Stress testing a Nokia 5530


For this review we decided to abuse a popular cell phone Nokia 5530 which is a reduction of a well-known Nokia 5800. The designers added some metal cover to the front of Nokia 5530, they improved firmware and worked out a new type of processor.

Due to these changes Nokia 5530 works faster and it is more user friendly than its predecessor 5800. The designers also decided to do without the bolts that screwed the front panel. We will get to know how all these changes affected the cell phone in the result of our field tests.
The results

Рiс. 1. The box

Рiс. 1. The box

The delivery set includes USB cable, software CD, charger and a good quality headset with jet-slot (Рiс. 2).

Рiс. 2. The delivery set

Рiс. 2. The delivery set

Рiс. 3. Nokia 5530 from the front

Рiс. 3. Nokia 5530 from the front

Рiс. 4. Nokia 5530, back side

Рiс. 4. Nokia 5530, back side

1. Ability to withstand light shocks

1.1 Drop down

Drop down test was performed in 2 steps: drop down on a soft type of surface (carpet with 5mm pile) and on the hard type of surface (ceramic tiles). The Nokia 5530 was sequentially dropped onto each face, edge and corner from a height of 1m on the carpet (video 1) and from a height of 30cm on the ceramic tiles (video 2).

The phone passed well. Drop down from this height even on a hard type of surface is not a problem. The only trouble which can happen is a loss of the stylus. It can be inertially dislodged when the phone is bumped.

The result: full survival, no damage was found

The grade for dropping on the soft type of surface: 30 from 30 possible

The grade for dropping on the hard type of surface: 30 from 30 possible

1.2 Wearout test

In order to know how the exterior of the Nokia 5530 can be changed in the course of time we put it into a centrifuge full of plastic balls, coins and keys for 5 minutes. It is like keeping the phone in a pocket with other things for a long time. The centrifuge rotated at a speed of about 500 rounds per minute. The cylinder radius was 75mm (video 3).

After the test we saw some changes. The back cover of our device got some scuffs and scratches, almost invisible due to the surface structure and a good quality plastic of which the handset is made. If you looked very carefully you could also notice some scuffs on the metal cover of the phone. But the touchscreen display was not damaged at all.

Generally, our device passed the test successfully (Рiс. 5-7).

Рiс. 5. Metal part of the phone after the test

Рiс. 5. Metal part of the phone after the test

Pic. 6. The phone edges after the test

Pic. 6. The phone edges after the test

Pic. 7. Back side after the test

Pic. 7. Back side after the test

The grade is 10 from 15 possible

1.3 Bend test

In the bend test we simulated the situation when a man sat on a hard chair with his phone in his back pocket. Actually we lowered down 1kg press on the device. Nothing happened, the phone passed with no problem. But the back side of the handset squeaked a little.

The grade is 16 from 24 possible

1.4 Squeeze test

The phone passed the squeeze test successfully. 3kg press did not damage our device.

The grade is 24 from 24 possible

1.5 Exposure to higher temperature

The higher temperature test is a good way to simulate the situation when the owner of the phone leaves it in the sun or nearby open flame.

We placed the Nokia 5530 at a distance of 5cm from the 60Wt lamp for 3 minutes.

The device worked perfectly afterward. The picture on the screen was as good as before.

The grade is 12 from 12 possible

1.6 Dust resistance test

We decided to check the dust resistance of the Nokia 5530 and therefore we put into a vacuum cleaner.

The result: the device is not safe enough from dust attacks. We saw much dust under the battery cover and even under the battery itself. The dust penetrated also into the SIM card slot and into the memory card slot. It was also difficult to clear the dust out of the gap between the metal frame and the display (Рiс. 8, 9, 10, 11).

Рiс. 8. The Nokia 5530 covered with dust

Рiс. 8. The Nokia 5530 covered with dust

Рiс. 9. The dust under the battery cover

Рiс. 9. The dust under the battery cover

Рiс. 10. The SIM card slot

Рiс. 10. The SIM card slot

Рiс. 11. The dust under the metal frame

Рiс. 11. The dust under the metal frame

The grade is 8 from 12 possible

1.7 Quality of the materials

The grade for the display is 15 from 15 possible (stage 1)
The grade for the display is 10 from 15 possible (stage 1)

For more details scroll to 3.9.

