Nokia 5800 Review – XpressMusic Model Answer to iPhone

Nokia 5800 Review: Released in 2008, the Nokia 5800 could be considered quite a significant release in the history of Nokia phones. By now, the touchscreen models seemed here to stay and keypads were on their way out. Apple in particular had stolen a march and were the new market leaders. However with an extremely high price tag for the time, perhaps there was room in the market for other models.

The Nokia 5800 thus was born. It did not confront the iPhone head on (these were left to the N-Series models), but offered a compelling alternative at much reduced costs. Neither the touch concept, or the XpressMusic branding were new, but this would be the first time Nokia chose to ditch the keypad and go all-touch in a mainstream model of mobile phone.

Taking away the keypad led to a larger screen: 3.2 inches was a big improvement on previous models like the Nokia N95. There was also a significant increase in the resolution of the screen.  Despite the screen improvement the phone actually came in at a lighter weight. The phone also broadly kept the same specification as the previous top-end phone which meant that we saw a lot of features for the money: Bluetooth, microSD, selfie camera, GPS, TV-out all were here. This was a compelling line-up considering that the first generation of iPhones were fairly limited hardware wise.

The touchscreen was the biggest draw. The phone was the first to feature a new Series 60 software, and given the lack of keyboard and a resistive touch-type screen, it had to be redesigned to take this into account.

Full specifications here.

Whilst there is no question that the Apple iPhone was superior, the value proposition here made it a success. Some similar phones – Nokia 5230 and Nokia 5530 were released a year later. These offered no improvements in the spec, and instead were repackaged as budget level phones.


Nokia 5800 Review: Pros

Price was a main focus of the phone. Undercutting the top-end smartphones such as the iPhone and Samsung ranges clearly gained Nokia a good market. The phone offers most features a top-end phone has.

Media provision was rich. The XpressMusic branding saw that music was easy to listen to. On-board media player, 2.5mm audio jack and microSD card made things easy, and a micro-USB connection simplified the process of transferring data.

The screen was a large improvement over many Nokia phones. Especially pleasing as the aspect ratio, which offered a genuine widescreen experience. The on-board accelerometer automatically adjusted the phone screen depending on which way it was held.

A rich suite of software was also included. The Ovi Store also made it much easier for users to download new apps.

Nokia 5800 Review: Cons

The software was the first iteration and it showed. Often quite buggy and slow, it lacked the seamless experience that other models had come to provide.

The touchscreen was a controversial issue. A resistive touchscreen was a long way below the multi-touch quality and lacked accuracy. A stylus was integrated into the rear of the Nokia 5800 back to aid it, but it was a major drawback.

The camera was not improved upon from previous models of phone, and took a downgrade to 3.2MP.

Current Pricing and Future Prospects

An important model of mobile phone, the Nokia 5800 may well be fondly remembered by those who owned it. Despite being slightly clunky nowadays, it still can be used as some type of phone. Perhaps in future it may achieve decent values.

Where can I get one?

Both Ebay and Amazon have second-hand and refurbished models.

Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.

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