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Nokia 5530 XpressMusic Preview
Mobile Phones | First Looks
Sat 20 Jun 2009

Unassuming Musician

By Seow Tein Hee

Like we've been saying, it's always better late than never. When Nokia introduced the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic as the first device utilizing the Symbian S60 V5.0 touch OS, it did generate a spark of interest, but not as much as the Nokia N97 that was announced during Nokia World 2008.

Slim Pickings

Having developed a comprehensive suite of online services under the Ovi brand name, Nokia is now on the device warpath with the unveiling of its touch screen devices, such as the Nokia 5530 XpressMusic announced at this year's Nokia Connection. The 5530 XpressMusic is basically the 5800 XpressMusic in a slimmer and more compact form factor. Ditching the all plastic look of the 5800 XpressMusic, the front panel of the 5530 XpressMusic is encased with a metallic silver frame (which unfortunately doesn't enhance its looks any better), surrounding the 2.9-inch screen supporting 640 x 360 resolution.

Oddly, the 5530 XpressMusic's 3.5mm audio jack is now situated at the bottom of the device instead of at the top like the 5800 XpressMusic. One of our biggest problems is its concealed microUSB port, which required much effort on our part to pry it open. Unlike some of the higher-end models that will be launched by the end of 2009, the 5530 XpressMusic won't adopt microUSB charging, and adopts the traditional charger instead.

Inserting the microSD and SIM card is easy - just open up a side panel, and you'll gain access to both slots. However, should you wish to extract the SIM card, you'll have to remove the battery and use the stylus located at the bottom left corner of the device to dig and push the SIM card out of its holding area.

The volume and camera buttons are debatable in terms of usability - for one, there doesn't seem to be any tactile feedback when we pushed both buttons. This could be due to the early prototype nature of the device that we got for trials and it might yet see some refinement along the way. The one thing that troubled us was the lock slider, which got our thumb into an awkward position as we tried to unlock the device.

Less, is More

The user interface on the 5530 XpressMusic is similar to what we've seen its earlier cousin, with the same Media Bar accessible by tapping on the top right corner of the device. What gave the 5530 XpressMusic a distinct advantage, is its upgraded Contacts Bar that now houses up to 20 favorite contacts, lined up horizontally for you to scroll across the screen. The device will have Wi-Fi capabilities for internet access, but lacks a few other connectivity options such as HSDPA and GPS, making it less feature packed than its 5800 XpressMusic cousin.

Concluding Thoughts

Our short experience with the third Nokia Symbian S60 V5.0 device has shown that the Nokia 5530 XpressMusic to have an improved aesthetic front with its unassuming form factor with similar usability aspects of the 5800 XpressMusic cousin. This multimedia-centric phone should become a favorite amongst the young trendsetting crowd - subjected to a favorable price point which we can't speculate at the moment.

Product Specifications

  • Network: EDGE / GPRS (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900)
  • Operating system: Symbian S60 Version 5.0
  • Display: 2.9-inch 640 x 360 pixels with up to 16 million colors
  • Camera: 3.2-megapixel with autofocus and LED flash
  • Video: Playback: .mp4, AVC/H.264, .wmv, RV, Flash Video, H.263/3GPP
  • Recording: .mp4 - default (VGA, QVGA) or .3gp (QCIF for MMS)
  • Audio: 3.5mm audio jack, FM Radio with RDS support, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MP3, AMR-NB, WMA
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support, microUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi
  • Memory: 70MB internal memory, microSD expandability of up to 16GB
  • Standby Time Up to 14 days
  • Talk Time Up to 4.9 hours
  • Music Playback Time Up to 27 hours
  • Size: 104 x 49 x 13mm
  • Weight: 107 grams
  • Battery: 1000mAh