Product Type: Nokia mobile phones
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Nokia 5530 XpressMusic
Member Name: Review_God
Nokia 5530 XpressMusic
Advantages: Brilliant value-for-money, tons of features
Disadvantages: Quirky user interface which can be difficult to understand
Enter Nokia. Known for their value-for-money, Nokia offers a huge variety of mobile devices. Recently their most expensive phones have been critised for not competing with the iPhones and Android devices that have popped up in the last couple of years, but I dare you to find an iPhone that costs less than £150. This is where Nokia excels.
The Nokia 5530 is a perfect example of such a phone. It isn't super thin, it's not that shiny, and it only has a small screen, but it can do nearly everything a phone three times it's price can do. SMS? Yup. MMS? Yup. Music player? Yup. Applications? Yup. Camera? Yup. Multiasking? Yup, and better than the iPhone can. However, there are drawbacks.
The Nokia 5530 runs an operating system called "Symbian S60", which has long been the most used in the world, but it does not sport a user interface as good as what the iPhone or Android can offer. There is no multitouch here, and no fancy transitions between menus. Occassionally the phone gets very slow, and you have to wait for it to catch up. Some times the menu options are confusing, and it's hard to figure out how to do things. However, once you get used to the quirks of the interface, this phone can be very powerful. I personally love the quirks of the phone - I think it makes it far more interesting to use!
The most important aspect of any phone should be it's ability to make phone calls, and the Nokia 5530 does this as you would expect, with good and clear call quality. The high quality stereo speakers mean that the speaker phone is a joy to use. Contacts are easy to store and search though - the phone features kinetic scrolling throughout, as well as a scroll bar which is useful for longer lists. Texts are equally is easy to use, though there is no threaded message view. Text input by a traditional keypad (with optional T9 prediction), or a full qwerty keyboard if you turn the phone sideways. One can get reasonably fast at typing using the qwerty keyboard - far faster than the keypad. There is also an option to write using the included stylus - the phone will convert your handwriting into text. In my experience this is a nice feature, but I haven't been able to get fast typing speeds using it.
There is no 3G on this phone so the internet will be slow to use out and about, however the phone has WiFi, which makes browsing very fast if you have a wireless network at home, or are at somewhere such as a coffee. The included web browser is not amazing but certainly gets the job done, and superior browsers (I recommend Opera Mobile) can be downloaded from the OVI store which provides both free and paid applications. The choice is not as large as the iPhone App Store, or the Android Marketplace, but there is plenty to keep one entertained and more apps are added constantly.
I'm not intending to write a novel so going over every feature is impossible, so I will mention only a few more and leave the rest for you to discover yourself. The camera on the phone I find is satisfactory - it takes good daylight photos but darkly-lit photos are often grainy, though the included LED flash does help with this. The photo browsing app serves it's purpose, with few frills. I find the music player a joy to use (This is advertised as a musc phone) with all the features you would find in an iPod, but with better sound quality than an iPod. The stereo speakers are very loud and very clear, though are muffled somewhat in a pocket. The clock, calculator and calender apps work as you would expect. Little touches such as the ability to mute ringers and alarms by turning the phone upside down are very intuative and very useful.
The phone itself is very attractive and solidly built, though the battery cover is slightly rattly. The screen is small at 2.9 inches, though it is very high resolution and very clear. The touchscreen is resistive, which means it is not responsive as some phones, but can be used with a stylus. The screen is also made of plastic, and not glass, which may lead to durability issues. The call and menu buttons are touch-buttons that work well. There are also volume and camera buttons along the side, and a MicroSD slot which is incredibly useful for storing photos and music.
All in all, the Nokia 5530 is very low priced, and packed full of features. If you want the best phone money can buy, this is not for you. It has it's issues, but if you want a decent phone for a reasonable price, I would completely recommend this phone.
Summary: Can do most of what a phone three times it's price can do, but with issues.
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