Nokia 5220 XpressMusic Review

Introduction and Design

One of the latest additions toNokia’s XpressMusic series is Nokia 5220. The phone catches the eyewith a unique vision and affordable price. Like the rest of the devicesof the line, it targets the young music fans who want to enjoy theirfavorite tunes everywhere they go with a good sound quality.

The box contains:

  • Nokia 5220 XpressMusic
  • 512MB microSD card
  • Stereo headphones/handsfree with a 3.5 mm jack
  • Charger
  • microUSB cable
  • Hand strap
  • User’s guide
  • Software CD


The most impressive element in the design of the 5220 is its asymmetrical shape, which is a really nice solution and we like it a lot. The materials feel good to the touch and the it doesn’t slip off your hand.The device is compact and relatively light (78 g) which makes it pocket-friendly.

You can compare the Nokia 5220 XpressMusic with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The entire front is covered by a shiny material which is transparent on the edges and creates a nice effect. The 2” QVGA display is below it and we are a little disappointed because it supports only 262k colors and not 16 million like the previous entries in the series (the 5610 and 5310). Nevertheless, indoors the picture is still good and there’s almost no difference, but outdoors, in direct sunlight, it becomes difficult to read. Although all buttons look small, they are very easy to use and have a good tactile feedback.

The music controls- characteristic for most XpressMusic models- are located on the left side, and not near the display. They have light indicators, which can flash in the rhythm of the music if you activate the Music lights option. The opposite side houses the volume controls and the microSD slot. On the top we find the microUSB and 3.5 mm jacks, as well as the release button for the back panel. The last one is not very handy, because it doesn’t open the lid in full but only raises it and then an enormous amount of force is needed to remove it.


The 5220 runs on Symbian Series 40, which is  typical for Nokia’s non-smartphones. Here you’ll find its last fifth version with Feature Pack 1, which is slightly different than the one on the 5610 and 5310. You’ll be able to activate Active Standby on the home screen, to change the icon view in the main menu and choose between several preloaded themes, which fit very well the style of the phone.

The number of contacts in the phonebook is limited only by the free memory available. The organizer doesn’t bring any innovations either and it offers the functions standard for Series 40: calendar, calculator, To-do notes, notes, timer and countdown timer. Besides them, you have Nokia Maps, but in order to use it, you’ll need an external GPS unit and you’ll have to download free maps with the software of the manufacturer or via the Internet.

You’ll be able to receive SMS, EMS, MMS and e-mails as well. To make your life easier, the phone supports automatic settings for the most popular web mail servers such as Google and Yahoo.

The 5220 XpressMusic is a tri-band GSM device. It comes in two versions; for the US with 850/1800/1900 support and the European and Asian 900/1800/1900 variant. Since there’s no 3G support, you’ll have to rely on the EDGE speeds for Internet access. The standard WAP browser will disappoint you if you want to load heavy pages. Luckily, you also have the popular Opera Мini, which doesn’t have such problems and is user-friendly.


On the back of the phone we see a 2-megapixel camera without autofocus or flash. We know its interface is very well and it’s easy to use, but let’s get to the point. What results do you expect from a 100% music phone? The pictures are terrible, the brighter areas are pixilated and the detail level is very low. You are able to record videos in the low QCIF resolution, which are also with bad quality and we don’t think they are good enough even for MMS.

Music player:

We finally got to the most important and interesting function of the 5220, namely its music player. Once more, there are no changes in contrast to the 5610 and 5310. The songs can be sorted by playlists, artists, albums and genres, and in addition, you have the option to see only the available videos.

The interface is slightly modernized and now the indicators take up a larger part of the screen, and if you have uploaded an album cover it appears in the background. The options still let you select from the preloaded equalizers or to set two of your own, but the new thing here is that you can control the Music lights effect. We actually have no complaints and are happy with the player, because it can be used even by new users trouble free.

There’s also an FM radio with RDS, which is fast to work with as well. In order to use it however, you’ll need to have the handsfree plugged in, because it acts as an antenna.

The sound quality is one of the most important factors for a music phone. The 5220’s loudspeaker is quite strong and the music sounds good. Somehow, this makes us expect more from the headphones that come in the package, but we felt like they were a little weak (probably due to the lack of insulation which to block external noises). Otherwise, the sound quality is at a very good level, and that’s exactly what the music fans are looking for. If something is not up to your taste, you can always use the 3.5 mm jack to plug a different set.


We were happy with the operating speed of the Nokia 5220 XpressMusic and only need to say that there’s a slight lag during the menu transitions and upon starting an application, but that wasn’t annoying.

During a call, the voices are real and loud at both ends of the line, but that makes them sharp and unreadable at times. Quality wise, you can get better results by turning the volume down by 1 or 2 levels.

Nowadays,  a long-lasting battery is a must for a music-oriented phone. Nokia’s 5220 is not an exception and according to the official data it should last about 5 hours of talks or 406 in stand by. Most importantly, you’ll be able to listen to music 24 hours non-stop, which is very good.


The market is flooded with various music phone models and you could easily miss the 5220 XpressMusic, because you might think that its design is a result of a designer’s mistake. The asymmetrical shape and the aggressive image of the phone are more appropriate for the young audience, looking for good music sound quality at an affordable price.

Is it worth the money? We think it is and we believe that it’s a very good combination of price and quality for a music phone. Otherwise, the 5220 is nothing special. The older 5310 is an alternative option offering the same sound quality for music listening and a better display, but it has a standard shape. If you’re looking for more options, take a look at the “smart” 5320 also by Nokia, which on the other hand has very uncomfortable buttons. It’s a hard choice, isn’t it?


  • Unique, asymmetrical shape and vision
  • Light and easy to carry
  • Good sound quality and long-lasting battery for music listening


  • Unusable display in direct sunlight
  • Bad camera
  • Hard to remove back lid

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

4 Reviews

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