As you can imagine, media is well catered for on the Nokia 5530 XpressMusic, with a dedicated music player, two video players and games all present and correct, and they provide some decent performance in this budget phone.
While it might not set your world alight in terms of sound quality or functionality, the music player on the Nokia 5530 XpressMusic is good in its own right, enough for you to use this solely as a (fairly expensive) PMP.
You can sort through the tracks by artist, genre, album and so on, and see the artwork for said song when playing it back. There are a few little options to help make the sound a bit better (for example, Stereo Widening, Equaliser settings) but they're not really going to change the way you use this phone as a music player.
The music player will also still work in the background and give you some basic dedicated keys on the home screen when you exit the program and pootle around doing other things on the phone - it's touches like this that make the 5530 XpressMusic so usable on the whole.
The stereo speakers at either end of the phone are impressive too, with some decent sound quality coming out when placing the phone on the table to share your tunes with some friends. We're not convinced this is a good thing, as more often than not people decide to share their music with you even when you don't want them too; although if it's going to happen, it might as well sound good,
There's also a radio (which plays FM tracks, and not a lot more) and a podcasting application, where you can download and store your favourite soundbites. It's not that UK friendly though, as a simple search for 'football' gives you options for the American version (not the proper one, sadly).
We were delighted and disappointed by the video options on the 5530 XpressMusic, as while you can watch all your videos back via the Video Centre or RealPlayer (and in fairly good quality on the near-VGA touchscreen), there appears to be a certain resolution you have to adhere to.
While the box claims to play back MP4 and 3GP, the former has a variety of codec formats out there, and only certain ones will play on the phone. There appears to be a limit of around 300x212 pixels, but we're not going to go into detail here, as most simply won't care about it.
Suffice to say a few music videos we like to watch on our phones didn't work, and although the device had a go at playing back only the audio (which softened the blow somewhat) it still doesn't give you that much faith in the 5530 Xpressmusic's multimedia device.
The 2.9-inch screen is oddly watchable though, but don't expect to marathon through all three Lord of the Rings films on there (despite a 4GB microSD card thrown in for good measure) as it's just too cramped. But the phone is a nice size for holding, so assuming you find the right format to put the file on to the phone, it's not a bad option for a casual video watcher.
Hidden away in the Applications section are two neat little games that you can play to keep yourself amused in the wee small hours. Bounce is a children's-style game, where you drag your finger through a 3D course, pulling a small sac of bouncy fluid along with you to follow a story. Think Sonic but cutesier and, well, more about bouncing balls.
The other option, Global Race: Raging Thunder (which sounds like it was named through a translation machine) is an accelerometer based game where you twist the phone to turn the car. It's got some decent-ish graphics, fairly in-depth game play, but is a little too sensitive on the controls.
And unless we're just rubbish at it, all the cars we drive are freakishly slower than the others. Well, that's our excuse and we're sticking to it.