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Phones

Photos: Hands-on with the Nokia 5220 XpressMusic

We've got a Nokia 5220 and our hands have been all over it. After 48 hours of using this new music phone, we've got some early opinions to share, and a boat-load of photos

Our first liaison with Nokia's 5220 was back in April at a Nokia Comes With Music event. It might not come with music, but the 5220 does come with corners. Weird asymmetrical ones. It's an unusual-looking tri-band music phone, aimed obviously at the teen market.

We've just been sent one, so we've slipped into our Linkin Park t-shirt and black make-up, and stepped back into the life of the target market.

The inclusion of a top-mounted standard 3.5mm headphone socket won the phone serious brownie points, as did the inclusion of a dedicated music chip for better-than-average audio, which certainly seemed better than average during our initial tests through Shure SE530 earphones. We'll have a huge rundown of audio performance in our full review, as usual.

In the box is a 512MB microSD card for expanding the 30MB of internal memory, and cards up to 2GB are supported. Don't you dare try and insert your 8GB memory card -- that would displease Nokia greatly.

MP3s are supported, of course, along with WMA and AAC, but in our initial testing, DRM-protected WMA files would not sync using any of our traditional methods. We should have an update on this in our full review, but it wasn't a promising start.

Drag-and-drop management of files through Windows makes file transfer easy, but you can also sync the phone using Windows Media Player or Nokia Media Manager. Both seem to work fine, apart from the transfer of copy-protected music files.

We've had a couple of days to play with the 5220, and up to now we're reasonably keen. The screen's pretty decent, a 2-megapixel camera is average but acceptable, the keypad is well designed for speed texting, and the Series 40 software interface makes browsing as simple as on most modern Nokias -- it's a friendly little phone.

In an interesting and impressive move, the terrific Opera MiniWeb browser comes pre-installed, making this a nippy browsing device, despite the lack of 3G or HSDPA. Pages load in just a few seconds. It's no iPhone, but it's light years ahead of the standard browsers that come bundled with most phones.

48 hours with a phone is nowhere near long enough to make a conclusive verdict, but you can expect that in our full review, due very soon. So far, though, despite not being ground-breaking or anything more than a typical Nokia rehash of existing designs and feature sets, it's a nifty little music phone for teens.

Click through the next few pages for a few close-up photos. -Nate Lanxon

A decent keypad makes for easy texting.

Many manufacturers could learn a lesson here: music phones need 3.5mm headphone sockets.

Dedicated music keys sit on one side, volume controls on the other.

The backside is, frankly, bloody horrible. But that's just our opinion.

Traditional layouts in the media menus make navigation of music very simple...

...and a decent 'now playing' screen offers clear track info.