Nokia 5530 XpressMusic review: Winner by design

GSMArena team, 20 August 2009.

Introduction

The XpressMusic lineup is fired up and coming after you with all they've got - from QWERTY smartphones to touchscreens. In fact, with the arrival of 5530 XpressMusic, the Nokia music line has more touch phones than the Nseries. We told you, they're dead serious about it.

With the 5800 XpressMusic shaping up as quite a blockbuster, Nokia had hardly any choice but to build on that momentum. The way up from the 5800 goes into Nseries territory really, so a lower spec'd device with an even sweeter price tag seems quite the right thing to do to reach the masses. And well, strategically expand the user base for the Touch UI edition of Symbian S60.

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Nokia 5530 XpressMusic official photos

The Nokia 5800 offered value-for-money that very few could match. The 5530 comes in even more affordable but tries to deliver as much goodies as possible, pushing the value-for-money meter well towards the "must have" end of the scale. Here's what the 5530 XpressMusic offers and what was left out to keep the cost down:

Key features:

  • 2.9" 16M-color TFT LCD 16:9 touchscreen display (360 x 640 pixels)
  • Symbian S60 5th edition
  • ARM 11 434 MHz CPU, 128MB RAM memory
  • 3.2 megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash and VGA@30fps video
  • Quad-band GSM support
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • microSD card memory expansion, ships with a 4GB card
  • FM radio with RDS
  • Bluetooth with A2DP and USB v2.0
  • Standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • Stereo speakers
  • Stylus, with its own compartment inside the phone
  • Proximity sensor for screen auto turn-off
  • Accelerometer sensor for automatic UI rotation, motion-based gaming and turn-to-mute
  • Office document viewer
  • OVI integration (direct image and video uploads, OVI Contacts)
  • Landscape on-screen virtual QWERTY keyboard
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Price tag on the cheap side
  • Nice battery life

Main disadvantages:

  • No 3G support
  • No built-in GPS receiver
  • Display has poor sunlight legibility
  • Default font size is a bit small due to the smaller screen
  • Somewhat limited 3rd party software availability
  • Average camera image quality
  • Video recording quality is unimpressive
  • Doesn't charge off its microUSB port
  • No smart dialing
  • No DivX/XviD video support out of the box
  • No TV-out functionality

Trade-offs were obviously inevitable but many of the important features are on par with the 5800 - the CPU, the Wi-Fi support, the camera. And further on the positive side, the 5530 is much more compact than the 5800.

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Nokia 5530 XpressMusic live shots

The XpressMusic badge usually guarantees great music experience - from the audio quality to the way music is organized, played and delivered. With Nokia's recent track record of excellent audio quality in the headphone department and the pair of nice sounding stereo speakers, the 5530 is a mini-jukebox.

What hurts it the most is the lack of 3G, especially for those with unlimited data plans. Others will barely wait to jump at this affordable touch-operated and WLAN-enabled smartphone. As always, we're here to help you make the decision.

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Size comparison between the iPhone, the 5530 and the 5730

It's time that we set off exploring the Nokia 5530 ins and outs - so join us on the next page where a proper unboxing is due.

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