Nokia 5530 XpressMusic vs. 5800 XpressMusic: What’s the device for the masses?

1. October 2009 at 08:08

DSCF2510 by you.

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic was Nokia’s first touch-screen phone and has been shipped over 8 million times. The masses really like it’s low price, shape and features. A few months after the 5800 hit the market Nokia unveiled the 5530 XpressMusic which is in its roots almost the same device and dedicated to the same market. However, there are some costumers who are confronted with the tough question of: “Should I buy a 5530 or rather a 5800?” We took both touch-screen devices head to head. Here’s the result:

The size is indeed of great importance. A phone should be as handy as possible but should feature a big screen as well. Here’s where the 5530 scores its first point.

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It’s noticeably smaller, thinner and lighter than the 5800. The 5800 XM has no chance and feels compared to it’s smaller competitor chunky in the hand. Not only when holding both phones in the hand but also following figures tell how small the 5530 is: 5530’s 104 x 49 x 13 mm vs. 5800’s 111 x 51.7 x 15.5 mm tell the truth and nothing else. This point, however, doesn’t come without a downside. Compared to 5800’s 3.2-inch screen the 5530 displays pictures, web pages and the menu on a surface of 2.9-inches only. The difference is not disturbing but 3,2-inches are better for viewing videos or web pages. Nevertheless, the usability isn’t affected and you can use the entire phone using your finger. Looking at the front you notice the good looking stainless steal frame surrounding the 5530.  This looks indeed much better than 5800’s simple plastic frame. If 5530’s back would look the same Nokia would have done a great job.  However, it’s not a surprise that the battery cover isn’t as good as the front. Cheap plastic and your fingerprints everywhere! More over, the battery cover is really thin and loose and is in my easy one of the weak points of 5530’s hardware. Some users report that their battery cover is tight, other confirm my statement. Due to the loose battery cover the 5530 feels a little bit unstable when holding it in the hand. So, whereby the 5800’s has the better back the 5530 has the way better front. 5530’s slide lock works without problems but makes strange noise which shouldn’t be.

In terms of software both phones are based on S60 5th Edition. Thus the interface and applications are 95% the same. However, 5530’s software is a little bit superior as Kinetic scrolling is supported. This means, that you can scroll through long lists really easily. This however, will be added to the 5800 in due course. Something, I doubt will not be added, is the homescreen.

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(left: 5530 XpressMusic right: 5800 XpressMusic)

Although the 5800 XpressMusic has a customizable homescreen as the 5530 offers much more options to customize it. You can control your music from the homescreen, have up to 20 of your favorite contacts and 4 short cuts to applications on the homescreen. So 5530’s homescreen is offering more options and functions to access applications and contacts faster.

Well, now it’s time for the 5800 to score. Other than the 5530 the 5800 has a built in GPS ship which allows you to navigate through the world and to find always your current place. Although you can pair the 5530 with a separate GPS-module it isn’t as convenient as having it already built in. Then, a 8GB card is included in 5800 sales package whereas there are only 4GB on 5530’s side. As memory cards aren’t that expensive this ain’t a big minus point. Due to the little amount of space 5530’s battery is only 1000mAh. This is actually 320mAh less than the 5800 has. If you bear in mind that the 5530 has a smaller screen the difference isn’t as big. However the 5530 does not offer 3G UMTS which is a real shame. Regarding the camera both feature a 3.2 megapixel camera. While the 5800 has two LEDs the 5530 uses just one. In good light conditions the images of the 5800 XpressMusic come out better as the colour is more vivid. However, the 5530 isn’t bad at all. Unfortunately due to the missing Dual LED the 5530 isn’t as powerful as the 5800 in the dark. Here are some examples:

Left: 5530XM right: 5800XM

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In fact, these are the main differences. If you can live without GPS and 3G UMTS, then the 5530 is the best choice. It’s smaller, offers the same software and looks much better. Either then that, the 5530 XM is available under 200€ whereas the 5800 XM is priced around 240€.