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Nokia Rolls Out Tube Touchscreen Handset

Gordon Kelly


Nokia Rolls Out Tube Touchscreen Handset

Well it had to pop that cherry sometime...

With the formal announcement of the 5800 XpressMusic (the rather disappointing title for the infinitely more excitingly codenamed 'Tube') Nokia has gone all kinds of official on its first - and long overdue - touchscreen handset.

Pitched as a midrange device it nevertheless comes with a raft of impressive features highlights of which include a 3.2in LCD with 640 x 360 native resolution, HSDPA, aGPS, WiFi and - just squeezing in via its Carl Zeiss optics - a 3.2MP camera capable of video recording.

Further good news also comes in the shape of Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP that all important 3.5mm headphone jack while talk time lasts up to nine hours, with music playback a substantial 35 hours (obviously with the likes of Bluetooth, WiFi, etc turned off).

As for negatives, the proportions are rather hefty for a low megapixel, touchscreen handset with a 15.5mm thickness making it inexplicably chunkier than something such as LG's 8MP KC-910 'Renoir' and the onboard memory is a piffling 81MB. Going some what to righting this wrong however is an 8GB microSD HC card which is included in the box and support extends to the format's new 16GB capacity highpoint.

Of course despite all this the key factor for the 5800 will be whether Nokia has done a half decent job in making its first fully finger friendly UI. A stylus is ominously included making me question what nasty surprises might be in store, but with a brand spanking new S60 5th Edition OS at its heart and Nokia's track record of clean interfaces my hopes are high.

The 5800 XpressMusic (please Nokia bring someone in to teach you how to name products) will launch during the somewhat ambiguous 'Q4' timeframe and comes with a reasonably pre-tax €279 price tag unlocked meaning on contract it should be free. A more expensive Comes With Music edition will then follow in Q1.

So a bit of a fatty, but all-in-all highly promising...

Update: And yes, that is a Nokia plectrum you see on the lanyard. Why? Because the 5800 is so in touch with music. Yeah, we sighed too.


Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Product Page


October 3, 2008, 12:03 am

Second touchscreen phone... not first, nitpicking I know but the 7710 did exist.


October 3, 2008, 12:26 am

I think this could really be the one to rival the iPhone for a decent touch interface. Seeing also that this phone is likely to be free on contract Nokia may be on to a real winner.

It just might be time to take a leap of faith and jump ship back to Nokia!


October 3, 2008, 12:51 am

@makotti - true, though we do try to forget it...


October 3, 2008, 1:28 am

Midrange? - It's got the lot under it's hood...I can't think of anything extra I would need, can you?

I know it's a bit of a chunky monkey but i quite like the dimensions as the extra width of, say, the iphone makes it very uncomfortable to hold. And it's very cheap! Well done Nokia :)

Francesco Mastellone

October 3, 2008, 1:51 am

Uhm. What about Maemo?

Eddy Hall

October 3, 2008, 1:51 am

Is it just me, or does that sigh inducing plectrum look like a pretty good stylus?



October 3, 2008, 3:01 am

Anyone checked out the video demos on ovi.com (http://share.ovi.com/channe... yet? It's no iPhone beater but probably as close anything is going to get this decade by the look of things.


October 3, 2008, 3:14 am

I think the inclusion of a stylus is a bonus - there are times when a little precision is needed, especially at the resolution this screen offers.


October 3, 2008, 6:55 am

@lifethroughalens - higher resolution screen, more megapixels, 8/16GB of native storage, 5mm slimmer... I can go on ;)

It's unfair though given it's market position and it will be well priced and a welcome addition I think.


October 3, 2008, 3:02 pm

You laugh Gordon - but plectrums are actually quite nice to hold and I imagine would work nicely with a touch screen :)

Luan Bach

October 3, 2008, 3:13 pm

I'm having buyer's remorse over getting the iPod Touch now. Should have waited a bit longer.


October 3, 2008, 4:15 pm

@Spode - fair enough, I have to admit I've never tried one in that capacity...


October 3, 2008, 5:20 pm

@Gordon- You call this a midrange handset yet it packs all the essential features that the most advanced handsets are packing today, Higher screen resolution, whilst maybe 'nice' really doesn't make it a higher end unit, no? It's more of a mid to upper range phone - a Mupper or Midper?

Native storage of 8/16GB would increase production costs significantly, and what's the point when removable storage is so cheap and fast? Also it's a lot more convenient to store data on a memory card that is easily swappable, so I don't miss native memory.

More megapixels - Are you NUTS (!) No! You shouldn't be encouraging more MP's- 3.2 is the sweet spot for a phone camera, the K800i 3.2mp still is the best camera iv'e used on a phone. I am a photographer and know that until they invent an entirely new system of light collection that isn't based around those pathetic 'lens's' in phones, it won't matter what software you use to post process and suppress noise, it will always produce a poor image. More MP's doesn't make a phone more advanced, i'm sure you agree :o)

I'm with you on the depth of the unit - it is surprisingly chunky. It would be nice if they had a thinner version with a capacitive touchscreen and a proper Xenon Flash - perhaps that will be the 'high end' version?

@lifethroughalens - higher resolution screen, more megapixels, 8/16GB of native storage, 5mm slimmer... I can go on ;)

It's unfair though given it's market position and it will be well priced and a welcome addition I think.


October 3, 2008, 7:49 pm

@lifethroughalens - all fair points. Though I would argue Flash memory is ultra cheap now whether native or in card form and personally I'd rather have a nice lump aboard and the option of adding more than money spent on bundling a card I'll want to upgrade 6/12 months down the line.

Agree completely about megapixels but I was arguing WHY it will be seen as midrange (ok, upper midrange) handset and that is because megapixels (sadly) sell phones and you have to be in the 5MP+ range these days to be considered truly flagship (a certain Cupertino-based company somehow aside!).

So I'll revise the list: more native memory, a higher screen res (vital for web browsing on a screen that size), Xenon flash and reduced thickness (smaller components are more expensive, evidence of the midrangy hardware budget).

But really, the most important thing is the touchscreen interface because many variants will inevitably follow to suit all tastes - and if they get this right we'll get some much needed manufacturer choice in the market. If not then we could have another Samsung/LG problem of specsmanship over craftsmanship.

A. Mohammadlou

October 3, 2008, 11:01 pm

Good news first!!!

and ... The bad news!!!



October 6, 2008, 5:05 pm

nokia has done a good job, considering it's the 1st (argubally the 2nd) touch phone they have. still i think iphone is a better product. you can buy many phones out there with far more superior hardware specs, but what makes iphone groundbreaking is the software update. 5800 offers free music and basic functions of a phone and that's it. at least iphone can provide you more, much more with the right software to come


October 9, 2008, 5:34 am

@ xbrumster '5800 offers free music and basic functions of a phone and that's it'

Are you singing from a different hymn sheet, or what? It has many more 'basic functions' and many more advanced functions than the iphone. In fact they don't even compare, the iphone being purely for 'fashion' people and the nokia for *normal* people.

Read this in depth review to be enlightened: (I hope TR don't mind me linking to the review?)


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