By January 27, 2009

Nokia 5800 review

image We have received the Nokia 5800 phone for review and as we are by no means experts with anything to do with Symbian, rather than doing a full detailed review of the features of the Symbian S60 operating system we are going to take a look round the hardware of the phone and the touch interface and see how it works as a touch screen device compared to the experience of the iPhone and the other latest devices. Read on for our thoughts on this latest Nokia handset.

First impressions are that the phone is quite chunky,light weight and a little plasticy, however the build quality does feel pretty good. The phone is quite narrow and we have various different physical buttons round the edges which enhance the operation greatly. A dedicated camera button, volume up and down and a dedicated screen lock slider.

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The screen on the 5800 is bright and has a resolution of 640 x 260 pixels which is similar to VGA (640 x 480) devices that we have seen in the Windows Mobile world however it is a lot narrower which does detract from the viewing experience. Having said that it is a lovely clear and crisp screen.

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Navigating menus with the touch screen was not a great experience, firm presses are required and sometimes multi presses just to get keys to register. The sight of the included stylus makes us cringe as all the other manufacturers and alternative operating systems are putting their energies into finger friendly use and making the stylus a thing of the past, however the huge Asian market still has demand for character recognition so you can see why Nokia are still persisting with this entry system.

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Moving between screens and applications is not the fastest experience either and text input is either very straight forward or a complete bag of confusion. Sometimes the keyboard appears and sometimes it doesn’t with no apparent reason.

The 5800 offers several ways to input text. The full QWERTY keyboard takes full advantage of the 5800’s display in landscape mode only and provides a nice haptic feedback buzz with each key press. You can also type messages using a standard alphanumeric keypad like we are used to seeing on non qwerty devices. The 5800 also offers handwriting recognition and a mini QWERTY keyboard.

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Surfing the web was an above average experience, pages rendered reasonably quickly but without any of the easy zooming and text formatting skills of the Safari browser or Opera 9.5 on Windows Mobile, one great feature was the flash player within the browser, watching for example a YouTube embedded video in a browser is definitely the way to go, this worked very well and is one in the eye for Apple.

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The biggest problem we found was with the connectivity for data. We found there was confusion over WiFi and 3G settings and none of it working seamlessly together. For example using WiFi for data when in an area with a specified wireless hot spot, email still looked for cell coverage and the web was happy on WiFi, having to individually configure email access points, web access points etc all starts to becomes rather annoying and totally confusing. There must be an automatic setting somewhere to overcome this.

Playing music and sorting through albums etc was again a lesser experience to the iPhone however the sound quality was great and glad to see the inclusion of a 3.5mm headset jack and 8 gig micro SD card for storage.


The 5800 has a built in GPS receiver which works with the included Nokia Maps software and a 3.2 mpx camera with LED flash, picture quality was very good compared with a lot of other phones we have used.

The inbuilt accelerometer works well and is responsive with the screen switching from portrait to landscape as near instantly as possible.

In conclusion the Nokia 5800 is a good first attempt at a Touch Screen phone by Nokia, its has some flaws, especially on the touch screen and connectivity. It has a long way to go to get anywhere near where Windows Mobile is now never mind the iPhone. It would be a good phone for the casual user but a smartphone replacement at this time it certainly isn’t, but Nokia will improve upon this in the future and we are sure the upcoming N97 will have a lot of these issues ironed out, at least it will improve upon the poor text input methods. As an operating system Symbian is stable and reasonably powerful but it still feels very straight jacketed in its approach and more fitting to a non touch screen phone. To get the best experience from the phone a stylus is the way to go, unfortunately that is not the way most of us want.

Thanks to Superetrader for the review device.

