The world has been waiting for the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. We started seeing pictures earlier this year on the Internet, we all caught a glimpse of it in use during The Dark Knight movie and we rejoiced at its official announcement in October and now, after an unforeseen delay, it’s finally ready to hit the shelves!
The Nokia 5800 featuring …
The 5800 is the world’s first Symbian S60 5th Edition touchscreen mobile phone and Nokia’s first proper attempt at a dedicated touchscreen handset. We were all prepared early on for the 5800 to be a midrange device, however the operating system feels anything but that. It’s silky smooth and S60 lends itself well to being finger controlled, however Nokia have still decided to include a stylus hidden in a slot on the rear of the phone.
Obviously, the 5800 has some stiff competition in the touchscreen market, however, the likes of the Samsung Pixon, the LG Renoir, the BlackBerry Storm and the iPhone 3G are all considerably more expensive than the Nokia, bringing non-smartphones such as the Samsung Tocco into play. And it’s here where the Nokia 5800 will be fighting its battles since, as its XpressMusic tag indicates, this is an entertainment device rather than a serious mobile office smartphone. With this in mind let’s take a look at the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic in action!
Mobile Music at your Fingertips.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to spot the two key features of the Nokia 5800! First we have the exciting touchscreen – a first for Nokia – and second the intuitive and versatile music and media player, making the 5800 a primarily leisure focussed handset with a very modern look and feel.
A Gorgeous Touchscreen.
At 3.2″ and with the ability to display 16 million colours, at first glance the Nokia 5800′s screen may not seem anything special, but fire it up and the 360×640 resolution makes the icons and text displayed come alive! The touch system has been implemented very well, with easy to grab scroll bars, sensibly sized buttons, haptic feedback and a clever double tap system for selecting options, lowering any chance of making an error. The accelerometer gives a fast transition between portrait and landscape mode too. Hidden in the top corner of the front panel next to the speaker is a tiny proximity sensor, which turns the display off when you lift the phone to your ear on a call, so there will be no accidental ending of a call if your cheek brushes a button!
Versatile Music Player.
Staying in that top corner, you’ll see a small button which when pressed, drops a shortcut menu down the screen linking you to each multimedia aspect of the 5800 XpressMusic. Naturally the music player happily supports the usual file formats as well as displaying album art when you play a track and if you happen to be using the S60 Active Standby screen, you’ll also see the track playing and time elapsed information too. A very loud set of stereo external speakers will let you broadcast your music to the world, plus there is a graphic equaliser and several presets which you can use to tweak the sound to your personal liking. Rounding off the feature set is an FM RDS radio.
Comes With Music.
Nokia Comes With Music is the Finnish manufacturer’s online music store, where tracks can be purchased and downloaded directly to your mobile phone. You can buy single songs or even take a year’s subscription where you can download unlimited tracks! Comes With Music is a revolutionary service in the mobile world and it’s set to grow and grow; getting in early is well-advised!
Watch Video on the Move.
Of course, not taking advantage of that gorgeous screen to watch video would be a crime, so it’s a good thing the 5800 supports MPEG4, WMV and 3gp video formats. You can further enjoy the video capabilities of the phone by making use of the TV out socket.
Strong Additional Features.
Nokia haven’t simply left the 5800 with just the touchscreen and music player either, they have placed a great camera on the casing and a selection of other handy functions inside too. We’re particularly pleased to see the addition of a 3.5mm jack plug to really enjoy the 5800′s great sound!
Carl Zeiss Optics.
On the rear of the 5800 sits a Carl Zeiss lensed 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus and a dual-LED flash. The camera not only takes great looking pictures but also shoots 30fps VGA video too. Mounted in the top right of the front panel is a secondary lens expressly for use as a videocall camera.
Assisted GPS Built-in.
Continuing the line-up of top-end-phone baiting features is Assisted GPS complete with version 2.0 of the excellent Nokia Maps software, this time enhanced for touch operation. Of course, you can also install Google Maps too.
The 5800 XpressMusic isn’t left wanting in connectivity stakes either. It’s a 3G mobile phone with 3.6Mbps HSDPA support, plus GPRS, EDGE and Wi-Fi to support it. The Nokia supports A2DP Bluetooth for stereo wireless music enjoyment plus a USB port for data transfer however not, unusually, for charging, which is handled by a more traditional Nokia pin socket. The aforementioned TV-out joins a top mounted 3.5mm jack plug to round out this impressive list.
Alternative Text Input Options.
The Nokia 5800 doesn’t have a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, but there are still plenty of ways to enter your text on this little phone. You have a standard virtual T9 alphanumeric keypad and both a large and mini virtual QWERTY keyboard, however the large version is the only one which cannot be used in portrait mode. The stylus is perfect for tapping out a message on the mini keyboard or for the extremely accurate handwriting recognition system.
Modern Looks and Impressive Performance.
With Symbian S60 powering it, the 5800 XpressMusic is a very capable smartphone, plus the debut of this 5th Edition touch enhanced version gives us plenty to look forward to in the forthcoming top range Nokia N97! It may not be quite as capable as the Storm or the iPhone, but Nokia have certainly put as much tech inside as possible to make it a viable alternative for those put off by the complexity of the aforementioned handsets.
Symbian S60 Onboard.
This is the latest version, 9.4, of the Symbian Series 60 operating system and comes in the touch optimised 5th edition variant. Way back when we first saw this phone, there were concerns about the usability of Symbian on the handset however these appear to be unfounded, as it is speedy, attractive and simple to use – everything we wanted it to be! Under the screen and in between the call start and end keys is the menu button which instantly jumps you to the regular menu screen wherever you are inside the operating system.
Just over 80MB makes up the internal memory of the 5800, however the inclusion of an 8GB MicroSD card and the option to run a 16GB card gives the mobile phone huge media storage potential.
Long Battery Standby.
The standard battery is a 1320mAh item and is quoted to return a very impressive 400 hours of standby- that’s nearly 17 days – and over 8 hours continuous talktime!
Handy, Pocket-Friendly Size.
The Nokia 5800 weighs 109 grams and measures 111x51mm with a thickness of 15mm.
Summary of the Nokia 5800
The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic may have been a long time coming, but it was worth the wait! Not only is it a very sleek looking little handset but it has a very impressive line-up of features, raising its status to the very upper levels of the midrange and challenging those above it with its more reasonable price. We’re going to see a lot of these little phones out and about and it bodes very well for 2009′s big Nokia release, the N97.