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Nokia 5800 XpressMusic as a touch screen device

Written by Jayvee Fernandez

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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

isync-5800

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!

About the author

Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

49 Comments

  • OMG something to consider other than XPERIA **faints** drooling over those funkay gadgets… **double faints** need to save some moolah!

  • Coming from Sony Ericsson P1i, using 5800 (heck, even Nokia 7710) will take a lot of getting used to. Unfortunately, I have to agree with you on the text input. Even I have to rely on the good old way. Also, I am not fond of haptics, but I’m getting used to it. I also miss using a jog wheel 😛

    The camera is disappointing but not a downer for me. Visually, the screen is a beauty, and themes are everywhere wee.

    Too bad Nokia has not bundled an in-ear headphone. Sound is great, stereo speakers are so-so (as expected). Also, is it just me, or the “bundled” Universal Music voucher is useless? I mean, everything I click on a song in the given Web site (using the phone’s browser), I always get the “Sorry your phone is not supported” message.

  • I got a Nokia 5800 Xpress Music at the launch in Bonifacio High Street last January 10, 2009 (Saturday, which coincidentally was my birthday). I was there as early as 8AM so I was included in the first 58 and received the free SennHeiser headset. The unit was a red one version 11 firmware.

    Upon demo of the unit, we already experienced a problem upon refreshing the music library which took more than 30 minutes to complete, while the other owners I was with took merely 3 minutes for their units to finish. After further waiting, I was referred to the product manager for marketing, Ms. Corrine Risos. Since the store was quite busy then, she gave me her number so that if I would have further problems with the library I could call on her.

    The unit was fine until Sunday evening when I noticed the sudden drops in volume when making calls and the music library kept continuously refreshing but wasn’t adding any files. I asked Nokia Care Greenbelt if they were aware of the earpiece problem and if the technical team can take a look at it. The staff answered that they are not yet aware of the earpiece problem since this was a new phone.

    I then called up Ms. Corrine Risos Monday morning and met with her and the head engineer Brian Lee at the Nokia Philippines office in Makati. Apparently they were not aware of the earpiece bug problem, which was reported in forums from countries who had earlier launches. After showing them the problem with my unit, they asked if they could borrow it for diagnosis. Knowing that it was a quick fix based on the Youtube solutions, it took them longer to resolve the problem. Anyway, I waited until 7PM the next day but to no avail. I was informed that they fixed the earpiece bug but they were having problems with the refresh music library function.

    Since I was at the Bonifacio High Street area, I went in the store and asked the store manager Ms. Bess about their policy regarding refunds, she said none “WALA KASI ELECTRONICS ETO” (None because these are electronic devices) and that Nokia care would either repair or place the item pending diagnosis but definitely NO REFUNDS.

    Come Wednesday afternoon I was informed that the unit was fixed and the messenger was to deliver the unit around 6-7 pm at our house. When it arrived, I tried turning it on but wouldn’t so naturally I thought that the battery might be discharged, but after charging for an hour the charging lights wasn’t turning on.

    I called Ms. Risos again but according to her, the unit was functioning prior to sending and that even tried turning it on and off but had no problems. She promised to elevate my case to the Nokia Care which was the usual protocol. So this morning she informed me that someone would call me regarding my case. I tried my luck and tried to call Engr. Bryan Lee since he was from Nokia Care. He was informed by Ms. Risos of my problem and that I wanted a refund. He informed me that the usual case would be replacement but since it was a special case he arranged the refund at the Nokia Store at the Bonifacio High Street. But what further frustrated me was that I had to return the Sennheiser headset and other freebies, which I believed I was entitled to since I was in line at 8AM to claim those items upon purchase for free. And what about the effort and time I spent to get this unit and all the birthday greetings I received and videos which were on the phone when it was still functioning? Yes I have my money back but could I charge you back for those which I lost due to a faulty unit?

    I waited so long for this phone and I really wanted it in lieu of getting an iPhone. What made me consider a refund instead of a replacement was that I had no assurance that the replacement units would be free of any malfunction. I know several owners who purchased the same units that day at the same store having similar problems and still waiting for a response from Nokia Care. Could it be that Nokia Care really doesn’t really care for its customers?

