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Thanks to David Lian, I’ve got myself a review unit of the highly anticipated Nokia XpressMusic 5800 phone for a couple weeks to play with. The phone has been returned since and I am currently suffering withdrawal symptoms. I constantly try to touch icons on my N82 and try to move the screens around to scroll web pages.. ahh.

However, I shall not digress, here is my take on the XpressMusic 5800.

Nokia XpressMusic 5800
full screen qwerty keyboard & hand writing recognition

Size and Form Factor:
First off, I really like the fact that the phone is only as big as the N82 and weigh pretty much the same. Most other touch screen phones such as the various Windows Mobile devices are generally much larger and wider, and thus not terribly usable especially when you try to operate it with only one hand. The 5800 fits nicely in the pocket and snugs into my palm comfortably.

On the side of the phone you find 2 volume buttons, a slider for lock/unlock, and a dedicated camera button. A power button can be found on top of the device, and just underneath the screen exists the call button in green, menu button in white, and the hang up button in red. I find the semi-minimalistic approach pretty nifty when it comes to answering calls and adjusting volumes (especially when you are playing music and browsing web pages, not needing to flip applications back and forth is really useful)

Nokia XpressMusic 5800
mini qwerty, simulated keypad, XpressMusic player

As a Media Device:
XpressMusic phones, as the name suggests, is aim at music lovers. In this regard, the 5800 does not disappoint. The device is bundled with an 8gb microSD card, stereo headphones, and very impressive external speakers that can fill up a small room pretty good.

The 640×360 resolution screen (qHD – quarter HD) is a godsend for browsing webpages. If you compare that to the N82’s 240×320 display, it fits exactly 3 times as much information on the screen. Double tap on the screen when viewing a webpage will zoom it to “very large” size, double tap again to restore back to original resolution, very useful. You can also zoom the display of a webpage in and out by percentage.

The 3.2 megapixel camera though, is rather noisy at low light condition and the pictures are miles away from the capability of my trusted N82. Put in the 5MP camera and xenon flash and the phone would be unstoppable.

Input Methods:
As some of you might have already known, the 5800 employs resistive touchscreen technology (instead of capacitive such as the iPhone). The benefit of this technology is that a stylus (and indeed provided), finger, or even nails, can be used. Skin contact is not necessary.

There are actually four different ways to input text. There is the full screen qwerty keyboard, best operate with both thumbs; the mini qwerty that is usually tapped with stylus; the simulated keypad option with T9 support; and handwriting recognition that supports both English and Chinese input. No fancy two finger gestures to zoom in and out of a webpage, but your China-imported girlfriend with nail extension can compose an SMS to you.

Personally I find myself reverting back to the simulated keypad with T9 a lot. As you touch the screen, a very subtle vibration gives you an affirmation of your action. A nice touch.

I think Nokia has done it right with their first touch-enabled phone, the UI is rather polished for a review/prototype unit. There is almost no learning curve for Symbian S60 users, everything is pretty intuitive and straight forward, and it is an improvement in many aspects except for the lackluster camera performance.

There are several missing features on my wish list, such as a speed dial screen with more than just 4 numbers and tabbed browsing. I trust that some of these things will be corrected in future firmware releases.

Anyway, I captured a short video of the phone with my N82. Single take and unedited.

By the way, the XpressMusic 5800 is going to be launched on the evening of 9.01.09 at Pavilion. This is going to be a public event with live performances, games with prizes to win, and as David promised, lots of fun. I’m going to be there, are you?

Discuss : KY review – Nokia XpressMusic 5800 Touch Screen

  1. Technically it’s not Nokia’s first touchscreen phone…it was the 7710. :p

    But it definitely rawks. I am in love with the handwriting feature! So nice!

  2. I’d love the qwerty keyboard function anytime… since having a physical keyboard yet wanting it to be slim is nearly impossible 🙁

    how thick is it exactly?

  3. Lol! Erna! Those were the days…and palm ruled in that era.

    Chriso, it’s about as thick as the Nokia N82, but slightly slimmer.

