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Nokia 5530 XpressMusic - Nokia 5530 XpressMusic

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


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.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


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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