Nokia 5250 review: Back to basics

Back to basics

GSMArena team, 20 October 2010.


They made a promise and kept it. What can we say – nice phone this Nokia 5250, but not an N8. Yeah we know, we need to be respectful and professional. But it’s easy to be a jerk to a 100-euro smartphone.

The Symbian-powered Nokia 5250 is bottom of the smartphone barrel. The low price suggests the feature set is going to be pretty spartan. Which doesn’t mean it’ll fight in the shade. It’s rather going to get into brawls with some pretty basic dumbphones.

Nokia 5250 official photos

The question here is who’s ready to sacrifice most of the features that make a smartphone, to save a few bucks. Alright some of Nokia’s touchscreen smartphones have been going around for peanuts but the 5250 is the lowest bidder by far. Some of the value-adding options don’t cost that much any more. But the Nokia 5250 encourages exactly the opposite kind of thinking. No budget is too tight and no feature is too important.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM, EDGE support
  • 2.8" 16M-color 360 x 640 pixel resistive touchscreen
  • S60 5th Edition (a.k.a. Symbian^1)
  • ARM 11 434 MHz processor; 128MB of RAM
  • 2 MP fixed-focus camera
  • VGA (640 x 480 pixel) video recording @ 30fps
  • Stereo Bluetooth v2.0
  • microSD slot, microUSB port
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Stylus tucked inside the phone's body
  • Excellent loudspeaker performance
  • Good audio quality
  • Web browser has Flash video support

Main disadvantages

  • No 3G, Wi-Fi and GPS receiver
  • Poor screen quality
  • Doesn’t charge off USB
  • No preloaded Office document viewer
  • No support for DivX/XviD videos out-of-the-box
  • Gets sluggish as the memory card starts filling up
  • No USB cable or memory card in the retail package

Being affordable is a big plus for a product and a short but focused spec sheet can be an advantage as well. After all, some people get confused by too many features while others just don’t need them. And they might be glad to have the 5250 around. So, the Nokia 5250 is the right phone for the right person. As indeed every other phone out there is designed to be.

There is no Wi-Fi, even 3G is missing from the specs sheet. And you won’t find an inbuilt GPS receiver either. But the bare minimum is covered. You still get quad-band GSM support and stereo Bluetooth and a decent 2.8 touchscreen.

Nokia 5250 Nokia 5250 Nokia 5250 Nokia 5250
Nokia 5250 live shots

The 2 megapixel snapper lacks autofocus, LED flash or geotagging but it can at least shoot VGA videos. There is a great music player, an FM radio with RDS and a reasonably stocked app market.

Now, let’s see what’s inside that tiny retail box. And then we’ll take a look at the phone’s build and finish.

Reader comments

  • cos
  • 30 Oct 2011
  • vkQ

i cannot activate voice tags on my 5250 (even nokia helpline gave up ) & face book is so slow that i don't bother.......i think time to upgrade

  • nokia bangladesh
  • 07 Sep 2011
  • P%%

great review!

  • michael88
  • 05 Sep 2011
  • PGn

is this a good phone for facebook