Nokia 5220 XpressMusic review: Funky-shape jukebox

GSMArena team, 16 October 2008.
Pages: 1234567

Unboxing the Nokia 5220

The Nokia 5220 retail box keeps away from the carbon copy design for most Nokia midrange phones and offers some bold colors. In terms of contents, you get a USB data cable, a stereo headset, a charger and a 512MB memory card. That's without counting all the paper and the Nokia PC Suite CD.

Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic
Nokia 5220 XpressMusic package contents

Not bad if you ask us, especially having in mind that the phone is nowhere near the expensive high-enders.

Nokia 5220 360-degree spin

Nokia 5220 banks on asymmetrical design to attract new customers to the brand. At 10.5mm, it's a really thin handset but the plastic build is not really impressive.

Design and construction

The most notable thing about the Nokia 5220 XpressMusic is its shape. The bizarre silhouette though is somewhat inconsistent with the utterly regular plastic body, which didn't manage to win our hearts.

The display of Nokia 5220 is a 2-inch 262K-color unit. Screen estate is relatively small but probably right for the price bracket, while QVGA resolution is quite welcome in this otherwise lower midrange handset. Unfortunately, the display is not the best we've seen from Nokia. The colors are not as vibrant as usual and viewing angles are not as wide as the ones of Nokia 5310 or 6500 classic for example.

Brightness levels are optimized by the ambient light sensor above the display. The backlighting of the keyboard is excellent and we have no complaints there.

Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic
The asymmetrical design gets the phone noticed display not as good as we're used to but QVGA is OK

Although the keypad looks are rather cheap, in reality it's quite usable, with high ergonomics. Typing is a breeze and wrong presses are almost completely ruled out.

At the very bottom of the front is a trademark accent of the Nokia 5220. The lanyard eyelet evolves from a mere commodity to a rare design element. The eyelet pierces through the whole body and you can literally see through the hole. It's a strange but overall nice solution - with the aluminum ring being a really nice touch.

Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic
Keypad has cheapo looks but is really comfortable lanyard eyelet like no other

On the right side of Nokia 5220 are the memory card slot and the volume keys. Both elements are so flush with the side panel that you can barely recognize them. That's another score for the Nokia design team.

Memory cards are supported of up to 8GB. We are really glad that Nokia has improved the microSD slot design and now it's accessible without removing the battery cover, unlike the Nokia 5310.

Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic
Memory card slot and volume keys on the right side are quite discreet

The left side of the device is home of the dedicated music keys. Right above them are the backlit key designations, which blink to the rhythm of the music provided that you enable the Music lights feature.

On the same side of the device, right at the top, is the charger port.

Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic
The actual music keys are flush with the side but the backlighting above is pretty expressive, especially in the dark

On the top side of Nokia 5220 is the 3.5mm audio jack, the microUSB port and the back cover release button. They follow the same unobtrusive design as the side mounted keys. While we are not that impressed with the plastic finish of Nokia 5220, we really enjoyed its ergonomics and practical design.

Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic
Topside you'll find the 3.5mm audio jack, microUSB port and battery cover latch

The back of the Nokia 5220 XpressMusic is quite upbeat with the prominent Nokia logo and the lanyard puncture. The nice rubbery feel of the plastic back panel and its texture provide a secure anti-slip grip.

The camera lens is here sided by a tiny red LED blinker that also lights up to any playing track. The only thing that lacks here is a flash, but since 5220 XpressMusic camera isn't a key selling point that's not such big a deal really.

At the bottom of the back panel you can see the grills of the stereo speakers.

Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic
The rubbery back with the camera lens and stereo speakers

The back panel is effortlessly removed once you release it with the latch that sits at the top. Underneath is the large Nokia BL-5CT Li-Ion battery. It has a capacity of 1020 mAh and it's another thing that beats the Nokia 5310.

The larger capacity battery is said to give Nokia 5220 up to 100 h more of standby time (406 h) and up to 4 h more of dedicated music playback time (24 h). The talk time is the same as the one on 5310 - up to 5 h 20 m.

In reality, we are pretty pleased with the battery life of Nokia 5220. A single charge got us through the whole reviewing routine - which in this case was about six days.

Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Nokia 5220 XpressMusic
Nokia 5220 offers excellent battery life

Next Page »

Pages: 1234567