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.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.