- Chris Ziegler , Engadget
Nokia's come to the table with really good, if not stellar, midrange hardware here...
Reviews (7.8/10 Avg. rating)
Nokia 5800 rocks for music and adds some needed touchscreen flare
After along wait to officially release in Canada, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is finally available and can definitely rank up there as one of their best devices to date. Other standout devices have there place such as the Nokia E71 for an all around Smartphone, plus the Nokia N95 8GB for gaming. B... More
After along wait to officially release in Canada, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is finally available and can definitely rank up there as one of their best devices to date. Other standout devices have there place such as the Nokia E71 for an all around Smartphone, plus the Nokia N95 8GB for gaming. But the 5800 rocks for music and adds some needed touchscreen flare.
Stellar, midrange hardware but software hampered it beyond salvage
Would we recommend the 5800? Unless you like solving mysteries like "will this operation take one or two taps" and "what number corresponds to F on the keypad," no, we wouldn't. Nokia's come to the table with really good, if not stellar, midrange hardware here -- but the company's lack of willing... More
Would we recommend the 5800? Unless you like solving mysteries like "will this operation take one or two taps" and "what number corresponds to F on the keypad," no, we wouldn't. Nokia's come to the table with really good, if not stellar, midrange hardware here -- but the company's lack of willingness to shed its preconceptions and leap head-first into the touch paradigm with a clear mind and a clean slate has hampered it beyond salvage.
We have every confidence that Nokia (and its buddies at the Symbian Foundation) will end up getting it right, but these guys are still the biggest in the world; maybe it'll take a bit of humble pie before they realize that this needs to be addressed from an entirely different angle. Windows Mobile is learning that lesson from countless licensees re-skinning what has become Microsoft's liability of a UI, and perhaps Nokia should look at Samsung's Omnia HD -- which has reskinned S60 with TouchWiz -- as an advance warning that they're headed down the same path.Less
It's got some great features, but the touchscreen could be improved
Given the current selection of touchscreen phones, we expected a lot from the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. Sadly, it didn't deliver the experience we'd hoped for. The 5800's screen isn't the worst we've ever used but it lacks the responsiveness of the iPhone's and, at times, requires a stylus. That sa... More
Given the current selection of touchscreen phones, we expected a lot from the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. Sadly, it didn't deliver the experience we'd hoped for. The 5800's screen isn't the worst we've ever used but it lacks the responsiveness of the iPhone's and, at times, requires a stylus. That said, the music experience isn't bad, so hopefully Nokia's next touchscreen phone will do it justice.Less
Delivers multimedia prowess and unmistakable Nokia identity
OK then, what we have here is two newbies in the touchscreen league. A fact's a fact, but it's not exactly the kind of newbies everyone will look down at. Market leaders Nokia and the top selling smartphone platform must be ready to take a few beatings at the start of season but will hardly settl... More
OK then, what we have here is two newbies in the touchscreen league. A fact's a fact, but it's not exactly the kind of newbies everyone will look down at. Market leaders Nokia and the top selling smartphone platform must be ready to take a few beatings at the start of season but will hardly settle in for a long losing streak.
The competition is already in their second or third generation of touchscreen devices so the battle will be tough. Apple, WinMo, Samsung and LG have statistics in their favor. What's more, the number two manufacturer, Samsung, is also into S60 so Nokia may as well be taking due precautions against getting beaten in their own game.
That said, introducing a mid-range handset to debut the touch-enabled S60 sure looks a smart move. It lowers the expectations (flaws are less of an issue) and makes sure the platform sells well so that it can build up a wider user and developer base. And once it has enough reach - and testing time - the real flagship descends to reap the benefits.
For an even more effective camouflage, there goes the XpressMusic branding. And Nokia have done well to eclipse potential touch UI glitches with the best audio quality the house has pulled off to date. Not least, the Comes with Music service does get a boost too.
Anyway, at the end of this review we still feel Nokia 5800 is a worthy deal. Sure you get an interface that's immature, inconsistent and quite clumsy but the package you get for that kind of cash is a bargain and even Nokia's sworn enemies admit that.
The full house retail box and the highly competitive sub-300 euro price against most of the touchscreen competition should be enough of a motivation. It's also likely for third party applications to grow at a frantic rate over the next couple of months, as the market for them gets larger and larger.
And you can bet that there's a bargain at the other end too. Nokia's gain is feedback on its new Touch UI. We just hope that feedback gets smartly used.
