Samsung X530

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Samsung X530
  • Samsung X530
  • Samsung X530
  • Samsung X530
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Design, build quality, hands-free speakerphone, mobile tracker system

Cons

  • No Bluetooth, problems with slider

Bottom Line

If you can overlook the poor slider, the X530 is a good choice for those on a budget, combining a sleek and stylish design with some basic phone features.

Would you buy this?

The Samsung X530 is an entry level mobile phone that manages to blend a combination of style and basic features. A VGA camera, MMS picture messaging and a hands-free speakerphone are offered, but Bluetooth is a notable omission, even at this price.

Features

Naturally, the X530 is a very basic handset, and it doesn't possess all the bells and whistles of more expensive models. Despite this, it offers a cost-effective and simple solution for those who only require the essentials. The X530 is a tri-band GSM (900/1800/1900 MHz) phone, and in-call quality is above average. Volume is more than adequate at its highest setting, and the hands-free speakerphone, a feature often overlooked on entry level models, works well.

The X530's VGA camera snaps images at a resolution of up to 640x480, and it has a number of effects including grey, negative and sepia, as well as a three, five and 10 second self-timer. It also has a self-portrait mirror, frames, and the ability to rotate pictures. Being a VGA camera its fine for a few happy snaps but naturally not good enough for any real photography. The X530 has just 600KB of internal memory, so you are only able to store a minimal amount of photos.

The most interesting feature of the X530 is its mobile tracker security system. When a SIM card in the X530 is replaced, the mobile tracker sends an SMS message to an earlier nominated phone number, revealing the mobile phone number of the new SIM card. This is a very useful feature and although it doesn't prevent theft, it may make many people think twice before attempting to steal your phone.

The X530 has a WAP 1.2 browser, three games and a host of PIM features including alarm, calendar, calculator, to-do list, and a voice recorder. The voice recorder's quality is decent, although it could be louder. Samsung also includes 10 polyphonic ring-tones and infrared connectivity, but Bluetooth is absent. For messaging, SMS and MMS are offered, and T9 predictive text input is standard.

Design

The slider X530 is sleek, compact and lightweight. Measuring just 95mm x 45mm x 17.9mm and weighing just 94g it's one of the smaller phones on the market. What this phone offers is simplicity and this includes the design element; rounded edges means the phone fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. The X530 is finished in a glossy silver plastic, and despite its low price, the phone feels solid and well built.

The X530 has a 1.9in, 65K colour screen, but it does lack crispness and clarity. Below it are controls consisting of a five-way navigational pad, two selection buttons, answer/end call keys and a clear button. Slid open, the X530 reveals a very comfortable and tactile keypad. Unfortunately, the slider is the biggest weakness of this handset, as it is difficult to open, and doesn't slide smoothly when it does. Importantly, the X530 has an external volume control keys on its left side, while a proprietary headphone jack and an infrared sensor are on the right side.

According to Samsung figures, the X530 has a below average battery life. Up to four hours talk time and 216 hours standby time on a handset lacking in multimedia features is a little disappointing. We found the quoted figures almost spot on, having to charge our handset every two days.

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