After working for a long time in the mobile phone market, Nokia now has a complete line of music phones named “XpressMusic”, and the new Nokia 5530 XpressMusic is a stylish addition to this line-up. The Nokia 5530 XpressMusic is significantly cheaper than other touch screen handsets on the market, but offers a great user experience for the price of US $369. The phone is aimed at the younger market, at an affordable price.
Design (5 out of 5)
This phone has an elongated body that makes its shape attractive. The fr
ont of the phone is dominated by a touch screen display that measures 2.9 inches with a high resolution of 640 x 320 pixels and 16 million colors, making it one of the best screens in its class. The screen is resistive and can be used with a stylus or your finger. The call start, call end, and the menu key lies below the display. The top of the phone is plain and has the power on/off button that is stiff and thin making it difficult to work for some users with larger hands. The bottom of the phone has the charger plug, the 3.5 mm audio jack and the micro USB port, that is hidden under a protective lid, and the 3.5mm audio jack is exposed, with the lanyard eyelet and the stylus, located in the left and right bottom corners, respectively.
On the right side of the phone is the volume rocker, the screen lock switch and the camera key. On the left side are the microSD slot and the SIM section. The back side features the 3.2MP auto focus camera, which comes with a dual-LED flash and the black plastic stylus smoothly slides in and fits securely.
This phone is available in various color combinations like the black phone with red or grey color accents on the sides, blue, pink or yellow on a white base. It is a sleek device that can easily squeeze into pockets. Although the build-quality is good, there is one problem, in that the back cover doesn’t lock securely in place, and can often wobble while using the phone.
User Interface (5 out of 5)
The Nokia 5530 XpressMusic uses a Symbian s60 5th edition OS. The touch screen implementation is impressive, as it is very responsive whether you use the stylus or your finger. The screen quality is really good with a small sized display that has a high resolution with 16 million colors. Being a customizable interface it gives one touch access to Facebook, emails, music, and the new contact bar lets you put 20 friends and family on the home screen. The screen auto rotates when the phone is turned on its sides. Numbers and text can be entered through the alphanumeric keypad in portrait mode, and in landscape mode with the full QWERTY keypad. The phone has a kinetic scrolling that works well in navigation, but unfortunately the scrolling icons are the same old ones, and you can either grab the side scrollbar or stick your thumb on the icons and push the highlighted one in the direction you want.
The Contact bar on the home screen accommodates a lot of phonebook shortcuts. Each contact is represented by the contact photo and their first name, and it’s possible to have three contacts displayed at a time. The keys are soft and enhance the usability. Opening items from the sub menus requires 2 presses; one to select the item and the another to confirm your action. On the main menu, the icons can be set in a grid or a list, and you can freely reorder them. All the status indicators are at shown at the top, along with the clock and the calendar. The connectivity menu can also be accessed from here, by tapping around the battery status indicator, which is the quickest way to initiate a WLAN search. You get email notification showing the number of unread messages, along with the sender and subject of the most recent message.
The key above the screen on the right is a shortcut to the Music player, Gallery, Ovi Share, Videos, and the Web browser. It’s an excellent control that offers quick access to the handset’s multimedia features.
If you want access to Twitter as well as Facebook, then check out our article on Twitter for Symbian.
Features (5 out of 5)
The Nokia 5530 has a 2.9”
touch screen display of 360 x 640 pixels screen resolution. There is a 3.2MP camera with auto focus and very good quality videos can be made at 30fps. There is also a media player and FM Radio with RDS. The phone comes with an internal memory of 150MB, and has a microSD expandable memory slot too. Along with the Stereo Bluetooth, and USB connectivity there’s an additional feature “people carousel” that switches between twenty of your most used contacts easily.
The image gallery is touch optimized, and images can be sorted by date, title or size and can be copied, moved, deleted and sent via MMS, Bluetooth and email, and sharing them online is also available. Both portrait and landscape views are available and photos can be zoomed by using the volume rocker or an on-screen touch slider. Videos are captured in MPEG-4 format and can have automatic or manual white balance. The Wi-Fi connectivity is one of the key features of the Nokia 5530 and data transfers are made through GPRS and EDGE, and the handset is capable of world-wide roaming.
The organizer includes a voice recorder, calculator, unit converter, and the Notes application. The Quick office tool helps view Excel, Powerpoint and Word files. You can set multiple alarms, each with a unique name and repeat pattern. There are some accelerometer-based games preinstalled and you can opt between touch screen or accelerometer control. The phone has a 70 MB built-in memory and 4 GB card where 1000 – 2000 songs can be stored and the micro SD card can be upgraded to 16 GB for more storage.
Voice dialing is done when the voice dialing mode is activated, by pressing and holding the Call/Send key. It is speaker independent and does not require any pre-recording. Incoming calls can be silenced by flipping the handset over. The phone supports all message types like email, SMS and MMS, and also features an editor for instant recording of audio messages. Delivery reports for messaging can be turned on and pop up when the message arrives at the addressee’s phone.
The phone also has handwriting recognition that can recognize all the letters when scribbled in the box. The email client is easy to use, and you only have to enter your user credentials to start using email. The phone supports multiple email accounts and it can be set to automatically check email at a specified interval. The Symbian file management system enables you to do anything with your files like moving, copying, renaming, sorting or sending, and searching for a specific file is also available. The phone book has unlimited capacity, and contacts can be searched by just typing the names.
Nokia 5530 Features (continued from page 2) (5 out of 5)
The Nokia 5530 also let’s you set whether the contacts from the SIM card, the phone memory and the service numbers will get displayed. Personal ring tones, videos and contact groupings can be assigned easily. When the Log application is accessed from the phone’s main menu, you see a detailed list of your network communications for the last 30 days.
The music player has a library that automatically sorts itself by album, artist, genre, and compose, tracks can also be searched by entering the name of the track. The method of adding new tracks to the library is very simple and the player supports almost all formats.
The video player only supports a few formats, and the built-in format converter is used to make videos viewable. The FM radio can scan the available stations in your area and it also has RDS support. Video recording is also available, and which is really good on the 5530. The video camera records at resolutions all the way up to up to VGA (640 x 480 pixels) and there are handy features such as video zoom, a video light, and the ability to pause recording and then continue - it has a WLAN connection too.
Performance (5 out of 5)
The battery offers a talk time of 5 hours and a standby time of 14 days, which is very good. The in-call performance is good with a clear voice reception at both ends. This phone has an excellent fine tuned audio quality, and frequency response is good with an edge in the stereo crosstalk reading. There are two speakers giving excellent stereo widening, and a 3D surround effect and a bass booster adds punch to your music. The camera is good with an auto focus and a flash, and is easy to use as well as being very fast to record pictures too. Video quality is very good, and you can enjoy watching all sort of videos on the phone. Connectivity by Bluetooth and USB connections is good, and the phone is fast at connecting with other devices.
Verdict (5 out of 5)
The Nokia 5530 XpressMusic is a clear attempt to bring the S60 5th edition into the hands of a large audience. This is a mid range reasonably phone that will suit every music lover. It’s a smart gadget that has an impressive look, a high resolution clear display, easy to use navigation options and lots of capacity for music storage. The music player is bound to attract people with its sound quality, support for multiple music formats and equalizer options, and above all the phone is affordable to many. So if you are a real music person this is one gadget to look forward too.
If you aren’t convinced of the traits of the Nokia 5530, why not consult our review of the Nokia 5800.
Image Credits:nokia.com, nokia-asia.com