Overall score for the 1st stage of our stress test is 155 from 177 possible

2. Ability to withstand light shocks

2.1 Drop down

At this stage the Nokia 5530 is dropped down from a height of 1,5m on the soft type of surface (carpet with 5mm pile) and from a height of 50cm on the ceramic tiles.

The test helped us to find out that the battery cover is a weak part of the phone because it may come off. The battery also popped out (video 4, 5).

The grade for the drop down on the carpet is 20 from 30 possible

The grade for the drop down on the ceramic tiles is 20 from 30 possible

2.2 Wearout test

At this stage of the stress test we increased the time of the experiment up to 10 minutes. The result: a few more scratches, but no real damage found.

The grade is 15 from 15 possible

2.3 Bend test

At this stage of the stress test we increased the press up to 5kg. The device endured the test well (Рiс. 12).

Рiс. 12. Bend test (5kg)

Рiс. 12. Bend test (5kg)

The grade is 16 from 24 possible

2.4 Squeeze test

We increased the press up to 10kg. Result: no problems, the Nokia 5530 worked well.

The grade is 24 from 24 possible

2.5 Lower temperature test

This experiment can help us to find the drawbacks of the phone which was exposed to lower temperature. We put the device into a freezer for 2 hours (the temperature is -26.11 °F). The phone was in operating mode by the way.

In 2 hours we took the phone out and it worked. But the battery was low. Having being exposed to the extreme temperature the Nokia 5530 worked perfectly afterward. The picture was OK (Рiс. 13, video 6).

Рiс. 13. The Nokia 5530 in the box full of ice

Рiс. 13. The Nokia 5530 in the box full of ice

The grade is 18 from 18 possible

2.6 Higher temperature test

We placed the Nokia 5530 for 5 minutes at a distance of 5cm from the 60Wt lamp. The front metal part of the frame was so hot that we could not even touch the phone. After cooling the device was back in business. No damage was found. The phone passed well.

The grade is 12 from 12 possible

2.7 Water resistance test

Cell phones are often damaged when they get wet.

We dunked the Nokia 5530 under distilled water for a second. The water penetrated inside through the slots and it powered up the headset. The water got under the battery cover but failed to get under the battery itself (video 7). After we dried the device it worked well.

The grade is 20 from 30 possible

2.8 Dust resistance test

We put the Nokia 5530 into a vacuum cleaner for 5 minutes.

The dust penetrated not only into the SIM card slot and into the memory card slot but also into the USB port and under the screen (Рiс. 14, 15).

Рic. 14. Dust inside the slot

Рic. 14. Dust inside the slot

Рис. 15. Dust inside the camera

Рис. 15. Dust inside the camera

The grade is 8 from 12 possible

2.9 Quality of the materials

The grade is (step 2, the display) 5 from 15 possible

For more details scroll to 3.9

Overall score for the 1st stage of our stress test is 163 from 225 possible

3. Tough tests

3.1 Drop down

In this test the Nokia 5530 is dropped down from a height of 2m on the soft type of surface (carpet with 5mm pile) and from a height of 1m on the ceramic tiles.

The phone endured the drop down test. As in stage 2 the battery cover came off and the battery popped out. Some scratches appeared on the metal part of the handset. The drop down caused a small crack at the back side of the phone. After the test it was difficult to take the plug out of the USB slot. But the device functioned well (video 8, 9. Рiс. 16 – 18).

Рic. 16. Metal part of the handset is damaged

Рic. 16. Metal part of the handset is damaged

Рic. 17. A dimple on the metal frame

Рic. 17. A dimple on the metal frame

Рic. 18. The crack at the back side

Рic. 18. The crack at the back side

The grade for the drop down on the carpet is 20 from 30 possible
The grade for the drop down on the ceramic tiles is 20 from 30 possible

3.2 Wearout test

At this stage of the stress test we increased the time of the experiment up to 15 minutes. Result: the scratches became more visible. The dust which was inside the phone because of the dust test penetrated inside the light sensor. The metal part of the phone was not damaged (Рiс. 19 – 21).