The main features are all executed well enough
There are a few minor physical design issues, too. The phone feels a bit hollow and plasticky. It seems well built, but it just doesn't have that rock solid feel that phones like the 5310 XpressMusic do. The covers for the microSD and SIM slots look great, but can be a nightmare to open. I also d... More
There are a few minor physical design issues, too. The phone feels a bit hollow and plasticky. It seems well built, but it just doesn't have that rock solid feel that phones like the 5310 XpressMusic do. The covers for the microSD and SIM slots look great, but can be a nightmare to open. I also dislike the narrow stylus, and have no interest in using the attachable "guitar pick" that ships with the phone. Thankfully, the touchscreen itself works very well with just a finger. I love the vibration feedback when it is tapped, and it is nice that you can adjust that (or disable it) in the profiles.
So apart from the previously mentioned minor details, I'm pleased. The web browser works really well. WiFi is fast, and a bit easier to deal with in this edition of S60. The music player isn't going to wow you, but it works fine. And the camera does a decent job as well. The main features are all executed well enough for most people to be very happy with the device. It lacks the visual pizazz of the iPhone or T-Mobile G1, but it all works predictably and thoughtfully.
We'll reserve final judgement on the 5800 XpressMusic until we get our hands on a production device, but suffice it to say that so far, so good.
Very good, but a few flaws short of greatness
The 5800 is my fifth Nokia phone in eleven years, and while it's easily the best of the lot, it's not perfect. I'm running it on 7-11 Speakout (a Rogers MNVO), which is GSM only, and doesn't support smartphones, so I can't report on the social networking features, or any networking features outside of web browsing, actually. 7-11 doesn't sell or support this phone, but it has no problems. I have the quad band version of the phone, and I discovered that 7-11 supports GSM mode only, so once I set the phone to use GSM only, everything was fine. The good: - great as a music phone: strong, clear audio - standard 3.5" audio jacks rather than 2.5" - very good call quality - makes an excellent PDA - camera is very good (but not excellent) with flash - integrated GPS with free OVI maps works quite well - S60 operating system is feature rich and stable - excellent PC integration - screen is high resolution, bright, and high contrast The bad - S60 operating system is sloooow - this is Nokia's first attempt at touchscreen, and it shows - touch screen is non capacitive - battery life (depending on usage) - don't install a lot of apps on it - side "on/off" slider takes getting used to - screen is utterly hopeless in sunlight I don't have a data plan, and I don't make a lot of calls on it. So why did I get a smart phone? Because it's a terrific PDA, great MP3 player, good camera, and good GPS. It also happens to make phone calls. And with WiFi, it's a decent web browser too. With some free S60 apps, it's also a good flashlight and magnifying glass. Of course, I got mine second hand for about $125; I don't think I'd pay $400 list for it. But since it's now a two year old phone, the prices are dropping on it anyway. As a PDA, it's quite an improvement over my previous 5130. The actual capabilities aren't that different, but it really makes use of the extra screen real estate. The MP3 player is easily as good as any standalone MP3 player I've used over the past decade. It supports MP3 tagging, playlists, and the usual features. There's also a Nokia music store to compete with iTunes, but I've not tried it; I just rip my own CDs and put the MP3s on the 8GB memory card. The audio output is on a 3.5" jack, so standard headphones can be used. When you plug something in, you get asked whether to use headphone or lineout settings. The camera works quite well for a convenience camera, but I certainly wouldn't use it to replace a standalone camera when going on a trip or anything like that. Using WiFi, I can browse web pages. I have poor eyesight, so I wouldn't do this too much, but if you're into that sort of thing, the supplied browser is very responsive, with a lot of pan and zoom features to help with web pages that are not scaled for portable devices (ie. most of them). PC connectivity is a major reason I keep going with Nokia phones. Their existing PC Suite is currently better (more stable) than the OVI suite that's supposed to replace it, but I think that will change over time. Phone backups can be made as images, and it can also hotsynch with Outlook and Lotus Notes. Given the number of people I know who've lost their phones, freaked out and wailed "oh no, my entire life is in my phone", I'm amazed that phone backups aren't common. With Nokias, I never worry. For those that aren't interested in using the BlueTooth or USB backup options, you can also set up a free OVI store account, and backup your phone to an account on the net. Of course, that's slower, and requires a data plan, or at least web access. But it's nice to have the option. The PC Suite is also terrific at doing phone migration. I did a complete backup of my 5130, moved the sim card into the 5800, restored the backup to the 5800, and was good to go. Outside of some minor things with phone differences (screen size differences mean you can't use the same wallpaper, stuff like that), it was trivial. Thumbs up for that. Touch screen support seems to be an afterthought; there