Nokia has announced a bevy of new handsets today at its Nokia: Go Play event in London. Pocket-lint was invited to have a first hand look at the new models. So will these be the handsets we all crave in the coming months or ones that fade into the background? We get playing to find out.

The Nokia 5310 XpressMusic phone from Nokia is the company's response and answer to Sony Ericsson's W880 model.

Nokia execs will of course be keen to prove otherwise, but the super thin 9.9mm thick candy bar handset looks to sit snugly into the same class. Both are thin, both have music and both have dedicated music buttons.

Get past the styling, which will come in black with red and black with blue markings and the 5310 is a well built model with dedicated music buttons that sit down the side of the 2-inch QVGA screen. These buttons control basic functions such as skip back, forward, stop, play and pause and can be operated without the need to rummage through the phone's menu system.

Completing the music focus, the handset features a 3.5mm headphone jack and it's a nice addition to the model compared to Sony Ericsson's insistence on forcing you to use an adapter. Of course, as with the N95, we know that the hole will soon fill with pocket lint however.

Those really liking their music can listen to up to 4GB of music via the expandable miroSD slot in the phone and this should give you around 3000 tracks. The battery life will last up to 18 hours although we didn't have that much time to test whether this is true or not in our brief play.

However real music fans, will be disappointed. The 5310 isn't one of the new handsets capable of accessing Nokia's new dedicated music download store also launched at the same event.

Because the 5310 uses the Series 40 operating system rather than Series 60, it won't be able to benefit from the Ovi feature set and that means no maps, no games and no music.

Users will be able to "sideload" music bought from the Nokia Music Store via their PC however they won't be able to download them directly to the phone.

It's a strange omission considering the company is now supposedly all about "Music".

Once you get past the music however there is little to the phone that stands out with Tri-band connectivity, a 2 megapixel camera, up to 12 and a half days of battery life on standby, stereo Bluetooth so you can listen wirelessly completing the package.

First Impressions

It might sound dull, but as an entry-level music phone the Nokia 5310 ticks all the boxes. It offers storage up to 4GB (around 3000 songs) via a microSD slot, stereo Bluetooth to share the music via one of the many speakers coming from the likes of Altec Lansing and JBL and easy to use dedicated music buttons to get you into the groove.

Where it is likely to fall short is when you want it do something else other than just play music.

The Nokia 5310 XpressMusic phone will be available later this year.