  4. Erna,
    Ahhh, well, first s60 touchscreen phone then. :/

    Yah, davidlian answered.


  5. any ideas on the pricing?
    been waiting for so long now.
    pity about the lacklustre camera though. would be better to have a 5MP one. then it’s perfect.

  6. J2Kfm,
    I heard it might be below RM2k. We shall find out next month! 😀

  7. You didn’t say how much?!!! How much?!!

  8. stim! me wan one T_T

  9. eiling,
    I don’t know! By 09.01.09 we shall find out. 😀

    Me too!

  10. How’s the network connection options?… how much is the expected selling price?

  11. hey bro.. nice review…. but hows the battery life like ?

  12. Thanks David! Okay its looking even better then. Currently using the ancient n73 and E60, I’m waaaay of times haha! Ah, something to look forward to for the new year 🙂

  13. overall is a nice phone….hope to get my HTC HD soon if budget permits…

  14. Neo,
    Wifi, Bluetooth, HSDPA, GPS, all that jazz! 😀

    Battery life is surprisingly good, I could use it heavily for more than 2 days.

    Make it happen. 😀

    HTC? Windows Mobile? good luck. heehee

  15. Jade Zheng

    but its such a guy guy thing leh… malas wanna go. hehe! =P

  16. wah lau. my review is gg to be shorter..

  17. Can I go for the event too??

  18. Jade Zheng,
    Can go to see guys lor. 😛

    But you have the phone longer!

    It is open to public!

  19. What if I right with the left hand and then the right hand? WIll it still recognise my handwriting??? 😀

  20. Good review, KY. I am planning to change my phone, this would be a good guide.

  21. You’re using 3G or Wifi for Internet?

  22. WOM World / Nokia » Blog Archive - A look at the Nokia 5800

    […] at, the man himself is suffering from withdrawal symptoms after having to give back his trial 5800 saying “I constantly try to touch icons on my N82 and […]

  23. Dabido,
    You? Maybe not! lol

    Great! 😉

    Simon Seow,
    I tried both. 😀

  24. I need a new phone. I hope you’re reading David. 😉

  25. cool blog pal , love those gadget and food u post up;-p

  26. Nokia Daily News - 12/15/06 | Nokia Daily News

    […] Speaks – Quick preview of MX 5800, pics and video, via WOM […]

  27. Huai Bin,

    Thanks! 😀

  28. yea yea, i’m reading. i’m heavily attracted to touchscreen phones.

  29. Question of the day is, in a worst case scenario, would you sacrifice the 5800 and throw it at a angry dog that momentarily would make a meal out of your lower apendages ?

    Not that I’ve advocating that we should actually try it out. Just sayin’ …

  30. Robb,
    Do check it out. 😀

    Hahaha of course my lower appendages are always going to be more important!

  31. Wah! and I thought KY only reviews food! Now Nokia phones (very good ^^)

    I was frantically looking for updates when Nokia 5800 will be officially launched in M’sia, I was looking for a new phone 2 months back, when 5800 caught my eyes, then there was a roadshow for it in QueensBay, Pg some time in Nov.

    I agree, if the camera is packed with 5MP with xenon flash, that’ll be superb. Pls tell Nokia we love zenon flash! Bring it!! hehe

    Was contemplating on HTC Touch HD as well, but no flash, and price is pretty steep. So… i can’t wait!!!

    Oh, thanks for the great review and info, KY! I can now go to sleep peacefully haha!

  32. Woott!

    Test the N85 also lar, i wantt! Haha

  33. shaoweii,
    We shall see. David Lian are you reading this? 😛

  34. aeroplane1234

    im all for this phone!. but im curious how much u going to trade ur old one to me 🙂

  35. That phone looks sick man.

  36. aeroplane1234,
    Neverrr 😀

    Oh yesss! 😀

  37. nokia xpressmusic 5800 veri got veri gon ist beste thone

  38. daut,
    I wish i know what you are saying. :s

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