Рic. 19. The dust inside the light sensor

Рic. 19. The dust inside the light sensor

Рic. 20. Small scratches at the corners

Рic. 20. Small scratches at the corners

Рic. 21. The metal part of the phone was not damaged at all

Рic. 21. The metal part of the phone was not damaged at all

The grade is from 10 from 15 possible

3.3 Bend test

At this stage we lowered down 10kg press on the device. When we bridged the Nokia 5530 across two holding stumps with its display down and pushed downwards we noticed a bend (Рiс. 22). But when the display was up there was no bend due to the metal part of the handset which protects the phone from bending (Рiс. 23). As in the previous bend test the battery cover squeaked.

Рic. 22. Bend test, the display down

Рic. 22. Bend test, the display down

Рic. 23. Bend test, the display up

Рic. 23. Bend test, the display up

The grade is 16 from 24 possible

3.4 Squeeze test

The press was increased up to 10kg. No damage was found. The device easily endured this test due to its design (Рiс. 24).

Рic. 24. Squeeze test

Рic. 24. Squeeze test

The grade is 24 from 24 possible

3.5 Exposure to higher temperature

We placed the Nokia 5530 at a distance of 5cm from the 60Wt lamp for 10 minutes. There appeared some small cracks on the lower part of the display, but the touch screen worked perfectly well which is surprising. At first the screen got dark but after the phone was cooled the color became as good as before (Рiс. 25, 26).

Рic. 25. The screen got dark

Рic. 25. The screen got dark

Рic. 26. Cracks on the touch screen

Рic. 26. Cracks on the touch screen

The grade is 4 from 12 possible

3.6 Water resistance test

We dunked the Nokia 5530 under distilled water for 20 seconds. The water powered up the headset. We could not unlock the phone. The slider stopped working. In general the device is not very water resistant. The weakest parts of the Nokia 5530 are the ports. Much water penetrates inside just through them (video 10, рiс. 27 – 30).

Pic. 27. Water under the SIM card cover

Pic. 27. Water under the SIM card cover

Pic. 28. Water under the loudspeaker cover

Pic. 28. Water under the loudspeaker cover

Pic. 29. Water inside the ports

Pic. 29. Water inside the ports

Pic.30. Water under the battery

Pic.30. Water under the battery

The grade is 20 from 30 possible

3.7 Immersion in beer

Cell phones are rarely dunked under beer but anyway we performed this interesting test. We dunked the Nokia 5530 in operative mode under beer for 10 seconds (video 9).  As in the water resistance test the headset was powered up. After we took the phone out of the beer it was still in operative mode but we could not unlock the phone because the slider did not function. There was much beer under the battery cover but little under the battery itself.

After this experiment we washed and dried the Nokia 5530 for an hour. After it we found out that we could not power up the phone and it did not respond to charging. In order to know the reason we took the phone apart. We found corrosion in the lower part of the board (near the slots). Beer contains substances that can cause it (Рiс.31, video 11).

Рiс. 31. Corrosion in the lower part of the board

Рiс. 31. Corrosion in the lower part of the board

After cleaning the Nokia 5530 it was back in business. It functioned well.

The grade is 3 from 9 possible

3.8 Dust resistance test

We put the Nokia 5530 into a vacuum cleaner for 10 minutes.  A lot of dust penetrated under the battery cover and the battery. Much dust was inside all the slots (protected and unprotected) which could break the device. Some dust penetrated even under the screen (Рiс. 32 – 35).

Рiс. 32. Dust under the battery cover

Рiс. 32. Dust under the battery cover

Pic. 33. Dust under the battery

Pic. 33. Dust under the battery

Pic. 34. Dust inside the SIM card slot

Pic. 34. Dust inside the SIM card slot

Pic. 35. Dust inside the USB port

Pic. 35. Dust inside the USB port

The grade is 8 from 12 possible

3.9 Quality of the materials

In order to check the quality of the materials of which the Nokia 5530 is made we used a nail. This experiment was divided into 3 stages. In the 1st stage we used 100g press, in the 2nd stage we used 300g press and in the 3rd 600g press. Result: 3 scratches on the phone screen.

