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The Red Ferret Product of the Year 2008 – Mobile – Nokia 5800 XpressMusic


Forget all the trash talk of iPhone killer and suchlike, the question we had to ask is, is the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic a good, indeed worthy, product in its own right? The answer is an unqualified yes. Sure the screen is not as good as the iPhone, and the 3.2 megapixel camera is poor even compared to other Nokia models, but overall as a practical, usable and fun package, it’s a real winner. It was touch and go there for a while, the Samsung INNOV8 really is an excellent handset in many ways, with its superb 8 megapixel camera and the gorgeous design, but in the final analysis Samsung’s inexperience showed up in things like firmware problems and an awkward Symbian implementation.

This Nokia, on the other hand, comes with the solid pedigree behind it, and some great touches. Like the super powered speakers, full sized headphone socket and great Comes With Music deal – a year’s free subscription to a music catalogue of over 5 million tracks, to download and keep forever – which make this the most fully featured music player in the world bar none.

The 3.2 inch touchscreen is a first for Nokia, and although adequate is nowhere near as responsive as the iPhone. However the quality of the onscreen image is superb, and unlike the Apple product you have access to Flash and YouTube videos on the Web, and can use the handset as a video recorder too. The A-GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth and microSD slot (it comes with a free 8 GB card) also punk the iPhone feature set in every respect.

In use the phone is a delight. Small enough in the hand for easy access, and yet with a big enough 640 pixel wide screen to scroll websites and watch video with ease. The processor struggles at times with complex video material, but it’s still nevertheless very watchable.

All in all, this is a great phone. It’s not perfect, and it won’t persuade many iPhone users to switch (even though the 5800 battery life is also significantly better than the iPhone in everyday use) but it points the way to a revitalised Nokia corps who are definitely not going to hand over their smartphone crown without a fight. Roll on the N97 we say.

 Play. Share. Touch. The new Nokia XpressMusic sensation. A touchscreen that feels right, looks great, and sounds even better. Play The dedicated media bar means mobile entertainment is always on hand. High-resolution widescreen video and superior surround sound, with built-in stereo speakers and an advanced music player. Download new sounds to an 8gb microSD card, and sync your collection with Nokia Music software for PC.


  • I have the phone and love it. Its only weakness is one that will be fixed with time — a lack of apps compatible with its OS. I believe that more apps will get upgraded and developed as the NAM version of the phone is released, and when the N97 comes out.

    Saying the screen is not as responsive as the iPhone is not strictly fair. They use different screen technologies, and the iPhone's screen cannot handle handwriting recognition (very important for Asian languages).

    • Yeah good point about the handwriting recognition, I forgot to mention how cool it was. And it actually works. Not sure about the apps, though. As far as I know it'll run most (all?) of the thousands of standard Symbian Series 60 applications out there?

    • No, it can't run apps that rely on hardware buttons. Lots of newer S60V3 apps do work, but a lot of others are very flakey. In time everything will work. :)

  • Heh forgot about that. :-)

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