Nokia's 5230 Brings Touch Functionality To Low-End Consumers

Move over 5800, you've got company. Announced today, Nokia has issued yet another candybar-styled smartphone in its expanding touch phone range: the 5230. We have all ideas that Nokia would rename this should it ever be subsidized by a US carrier, but the four-number model name is a staple of its touch phones when released internationally and in unlocked form.

What really makes this unit different than the 5800 before it is the price and intended market. For the first time, Nokia is hoping to tempt lower-end customers with a touch-friendly Symbian S60 phone. We'll admit--the design definitely looks high-end, but the 149 Euro ($212) price tag certainly isn't. And remember, that's without any contract at all; if AT&T or T-Mobile were to snap this up, we could actually envision it being given away for free with a 2-year agreement.

The 5230 packs quite a few advanced features for such a competitively priced phone; we're talking Ovi Store support, access to social networks, A-GPS/navigation, a multimedia player, web browser, full touch support and a battery good for 33 hours of audio playback. There's also a 3.5mm headphone jack that'll support pretty much any earbuds or headphones made in the last century, and the Media Bar provides quick access to all of your favorite apps and content. Those looking for an even greater time can pony up an extra 110 Euros for the Comes With Music edition, which includes a full year of all-you-can-listen music. Finally, Nokia has tossed in a microSD expansion slot for those with entirely too much media, and the Bluetooth 2.0 module ensures that this will work nicely with your existing BT headset.

The handset is expected to ship in Q4 2009 somewhere on the planet, though we wouldn't count on seeing it in America for a few months (at least).