Good Points



Flash in the browser

Bad Points

Confusing set up

Resistive Touch Screen


Physical features, power and memory


  • Form: Classic with full touch user interface
  • Dimensions: 111 x 51.7 x 15.5 mm
  • Weight: 109 g
  • Volume: 83 cc
  • Touch user interface optimised for one-hand use with tactile feedback
  • Main display
    – Size: 3.2"
    – Resolution: 640 x 360 pixels (nHD)
    – Up to 16 million colours
    – aspect ratio 16:9
    – automatic orientation sensor (Accelerometer) for display rotation

Keys and input method

  • Stylus, plectrum and finger touch support for text input and user interface control (alphanumeric keypad, full and mini qwerty keyboard, handwriting recognition, full screen handwriting for Chinese language)
  • Dedicated Media Bar touch key for access to music, gallery, share on-line, Video Centre and web browser
  • Voice commands
  • Physical keys for application launch key (menu key), send & end, power, camera, lock, volume up & down


  • Micro-USB connector, USB 2.0 High Speed
  • 3.5 mm Nokia AV connector
  • MicroSD card slot, small DC jack, Micro USB cable interface to PC (CA-101), TV out interface (CA-75U)


  • BL-5J 1320 mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Talk time (maximum):
    – GSM 8.8 h
    – WCDMA 5 h
  • Standby time (maximum):
    – GSM 406.2 h
    – WCDMA 400 h
  • Browsing time with packet data (maximum): 3.4 h
  • Video playback time (maximum): 5.2 h, Video playback time (maximum, nHD/Mpeg4) 3.4 h, VGA video playback using TV-Out with Stereo BT Headset 3.8 h
  • Video recording time (maximum): 3.6 h
  • Video call time (maximum): 3 h
  • Music playback time (maximum): Up to 35 h
  • Gaming time (maximum): 5.6 h


  • MicroSD memory card slot, hot swappable, max. 16 GB
  • 81 MB internal memory
  • 8GB microSD memory card in-box, expandable up to 16GB

Communication and navigation

Operating frequency

  • WCDMA 900/2100
  • GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • WCDMA 850/1900 (Latin America and Brazil variant only)
  • Automatic switching between GSM bands
  • Flight mode

Data network

  • CSD
  • GPRS/EDGE class B, multislot class 32, maximum speed 296/177 kbps (DL/UL)
  • WCDMA 2100/900 with simultanous voice and packet data, maximum speed PS 384/384 kbps (UL/DL), CS maximum speed 64 kbps
  • HSDPA cat 6, maximum speed 3.6 Mbps (DL)
  • WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g (3G version only)
  • TCP/IP support

Local connectivity and synchronization

  • Bluetooth version 2.0
    – Bluetooth profiles: A2DP & AVRCP
  • MTP (Mobile Transfer Protocol) support
  • TV out with Nokia Video Connectivity Cable (CA-75U, in-box)
  • Support for PC synchronisation with Nokia OVI Suite

Call features

  • Integrated hands-free speakerphone
  • Number screening for messaging and calls
  • Automatic answer with headset or car kit
  • Any key answer
  • Call waiting, call hold, call divert
  • Call timer
  • Logging of dialled, received and missed calls
  • Automatic redial
  • Speed dialling
  • Voice dialling: speaker independent dialling and voice commands (SIND)
  • Fixed dialling number support
  • Vibrating alert (internal), also with tactile feedback
  • Side volume keys
  • Mute/unmute
  • Contacts bar for 4 contacts with images and communication history (SMS, IM, email, web feeds)
  • Talking ring tones
  • Conference calling with up to 6 participants
  • Video calling: up to 3h, QCIF 176 x 144 pixels, low up to 5 fps, normal up to 10 fps, smooth up to 15 fps


  • SMS
  • Multiple SMS deletion
  • MMS version 1.3, message size up to 600 kb
  • Automatic resizing of images for MMS
  • Nokia Xpress audio messaging
  • Common inbox for SMS and MMS messages
  • Number screening for messaging
  • Distribution lists for messaging
  • Instant messaging client
  • Cell broadcast


  • Supported protocols: IMAP, POP, SMTP
  • Support for e-mail attachments
  • OMA e-mail notification support
  • Mail for Exchange 2008 in DL client, in 2009 embedded

Web browsing

  • Supported markup languages: HTML, XHTML, WML
  • Supported protocols: HTTP, WAP, JavaScript
  • TCP/IP support
  • OSS browser
  • Nokia Mobile Search

GPS and navigation

  • Integrated GPS for pedestrian and car navigation
  • Nokia Maps 2.0 Touch application

