Nokia 5530 XM Review

Great phone + music player for the price
Been playing with the phone for several days and I absolutely love it for the $199 I paid. Of the features I was interested in, here are my opinions on them:

very easy to setup this unlocked phone -- I took a SIM card from a Tmobile prepaid phone and inserted into this nokia and it self-configured everything for me (a relief for me as this was my first time buying an unlocked phone). Now that I know the cell coverage is good in my brick-walled condo, I'll swap this SIM card for a cheap $30 Tmobile monthly plan SIM card, and fully expect this to be a quick swap

perfect size -- fits in a shirt or pants pocket easily, is lightweight, and easy enough for my stubby fingers to hold and operate. hard to operate this with gloves on though (e.g., on a ski slope)

music player and FM player are *very high* fidelity, especially compared to other players out there. A couple of caveats though -- the earphones that come with it are only average for sound quality, and I get much higher fidelity sound using my other set of compact Sony headphones. Also, from what I can tell, the FM radio only works with headphones on -- you can't use the built-in speakers for radio. The built-in speakers are a lot better in fidelity than other phones/players I've tried, but obviously this device is too small to accurately replicate bass using its built-in speakers. Bass is fine with good headphones though.

WLAN capability is fantastic. With free WLAN everywhere, it's by far the cheapest way to access the net through the phone without a data plan (recall I'm doing this with a prepaid SIM card). Note that the phone supports 2G (and not 3G), but with WLAN being much quicker downloads (e.g., 2-3 sec delay to start playing youtube videos) and usually free, I'm not interested in 3G. video quality was surprisingly good for such a small device. Reading email on yahoo was pretty easy, but required a few too many clicks too navigate within yahoo -- I wouldn't want to go through 40 email with this, but it's fine to scan my daily email and reply to just a few email. I had been planning on buying a nettop and WLAN scanner as well, but this phone already does both of those functions well enough for me so I won't be buying either anymore.

instruction guide that came with it could really use some work. if you're new to Nokia (like me), it was tougher to figure out than other cell phones I've used (sony ericsson, motorola, and panasonic). the back cover is annoyingly badly designed as others have remarked, and the instructions were nearly useless for getting that cover off and back on again. i'll probably seek out google searches for this device before i use the instruction guide in the future.

comes with 4G memory card, but the slot is in a bit of an odd place. my other phones usually kept it in the back with the SIM card and battery, but this places it in the side. it's really an odd design, but since I don't plan to swap memory cards all too often, not a huge issue for me.

battery life is average. my previous sony ericsson gave me a 10 hour talk time, and this phone probably gives about half that, and even less if you go crazy with WLAN, etc. so i'll probably end up buying a second charger so I can keep one at work and home (I listen to music all day at work with it)

phone lacks AM radio and GPS. sports broadcasts are often on AM -- would have liked if they added that in. GPS would have been nice, but alas, all these things would have probably raised the price too

overall, i'm really happy with this phone given its price -- it gives me all the features I really need without forcing me in to expensive cell phone data plans with the wireless companies. its music player capabilities beat out even the $400 phones/players, and if you're willing to live without a few features, this is a great phone for the price -- plus you won't feel as bad if you damage it. This review is from: Nokia 5530 XpressMusic Unlocked Phone with Touchscreen--U.S. Version with Warranty (White)


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