The 5140 has a 4,096-color display that measures a rather small 1.5 inches diagonally. Though it's easy to see in most lighting, the low-resolution screen has an overall washed-out appearance, and you can adjust contrast but not brightness. On the plus side, you can specify the backlight time, but the unchangeable text size may be too small for users with visual impairments. The menus are easy enough to use, but we aren't pleased with the navigation keys. Due to the rubber covering, the controls are difficult to manipulate, and we often misdialed. A five-way toggle provides shortcuts to four user-defined functions, but its small size also makes for some misdials. Other controls consist of two soft keys and dedicated Talk and End buttons.
Though they are also covered in rubber, the keypad buttons are easier to use. A raised profile makes it easy to dial by feel; our only complaint is the backlighting is too dim. On the left spine is a volume rocker, on the top is the power button, and the PTT key sits on the right spine. Though they're easy to find when you aren't looking, pressing them was another matter. The volume rocker requires an especially firm push, which is difficult to do while on the phone. We like the rubber door on the bottom of the mobile that covers the charger and headset ports, but we're puzzled as to why the rubber doesn't extend to the phone's backside. There you'll find the camera lens, but there's no flash or self-portrait mirror.The Nokia 5140 has a customary complement of features with a few extras thrown in. The 250-name phone book holds five standard and one push-to-talk numbers; e-mail, Web, and street addresses; and notes for each entry, while the SIM card holds an additional 250 names. Contacts can be organized into caller groups and paired with a picture for photo caller ID; you can even add a voice tag to each entry. There's also ring tone caller ID, but the 6 monophonic and 24 polyphonic ring tones can only be assigned to a caller group. Additionally, you can send an electronic business card to other callers.
Other features included a vibrate mode; text, multimedia, and instant messaging; a WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser; an alarm clock; a calendar; a calculator; a to-do list; a notepad; a voice recorder; an infrared port; and support for PC syncing via wireless means or a data cable. A speakerphone is included, but it can be activated only after a call is made. The 5140 also is the first Nokia handset that we've seen with push-to-talk capability, but be advised that it's network dependent.
The most memorable goodies on the 5140 go hand in hand with the mobile's sturdy form factor. There's a thermometer (in both Celsius and Fahrenheit), a stopwatch, a countdown timer, a decibel meter, and a tiny flashlight that will do in a pinch. There's also a compass, and the miniscule leveler bubble on the front face will help in calibration. Though fun, the compass and the flashlight aren't necessarily useful, so we doubt they will appeal to many people. Also, the thermometer's accuracy depended on how close you hold the phone to your body.