Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nokia 5530 XpressMusic mini-review

Nokia 5530 XpressMusic is a slim, light and cheap Symbian smartphone. Jennifer have had this for the past four months and according to her, it is an excellent replacement to her cheap and cheerful Nokia 5310 XM. It has no 3G on board (not a huge issue to her), but it does have built-in WiFi.

The Good
- Cheap!
- High resolution screen (360x640 pixels) with good clarity outdoors.
- Slim and light (107g) modern design. It fits your palm perfectly. Easily the slimmest smartphone with a touchscreen I've ever used.
- Sync'able address book, calendar, task list and memos with Outlook.
- Incredibly good audio quality (with a proper headphone or IEM)
- microSD card slot is compatible with high capacity microSDHC - works with 16GB card, possibly 32GB, also hot-swappable.
- Industrial standard 3.5mm headphone.
- WiFi 802.11b/g, Quad-band GSM, Bluetooth 2.0 EDR+ (with A2DP), IrDA and USB 2.0 connectivity.
- 3.2MP camera with 30fps VGA video recording. The quality is similar to the Nokia E55, but with the added advantage of auto focus and macro focusing.
- Support for USB mass storage (MTP and UMS).
- Appealing and youthful design.
- Has an accelerometer for switching orientations, silencing calls and snoozing alarms.
- Whilst made of plastic, the build quality is excellent.
- Battery life is pretty good. It can last several days with moderate usage.
- I actually prefer the resistive screen technology used here, but I do know there are capacitive screen fanboys who would disagree.
- No crappy N97-like widget-based homescreen. As a widget hater, this is a huge positive in my books.
- Removable battery, duh.

The Average
- Series 60 5th Edition isn't as mature as S60v3.
- Battery life is average lasting 2-3 days per charge with light text, calls and music playback.
- Average processor speed, which is slower than my E55, but the same speed as the pricier N97/N97 Mini.
- Only 20+MB available RAM on boot. Not a disaster, but power users on a budget will be left wanting.
- A 4GB microSD card is included.

The Bad
- No front camera means no free video calling via Skype.
- Symbian^3 unlikely to be made available for this, if Nokia's track record is anything to go by.
- No built-in GPS, but you can't really argue at this price point.
- Firmware updates has been rare.

Camera samples:

f/2.8, ISO 224, 1/20 sec (default with flash)

f/2.8, ISO 239, 1/20 sec (macro mode)

f/2.8, ISO 276, 1/8 sec (night mode)

f/2.8, ISO 74, 1/500 sec (macro mode)

f/2.8, ISO 97, 1/1000 sec

f/2.8, ISO 97, 1/1000000 sec


The 5530 may seem like a 'my first smartphone' phone, but it is surprisingly versatile and works just as well for power users. Mind you this isn't her first smartphone (she had a HTC Magician once, and has plenty of experience with plenty of Palm and Sony Clie PDAs). If she is happy with it (and she is), I think Nokia succeeded. The 5530 XM is the perfect smartphone for people on the budget or who see little points in paying £150 for a smartphone. In fact she can do plenty of things on this (twitter, e-mail, gaming, music, videos etc.) that other more expensive rivals (including those by Nokia themselves) can do as well. A snip at £89.

The biggest issue with this is the lack of maturity with the Symbian S60 5th Edition platform. Whilst I am a huge fan of S60v3 (the UI on modern none-touchscreen Symbian phones), and quite like the UI on S60v5, it just isn't quite there yet. Yes I do know about the upcoming Symbian^3, but it is very unlikely that Nokia will make Symbian^3 available on the 5530. Their track records says so. Despite that there are plenty of third party applications for the platform and we've had no problems sourcing freewares to fill in the missing features that Nokia has failed to include.

The 5530 XpressMusic is a capable cheap smartphone platform with plenty of power for users to take advantage of. For £89 (the price we paid back in December) unlocked from the Carphone Warehouse, it is a bargain.


sweetyy said...
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Anonymous said...

The price is back up to £130!

viagra prescription said...

Nokia 5530 has been one of the best ones because of the applications it has, that's excellent because I had never gotten a gadget like this.