By February 25, 2009

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic review

As if the pressure of being one of the first touch screen devices from Nokia was not enough the 5800 XpressMusic comes with the added pressure of being touted as the first genuine iPhone contender, so will the 5800 rise to the occasion or will it simply crumble with the pressure like many other devices before it.

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic package

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic package

 

What’s in the box?

  • Nokia 5800
  • Battery (BL-5J)
  • Mains Charger (AC-8)
  • Music Headset (HS-45)
  • Audio Adapter (AD-54)
  • TV Out Cable (CA-75U)
  • Data Cable (CA-101)
  • Carrying Case (CAP-306)
  • 8GB microSDHC Memory Card (MU-43)
  • Desktop Holder (DT-29)
  • Plectrum Stylus & Wrist Strap (CP-309)
  • Extra stylus
  • User Manual & Quick Start Guide
  • Software CD

You might also want to have a look at Matt’s Nokia 5800 XpressMusic unboxing video for more an what’s in the box.

 

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic specification:

  • Operating System – S60 5th edition, Symbian OS version 9.4
  • Memory – 81 MB internal memory, 8GB MicroSDHC included
  • Display -3.2" 640 x 360 pixels, aspect ratio 16:9, with automatic orientation sensor (Accelerometer) for display rotation
  • Sound -Integrated stereo speakers with surround sound, and dedicated audio chip for crystal clear hi-fi sound quality.
  • Micro-USB connector, USB 2.0 High Speed
  • 3.5 mm Nokia AV connector
  • TV out interface (CA-75U)
  • Bluetooth version 2.0
  • WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g
  • MicroSD card slot hot swappable, max. 16 GB
  • Operating Frequency – WCDMA 900/2100, GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • GPS – Integrated GPS for pedestrian and car navigation, Nokia Maps 2.0 Touch application
  • 3.2 megapixel camera (2048 x 1536 pixels), 3x digital zoom
  • Front facing video camera for video calling
  • TV out with Nokia Video Connectivity Cable (CA-75U, in-box)
  • BL-5J 1320 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Dimensions – 111 x 51.7 x 15.5 mm
  • Weight – 109 g

General

The Nokia 5800 certainly looks unlike any other device from Nokia so far, the main difference being the generously sized 3.2” touch screen which when compared to the iPhone is slightly smaller and quite a bit narrower as well.

The front of the Device as mentioned is dominated by the 3.2" screen with 640 x 360 pixels and an aspect ratio 16:9. Starting from the top, just above the screen is a touch activated quick key launching a drop down multimedia menu, very useful for quick access to video, music & photos. Above this is a forward facing camera for video calls. The front of the device features just three solid keys, two being call control buttons and the central button being used to launch the phones main navigation menu.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic front view

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic front view

 

Moving round to the left hand side of the 5800, we can see two slots one being for your SIM card the other being home to a microSD card. Also interestingly located just below the red stripe at either end of the device are two speakers which provide great sound quality.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic left side

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic left side

 

The right side of the device has slightly more to offer in the way of buttons starting with a two way volume control also used for features such as zoom when using the phones camera. Below this is a very conveniently placed almost spring loaded lock key used to lock and unlock the device. Finally on the right side of the phone is an independent shutter button for capturing photos when using the phones camera.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic right side

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic right side

 

The top of the device is one that is personally very pleasing that is because it features not only the standard Nokia connection but also a 3.5mm headphone socket allowing the use of your own headphones without the need for an adapter, also being located on the top it means the phone sits easily in the pocket without an unsightly bulge on the side. Also located on the top of the 5800 is the standby button as well as the micro USB connection.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic top view

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic top view

 

The back of the device is home to a 3.2 megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and the inclusion of Dual LEDs used for flash when capturing photos. The back of the phone also houses the 5800’s stylus which is simply lid out from the bottom of the phone when needed.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic back view

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic back view

 

Highlights and Lowlights

+ Great Connectivity
+ Ease of Use
– Only 3.2 megapixel Camera

Review

So as I mentioned earlier the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic has been touted as the first genuine iPhone contender, so is this a fair and honest observation well that very depends on what you think of the iPhone. One thing I will say is with the 5800 being considerably lower in price than the iPhone it certainly does look good for the Finish giants.

