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Nokia 5800 Touch Screen XpressMusic - Review

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nokia5600xpressmusic7nokia5600xpressmusic10The 5800 XpressMusic (aka Tube) is the first touchscreen Symbian S60 phone from Nokia—a surprising fact considering how prominent touchscreens have quickly become over the last few years.

And instead of rolling out the new touch-specific S60 Fifth Edition on a flagship N-series phone, Nokia has decided to position the 5800 as a music phone for the kiddies, packaging it with their all-you-can-eat (and keep) Comes With Music service. This choice is probably a brilliant one, because after our quick demo, this thing needs a bit more time in the oven before it can stand with the big guys for a touchscreen-only device.


For a mid-range music phone with touch, though, the 5800 is pretty well equipped: 640x360 touchscreen with haptic response, Wi-Fi, A-GPS, 3G on the 850/1900 MHz band (works with AT&T here in the States), 3.2MP camera with Zeiss lens, and an 8GB microSD card for music in the box. But while the touchscreen is sharp and bright, it's resistive rather than capacitive, which means instead of accurately picking up the light zap of electricity from your fingertips, it registers where two thin layers of the screen get pushed together under your finger.

it's much harder to get touches to register, and far less accurate than the iPhone's capacitive screens. The 5800 packs a built-in stylus for this reason—you'll be using it a lot. Text entry can be done with a full-screen QWERTY, a mini-QWERTY for the stylus, T9 on a touch dialpad, or using handwriting recognition w/ stylus.

It's almost exactly like what's found on Nokia's touchscreen internet tablets like the N810, which makes sense, since Nokia recently folded the tablet group in with the smartphone folks to help develop touch features for S60 v5.Other touch-specific additions are a new Contacts bar similar to T-Mobile's myfaves that can replace application shortcuts—giving quick access to calling or texting your four favorite folks, as well as the option to add an RSS feed of that person's blog or Twitter updates.

Application menus also appear on a nice translucent overlay in most applications instead of Symbian's usual pop-up lists, making the camera much easier to operate while switching options, for instance. And a dedicated button on the upper right brings up the Media Bar, which gives quick touch access to the music player, camera, contacts, and web browser at any time.

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