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Nokia 5800 XpressMusic as a touch screen device


Hi folks. You probably read my first hands on with the Nokia 5800 last year. My first impressions still are basically the same, now that I finally have the unit with me and I’d like to supplemement that review with this post. I’ve been pondering how to go about reviewing this phone and opted out from a specs perspective, and will talk about the experience of using a touch screen Nokia device. Thus this review is oriented for Nokia users who are wondering how well the touch screen technology has been implemented on the 5800.

Before I continue, note that this is not Nokia’s first take on the touch screen. They had two devices in the past that did this, and their “N” web browser tablets also do the same. But this is the first time Nokia has put out so much marketing for an XpressMusic phone that seems to be more like an Nseries device because of the way it’s implemented.

The photo above shows you how to get around to the different “hot areas” of the phone’s main menu. Because of the touch screen, you can find other ways to access the clock, alarm, connectivity, and profiles without creating shortcuts. With the XpressMusic menu button on top, you also don’t need to use the custom shortcut buttons for the multimedia functions. Thus, I use the 4 shortcut keys for putting in other things such as messaging, calculator and the camera.

Size Comparisons

Below are comparisons with the Nokia E71, the Apple iPod Touch (Generation II), and the HTC TyTn II. The 5800 is handy and light to the hand, similar to the Nokia N82.



Home Screen

You can customize the phone’s home screen to use the traditional S60 menu of calendars and updates or you can use the “RSS friend” tracker that updates you with the information of 4 of your chosen friends. I personally don’t find the latter function to be as useful (it does sound cool but I prefer to have my dates and to do’s on the menu).


Nokia 5800 Virtual Keypad

How well can you text with it?

It’s been four days and I don’t use the QWERTY or mini QWERTY mode of input. I stick to the good ‘ol fashioned numerical keypad that works almost as well as real keys. There have been mixed feedback on how sensitive the keys are compared to real hardware buttons but I sincerely think that you can get used to it.


A small reservation I have is the method for finding names, as it can get rather confusing when you have the entire A-Z displayed, and as you type in a name, some letters go odd man out on you to see what’s left. It can be confusing at first but come to think of it, it’s the most efficient way save for offering multitouch on the keypad.

Browsing through names using the scroll bar can be a chore. I’m glad that the keypad senses your entire thumb even if you’re not directly touching the scroll node. To scroll up and down, it’s most comfy to put your thumb above or below the node and let the phone scroll itself up and down the contacts list.

iSync Compatibility with OS X


If you are a Mac user, as of late there is still no sync tool for iSync. But guess what? I was able to find a workaround to getting a flawless sync to work with Apple’s iSync. You can download the plugin from that link. Keep checking the official iSync plugin page for an official driver.

Things that need to be improved:

There seems to be something up with the signal. The screen flickers on and off at times when I’m on a call and I tend to lose the person I’m talking to on the other line. It doesn’t happen often but it needs to be addressed.

Battery life is another issue. It’s not as bad as when the first N95 came out. You will get a day of full charge on this thing if you use the multimedia and WiFi sparingly but you may need to carry around a spare charger for a really long day.

So, I know a lot of guys lined up the for the huge pre-sell discount. How goes your Nokia 5800 experience so far? Leave a comment and let’s figure things out!