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Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic may just be the most significant device to come from Espoo since the N95

The N82 and E71 were both worthy devices, and the N97 will surely be significant, but the 5800 marks the start of a new era for Symbian: touch.

It’s also packed with the kind of features usually associated with Nseries phones: 3.2 megapixel Zeiss camera (with auto-focus, macro and dual LED flash), 3G, WiFi, a micro-SDHC slot, and GPS. Most importantly, It’s affordable, and it’s here today!

I’ve been using the Euro/Asian model (UMTS/HSDPA at 2100 MHz) for a couple months now (thanks to Molly at Nokia Blogger Relations) – the US model (UMTS/HSDPA 1900/850 MHz) will be available soon.

So what makes the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic so special?

– Touch:
As I’ve mentioned before, the 5800 is not the first Nokia touch device running Symbian, but it’s the first Nokia phone running S60v5. It’s optimized for touch and that’s a giant leap forward, especially for existing S60v3 users.

In fact, I’ve decided that from now on, all my Nokia devices will be touch-based…

The user experience may not be as visually polished or intuitive as OS X on the iPhone (which features a new interface from the ground up). but the 5800 works well one-handed, and benefits from all the power and flexibility of Symbian, with more screen real-estate than ever.

Speaking of the screen: it’s gorgeous – all 640×360 pixels of it!

The only downside is the resistive touch sensor. I understand the desire to cater to a broad range of markets by supporting stylus input, but this phone (like the N97) begs for a capacitive touch sensor. Are you listening, Nokia?

– Music:
Being an XpressMusic device, I think of the 5800 as the successor to the N81 music phone.

It sounds better than most other Nokia devices I’ve used, with less background noise, less distortion, more detail and a flatter frequency response. It also features a standard 3.5 mm audio connector (with TV output) and ships with an 8 GB micro-SDHC card.

The deal breaker for me is the lack of gapless playback. Strangely, this only appears to be available on the iPhone so far…

– Imaging:
The camera, while falling short of the current state-of-the-art, does a reasonable job. The 5800 takes decent pictures and records above average videos as long as you avoid shooting in low-light.

When compared with the competition, the G1 camera comes ahead.

– Applications:
The catalog of available S60v5 applications is still limited – for example, there is Qik, but not Jaiku. Of course, there’s also support for S60v3 applications, but it’s extremely limited.

The implementation of touch is also hit-and-miss. I played with Google Maps, which is terrific. But Nokia’s Web browser is no match for Safari on the iPhone, despite supporting Flash!

– Overall:
The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic represents the future of Symbian. The hardware is very nice – it’s definitely a good effort on features and price, other than the resistive touch screen and the noisy camera.

It’s not (yet) competitive in terms of user experience, but improvements are always just a software upgrade away :)

If you like Symbian, I strongly suggest you take a look at the 5800.

7 thoughts on “Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Leave a comment

  1. have tested nokia’s Bluetooth and I don’t think its

    really that good I use a Sony Wireless DR-BT20NX and I when I use this

    with any other phone close enough (phone is in my pocket and I am

    wearing the wireless Bluetooth) there no problems at all for the transmission

    of music but nokia 5800 stops most times in the middle of the track for

    about 5 seconds then resumes changing the bpms of the song

    (here the track goes faster than before)

    And this is close enough but some phones I have used with this

    gadget (Sony Wireless DR-BT20NX) at a long distances (5meters)

    don’t find any problem

    Could they give us a reason as to why does this happen

  2. I have a Nokia 5800 XM, and I have similar experience with this phone.
    This review is much better than the one at Engadget. It really points out flaws and good points of a device.

  3. Hi, I’m using 5800 XM and i just want to ask where can I download google map the one that you discussed in youtube. I’m in the office right now and we are not allowed to view youtube, can you tell me?

    Thank you

    By the way, I like your reviews for various phones.

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