Nokia 5220 XpressMusic in-depth review -

Look and feel

A retro design, the fascia is predominantly black but with a choice of red, green or blue trimming.

Ease of use

Nokia’s are generally easy to get to grips with and the 5220 is no exception – particularly as there are few features to complicate matters.

Features

The music player is the star feature, while it can’t compete with those on top-end handsets it does an excellent job for the price point. Thumbs up for including a 3.5mm headset port, too.

Performance

The camera gave a disappointing performance and, if you are looking for an all-rounder, there are better handsets on the market.

Battery life

Battery life was average.

Verdict

As a music phone the Nokia 5220 XpressMusic is an excellent choice, particularly for the price. Just don’t expect too many extras.

 Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Review -
3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/12/2011 3:55:03 PM

4

out of 10

Performance

6

out of 5

Look and feel

8

out of 5

Ease of use

4

out of 5

Features

6

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

The Nokia 5220 XpressMusic delivers on the musical fronts with a good music player and the inclusion of a 3.5mm headset port.

Cons:

The disappointing camera is heightened by the fact that there is instant access to Flickr.

Music is an integral part of Nokia’s campaign for mobile dominance, which has seen the emergence of a range of phones under the XpressMusic banner. The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic may be taking all the headlines, but the depth to this array of handsets is far greater than simply the all powerful touch-screen device. The Nokia 5220 XpressMusic is a supporting act with a price tag and looks that are bound to appeal to the Skins generation, and maybe a few older folk too.

Sporting a retro design, the 5220 comes in three different colours. The fascia is predominantly black, but you have a choice between red, blue and green trimming. Our review sample was the green model, which also boasts a garish white back cover. However, it wasn’t only the colour that made us wince; while the front of the handset is polished and sleek, this back cover feels very creaky and, we’d guess, would only require a pull at the wrong corner for it to snap.

The 5220 is asymmetrical, despite its candybar design, with the right-hand corners of both the top and bottom shaved off, giving it a squashed ‘D’ look. The keypad is spacious enough, though we would have preferred it a little more raised. Down the left hand side of the phone are three dedicated music controls; hit the play button to listen to the last track played. Just above these keys is a neon symbol that illuminates to indicate what each button does.

Impressive music offering

Nokia earns Brownie points for including a 3.5mm headset jack. Admittedly, this is a music phone, but it’s still frustrating to see so many manufacturers refusing to give you the option of plugging in your own set of cans. The jack is found at the top, which makes it far easier to house the phone in your pocket when your headphones are plugged in, than if it were on the side.


The music player, while not the best we’ve heard, is certainly better than average. Change the modes depending on the type of genre you’re listening to, or create your own by changing the equaliser levels. There’s also a stereo widening option that produces a fuller sound in both ears.

Although the music credentials get the thumbs up, the same cannot be said of the two-megapixel camera. There is no dedicated key, which means you’ll have to go through the menu and media folder to access the camera. There is also no flash, so no chance of any night time or even low light shots; even in good light, the photos looked drained of colour. It’s a shame, as Nokia has been good enough to include instant access to photo uploading site Flickr. With a maximum recording time of just 40 seconds, the video recorder doesn’t fair much better.

Mediocre data speeds

Internet wise and with only EDGE and GPRS data speeds available, this phone is very much geared towards the sporadic surfer rather than the ‘hardcore changing your Facebook status 10 times per day’ kind of person.

The 5220 XpressMusic is far from an embarrassment to Nokia. As a music phone it ticks all the boxes, and its quirky design is bound to hit the right note with a younger audience. However, those wanting a more well-rounded device may want to look further afield.