Hands-On With Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

We just had a chance to go hands-on with Nokia’s first touchscreen phone running the Symbian S60 OS. Our first impressions were mixed, and right now we’re disappointed. Good news first: The 5800 has a large 3.2-inch nano high definition display with a 640 x 360 resolution. Naturally, videos looked great on the screen. We also liked that the phone comes with a stand so you can leave it on your desk and kick back to watch a few TV shows. A nice compliment to the fine screen is the addition of stereo range speakers, which Nokia claims are the best in its lineup, and we can’t help but agree. (Note: In the video we said this was the first phone with stereo speakers, we meant the first with stereo range speakers). Audio was loud and clean while we watched a Beyonce music video. Further, the device comes with an 8GB microSD card for multimedia storage. The 5800, which will be available in the first quarter of 2009 and marketed towards the youth and mass market audience, also comes with a 3.2MP camera with dual-LED flash. The camera supports video recording in a QVGA resolution [Correction: VGA recording] at 30 frames per second. It’s easy to share this content using the Share by Ovi and Flickr uploads options that are built into the phone. UI The user interface was still buggy and a bit cluttered, but we like how the S60 OS was adapted for a touch display. Icons were larger and can be moved around easily. Also, the main home screeen has a contact bar with four of your favorite friends listed so you can quickly view text or call history, and contact them just as fast. The accelerometer was sluggish though: we had to wait a second or so after flipping the device for it to respond. It almost seemed like the phone’s processor was too slow to handle the UI. Media Also, there’s a media bar that falls down whenever you click on a small icon above the top-right corner of the display. The media bar provides quick access to your music, photos, videos, the Web, messages, and also allows you to quickly upload photos to Flickr, Share on Ovi, and Vox. We really appreciate this feature and think that the Youth market will enjoy it, but would like to see destinations like Facebook included for American markets. Also, the phone will support Nokia’s Comes with Music feature, but that over the air music download service isn’t available in the United States yet. Web Nokia says the 5800 will support Flash on all Web pages, and will provide a full internet experience. To us, that means full support and playback of flash content like the movies on Hulu.com. During our tests, the page said we needed to update our Flash drivers, so we hope that this is completed before the phone ships. The bad news: The device we saw was still in its prototype stage, but even still, it reminded us a lot of the impaired Samsung Glyde in terms of touchscreen responsiveness. The keyboard didn’t accurately pick up all of our keystrokes during typing tests, and we think that it needs some calibration before it’s shipped out to retailers. While there’s an option to use a stylus for tap typing, or even an included guitar pick, for some Asian markets that prefer handwriting recognition, at this point these devices are almost required just to accurately input text on the keyboards, and that’s not good. We’re excited to get our hands on a final review unit, and hope that the kinks in the unit we saw are worked out by the time it hits retail shelves. Youth audiences will be largely turned off if they cannot easily input text into a phone; after all, what good is the ability to upload an image or video over AT&T’s 3G HSDPA network if it takes twice as long just to type the MMS or picture caption? Check out our hands-on video for the 5800 XpressMusic in action. [flq:aea3c4239dda4fa29a2eecbc5fe90021]

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  1. jhoravi Says:

    The rest of the reviews around the WEB mentioned VGA 30fps video recording. You’re the only one who said it’s only QVGA

  2. Todd Haselton Says:

    Thanks for pointing that out. Nokia told us it was QVGA during our briefing.

  3. turkish Says:

    you forgot to mention that it is half of the price of iphone… in europe 279 e unlocked + taxes surely with that price point its going to be biiig hiit

  4. Todd Haselton Says:

    In the United States 279 Euro is $384, that’s just $15 shy of an 8GB iPhone without a 2-year contract.

  5. Charles Says:

    Well in Europe an 8GB iPhone without 2-year contract is a little over $1000. And then it’s still locked. The Nokia is almost 3 times cheaper.

  6. PigPen Says:

    That is not Beyonce in the vid, it is Rihanna.

  7. Intosh Says:

    Doing a straight currency conversion isn’t a reliable way of determining the price of a product in a given country.

  8. yuo Says:

    i like pie and eggs

  9. sim card reader Says:

    i buy nokia 5320 xpress music last month and now the come to know about nokia 5800. tell me when it will available in india and what will be price . i want this phone as soon as possible.
    great review

  10. David Crosby Says:

    Very useful information, always good to learn more.

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