  • I was also on the January 10 launch date of the 5800. I was the 34th person on the line which means I also got the Sennheiser and the VIP tickets. However I did not encounter any of those problems you’ve all mentioned YET and I hope I won’t. However I have encountered some random reset of the 5800 device. Once I was watching movies when device suddenly turned off and restarted. Another reset happened when I was listening to music and simultaneously sending an SMS message. The unit restarted and I have to correct the date and time. In both cases I have 1 bar left on my battery BUT I cannot duplicate the problem. I’m a programmer and works as a tech support and for a problem to be solved, we mut be able to duplicate it. If it cannot be duplicated, then it’s not a problem. This is also what I say to my clients. So until I cannot duplicate the reset problem, I won’t make a fuss about it. Also, when typing on the 5800 I prefer the full screen qwerty. By the way wrote this post via my 5800 on GPRS.

  • how do you sync the universal music free downloads. i tried to download a song from the freebies in my laptop using internet explorer. it was downloaded in my laptop however since it is protected download, the windows media player of the laptop cannot play it, igot a message that i need to sync it with the phone using winodmws media player. so i connected the usb and tried to sync it, unfortunately a message appear that an error occured, that the video cannot be synched because it still hastnt gotten the required permission for the digital rights. , so I look again at the screen of wmp and there is a statement at the lower portion stating dowloading digital rigths. I thought it would only take several minutes to get said permission but even after an hour it is still dowloading the permission and that is only for one song.

  • im the 15th in line.. n_n
    anyways.. im also having problems when trying to accept a call while texting… ung tipong ngvvibrate/ring na xa, tinotouch mo n ung screen, ayaw umilaw, inunlock mo na, ayaw prin, or iilaw xa, pero di magrerespond ung phone.. again, this usually happens while im texting or on the messages menu.

    automatic powercycling/ phone freezes – experienced it twice p lng.. kadalasan pag nkaopen ung messaging, real player and gallery..

    and i also find it a bit slow when it comes to opening messages and other apps.

    and i was also having the same prob as incus regarding sa earpiece, kelangan nka loudspeaker pa..

  • i got mine last jan10 in bonifacio high street also, but my phone had a version 10 firmware. i was surprised to read here that somebody got a version 11 firmware on the same day. i wonder if it’s because i got mine later in the afternoon (could be they got my phone as additional stock) or is it by color (mine is blue)? a little disappointing to know that version 11 was available the same day i got mine, as it’s not a walk in the park to transfer files from my 2 other phones, esp. one’s not nokia.

    anyway, i got my firmware updated to version 11 last friday through nokia care. it took one hour. i noticed the phone is faster now, and the motion sensor isn’t too sensitive as before.

    reading the problems of the others above, i’m curious what version they have for their phones. could it be the version 11 phones has this restarting problem alone? i didn’t experience it at all when i was in version 10. (come to think of it, last night, my phone was updated already to version 11, and it did shut down when i was already 42% into my download of something from download!. hmmmm..)

    well, in general, i’m still happy i waited for this phone. i just hope there’d be more applications and themes soon. 🙂

  • ahhmmm..
    just wanna ask..
    if the 5800 XpressMusic really have the firmware upgrade AGAIN..
    i just read it in gsmarena..
    the’re telling that they upgrade it into

    20.0.012

    is it true???

    Pls respond!!!

    Thanks!!!

  • i would like to ask..

    are all 5800 in the Philippines is made in china??? if not,, where can i buy made in hungary???

    pls respond!!!!!!!

    THANKS!!

  • To Marlon: have you solved your issue with the synching of UM downloads? call Nokia Careline at 8861234 if you need more help.

  • may i know how much does nokia 5800 cost today? i just lost my nokia 5310 and looking for an upgrade. i am eyeing fo nokia 5800 but prices that i have been getting are from January 2009. i’m sure price already dropped by thousands. please help me. email me at ecruiz_cpa@yahoo.com

  • Before buying Nokia 5800 xm or any phone, please make sure:
    1. Your set is functioning,
    2. Warranty card completed,
    3. memory card included and functioning,
    4. know where to go when it malfunction.

    when using the phone, watch the screen carefully because they are so sensitive and will damage easily within 6 weeks. Its the most problems reported on web.

  • I have this phone 2 weeks ago and I noticed that it has a bad battery life. yung tipong more or less 24 hours lang siya charge ulit. . .And I’m just using it for texting pa lang and not for it’s multimedia functions. Ganito ba talaga to?

  • Hey..My 5800..the screen just goes into colourfull rain..and will get back to normal after 20 secionds..happens very very frequently..getting so annoyed with it..can u reply asap?

  • HI,pls help..do i need to install anti virus on my nokia 5800XM?whats the best anti virus thats fit for it?thanks!

  • any updates on the current 5800 units now? do they still experience the same problems/issues?

