Nokia 5630 XpressMusic Review

3. July 2009 at 19:55

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The Nokia 5630 XpressMusic has been announced silently. Nevertheless, Nokia don’t need to hide the 5630 XpressMusic as it offers some nice features. Let’s take a clover look at the device.

Main advantages:

  • compact and slick
  • 3.5mm audio jack and dedicated music keys
  • Comes With Music Service

Main disadvantages:

  • camera without auto focus
  • Nokia Messaging not preinstalled
  • battery with 860mAh

Sales package:

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Out of the box the 5630 Xpress Music comes with:

  • Batery with 860mAh (BL-4CT)
  • pouch
  • microUSB charger (AC-10E)
  • microUSB cable (CA-101D)
  • headset remote (AD-54)
  • 4GB microSD card
  • headphones
  • Comes With Music pin
  • Comes
  • With Music CD
  • N-Gage activation code
  • Manuals

That’s a lot and pretty much all you need. The pouch as well as the N-Gage activation aren’t regularly. Frankly, the microUSB cable is just 10cm and is so to short. Comes With Music, Nokia’s music flatrate, is also included with this edition. However, not all 5630 come with this service.

Size:

The candybar device is indeed really small and handy. It measures 112 x 46 x 12 mm and is so really slim and fits perfect in every jacket or pocket. Due to it’s size and weight of 83 grams it’s feels comfortable in the hand.

Keys:

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On the front there are 23 keys. As usual 12 of them are the usual numeric keypad keys. The 11 others are:

  1. Left soft key
  2. Right soft key
  3. Red-end key
  4. Green-answer key
  5. Clear key (powerbutton)
  6. Menu-key
  7. OK, the middle of the d-pad
  8. Up on the d-pad
  9. Down on the d-pad
  10. Left on the d-pad
  11. Right on the d-pad

All keys are arched so that you can even hit the smallest keys, clear- and menubutton. The pressure point of the keys is good and you get to hear a nice click when pressing the buttons. However, the click noise of the dpad is louder than the other clicks. Frankly this is a little bit to loud and it may be annoying when you try to use your handset in a waiting room. All in all the usage of the keys is easy but if you have really fat fingers you may struggle with the softkeys and the keys below them. The red-end keys also works as the powerbutton. Press and hold it for three seconds and you turn off/on the device.

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On the left hand side, on the upper part, there are the three dedicated music keys. Using these keys you can easily start the music player, play a song, pause it, skip it, rewind and fast forward. They are placed at the perfect place as you can reach the keys with your thumb.

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Going to the right hand side we have the volume toggle to adjust the volume as well as zooming in and out. On the very end there is the camera button to activate the camera and to capture a picture or to record a video.

Built quality:

As all devices form the XpressMusic range also the 5630 is built out of plastic and you als can feel it when holding it in the hand. Nothing special about the built quality to mention. However, it feels solid but sometimes the housing creaks a little bit.

Multimedia:

In terms of memory the 5630 has 74MB of internal memory and comes with a 4GB microSD card. Of course you can expand the memory to up to 16GB. 4GB are enough for more than 800 songs. The 2.2” screen has a QVGA (240 x 320 pixels) resolution and displays 16 million colours. Unfortunately it’s only 2.2” instead of 2.4” which is more common nowadays. So, viewing images, videos or web pages isn’t as good as on bigger screens.  Anyway, it’s really bright, the contrast is fine.

Music:

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As the name already hints the main focus is without a doubt the music function. Like all mp3 players also the 5630 has a standard 3.5mm audio jack on the top. So you can use pretty much all headsets you like. More over, the volume toggle as well as the dedicated music keys make it easy to control the musicplayer.

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The music player is the standard player you can find on all S60 devices. However, saying that it’s standard doesn’t mean that it’s nothing special. You can browse your song by artists, albums, genre or composers. Of course you can see all songs, podcast or the most played or recent added songs. If you wish, you can search music also using the ‘Music search’. Just say a title or artist and it will search the song and playback it. Once opened a song you see title, artist, the progress bar, music buttons and a album art (if available). This albumart is, however pretty small although there is enough room for a bigger album art. As already mentioned you can control the song via the dedicated music keys or using the d-pad. Creating a playlist, choosing between six different equaliser modes, creating a new equaliser mode or turning the shuffle mode on and off are no problem at all. If you like to playback the music via the speaker you can do it of course.

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The mono speaker sits on the back of the device. It’s loud and the quality is fine as well. The 5630 supports following audio formats: AAC, AAC+, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, AU, eAAC+, M4A, MIDI Tones (poly 64), Mobile XMF, MP3, MP4, RealAudio 7, 8, 10, SP-MIDI, True tones, WAV, WMA and WVE.

