star by Samsung are the most buzzing in this segment. The new 5000 series after the 5800 are aimed towards the lower end of the market. If I am to compare the Samsung Corby or the Star to these Nokias – the Nokia with a better OS and UI. However the Corby steals the show with trendy design and Stylus-less approach. If you are looking to actually do any mobile internet or social networking, you know what serves better, its Symbian of-course. (Although my concern is that most of the users in this segment aren’t too much concerned about usability and that’s the challenge for Nokia – Its Styling!) The 5000 series touchscreen aren’t the best looking ones; perhaps the X6 and X3 could come to Nokias’ rescue here!
But my bet here is if marketed the right way coupled with the strong retail chain that Nokia has in India.This phone can sell well enough. If you are looking for something better? Wait for the Nokia 5530 that is expected to hit the Rs 11000 mark in India and features WiFi, 3.2MP camera and a design better than the 5800 and the 5233.