There is software on the phone that can generate fitness programmes based on your preferred activity and goals, though if you want to get realistic goals and achievable targets, you'd probably benefit from talking to someone who knows more about your ambitions and can gauge your capabilities.
If you are one of those people who simply has to be in touch with the world at all times via text, then you'll love the way you can have the phone read out incoming messages if you tap the handset in the right part of its front fascia. You need to do this within 30 seconds of receiving a message. You can also use the tapping system for music control, pausing and resuming playback and skipping tracks.
The provided headset has a large music playback control area and it can be clipped onto your clothing using a sturdy clip. While its connector to the Nokia 5500 Sport is proprietary, it has a 3.5mm jack out so you can use a headset you like.
You might not guess it at first, but the tri-band Nokia 5500 Sport is a fully fledged smart phone. It runs Symbian S60 3rd edition, which is capable of synchronising calendar and contacts with your PC, and you get the connectivity cable you need for that job included with the phone, though you'll have to download the PC Suite software from the Web.
There's also an FM radio, which complements the built-in MP3 player, and a 2-megapixel camera, which takes competent, if not wonderful, pictures. The camera lacks a self-portrait mirror or a flash, but the phone does have a rather good torch, with twin LED lights on the top edge of the handset.
With only 8MB of built-in memory, you're going to need microSD cards if you want to use the music player to listen to tunes while you exercise -- our review model came with a 64MB card, which isn't exactly generous. There's also a Music Edition of this handset, which comes with a 512MB card, or you could simply buy a card yourself.
The memory card slot lies under the battery, so you need to power the 5500 Sport down to get at it, and fiddle with the awkward lock to remove the battery cover.
Voice calls were of good quality, and our only real niggle in everyday use was with the screen size.
The pedometer is never going to give you the kind of accuracy for distance measurement that a GPS antenna will, and the further you travel the less accurate its readings will be -- unless your stride is dead on average, of course.
The battery gave us 6 hours, 45 minutes of continuous music playback with the screen forced on. Nokia quotes 2 to 4 hours of talktime and 150 to 270 hours of standby time, and in day-to-day use the battery life seemed fine. If you're building up to a marathon, however, and want music playback throughout your training sessions, you may need to charge it every day or two.
If you are just getting into the fitness game this could be a handy little tool with which to start working on a schedule and getting some measurements to monitor progress -- just be prepared to graduate to something more sophisticated as your fitness levels rise and your ambitions develop.
Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Kate Macefield