Nokia 5530 XpressMusic review: Nokia 5530 XpressMusic

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
Pricing Unavailable

Average User Rating

3.5 stars 2 user reviews

The Good Good sound quality; low price tag.

The Bad Small, resistive touchscreen; poor camera.

The Bottom Line The Nokia 5530 XpressMusic is significantly cheaper than most other touchscreen handsets on the market. While it's nowhere near as slick as the iPhone or HTC Hero, we still reckon it offers a good user experience for the price

Don't Miss

If you fancied the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic touchscreen phone but couldn't quite afford the steep asking price, the company has you in its sights with the 5530 XpressMusic. Available for about £140 on a pay-as-you-go deal from Carphone Warehouse, or for free on a £15-per-month contract, it can also be picked up for around £190 SIM-free. As such, it's one of the cheapest touchscreen phones around at the moment.

Cutting costs and corners
Nokia started its touchscreen ball rolling with the 5800, following that with the N97. Both of those handsets were at aimed at the premium end of the market, but its latest touchscreen phone is a much more affordable affair. To get the price down, though, Nokia has had to make some significant compromises.

The handset is very reminiscent of the 5800 in the terms of its overall design, but it's got a significantly smaller screen. Whereas the 5800 sported an 81mm (3.2-inch) screen, the 5530 has a 74mm (2.9-inch) display. That might not sound like much of a difference, but it's very noticeable when you actually use the device. Although the 5530's screen retains the same 640x360-pixel resolution, it's probably the smallest display you could get away with on a touchscreen device.

The 5530's touchscreen isn't bad, but it's no match for that of the iPhone or HTC Hero

The screen isn't the only compromise that's been made to keep the price down. Nokia has also chucked 3G support overboard, so you're reliant on GPRS or Edge connectivity when you want to use the impressive Web browser, which has limited support for Flash, while on the move. This is less of an issue at home or the office, as the handset still supports Wi-Fi. Another price-cutting casualty is GPS. There's still mapping support, but it has to rely on triangulation, which isn't anywhere near as accurate or fast at determining your position.

Touch unfriendly
Elsewhere, things remain pretty much unchanged. The handset runs the same S60 5th Edition operating system as the previous two Nokia touchscreen devices. It's easy enough to use, and the 5530's loaded with a decent array of applications, plus you can download more via the Ovi on-phone application store.

But the operating system doesn't feel like it's been built to handle touch input in the way that the iPhone OS and Android do. Matters aren't helped by the fact that the screen is resistive, rather than the capacitive type used on the iPhone and HTC Hero . The 5530 simply isn't as accurate at registering finger presses as those devices. Every now and again, you find yourself having to tap two or three times on an icon to get it to register properly. Also, there's no multi-touch support, so you can't pinch to zoom as you can on the iPhone and Hero.

Don't Miss

  • HP Stream 11.6

    Starting at: £176.13
    3.5 stars

    If you keep expectations in check, this bargain-basement Windows 8 laptop has good battery...

  • Tesco Hudl 2

    4 stars

    The Tesco Hudl 2 has the performance to keep all members of your family happy and doesn't...

  • Apple iPhone 6

    Starting at: £599.00
    4.5 stars

    It's got a bigger screen and works with Apple Pay. It lacks a battery boost, but it's...

  • Bose QuietComfort 25

    Starting at: £202.50
    4 stars

    The creator of the first industry-standard noise-canceling headphones returns with an...


Discuss Nokia 5530 XpressMusic

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy

Nokia 5530 XpressMusic

Part Number: CNETNokia 5530 XpressMusic

Typical Price: £190.00

See manufacturer website for availability.