  • this is really rockin my world just a battery i hate it!!!!!
    and sometimes hung on its own also i hate that any swap to e71 plssss

  • pag may madami ka nang music di mo na mapapalitan ung ringtone at message alert tone , alarm sound, at iba pa. panget at minsan nag laLAG paat nag fifreeze/hang

  • hey yaar got sum problem with d cover of ma mob ………..
    can nyone help me out !!!!!!! i mean any option to buy anther case !!!! duplicate or nything!!!!!!!

  • this NOKIA 5800 expressmusic phone is better than iphone 3G due to its being unlocked and has no contract that makes us all FOOLS (for allowing them to rob us under the guise of contracts.} i just hope its price next year(2010)will be at 5,000 pesos. as the best touch screen phone in the world, half of your life is missed if you don’t get it soonest. believe me i got one and i’m in heaven.

  • Positive Views
    – just bought it 13000php somewhere…(blue/v21.0.025)
    – its been a month now and im not having any problems with it
    (actually there are but browsing the internet for answers is the best way to feed our curiosity and questions)
    – spd is just right (comparing to iphone)
    – cam is 3.2mp (since its a ‘music phone’ its understandable)
    Negative / Problem Views
    – wifi is somehow difficult to connect in some areas
    – i can’t find good apps/games FOR this phone
    – the free UNIVERSAL MUSIC VOUCHER which entitles you free 500 MVs, True Tones and Full Songs are somewhat fake (i guess) — can’t find all the content i’ve downloaded…im still searching for answers in the net when i saw this site

    *im accepting questions regarding this matter for i worked for nokia before…i may not have exact answers for your concerns but i will give my best to answer it.
    *email me at ~ otakalypse27@yahoo.com ~
    *with the subject ~ 5800 question ~

    good luck to you and your 5800
    best regards,
    kio

  • I bough my Nokia 5800 last July 30. Since this was my dream phone and I really saved a lot in order to buy this, I was really disappointed when after 2 months is cannot anymore receive messages. I have to off it first or have it offline so that my messages will come out. I even called the costumer care of Smart because I was thinking that it is just with my network. Also, it did not anymore logged my calls because its systems clock suddenly freezes to the last date that I had calls. My suspicion was due to the fact that I had an unsuccessful installation of the application “Candle light” in Nokia’s OVI site. Mind you, I think the site has virus and it had damaged my phone. I have to bring it to the store where I purchased it and they told me that they have reseted my phone. Since then, I am already careful in downloading applications and I even uninstall some programs from my phone.

  • i’ve bought 5800 two months ago and guess what it has problems. The touch screen lower part didn’t respond to single or even multiple taps so I had it sent back to the store. They did look at it, and said they could repair err changed the lower touch screen (?) for 150 rials around PHP 1,800. I was flabbergasted but had no choice since what will I do with a broken phone. They did fix it but the contacts bar appears black on the homescreen and shortcuts has two black lines. After restarting it, I tried to make calls, but even with full network signal, it displays emergency calls only. I might agreed that Ovi could harbor viruses which affects the software, since after downloading themes, the celfone suddenly stock up and had to be restarted to use it again. I was really happy with my first few weeks of the phone, but now I’m stock with this cp, I definitely regret buying 5800 xpressmusic.

  • i read that the 5800 screen easily breaks. i wish the n97 mini has the sound quality of 5800.

  • good day!
    would like to get ur consensus if u have a choice between 5800 and e52 overall. what would u buy?

    thanks in advance.

  • I’ve uncovered my Nokia 5800 XpressMusic cell to be the greatest overall We’ve owned. Just desire it had a slide out qwerty keyboard! Anyway, it doesn’t so adequate is adequate. A whole lot of individuals whine in regards to the camera, it does suck, but it is not that essential to me-I possess a fantastic Canon SD950 camera if I want pics. I’m actually please with how customizable it is and all the things I can perform with it. Requirements charging pretty much everyday when utilized a fair bit. Thinking about debranding it. Rogers (Canada) keeps items pretty locked down and also the highest fw I happen to be in a position to upgrade to is v30 (a thing like that cannot bear in mind the exact range at the moment). Sounds like v40 has some excellent features I am missing out on.Nicely, glad I uncovered this forum, I hope to understand a good deal more about what I can perform with my mobile phone.

  • Worthless for a measureless review, though I’m genuine warmhearted a latest Zune, as well as instruct this, as full of health as a glorious reviews any an additional organisation get scrawled, will assist we finish if it’s a rightist budding for you.

  • hi. how much can i buy this phone? actually mas mura pa pala yan sa saudi kesa dito sa philppines no ? nasa saudi kasi and dad ko . sabi nia mas mura daw don so … kung bibigyan nio ko ng discount how much mabibigay nio saken ? thank you verymuch plz respond.

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