The scratch made by 100g press was almost invisible on the display but a bit noticeable on the handset. The other two scratches were quite visible and it distorted the picture on the screen. At the back side of the device the scratches were not very deep but noticeable (video 12, 13; рiс. 36-38).

Pic. 36. Scratches

Pic. 36. Scratches

Рiс. 37. Scratches on the handset

Рiс. 37. Scratches on the handset

Рiс. 38. Scratches on the display

Рiс. 38. Scratches on the display

The grade for the display is 5 from 15 possible (stage 3)

3.10 Electrical overload

We decided to check how the Nokia 5530 could endure electrical overload.  At first we tested the charger. We closed the power supply terminals for a second when the charger was in operating mode. Video 14 shows that it did not damaged the phone.

The grade is 15 from 15 possible

Then we found out the voltage extremes of charging. For this we plugged the cable of the charger in the EPU and set the nominal charging power of 5 volts. Then we gradually lowered the power supply till the charging was over (video 15).

In order to find out the maximum voltage of charging we gradually increased the power supply. We also watched the state of the Nokia 5530 when we did it (video 16).

Minimum voltage of charging was 4 volts. But it must be noticed that such power supply could not charge the battery because the voltage of the full battery is about 4,2 volts.

Maximum voltage of charging was 8 volts. When we reached this the charging was automatically stopped in order to protect the phone.

The grade is 15 from 15 possible

Short circuit of the battery is a good test for a battery protection system. We closed the power supply terminals of the battery for a second (video 17).

As we thought the battery survived and passed the test.

The grade is 15 from 15 possible

In order to find out the power supply extremes we plugged in the controllable power supply instead of the battery and started increasing the voltage (video 18) up to 7 volts. Result: full survival. Then we lowered power supply to 3 volts. The phone was switched off.

The grade is 15 from 15 possible

3.11 Build quality test

In order to check the build quality of the Nokia 5530 and in order to find out the changes inside the phone caused by the stress test we took the device apart. When the front panel was removed (it was not screwed, it was on the latch) we saw a lot of dust which came inside through the ports and the gaps (рiс. 39). But the loudspeaker was not in dust (рiс. 40).

Due to the protective shields the board is quite rigid and it protects the electric circuits (рiс. 41). The processor chips are too big and it may cause problems when the device is bumped or bended. But for smart phones this is the normal size.

The Nokia 5530 is solid-state, with almost no moving parts and it is difficult to take the phone apart and repair it.

Рiс. 39. Dust under the face of the phone

Рiс. 39. Dust under the face of the phone

Pic. 40. The loudspeaker

Pic. 40. The loudspeaker

Pic. 41. The board

Pic. 41. The board

The grade is 20 from 30 possible

Overall score for the 3rd stage of our stress test is 215 from 306 possible

Conclusion:

The Nokia 5530 passed all the tests. Extremely high or low temperature is not a problem. It can easily survive in the pocket, even if you keep it there for a long time. Do not worry if you dropped it down. It will be in business. Due to its metal frame the Nokia 5530 will be ok if you sit on a hard chair with this phone in your back pocket and even if you tread upon it accidentally.

Beware of splashing and dust. There are a lot of slots and gaps which can let dust or water in. It can damage electrical and other parts of the device.

The board as in all Nokia cell phones is very well made. Electric protection system operates efficiently.

Overall score for the whole stress test is 533 from 708 possible
According to 100-rating scale the Nokia 5530 gets 75 points



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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Stress testing a Nokia 5530, 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Comment (1)

  1. Remi wrote::

    Thanks for the tests, now i know what my phone can handle.

    Just one small mistake: at the last test from “3.10 Electrical overload”, the video shows another phone.

    VA:F [1.9.15_1155]
    Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
    VA:F [1.9.15_1155]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
    Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 13:32 #
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