Nokia 5800 Review

The Nokia 5800 is often thought to be the first Nokia touchscreen mobile phone. However, in 2003 the Finnish company already launched the Nokia 7710 with a large touchscreen, and since then, no new models were added. This model did not become a success, partly due to the strange way of calling with this device. The microphone and the speaker were placed on the side, making it rather awkward to hold the cell phone. Furthermore, Nokia uses touchscreens on the Internet Tablets, so there certainly is some know-how of this technology available within the company. 

At present, the 5800 XpressMusic is able to strengthen Nokia's portfolio and battle the touchscreen phones of other brands. Touch is hot business at this time, and combined with Symbian S60 software, it is also well-applicable. Nokia launched the 5800 XpressMusic as a genuine music phone; name-wise as well as the promotion campaign and everything else around it. The Nokia music phones of Nokia often seem somewhat limited when it comes to functionality, however, the specifications of the Nokia 5800 phone are pretty impressive. I am really curious as to how this Nokia music phone will perform, especially compared to competing cell phones.

'Music', that is Nokia's statement with the 5800 XpressMusic. The box is modest and colorful. "Nokia 5800 XpressMusic" is printed on the box a few times in large letters. Upon opening it, you don't actually see the phone straight away, there are a number of layers, and to find the phone you have to remove one layer. The Nokia 5800 handset looks nice but feels and comes across somewhat cheap. That said, the price is reasonable, so let's not make a point of it. The front features a touchscreen and three buttons. Furthermore, there are volume keys on the side, a slide bar to lock the buttons and a camera shortcut. Additionally, two covers are found, one for the memory card and one for the SIM card. Standard accessories are also packed inside the box; a battery charger, a headset, a data cable, a video cable, an 8GB memory card, a pouch, a stand, manuals, software and an extra stylus pen.

Menu of the Nokia 5800 Express music
The operating system of the Nokia 5800 cell phone is Symbian, which we often find on Nokia phones. For the Nokia 5800 it is Symbian S60 v5. At first glance you would not think of it as Symbian, since the well-known Symbian menu key is not there, and the icons are very similar to the standard Nokia menu structure. When using it, however, it is clearly the extensive and pleasant structure of Symbian. Most Symbian operated cell phones are slow; opening applications and simply surfing the menu generally takes a lot of time. However; the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic differentiates itself; the menu is smooth and quick as lightning. It is perhaps the most pleasant Symbian phone I have ever worked with, apart from the E71, but on the latter the menu was graphically a bit poorer, in my opinion. The menu is accessible through the menu key below the touchscreen. Thirteen icons will appear containing all functions. The menu is clear and well-structured, the icons are pleasantly large and the text is easy to read. 

Touchscreen of the Nokia 5800 Xpressmusic 

Due to the fact Nokia has not yet launched that many touchscreen phones on the market, we will delve a little deeper into the touchscreen of this Nokia XpressMusic phone. The 3.2 inch display has a 640x360 resolution. This is quite a good resolution, only the screen is fairly small. That is why it only has 360 pixels instead of the 480, for example, of the Touch HD by HTC. Almost the entire operation is carried out via the screen, there are only the menu button and the keys to answer and end a call below the screen. The monitor responds well and is also easily operated with your fingers. You do have to apply a bit of pressure, while it does not suffice to touch or slightly tap it. The phone offers feedback through a slight vibration upon being touched, like we have come across with other touchscreen mobile phones. This is great because it gives you the feeling you are actually pressing something. The Nokia 5800 carries a stylus pen integrated in the back cover. This stylus pen feels like plastic, as well as very vulnerable, which is why I prefer working with my fingers. It is hard to insert the stylus pen or to take it out of the phone while it is hidden in the back cover. 

