Design & Build
The Nokia has a rather unique design. It is a slider but uses a landscape display. This gives it a distinctive square shape when closed. Slide open the phone and you will find a full QWERTY keypad, which, again, is uncommon in portrait sliders. Our review sample came in an eye-popping shade of pink, although, there is a far more subdued charcoal grey version available as well.
Below the display you will find a 5-way navigation pad surrounded by a rather confusing layout of buttons. Confusing because it groups together three keys on either side of the navigation pad in a very indistinct manner. Luckily the keys are spaced well apart, so you don't end up pressing one key while aiming for another. Still, we don't quite like the way the soft keys don't line up properly below their functions above on the display. The center button on the navigation pad also acts as a notification light.
On top of the display, you will find the earpiece with the ambient light sensor. The X5 doesn't have a video call camera, which is uncommon for a Nokia phone with 3G. We had some trouble with the earpiece on the X5. It has to be lined up perfectly with your ear to be heard clearly, or else the volume levels drops substantially. When you first place the phone on your ear, you will need to move it around so that the speaker fires directly in your ear through its tiny outlet. Again, it's very uncommon for Nokia to mess up such a basic functionality of the phone.
On top of the phone are the 3.5mm headphone jack and the micro USB port. The phone does not have a standard charging port and charges exclusively through USB. On the right side of the phone are the volume control buttons and on the bottom is a single loudspeaker.