Nokia's XpressMusic range of handsets keeps getting quietly augmented with new additions. The 5220 XpressMusic is not the flagship mobile of the range by any stretch of the imagination. That accolade goes to the touch-screened 5800, but it is, nonetheless, a mobile with some innovation to recommend it, and, in these cash-strapped times, its circa £100 SIM-free price tag might appeal too.
The Nokia 5220 XpressMusic has a quirky physical design based on a non-uniform candybar scheme. The handset is very light at just 78g. It is tall and thin, with official dimensions of 108mm tall, 43.5mm wide and 10.5mm thick. That's only half the story, as the handset is taller on its left side than its right one, by some margin. I measured it at 114mm tall on the left, 108mm on the right.
The disparity between the two length measurements makes very little difference as far as hands or pockets are concerned, but it does lend the phone a rather quirky look.
The 5220 comes in two colour schemes direct from Nokia's online store. Whichever you choose the majority of the front fascia is black with the colour - green or red - providing a frame for the navigation button. The colour also forms a band around the handset and lies behind the music control icons that sit to the left of the screen. The back cover in our green sample is a bright creamy white. Totally out of kilter with the more sedate front fascia it may be, but I rather like it.
Those icons to the left of the screen are a key 5220 XpressMusic feature. They very clearly indicate the positioning of the play/pause, forward and back control buttons on the left edge of the handset. Those buttons are big and would be easy to find by touch without the icons, as they sit along the tall edge pretty much directly in line with the screen.
The icons have another role. When you are listening to music they happily pulse along with the tones. I'm not a big fan of the idea, but it is easy enough to turn them off if they annoy.