The Nokia 5500 Sport features a shockproof and splash-proof casing, and is targeted at the more active consumer. Measuring 107mm x 45mm x 18mm and weighing 103g, it is a compact handset and one of the smallest phones on the market running the S60 OS.
The Nokia 5500 Sport hardware has been designed to be impact, water and dust resistant and the casing is a mix of metal edging and rubber with no holes into which dust or water could get.
Features and specifications
The Nokia 5500 Sport is tri-band and features Bluetooth and infrared built in. It is small and light - 103g and 107 x 45 x 18mm. The standard version, which I had, comes with a rather measly 64MB microSD card which, in the interests of dust and water resistance lives under the battery. Inserting it is a must as it has some good extra software on board. There is a Music version of this handset which ships with a 512MB card.
The display is a 256k color screen with a resolution of 208 x 208 pixels, which seems quite small. However, the display is bright and clear with a good viewing angle. Importantly, it also performs well in direct sunlight; ideal for people who may be outside in the sun.
The 5500 Sport music player offers quite a few audio settings as well. Five preset equalizer settings, balance and reverb adjustment, stereo widening and bass boost are all available. The tapping function also works during a workout in sports mode; simply tap the keypad twice to receive voice alerts on your work out progress. Also, by tapping the keypad twice within 30 seconds of receiving an SMS, the 5500 will read out newly received messages and the word recognition still does a fairly notable job.
The 2MP camera on the 5500 Sport is adequate for the occasional photo, but not for much more. Video can be recorded with sound in QCIF (144 X 176 pixels) resolutions but the sound quality is poor. Photos can be saved to the 5500's 10MB of built-in memory, or to a microSD card located in the slot beneath the battery.
A 64MB microSD card is included, and this stores the languages and voices required for the text-to speech functions. If you want to use a larger capacity card you'll need to copy across this data before swapping. A USB cable is included in the sales package, along with an adapter which allows you to use a standard set of 3.5mm headphones. This also doubles as a hands free kit and controls for music playback.
As the 5500 Sport uses a smart phone interface, there are plenty of PIM functions as well including calculator, notebook, world clock, converter and file manager.
The biggest drawback of the 5500 Sport is battery life; the phone is rated at between two and four hours of talk time and 150 to 240 hours of standby time. If you regularly use the sport and music features (as the phone is designed to be used) then you'll have to recharge the phone every night, which is far from ideal.
The Nokia 5500 is the first truly durable and portable smartphone, but that durability inevitably brings certain restrictions with it.This is a decent smartphone in its own right and it's better than anything from previous smartphone generations, but obviously it has to be compared to other brand new models as well. The 5500 has been largely designed to work around you, rather than begging for your direct attention, and in this field it's absolutely great.
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