is a stylus supplied with the phone for a reason (although your finger will work fine). If you're expecting an iPhone like experience, you will be disappointed. And if you install a lot of applications, the system bogs down tremendously, and battery life suffers. I installed about 20 apps to play around, and the phone felt like it was running through mud. It also killed the battery in under 18 hours, where it normally gets 3-4 days. I uninstalled 18 of those apps, and battery life and responsiveness have returned. I've read reviews that contradict my experience, so maybe it's a firmware revision thing, or something in one or more of the specific applications (all from the OVI store), or maybe it was just my unit. As for the screen itself, I put a $5 screen protector film on it, and I'm glad I did. After messing about for a month with the supplied stylus, I was amazed at how much the film was marked up. It cleaned up well, but I'm glad I had used the protector. Using a different stylus (from an old Palm Pilot) that's not as sharp a point seems to make a difference. And, of course, so does using just a finger, though that's not as precise when trying to type something. For a music phone, it's surprising that there are no music controls on the unit (like on the 5130), but that's a minor annoyance. I don't really run video on such small devices, but when I have, it was perfectly acceptable. The screen is 16:9 aspect ratio, so widescreen movies fit on it perfectly. I don't have a data plan, so the fact that the GPS is standalone (unlike the iPhone or the Google Maps on Android) is very nice. It's not TomTom or Garmin, but it's very usable. Just make sure you have a car charger; using the GPS for an hour or two drains the battery something fierce. In order to save space, the maps are much more compressed than with a standalone GPS, by about a factor of six. This means that it gets the streets right, but the street addresses wrong. It seems to determine street numbers based on the address at the start of the street, the address at the end, and the physical position you are between them. But that's a minor annoyance only; it gets the major functions correct. It gives turn by turn directions, and you can preprogram routes on their website and download them to the phone. There is voice support and traffic reports, but those aren't free, so I didn't bother with them. Overall, I've extremely happy with the phone. I'd like to see improved performance, sunlight readability, and music control buttons (like the 5130), but none of those are deal breakers for me. I know that capacitive screens are going into newer phones, and that will be an improvement. Sunlight readability is terrible, and something that really needs to be addressed in subsequent phones.Less
Pro: Battery, solid, excellent speaker Con: slow interface, touch screen, worst camera ever i was looking for a good phone with good speaker and i found itLess
Just right phone
Pro: Battery, Applications, solid, internet, features, music playback, graphics Con: slow interface, touch screen, scrolling, camera It's just the perfect phones for teens, like me. Music playback was one of the best. Loudest and best in quality. Phone capabilities are all superb due to it's a Nokia. Third party applications are numerous and somehow cheaper than Iphone. Lots of free applications to choose from also. Internet browser is nice and quick. Graphics are hands down the best. Battery lasts longer than 30 hours with music playback and about 5 days when stanby or SMS only. Built solidly, less exterior glitches, scratch resistant. Although oil and fingerprint lover. Shortcuts aplenty. Slow interface for a smartphone. More to expect from its software, Symbian. Although updates are rolling every month. Touch screen is not a responsive as Iphone. Scrolling takes years with a scrollbar. Camera sucks with poor lighting conditions. Support is awesome. Finally, this is the first touch smartphone of Nokia. So, software errors are inevitable. This phone is like a learning stage for Nokia. Since N97 and 5530XM are both improved altered forms of Nokia 5800. Only N97 is to cater upper and more affluent figures such as businessmen. 5530 is for the hip and less affluent ones, being an affordable touch smartphone. Nokia 5800 still successfully gave itself a niche in the phone industry. A phone for music lovers and tech savvy alike. Also for those who wants practical but does not compromise with quality.Less
Not too shabby!
Pros: - loud speakers - versatile (GPS, WiFi, internet, passable camera WITH flash) - can use it for tethering your laptop (use JoikuSpot) - GREAT battery life (esp. compared to N82) - Sportstracker GPS app rocks! - Price: about half as expensive (unsubsidised price) as iPhone Cons: - resistive touch screen needs more pressure than capacitive screen (e.g. iPhone) - no word completion (unlike iPhone)Less
Pro: choice Con: good no more garantee and distrubitionLess
The BEST phone ever
Pro: out of this world design loud and clear speakers excellent resolution 8gb memory card in the box Con: there are no cons!!! Using experience: 2 weeks It is the best phone I ever got. It has everything ,wi-fi,gps,google maps,8gb memory,flawless design,and to top all that it comes with accecories like a case and extra stylus and a guitar pick stylus. I didnt think this phone would be this good but here it is. It has a very good price and it IS better than the iphone times infinite squared. I seriously recommend it for everyone.Less
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