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Nokia 5630 XpressMusic Review

 

Nokia 5630 XpressMusic Review

 
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Interface and Functionality:

As we mentioned at the beginning, the Nokia 5630 XpressMusic is a smart phone powered by Symbian S60 3rd Edition with Feature Pack 2. We can think of at least a dozen other phones running the same operating system, but it’s the first time we have seen a new home screen, aside from the standard vertical and horizontal icon rows. It’s called “contact bar” and looks quite similar to the one on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic that runs Symbian S60 5th Edition. As its name suggests, up to 20 contacts can be visualized on the screen and appear there with their assigned pictures. Selecting any turns call history and any messages you may have exchanged on screen. The same function is used to follow RSS broadcasts. Say, you create an entry, name it phoneArena then you can assign it a web-feed so as to see news updates right away.

There is an info field below the contacts that, by default, notifies you of new emails. A shortcut to the Ovi chat service that you can, logically, get on through your Ovi account is to be found right below. You can replace the latter with a Wi-Fi scanner or a function that shows timeslots of your daily schedule, provided you have filled in your Calendar. Unfortunately, all three cannot be visualized at the same time. There is the option to place a row of icons at the bottom to gain quick access to audio player, radio, internet browser, Internet searches, N-Gage web portal and phone gallery.

As you can see, most of the apps on the home screen are to do with the Internet. This is pretty normal, given the Nokia 5630 XpressMusic is much more than a music device. A quick look at the menus should be enough to convince you this is a device that can be easily used on social networks plus you will be able to feast your eyes on the new, pleasing icons, much in character of the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. Shortcuts to Facebook, MySpace and Hi5 in the phone are located in the internet menu along with options to share files through YouTube and Ovi Share. You can connect to the Web via 3G (HSDPA 3.6Mbit/s) or Wi-Fi. The Symbian browser is really good and opens even heavy pages without any issues but it cannot play general Flash content, despite the fact YouTube videos are supported.

Camera and Multimedia:

The Nokia 5630 XpressMusic features a “Full Focus” camera that, according to the manufacturer, should be able to take pictures really fast, thanks to a technology that improves on focus field depth, called “enhanced depth of field”. This also means all objects are supposed to be always in focus, no matter their relative position depth. In reality pictures are taken almost instantaneously, although the end result is similar to what standard fixed focus length cameras deliver. Its interface is simple, but there is this nice option to choose what shortcuts appear on the band on your right hand side, so you don’t end up with icons brimming all over. Interface also allows taking of panoramic pictures, picking one of the presets, shooting in sequence mode, adding color effects, changing white balance or exposure etc. and the flash features red eye removal.

Snapshots taken outdoors are passable in terms of overall quality, although details tend to be a bit blurrier than in pictures taken with the Sony Ericsson C510 that features autofocus camera. Colors look unrealistic though (violet sky). Indoor pictures are much noisier, but if you come to use the flash you will see almost no difference between snaps taken in bright or dim light conditions. Unfortunately, quality of pictures taken in places without enough light plummets to a rather low level.

Video is captured at 640x480 pixels and 15 frames per second and the device seems to catch environmental noise pretty well too. If you are about to take a video of someone who is speaking, we do recommend you get as close as you can and not more than a meter away, otherwise the voice may be intelligible.

The audio player on Symbian devices is not something to brag about in front of your fiends, that’s for sure. If the album art gets recognized eventually, it will appear magnified on screen. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. There is an equalizer and you can fiddle with its settings, plus you have the options to enhance basses and expand stereo output.

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