At GadgetMasti, we pride ourselves on comparing, critiquing and testing some of the best little smartphones in the world – 5G mini beasts with ever-impressive snapper lenses, video resolutions, audio chops and ecosystem enhancements to make our collective lives a little easier ( and hopefully more social) with each new iteration.
And this phone is nothing like that.
To some, the Nokia 5710 XpressAudio is little more than a novelty burner with free true wireless earbuds tucked into the back. But through slightly older eyes (read: mine) it’s a beautiful and cheap joy, serving not only a slice of pure nostalgia with added 4G, but a lesson in how far we’ve come in two decades.
Remember how it used to be to get your phone to work? Even if you didn’t live in 2000, you get that experience here.
I loved the chance to get a fresh 1,450mAh battery out of its little plastic wallet, take the back of my new device, line up the three battery contacts, slide it into the handset, the whole thing squeezing again with a wish and a prayer, turn the handset over again and hit the power button as if it were 1999. It’s like riding a bike…
But now there are new things to do! The 5710 XpressAudio also lets you insert the bundled color-matched earbuds into the back of the phone to turn them on (there’s a sliding door that oddly covers the camera lens when open), then follow the on-screen prompts. to link them to the 5710 and lo – you can listen to MP3s! Or do what I did and go straight to the FM radio tab in the menu and listen to your chosen station choice.
It’s an oddly futuristic retro experience – original “wireless” meets new wireless connectivity, but in a device whose most recent relative is the XpressMusic line of Nokia cellphones that were discontinued in 2010.
In reality, the Nokia 5710 XpressAudio feels older despite its 4G capability. In my hand, it harks back to the Nokia 5310 launched in 2007, or even my beloved 3210, when playing a “hidden” game or composing my own ringtone was to enter a cutting-edge world just for experts.
Opinion: I long for weeks of battery life
Yes there’s Snake Xenia on board (still just as addictive) and yes the earbuds fit well – although they’re basic stuff and if you’re looking for something that sounds good and doesn’t have to come with your own phone then go to our best budget wireless earbuds roundup.
But the real reason I think people will love this dual-sim Nokia has nothing to do with the included earbuds, as nice as they are.
Features are modest, and in an era of hugely expensive flagship foldable smartphones, the Nokia 5710 presents XpressAudio’s 48MB RAM and 128MB internal storage (which can be expanded up to 32GB with a MicroSD card, where the tiny SIM slots are). ) presents a reassuring proposal with familiar wallet-friendly limits – there’s a cost of living crisis, folks.
The phone comes with a 2.4-inch QVGA display and a 0.3MP rear camera with an LED flash module, which: terribly little to write home about. It is powered by a Unisoc T107 processor and comes with Nokia S30+ operating system.
But here’s the thing: it’s 138.9mm long, 47.7mm thick and 16.2mm thick, and the screen is nice and big. It weighs 129.1 grams and there are two large volume knobs on the left when you look at the screen – but you can lock those of course.
For me, the big draw is this: Nokia claims the 5710 can “stand by for weeks”. This really is Nokia from the past! Imagine a phone you can rely on for days and days. My iPhone is all off at 5pm, which is on a good day! I crave this kind of stamina.
Maybe in these uncertain times I long for a little piece of the past, but with extra 4G and earbuds – I still love my ‘dumb’ iPod Classic from 2006 because it does less things than any smartphone. I believe the desire for a handset that does its dedicated communication job well enough and little else, at a low rate, is growing.
The Nokia 5710 XpressAudio costs just $76 / £75 (around AU$129) and is already available from Nokia, but will also be available on September 19 at other stores and online platforms.
Will it be one of the best Nokia phones of 2022? It feels unlikely. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for it. Quite the contrary – and I’ll beat anyone who says otherwise at Snake Xenia…
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