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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.

Nokia 5630 XpressMusic sample video at 640x480 pixels resolution

Gallery unifies all videos and snapshots. If you have a picture on the whole screen and want to browse to the next one, a reduced preview window pops up and when you select the other one it will smoothly go to full screen again.

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.

It’s a shame, but despite the manufacturer’s promise, the Nokia 5630 XpressMusic has failed to impress us with audio quality. The loudspeaker doesn’t pack much punch and music coming out of it is sharp and unpleasant. The boxed pair of earphones won’t wow you with unsurpassed quality either. Loudness cannot be compared to what a second generation iPod nano delivers and sound gets displeasingly sharp if you turn the volume up or switch on the equalizer. It’s good that sound quality gets substantially better the minute you plug in a pair of decent headphones, so you may come to want to make good use of the 3.5 mm jack indeed.

The preloaded Real Player delivers MPEG4/H.264 and H.263 video playback, but the thing is videos with resolution width of over 320 pixels stutter heavily and the 2.2-inch screen is not really fit for watching videos anyway.

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