Nokia 5530 XpressMusic review: Nokia 5530 XpressMusic

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good

Average User Rating

3.5 stars 2 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

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

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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.

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Where to Buy

Nokia 5530 XpressMusic

Part Number: CNETNokia 5530 XpressMusic

Typical Price: £190.00

See manufacturer website for availability.