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(Pocket-lint) - Continuing its music theme, Nokia has launched its latest handset, the Nokia 5320 XpressMusic handset, but can this match up to the latest offerings from Sony Ericsson? Pocket-lint was given a chance to have a quick play with a prototype at the launch of the new handset in the UK.

The new Nokia 5320 XpressMusic is one of two new handsets launched and while it doesn't feature the "Street Cred" found in the Nokia 5220 XpressMusic design, you do get more features for your cash.

On the phone side there is HSDPA connectivity for downloading tracks on the go as well as uploading images or surfing the web, Bluetooth 2.0 so you can connect wireless speakers and a 2 megapixel camera around the back for snapping your mates at a gig.

On the music front, the 5320 includes dedicated XpressMusic keys which are down the left-hand side of the bright, crisp screen. Here you get fastforward, skipback, play and pause, with volume controls on the other side.

Outside a 3.5mm audio jack completes the easy access to music from a hardware perspective.

Inside and there is the promise of 24-hours of playback from one charge and 8GB storage keeping it in line with Sony Ericsson and Apple offerings (this is supposed to be budget/affordable after all).

Aside from the new "rounder" design in keeping with N82, Nokia has added a new service called "Say and Play". A voice-controlled feature, the idea is that you can say the artist that you want to play and then the phone springs into action playing the first track of the spoken band.

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In practice we had mixed results, although it's not surprising that it worked better when it was quiet. In our brief test the prototype at times made us feel like we were on one of those cinema ticket services where you have to say the town you are looking for.

Out of 10 goes trying to say a name of various artists the phone recognised our request 7 times suggesting it might have issues with our dialect (Queen's English of course) or still has someway to go before being released to the public (only fair as it's not due out till Q3).

Via the internet browser, users can get access to the usual Nokia offerings: Ovi and Nokia Search 4.1 while the dedicated N-Gage gaming keys and landscape view are said to "deliver a true gaming experience" meaning that as promised Nokia has expanded the N-Gage platform's availability beyond its Nseries range.

First Impressions

Nokia's latest offering is clearly hoping that the attraction of the Nokia Music Store with a "Comes with Music" unlimited music subscription will help encourage people to sign-up to this handset.

As a standard phone, it's basic, inoffensive and typical fare from Nokia.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, it is just unlikely to blow you away with excitement.

Expect a full review of the handset when it launches around September this year.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 22 April 2008.