In many countries the 5630 XpressMusic is also available as a Comes With Music device. That means that you can download as much music via your 5630 or via your PC. Further information regarding comes with music can be found here.

Camera:

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On the back of the device we have a standard 3.2 megapixel camera without autofocus. This camera matches to the overall feeling of the 5630. It’s a midtier handset for someone who doesn’t needs the latest technology. Next to the camera lens there are the two LEDs for better pictures in low light conditions. Pressing and holding the camera button for three seconds the camera applications starts and you are ready to go.

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If you like you can choose between different scene modes like portrait or sport, set a self timer or switch to the panorama mode. This panorama mode allows you to take pictures of your surroundings with up to 360 degrees. The 5630 is no replacement for your standard camera as it doesn’t take brilliant pictures. Here are some image samples:

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Recording video clips is also possible at a quality of 640 by 480 pixels with 15 frames per seconds. Also in video mode you have several settings to choose from. Turning on the video light, set the white balance or choose the colour tone – all no problem.

Gaming:

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Unfortunately no games have been pre-installed but therefore N-Gage is ready to go so that you can start using Nokia’s gaming platform right away. The games aren’t for free but you can play free trial version of all games. In the box you find one activation code so that you can take a game for free. The spectrum of games is pretty big and some are also really good but all in all the games didn’t blow me away.

Connectivity:

GSM, WCDMA, GPRS, HSDPA and HSUPA, these are the supported frequency and data bands. More over it supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0 and also microUSB 2.0. All connections worked fine. Moving a 100MB big file took 1 minute and 34 seconds. You can charge it also via USB cable on the PC. With WiFi or 3G you can start surfing the web. However, due to the small display you need to scroll and zoom quite a lot. Nevertheless, the browser works really good, displays the websites like on the desktop and shows also flash content, like youtube, without problems. If you like to create and retrieve e-mails you can use either the simple client or install Nokia messaging. Why cannot Nokia install it and why does the user need to install it? Anyways, creating a email account is really easy. You just need to enter your email address as well as the password. However, that doesn’t work with little domains like symbianworld.org or other private domains.

The 5630 XpressMusic also comes with several internet based applications like Facebook, MSN, My space or share online. Share online allows to upload data to services like Flickr, Ovi or Vox.

Homescreen:

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The homescreen becomes more and more important. 5630’s display seems to be small but nevertheless you can place quite a lot things on it. Besides a contacts bar for up to 20 of your favorite contacts you can have your e-mail notification, WiFi plugin, calender entries, Ovi Chat plugin as well as shortcuts to 6 applications on it. Of course you can hide all of them or just a few. To each contact you can select a picture. Clicking on a picture it reveals a history of the latest text messages and phone calls. To every contact you can assign a RSS feed either from your webbrowser or enter it manually. Other than these things the homescreen shows also standard things like the current profile, time and date.

Business:

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In terms of business abilities it’s offering a fully functional calendar, a Zip application, notes, converter, Adobe PDF, calculator, a dictionary and a viewer for office files like word, exel and power point. These files, however, cannot be edited. If you wish to do so you need to upgrade your version wish isn’ for free.

Usage:

The 5630 is based on the popular operation system Symbian. It’s running on S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2. Thus it’s open to 3rd party application offering you thousands of applications to download. More over, you can personalize the whole device from the homescreen until the whole menu structure. You can decide whether you want to have the homescreen completely blank, with shortcuts or whether you want to have a grid or list view in the menu. Moving around icons and creating new folders is no problem and with themes you can give your phone a final touch. However, for a new user it’s pretty tricky to find into the menu. I’ve seen a lot user pressing the navigation key to get access to the menu which is the wrong way.

After pressing the home key you can find plenty of icons and some folders. For some new users there might be to many folders and applications. The icons already say what they stand for and furthermore you can read the application’s name. Unfortunately, some icons look like application although they are subfolders you need to open to access more applications. So some applications might be hidden for the first time. The 5630 has a  fast ARM 11 600 MHz CPU which causes a nice working speed. Indeed, it’s working really fast. Nice transitions, which are switched off by default, make the menu even nicer. A setup after the first booting will help you setting up your email account, transfer your data from previous Nokia phones and create you the right access points.

Verdict:

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The slick 5630 XpressMusic offers a standard camera and good music features. Especially combined with Comes With Music this device will be a must have for every music fan. Other than that the battery life isn’t as good as it could be. The price point is about 270€ without Comes With Music. If you’re searching  a good midtier device for your child or for yourself the 5630 XpressMusic can be a good choice.