UPDATE 2: More hands on with me playing with the phone. I talk about the touch screen in particular.
UPDATE: From Nikka Abes of Nokia Philippines:
The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone is selling at a preorder price of P20,000.00. To place a preorder please sign up at the Nokia Philippines website. This goes to the first 58 sign ups.
The price of the 5800 XpressMusic is pegged at about P18,000 without tax so we can estimate this to be at the early P20,000 mark when it comes out officially (nota bene: this is only speculation, btu it gives you a rough estimate how much of your Christmas money to save).
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NOKIA 5800 FIRST IMPRESSIONS
A bit of history: the XpressMusic line is Nokia’s flagship brand for anything and everything music. If the Nseries concentrates on multimedia (video mostly), the E series on corporate use, the XpressMusic line is distinct because it has two things – a separate high quality audio hardware (loud and crisp speakers) and a 3.5mm speaker jack. This is consistent throughout all the Nokia phones branded as XpressMusic.
The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone is Nokia’s first Nseries touch screen device as well. Nokia has had two other semi popular touch screen phones in the past – the Nokia 6708 and the Nokia 7710, released back in 2006. Here is a walk through of the various features. My first impressions were very positive as the touch screen integrates well into the device. Unlike the iPhone which is an SMS composing nightmare, the 5800 slightly vibrates each time you press a button. There are three text input modes available – full QWERTY keyboard, mini QWERTY keyboard and the traditional numerical keypad.
Photos and full feature after the jump.
Numerical Keypad / T9
The first two methods present a slight learning curve, and this to me is no surprise, especially for the mini QWERTY where a “widget keyboard” pops up in the message composition screen (stylus use advised!). The traditional text input (numerical keypad) is perhaps the most efficient way to enter text and the overall experience doesn’t stray from having a real hardware buttons. In other words, you can type on this third input method with 100% accuracy once you get hold of the device. As expected, it supports predictive text (T9) as well.
The Nokia 5800 comes with a built in accelerometer that tilts the device depending how you hold it. Landscape mode is the default mode for the 3.2MP auto focus camera. Here is a sample shot I took sans the flash (the yellow table decor below) using the 5800. All the controls are in the touch screen with a slight variation in the user interface. The virtual camera buttons are bigger so that they can be pressed easily.
The home screen is completely revamped. According to Nikka Abes from Nokia Philippines, you can now assign special four contacts to your home screen. These four contacts (i.e. “best friends”) will have pertinent information displayed, apart from making them easy to reach. Such information would include RSS feeds from their blogs so you are constantly updated on their lives. To the right of the 5800 XpressMusic branding is a small icon that is actually another shortcut button to open up more functions.
The 5800 only has three buttons on the front face – two for accepting or rejecting calls and a middle home button. There is a jog slider on the right side of the phone for locking and unlocking the device.
The 5800 XpressMusic is a stroke of genius from Nokia. If you’re the type of person who is allergic to a touch screen interface, I urge you to give this a try when it comes out in your local dealer’s display. You’d be amazed how intuitive the tactile feedback responds, especially in the regular virtual keypad mode. The new S60 v5 software is also fast, decreasing UI lag by leaps and bounds.
The 5800 is packed with strong features including wireless Internet (802.11g), GPS, Bluetooth, a decent 3.2MP Zeiss auto focus camera, TV out, 3.5mm jack, 140MB of internal memory and 8GB microSD expansion card included in packaging. It also comes with a stylus which slides into the back of the phone and is used, I assume for the mini keyboard.