At long last, Nokia has taken the wraps off its much anticipated entrance into the touchscreen smartphone space, post-iPhone of course.
The new device – dubbed 5800 XpressMusic – is, as the name suggests, being pitched as a music (and video) centric phone, and is to be the second handset to support the company’s all-you-can-eat music subscription service, Comes With Music, which also officially launched today. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nokia is also emphasizing the 5800’s media production and sharing capabilities, two areas where the company feels it competes strongly against Apple, especially since the iPhone lacks video recording functionality. On that note, the 5800 features a 3.2 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens and is capable of 30 frames-per-second video playback and recording.
There’s also the now standard support for Nokia’s ‘Share on Ovi’ web service, which along with the ability to upload to Nokia’s own media sharing site, also supports uploading to Flickr and Facebook. Additionally, music play-lists can be shared via Bluetooth, although this feature will likely only be of real use to Comes With Music subscribers.
The 5800 has 8GB of memory (via a micro-SD card) “for up to 6000 tracks”, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and surround sound stereo speakers, which Nokia boasts as loud!
In terms of display, the 5800 features a 3.2-inch touchscreen, 640 x 360 pixels in dimension and supporting 16 million colors. The device also features tactile feedback, which could make typing on the virtual numeric or QWERTY keyboard a little more usable, and there’s a proximity sensor, which from what we understand, locks and dims the device’s screen when its close to your ear to avoid accidental key presses and to save power.
From watching the demo videos published by Nokia and others, the 5800 XpressMusic is a stylish looking device, though thicker than the iPhone, an inevitable comparison. The new UI (part of S60 5th edition) is fairly polished, with specific touch features such as a dedicated ‘Media Bar’ that can be invoked at any time via a touch sensitive button that lives just above the screen. Overall, however, the touchscreen overhaul has plenty in common with previous versions of S60, which depending on your preference might be a good or bad thing.