Nokia 5530 XpressMusic smartphone

A budget version of Nokia's first touch-screen smartphone, the 5530 XpressMusic is smaller and lighter than its big brother but lacks 3G connectivity and GPS

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Nokia 5530 XpressMusic
  • Nokia 5530 XpressMusic
  • Nokia 5530 XpressMusic
  • Nokia 5530 XpressMusic

Pros

  • Responsive touch screen, compact design, 3.5mm headphone jack, contacts bar, home screen shortcuts, zippy UI

Cons

  • No 3G, no GPS, questionable build quality, touch input isn't consistent, text input is hit and miss

Bottom Line

A smaller, more compact version of the 5800, Nokia's 5530 XpressMusic is a very similar handset to its bigger brother, though it lacks GPS and 3G connectivity. While we prefer the smaller design, build quality is again questionable.

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A smaller, cheaper version of the first Nokia touch-screen mobile phone, the 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia's 5530 XpressMusic lacks 3G connectivity and GPS. A more compact design and a competitive price tag are the main differences with its bigger brother.

Our review unit of the 5530 XpressMusic was an international model, but it should be almost identical to the Australian version. We'll update our review with any additional information once the official Australian model is released.

The Nokia 5530 XpressMusic follows a very similar design pattern to the 5800 XpressMusic — and unfortunately has many of the same issues. The slightly smaller display still consumes most of the phone's front and the body is largely plastic. The rear battery cover feels thin and flimsy and rattles when pressed; a similar plastic flap covers the SIM and microSD card slots. The slider keypad lock key rattles from side to side and doesn't feel firm.

The Nokia 5530 XpressMusic has three touch-sensitive buttons below the display (answer and end call keys and a menu button). Holding down the menu button brings up the application manager, which allows you to close currently running programs. The touch-sensitive buttons are fairly responsive, though they require quite a firm tap.

There is also a touch-sensitive button just above the display that drops down the Media Bar, providing quick access to the music player, gallery, share, video centre, and the Web browser. Pressing the button will display the Media Bar regardless of what menu or application you are in. Like the 5800 XpressMusic, the 5530 Xpress Music's display produces excellent colour and possesses good viewing angles but has poor visibility in direct sunlight.

The Nokia 5530 XpressMusic runs the Symbian S60T operating system. The good news is, it's zippy and feels more polished than the 5800 XpressMusic, which suffered from a few bugs. The resistive touch screen is responsive and despite the presence of a stylus, most operations can be accessed by just using your fingers. Once again, the selection of buttons is not consistent. For example, accessing shortcuts on the home screen requires just one press, but selecting the inbox in the messaging menu requires a tedious double tap.

The 5530 XpressMusic's UI has been upgraded and the contacts bar now allows you to add 20 contacts instead of four in a scrollable panel. As well as displaying generic information like phone number and e-mail address, contacts can also be manually assigned a Web feed, such as Facebook or Twitter. The 5530 XpressMusic's home screen can also display four shortcuts and a music player widget.

Text input is a mixed bag. The Nokia 5530 XpressMusic offers a numeric keypad with T9 predictive text input, and, if you rotate the phone sideways, a full QWERTY keyboard. Both are a little cramped and because the screen requires quite a firm press, it's easy to miss characters while typing. There is also the option of writing with the stylus, but the handwriting input box is quite small and it's slow to register letters and words.

The Nokia 5530 XpressMusic is targeted at a lower end of the market than the 5800 XpressMusic, so 3G connectivity and GPS are absent. We can excuse the lack of GPS, but no 3G is a real downside. The 5530 XpressMusic does offer Wi-Fi, Bluetooth with A2DP and USB with a standard micro-USB interface.

The 5530 XpressMusic's Web browser is reasonable but it doesn't render pages or scroll as well as we would have liked. The 3.2-megapixel camera lacks the Carl Zeiss optics of its bigger brother and has a single LED flash rather than a dual one.

Multimedia functionality is aided by the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack, an FM radio and access to Nokia's Music Store. Our review unit didn't come preinstalled with Nokia's Ovi Application Store but the app can be easily downloaded.

The media player is similar to the one seen in most Nokia's N-Series handsets, displaying album art and allowing the adjustment of multiple settings including bass boost, stereo widening and a five-preset equaliser. For media storage, Nokia includes a 4GB microSD card in the sales package. Nokia has yet to confirm whether the Australian model of the 5530 XpressMusic will include a Comes With Music subscription.

Online store MobiCity is currently selling the Nokia 5530 XpressMusic outright with a 12-month warranty.

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