Image and sound


  • 3.2 megapixel camera (2048 x 1536 pixels)
  • Image formats: JPEG
  • Carl Zeiss optics
  • 3x digital zoom
  • Autofocus
  • Dual LED flash
  • Flash modes: On, off, automatic, red-eye reduction
  • White balance modes: automatic, sunny, cloudy, incandescent, fluorescent
  • Centre weighted auto exposure; exposure compensation: +2 ~ -2EV at 0.5 step
  • Normal, Sepia, Black&White, Vivid, Negative
  • Dedicated camera key
  • Landscape (horizontal) orientation
  • Photo editor on device
  • Direct printing to compatible picture printers


  • Main camera
    Video recording at up to 640 x 480 pixels and up to 30 fps (TV high quality), up to 640 x 352 pixels and up to 30 fps (widescreen quality), up to 320 x 240 pixels and up to 30 fps/15 fps (email high/normal quality), up to 176 x 144 and up to 15 fps (sharing quality)
    – Up to 4x digital video zoom
  • Front camera for video calling
  • Video recording file formats: .mp4, .3gp
  • Audio recording formats: WAV (normal), AMR (MMS), AAC/MP4 (high quality)
  • Video white balance modes: automatic, sunny, cloudy, incandescent, fluorescent
  • Scene modes: automatic, night
  • Colour tone modes: normal, sepia, black & white, vivid, negative
  • Clip length (maximum): 1 h 30 min (high or normal quality). Dependable on available memory.
  • RealPlayer
  • Video playback file formats: MPEG4-SP playback 30fps VGA, MPEG4-AVC playback 30fps QVGA, WMV9 playback 30fps QVGA, MPEG4-SP playback 30 fps nHD
  • Video streaming: 3GPP and CIF
  • Landscape mode video playback
  • Video editor on device
  • Video Centre service supported: download and stream video content, WMV support, video feeds

Music and audio playback

  • Nokia Nseries digital music player
    – Playlists
    – 8-band graphical equalizer
    – selection by artist, composers, album and genre
    album graphics display and audio visualisations
    bass booster, stereo widening, loudness
  • Music playback file formats: .mp3, SpMidi, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA
  • Dedicated volume keys & immediate access to Music Player from Media Bar, dedicated music keys in the headset control unit AD-54
  • Stereo FM radio
  • 3.5 mm Nokia AV connector
  • Music Player
  • Nokia Music Manager
  • Nokia Music Store support
  • Nokia Podcasting support
  • Ring tones: 3D stereo ring tones, 64-tone polyphonic, mp3 & video ring tones (3 videos and 9 mp3 songs built-in)
  • Integrated stereo speakers with surround sound (crystal clear hi-fi sound quality with dedicated audio chip)

Voice and audio recording

  • Voice commands
  • Speaker-independent name dialling (SIND)
  • Voice recorder
  • Digital stereo microphone

Personalization: profiles, themes, ring tones

  • Customizable profiles
  • Ring tones: 3D stereo ring tones, 64-tone polyphonic, mp3 & video ring tones
  • Themes


Software platform and user interface

  • S60 5th edition
  • Symbian OS version 9.4
  • Active standby
  • Media Bar
  • Contacts bar

Personal information management (PIM): contacts, clock, calendar etc.

  • Support for assigning images to contacts
  • Support for contact groups
  • Clock: analogue and digital, world clock
  • Alarm clock
  • Reminders
  • Calculator
  • Calendar with week and month view
  • Converter
  • Notes
  • To-do list


  • Java TM MIDP 2.0
  • Flash Lite 3.0
  • Games: 3D Bounce and Global Race, DVD: Ulead VTB
  • Nokia Music Store
  • Nokia Maps
  • Map loader
  • PC Download
  • PC Photos
  • OVI Suite with Nokia Music
  • Download!
  • Share on OVI
  • Adding more applications:
    – Over-the-air (OTA) downloads


  • Games: 3D Bounce and Global Race
Posted in: Phones

About the Author:

Seasoned tech blogger. Host of the Tech Addicts podcast.
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