Playing multimedia files
Naturally, multimedia is an extremely important feature on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. In addition to the standard access through the main menu, you can also use a shortcut to gain access to your multimedia files. This button is placed top right of the touchscreen, and always easily accessible, handy. When pressing the shortcut, a submenu opens featuring five icons. The music player is fast and looks neat. Opening and skipping files from the memory card is carried out without loading time. If available, the album cover is displayed, and the music is neatly arranged. Pressing the button 'update library' once arranges all the music again. The built-in speaker is able to play the music at a reasonable volume, it's only when you turn it up that you will hear a somewhat metallic sound, just like on many other mobile phones. However, I can live with it, and you can always use the included headset with remote control if you like. You can also use your own 3.5mm headset on the phone or in the remote control.

Nokia 5800 digital camera

The built-in digital camera of the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic music phone features a resolution of 3.2 Megapixels and a Carl Zeiss lens. Reasonable specifications, although not the most impressive ones at present. Yet, I am very pleased with the camera and the camera application. The camera opens quickly by pressing the shortcut briefly, wherever you are in the menu. The fact you don’t have to return to the main screen and you don't have to press the key very long, means that you will always be pretty fast in taking a picture. Sometimes, especially in somewhat darker circumstances, it is hard to decide the composition, seeing as only two thirds of the screen function as a viewfinder. Capturing a picture is also very quick. Pressing the shutter release slightly carries out a fast focus, whilst pressing down the button completely captures the picture directly. It's also thanks to the key lock bar on the side that the phone is very useful for taking a quick snapshot. Simply remove the key lock, press the shortcut and there you go. It's an excellent application. 

Nokia 5800 Xpressmusic camera settings 

As mentioned before, there are some shortcuts standard placed next to the viewfinder, among which is the camera settings shortcut. Activating or deactivating the flash is done quickly, but for the additional options you have to dive into the menu. The menu works excellently, better than other Symbian applications without touchscreen. The way it is carried out now is simply a lot clearer. The only thing that is a pity is the fact that the scene mode is not confirmed immediately; you open the menu, go to the scene mode and make your choice. This choice is then selected, but you won't directly go to the viewfinder, the menu has to be closed by two actions. This is a minor disadvantage, however, and everything else is both excellent and fast. ISO values can also be adjusted, although it only provides three options: Low, Medium and Hi. A lot of noise becomes visible quite soon. Generally, the auto mode obtains the best results. 

Quality of the Nokia Xpressmusic photos

In addition to ISO values, also white balance, color effects, contrast and sharpness settings can be adjusted. The quality of the pictures certainly surprises too. For a phone that does not have the camera as its most important feature, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic makes outstandingly good pictures. And what's even more important; making pictures is also very pleasant. It is a clear application which can be activated fast and is able to capture a composition quite well with little delay. There is also a dual LED flash available that comes in handy during the evenings. It responds quickly and has quite an effective range. If you view the full resolution of the pictures, you may come across some minor flaws, but in general the result is a very nice surprise indeed.

Built-in GPS with Nokia Maps
The built-in GPS antenna enables you to always locate your position with the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. You will not be able to standard use the navigation function. The application Nokia Maps is preinstalled but works similar to Google Maps. If you purchase a license, Nokia Maps can be used as voice navigation system. 

Microsoft Office files
Thanks to Symbian on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, you can also open Microsoft Office files on the handset. This goes for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. In addition, Adobe PDF is supported. Unfortunately, however, you can only open the documents, not edit them.

Nokia Lithium Ion battery
The standard included 3.7V 1320mAh Lithium Ion battery provides an acceptable standby time. According to the specifications, a maximum standby time of 408 hours and a talk-time of 9 hours should be possible. However, the standby time of this Nokia 5800 mobile phone strongly depends on the applications used. If you listen to music a lot and take many pictures, the battery will run out in one day. If you use the Nokia 5800 to make the occasional phone call, a standby time of more than 4 days is possible. This is quite reasonable for this type of mobile phone. 

Nokia 5800 memory

The internal memory of the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is 81MB. This is enough for a few pictures, however, if you want to use the phone as an actual music player; it's nothing. Thankfully, the memory can be expanded with a microSD/SDHC memory card, and in fact Nokia even includes an 8GB memory card. The memory card is inserted on the side of the phone, for which the phone does not have to be deactivated. You sometimes do have to fiddle a bit to get the card in place. The mobile phone supports memory cards up to 16GB.

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