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Nokia 5530 XpressMusic - Nokia 5530 XpressMusic

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


In contrast to its touch sensing, the screen is visually quite accomplished. It packs 640 x 480 pixels into its 2.9in frame so copes particularly well when viewing web pages and emails. It also produces nice natural, if slightly muted, colours, and viewing angles are excellent. Were it not for the fact that video support isn't great, it would be good for watching videos as well.

Also pleasing us is the presence of a proper headphone jack on the bottom of the phone. It produces great quality audio (relatively speaking) and will work with any 3rd party headphones, which is something we'd normally recommend you invest in. However, the bundled headset actually incorporates a very passable set of in-ear headphones that produce clear and precise audio with plenty of bass. Most importantly, the soft silicon tips block out a decent amount of external noise, reducing the need to play your music at high volume and potentially damaging your ears. There are three tip sizes to choose from, too, so you should find a pair that will fit comfortably and securely. We were rather annoyed that the in-line remote didn't control music playback, especially as the 5530 has no dedicated music controls (the button on the remote only answers calls).

Sadly, adjacent to the headphone socket is something we hoped we'd never see again on a Nokia phone - a proprietary charging socket. This is despite the phone also having a standard micro-USB socket for data transfer. A 4GB microSD card comes included, which is enough storage to give you many hours of portable music. If you'd like to upgrade to a larger card, up to 16GB ones are supported.

Something else that will be stored on any memory card you install will be photos from the phone's camera. It packs in a 3.2-megapixel sensor, can autofocus, and has a small LED flash above it. Performance is okay thanks to the application loading quite quickly, though only managing two shots in 10 seconds is nothing special.

The camera produces results that are on a par with most other phone cameras of its type, so in good lighting you can get a perfectly acceptable picture with enough detail for casual photos, reasonable colouration (erring towards oversaturated), and good exposure metering. In more challenging situations, where subjects are moving or there's poor lighting, it does struggle as would be expected. Video is also available and with a resolution of 640 x 480, a decent framerate, and that LED light for dark situations, it ticks all the boxes we'd expect. Obviously it has its limits but for a quick clip, it's fine.

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December 22, 2009, 6:56 pm

Looks almost identical to the 5800 XM. I don't think the value rating reflects the price; this (like the 5800) has got to be one of the few powerful touchscreen smartphones you can get without a contract without breaking the bank. Too bad S60v5 is sooo clunky and slow.


December 22, 2009, 8:26 pm

crap like this makes me hanker back to the days when i had my beloved 6310i, to a time when nokia at least had a bloody clue as to what it was doing.

Nokia just drop both symbian and maemo, buy out palm and incorporate their webos into your devices. With just those two strokes youll be in a strong position to challenge apple on their particular turf


December 22, 2009, 11:04 pm

You get a badge for having Bolt Thrower on the device...


December 23, 2009, 4:22 am

The 5530 can be had for £129, so I think its pretty good value, despite the limitations of the touchscreen and Symbian. Not to be compared to the high-end phones of course, but pretty good for the cost.


December 23, 2009, 5:16 am

Looks ok but does anybody know when there will be a review of the Nokia x6, pretty desperate to see that one

Alan Edwards47c

January 4, 2010, 6:43 pm

The screen is 640x360, it's widescreen. The grilles at the top and bottom are for the speakers, which are not bad for what they are.

I don't find the OS slow, but it is flaky. Bits of it randomly stop working, and it needs a bounce to get it going again. I liked Symbian/UIQ on the W950i, but I'm disappointed by how unreliable S60 is.

The other difference with the 5800 is that the 5530 doesn't have GPS, but it does work with a Bluetooth GPS.

I got mine just before Christmas, it was £120 on Voda prepay at Carphone Warehouse but the hardware is unlocked.


February 23, 2010, 2:42 pm

For the price the 5530 represents good value for money. Something worth noting though is that the handset is well known to have various faults eg random reboots, sluggish interface, shortcuts vanishing after resets, internet browser crashing. Although it does have its niggly faults overall it is not bad at all. Well worth a look for those on a tight budget.

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