Nokia's 5500 Sport might seem like a real oddity if you are not the sporty type. It has facilities for monitoring your sporting activity and you can even download some software for your PC that lets you analyse data gathered by the phone.
If you are a heavy-duty sports enthusiast you'll definitely need to add a GPS unit if you want the 5500 Sport to track distance travelled during sporting activities properly, and even then the 5500 Sport might not meet your needs as it lacks things like a heart rate monitor, which would benefit those in serious training.
For the mildly energetic, however, this phone could be a good starting point, allowing you to trade up to more expensive and sophisticated kit at a later date.
The Nokia 5500 Sport is a small and tidy handset aimed at those who want to record and monitor their exercise but don't fancy the idea of buying additional kit to do so.
To that end the handset is clad in a casing which makes it water, shock and dust resistant (we don't suggest you go swimming while wearing it, but it should withstand the perspiration generated by activities like jogging).
The front part of the casing is made largely of rubber and the keys are built into this rather than being separate, presumably to keep dust as well as sweat out of the handset's innards. The Call and End keys are not separate buttons, but are built into the styling of the phone -- they look like small raised design features beneath each of the softmenu buttons.
There is more rubber along with metal around the edges of the casing. The back is tough plastic with yet more metal on the battery cover. We suppose the weird battery cover is part of the anti-dust protection, but it is a pain to get on and off because you need a coin or small screwdriver to manage the lock -- not any coin will do, we found anything thicker than a 5p piece was simply too thick to turn the lock.
The screen is tiny at just 30mm square. For some purposes it is fine, and the software that's dedicated to sports uses large fonts so the screen size is not a problem at all, but if you want to do things like browse the Web or use relatively complex third-party applications, you might find it too small.
On the basis that you are going to want music while you exercise, there's a button on the upper-right edge of the casing that switches between the built-in music player, the training software and the handset's today screen. A rather nice touch is that the wallpaper and navigation pad backlight change colour as you switch between these three modes.
For this handset to work as a sports tool you need to use the provided belt clip and carry the Nokia 5500 around your waist. We found detaching it to make and answer voice calls a bind, preferring a pocket as the storage place for our phone.
The software on the handset is preset for several activities: walking, running, cycling, rowing and stair stepping. Once you've told it your age, weight and height -- so that it can work out calories burned and so its built-in pedometer can use an average measurement for stride distance -- you can start to exercise. You can't calibrate it directly, but if your stride is unusually long or short, you might be able to fine-tune it by lying about your height.