First things first lets start with the phones design. The phone feels rather light in comparison to other similar touch screen devices which does mean the phone lacks that certain real high quality finish however, having said that it does by no means affect the phones build quality and the 5800 certainly does not feel like a badly built cheap piece of plastic. As with all touch screen devices emphasis will always be paced on the phones appearance and styling and in the flesh the 5800 certainly lives up to expectation. The screen is a decent size which makes watching video and viewing photos pleasurable experience. The glossy black finish also adds to the phones great styling with the single stripe running round the device with the back being solid with a matt finish.

5800_angled_right 

As you may be aware some touch screen devices can be rather temperamental and as a result difficult to use. The Nokia 5800 is I have to say the best touch screen I have used, I experienced very few problems with the phones touch screen the only one being the occasional issue of the qwerty keyboard being to small when set to half screen something which is easily overcome either by switching to full screen keyboard or by the use of the stylus. Another great feature is the Handwriting function allowing you to write emails, texts, notes etc. without having to use the touch screen keyboard at all, as with all handwriting readers there are always a few recognition problems but for the most part it works fairly well.

Unlike many other touchscreen devices Nokia have made the bold marketing move of aiming the 5800 at a different market altogether with most devices being given a high end price tag and marketed for a high business customer however Nokia have made the decision to steer clear from this and aim their device at music lovers. The most important thing for many music lovers when it comes to a phone offering such promises is memory and the Nokia 5800 weighs in at a maximum 16GB supported via MicroSD and a welcome addition is the inclusion of a 8GB MicroSD card straight out of the box. As for music and multimedia playback on the 5800 the inclusion of the quick launch touch button located just above the touch screen makes accessing your files very easy and allows for instant playback without having to navigate various menus etc. Watching videos on the 5800 is again as easy as listening to music and the 3.2” screen means you won’t be having to hold the device right to your eyes in order to be able to see the screen, the device has a built in accelerometer and Nokia have also included a useful little stand for resting the device to watch videos when the device is horizontal. As you may have seen in Matt’s un-box of the 5800 the phone does include a set of composite cables out of the box which makes hooking the device up to a large screen TV for playback of videos and photos etc. so much easier without having to run out and but additional cables.

The phone also boasts an 3.2” megapixel camera which although is not terrible when compared to some other devices out on the market it does not come up to scratch, but when compared to the iPhones 2 megapixel camera it suddenly doesn’t seem so bad. Picture quality is good compared to other similar spec phone cameras available and the dual led flash makes capturing in different light allot easier, a number of features and modes are also available which make using the 5800’s camera fun and simple.

Moving on to the phones connectivity, and I think this is where it really does set itself aside from its competitors. When you look at the features list you would be excused for assuming the device would come with a high end price tag however when you look at the features list and bare in mind the Nokia 5800 costs around £250 that is when you may start to take note. GPS – Integrated GPS for pedestrian and car navigation, Bluetooth v2.0 & WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g are just a few of the things this phone is capable of supporting, Browsing the internet on the device is surprisingly easy and sites load relatively quickly, and the with quick links to sites such as Facebook & Myspace it is easy to keep connected with friends and family on the move.

The phones battery life is estimated at 8 ½ hours however if used for heavy applications such as web browsing and email this is likely to decrease. In the time I had the 5800 I experienced no problems with the battery life however there will always be room for improvement.

5800_angled_left


Conclusion

Overall the 5800 XpressMusic is a solid offering from Nokia and a great start in the touchscreen phone market for them, its sleek design and lightweight feel make it ideal for travelling with and the great connectivity the phone has to offer is certainly worth the £250 alone. Add to this the phones great multimedia capabilities and this fast becomes a phone to rival not only the iPhone but your stand alone MP3 player as well. Nokia seem to have though of everything with the 5800, what I mean by that is straight out the box you have pretty much everything you need, from a case to composite cables, stand, stylus. Not only does the 5800 come at a cheaper price tag than many other touch screen devices but the price you pay is likely to be the only expense as you will not need to go out and buy several different accessories to get the best out of your device. As for an iPhone killer, well, there will always be people who live and breath iPhone and are unwilling to change no matter what comes along however I have to say given the price and the phones features the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is certainly a force to be reckoned with, write it off at your peril.

 

Review by: Nick

[ Post Tags: Nokia, 5800 XpressMusic, Music Phone, tracyandmatt.co.uk, clove technology ]

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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