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Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Review - Part 5

25th January 2009

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The user interface is fairly easy to use - if you have used S60 handsets before then you will have no problem adapting to touch. However, one flaw with S60 is that it is very difficult to keep track of which applications are running. The latest version of the OS tries to make this easier, but very often you will find applications still running that you thought had shut down.

 Nokia 5800 XpressMusic - S60 touch

Almost all screens flip between orientations automatically, apart from the home screen... which is rather bizarre. The interface is also inconsistent in sometimes requiring a single tap, and sometimes requiring a double tap. There seems to be no reason for this difference.


In use, the accelerometer was useful in that it automatically changed the orientation of the display when it was turned. However, it had an annoying habit of flipping to portrait mode if the phone was being used in landscape mode and was being held quite "flat". Irritatingly, there seems to be no way to adjust the sensitivity of this, despite the fact that the accelerometer is sensitive enough to use for gaming.

 Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Accelerometer

Other considerations

The 5800 XpressMusic is a real fingerprint magnet - not just on the screen, all the shiny surfaces pick up fingerprints very quickly.

You must remember that the 5800 is also a phone - and it works just fine. Call quality is clear, so there should be no problems in this respect. The 5800 can manage contacts easily, and if you need to dial a number manually the large on-screen keypad makes this easy.

There are a variety of text input mechanisms available, including two different QWERTY keyboards and a very accurate handwriting recognition applet. For heavy-duty text input you will probably want something like the Nokia N97 instead.


The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is a pretty good phone, it's easy to use, comes with a capable web browser and excellent multimedia support and is frankly a lot of fun. The loudspeaker could be better, the camera isn't as good as we would have hoped and you will be forever cleaning fingerprints off it.

The box comes with everything you need, including a TV output cable and a high capacity memory card. The 5800 fits easily into a pocket, and the overall attention to detail is good.

It's not the only big screen Nokia coming to market, the N97 is due out soon and we expect to see a touchscreen replacement for the E90 as well.. but the 5800 will be much cheaper than either of those two.

In conclusion? We like it a lot. Heck, we'd even be prepared to spend our own money on one!

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