Nokia 5500 Sport review: Smartphone for active lifestyle

Ivo Mareček, 22 October 2006.

Music is a must

Could you imagine yourself running without a pair of earphone plugged into your ears? Well, it is obvious that no sport mobile phone can afford to lack a music player. In Nokia 5500 Sport you can search music files by artist, by album name, by genre, or by composer. Once you have found your file, simply select it and it will start playing. Volume levels are sufficient. Sound quality, provided you plug in good earphones, is excellent. You may even not come to use equalizer. The music player reads files with digital protection; details on playing keys can be found in a separate application in the menu.

Main window • menu with available functions • list of music files • sound settings

The music player can play in background. When a call is coming, playing gets gradually hushed. Once the call has been terminated, the respective music file continues from the moment of interruption. Ringtones can be heard in the earphones. To summarize, Nokia 5500 Sport’s player is outstanding. It can also be managed through touches on the keypad surface or on the phone sides.

In the last version of its software package PC Suite Nokia improved the application Music Manager, which deals with music files and creates the base necessary for their comfortable storing in the phone. While transferring files it is possible to either automatically convert music files into M4A format (optimal for use in a mobile phone according to Nokia), at a data rate of 48 kb/sec, or work in original format. Standard conversion is not recommendable for its poor quality even though it reduces file size 6 times. Otherwise the results will be disappointing. Other available options are Mass Storage and music copying straight from the Windows Media Player 10 application (requires a download of a simple manager.)


It has been a while since Nokia began to implement the function Visual Radio into its phones (ignoring the fact that there is not a single radio station in the world that broadcasts visual, except for few experiments). Anyway, Visual Radio can be used for listening to common radio stations, which is the most important detail.

Radio stations are tuned automatically, by signal intensity, through manual band search, or by direct typing of the frequency. Unfortunately, RDS is not available. The phone offers 20 positions for saving favorite stations. Besides, you can get connected to a special Internet service, which offers a list of all radio stations broadcasting in the area you find yourself in. Saving some of these into the phone is not a problem.

Main window • stations • saved items

Radio is stereophonic. Yet, it switches to mono mode every time signal gets worse, that is, when the cable of the earphones fails to serve as an antenna. The control device features a pin to hook on one’s clothes, while the earphones are equipped with clips that hold them behind one’s ears. If you find original earphones inconvenient, feel free to use any other pair of earphones – just connect them to the remote control through the 3.5 mm jack. Original earphones lack bass elements a bit, but I consider them generally very good.

Nokia 5500 Sport Nokia 5500 Sport Nokia 5500 Sport
Nokia 5500 Sport Nokia 5500 Sport
Enclosed earphones with an adapter and a classic jack

Calls, sound and profiles

With Nokia 5500 Sport you will feel like home everywhere where there is GSM network in 900/1800/1900 MHz. Incoming calls are alerted about by a ringtone, vibration, a combination of both, or simply through the blinking of the keypad and the display backlighting according to the presets of the respective ringing profile. The phone offers a total of 5 basic ringing profiles plus a special one called Offline. Other profiles can be easily created if necessary.

For those who do not want to look at their mobile every time somebody calls them Nokia 5500 Sport can automatically read caller’s name simultaneously with ringing.

Melody alerting incoming calls can be hushed. If you reject a call, the phone could automatically send to the caller a SMS with predefined text.

All formats from 64-voice MIDs, through MP3, AMR, AAC, eAAC+, up to real melodies can be used as ringing melodies. Call, message and email alerts are set up separately.

Volume capacity of both the phone as a whole and its loud speakers is pretty good. However, I find the sound produced by the built-in speaker rather flat as basses and heights are not expressed enough. Nokia 5500 has a voice recorder. The maximum duration of call records is limited to one minute.

Reader comments

  • asterix

I have 5500 for almost 3 years and it still works fantastic!

  • Anonymous

it reads your sms to you amazing

  • Anonymous

just wondering if anyone knows if you can get an adapter that can make the phone ready to receive a pair of 3.5mm headphones?