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Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: First Look

 Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Discontinued
3rd October 2008

Late yesterday, Nokia finally announced their long-awaited Nokia 5800 XpressMusic touchscreen phone. It isn't Nokia's first touchscreen device, but because of the gap between models then it is effectively Nokia's first current-generation touchscreen phone.

The 5800 introduces a lot of new features with the upgraded version of the Symbian S60 operating system, many of which will find their way into other Nokia handsets. We will look at some of these in more depth at a later date.

To begin with, we'll look at the basics. The screen is the main point of interest - it's a 3.2" widescreen panel with a 640 x 360 pixel resolution, featuring a touchscreen technology along with tactile feedback (we assume this is similar to the haptics technology used by rival manufacturers).

The touchscreen can be used with a stylus or finger and features handwriting recognition. The 5800 automatically flips between landscape and portrait displays using a built-in accelerometer.

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is a 3G device with HSDPA high-speed data and WiFi connectivity (at least in Europe, other variants worldwide may lack 3G or WiFi support). It's a quad band GSM phone with dual-band UMTS 900/2100 support, plus a UMTS 850/1900 version for South America. Local connections can be made via Bluetooth 2.0 or USB 2.0. In other words, the Nokia 5800 ticks pretty much all the boxes when it comes to connectivity.

 Nokia 5800 XpressMusic There's integrated GPS with a "touch" version of the Nokia Maps application, making the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic the first really viable satellite navigation phone. The high-resolution screen should be ideal for this type of application, but even so we have never seen a phone that can really compete with a dedicated SatNav system when it comes to usability.

The "XpressMusic" part of the name indicates that the 5800 is a multimedia device, with support for MP3, AAC (and variants), WMA, RealPlayer, MPEG4 and WMV media types. There's also an FM radio and integration into Nokia's music store (assuming this isn't blocked by your carrier). There's also a standard 3.5mm audio socket so a standard headphone set can be used.

 Nokia 5800 Interface On the back is a 3.2 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics, dual LED flash and autofocus. Maximum video capture resolution is 640 x 480 pixels at 30 frames per second. Although the camera isn't as exciting as some of the 5 megapixel and 8 megapixel ones that we have seen recently, the Carl Zeiss optics should ensure good quality photographs and the video capture resolution should certainly be good enough for most purposes.

Software includes a web browser, email client, RSS reader, a couple of games, support for Microsoft Exchange email and of course an improved user interface with customisable elements. We haven't seen this in action, so we really can't ay how it compared with the iPhone.

Inside is a high-capacity 1320 mAh BL-5J battery which can power the 5800 XpressMusic for up to 5 hours talktime on 3G (8+ hours on GSM), with up to 16 days standby time, 5.6 hours of gaming or 35 hours of music playback. Despite the impressive feature set, the 5800 weighs only 109 grams and is a pocket-friendly 111 x 52 x 16mm.

The standard sales package includes a set of styluses, music headset, video out cable, USB cable, carry case and an 8GB microSD card as standard. The price before tax and subsidy is €279 (around £200 or $380). Nokia say that the 5800 XpressMusic should be available during Q4 2008 in red, blue and black colour combinations.

On paper, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic looks to be a very attractive device, and it's pretty good value too. The two biggest problems that we can see are the megapixel count of the camera and the frankly uninspired design. But with the all important "Nokia" badge on, it is likely to be a success... even if we have had to wait a very, very long time for it.

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Nokia 5800 XpressMusic at a glance


Q4 2008


GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 +
UMTS 900 / 2100 or 850 / 1900 or no UMTS


Chinese variant has no 3G or WiFi.


640 x 360 pixels, 16m colours


3.2 megapixels


PDA-style device
111 x 52 x 16mm / 109 grams



Memory card:










Battery life:

5 hours talk / 16 days standby (3G)


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