Moving on to the 5530's software and, like the hardware, we have a rather mixed impression. Overall, the S60 operating system feels incredibly clunky as it's slightly sluggish in operation. It also misses out on basics like multiple desktops, while inconsistencies in its interface can be somewhat irritating. For instance, on the one hand you can scroll lists simply by placing your finger on the screen and moving the list, while on the other, grids of icons require you to use a scroll bar. Likewise the lists require a double tap to choose options while the icons only need a single tap.
These things aside (and the rubbish onscreen keyboard notwithstanding), the OS gets the job done and is very capable in terms of features thanks in particular to support for the OVI app store. The web browser is also very good, though we wish it would remember the addresses typed in on previous sessions.
Call quality is good with plenty of volume available from the earpiece and clear audio being sent from the microphone. The stereo loud speakers are also loud enough for conference calling and could even be used for occasional music listening.
The 5530 is a quad-band phone so it should work in most countries. It also supports EDGE, but not HSPA for the fastest mobile browsing. Wi-Fi is included, though, so fast browsing will be possible if you're within range of a wireless access point.
The battery is a 1,000mAh unit that Nokia claims provides battery life of 14 days standby and talk time just shy of five hours. As we've come to expect from touchscreen phones, we found that the 5530 would run low after a couple of days with regular use. However, it does last longer on standby than some smartphones that have loads of push notifications, so it can easily last several days with light usage.
The Nokia 5530 XpressMusic is a reasonably powerful handset with a full range of features, which also lives up to its mp3 player pretensions with regards audio quality. However, the lack of dedicated music controls, proprietary charging socket, cluttered hardware controls and generally clunky software interface leave significant room for improvement.