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Nokia 5800 with S60 Touch Hands-On

Hardware Software Video Tour Comments  18  

Oct 2, 2008, 11:30 AM   by Rich Brome & Eric M. Zeman

Hands-on with the new Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, featuring the new S60 Touch interface with finger-touch navigation.

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The 5800 XpressMusic is Nokia's first true finger-touch phone to be announced in the lingering wake of Apple's iPhone. The 5800 - called the "Tube" when it first hit the rumor mill - is the first phone to use a new version of the S60 smartphone platform designed for touch-screen phones, creatively named "S60 Touch."

We recently had a brief hands-on session with the 5800. How does it rate? Well, it's definitely a mixed bag, with some exciting innovations, but also some major disppointments. Below is our full preview report.

Physically, the phone is a simple monolith. It's a nice size in terms of width and height, but it's significantly thicker than most of its competition.


The trend with touch screens these days is making them flush with the front of the phone, instead of recessed. The touch screen on the 5800 is flush with the plastic above and below it, but there is a bumper all around the edge of the phone that sticks up. This protects the screen a bit, but does take away from the look, and also attracts dirt like you wouldn't believe; the unit we tried was filthy.

Touring the rest of the front, you'll find a touch-sensitive Xpress shortcut button above the display, plus physical Send, End, and Home buttons below the display. On the side there is a memory card slot (an 8GB card is included) and an unusually easy-to-access SIM card slot. On the other side is a sliding lock switch. Unfortunately, it's a spring-loaded switch that just slides one way and pops back again. A sliding switch with two positions would have provided visual confirmation that the phone was locked, and been easier to manipulate one-handed.

On top you'll find a 3.5mm headphone jack that doubles as the A/V output (TV cables are included). Next to that is the micro-USB connector. The back sports a 3-megapixel auto-focus camera with dual LED flash. A large but flimsy stylus is also accessible from the back, and a guitar-pick-style stylus is included as well.

The 5800 uses a resistive touch screen, the same kind you'll find on the Instinct and Dare. This permits the use of a stylus, which in turn enables handwriting recgonition, something critical for Asian markets where Nokia hopes to sell many of these phones.

Unfortunately for those of us in the western hemisphere using using Latin characters, resistive touch technology doesn't deliver quite the same quality of experience compared to the capacitive technology used on the iPhone and HTC G1.

In all, the 5800 feels somewhat cheaper and less refined than what we're used to seeing from Nokia. We might attribute this to the non-final version of software and hardware we saw. You can tell, though, that Nokia is targeting the youth market segment, because everything about the phone feels cheaper and less polished than the N series product line does.

About the author, Rich Brome & Eric M. Zeman:

Eric has been covering the mobile telecommunications industry for 17 years at various print and online publications. He studied at Rutgers Newark and University of Kentucky, and has a degree in writing. He likes playing guitar, attending concerts, listening to music, and driving sports cars.



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This forum is closed.


Oct 2, 2008, 12:39 PM

Take *that* Samsung Instinct!!!

Why settle for the Samsung iPhone knockoff when you can have an even MORE unpolished Nokia iPhone knockoff???

This device sounds downright unpromising. I can't believe Nokia would build such a half-arsed product. They have clearly lost their way.
expecting anything close to an iphone or even the dissapointing instinct is setting yourself up to be let down. although nokie once led the way in cellular innovation, its been a steady decline since, say, 2003?
Why does everyone think that this phone is meant to compete with the likes of iPhone or G1??? Nokia is not a one flavor cellphone maker, like Apple who has various MP3 players for different customers(Shuffle, Nano, Classic, and Touch); Nokia makes var...

Oct 2, 2008, 6:39 PM

Not T-Mobile USA bound right?

Could the Quad-band EDGE version be sold on T-Mobile USA?
You can use it just fine with T-Mobile if you can do with out 3g. But the phone has wifi so you should be alright.

Oct 2, 2008, 1:38 PM


Nokia seems to be shelling out lower and lower quality phones to try and keep up with the competition, while compeditors such as LG, Samsung, and Apple have decided to set the bar. not only is the phone a monstrasity asthetically, but size wise as well. BUT in nokias defense, it IS marketed tward to younger crowd who either A: cant afford the top of the line alternatives, and B: will destroy the phone in the first month.

overall, i wont even bother to play with it when it comes to the U.S.
jma6788 said:
Nokia seems to be shelling out lower and lower quality phones to try and keep up with the competition

Um. . . they're the #1 phone maker in the world - they have no need to keep up with anyone. While ...
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