Nokia announces 5800 XpressMusic touch screen S60 device

Summary:I have to admit that I never tried the mid-range Nokia XpressMusic devices before and always considered them as "feature phones for the masses", but with this latest announcement I think I'll have to start checking them out. The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is Nokia's first touch screen S60 mobile device (as pointed out by a fellow enthusiast they had a touch screen device a while ago) that runs the new S60 5th Edition. The 5800 XpressMusic integrates touch with haptics and more. The touch screen is both finger and stylus friendly so you have different text entry and navigation options.

Nokia announces 5800 XpressMusic touch screen S60 device
I have to admit that I never tried the mid-range Nokia XpressMusic devices before and always considered them as "feature phones for the masses", but with this latest announcement I think I'll have to start checking them out. The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is Nokia's first touch screen S60 mobile device (as pointed out by a fellow enthusiast they had a touch screen device a while ago) that runs the new S60 5th Edition. The 5800 XpressMusic integrates touch with haptics and more. The touch screen is both finger and stylus friendly so you have different text entry and navigation options.

Nokia has a new Contacts bar and Media bar that gives you faster access to contacts and media (music, gallery, games, video center, and browser) on the device. While the iPhone touch screen is good, I like that Nokia supports both finger and stylus touch so you can use a stylus for text input or navigation if you like rather than the tip of your finger only. You can enter text in a four ways supporting finger and stylus methods, including via Handwriting Recognition with the stylus, via Full Screen QWERTY (landscape, finger or stylus), via virtual keyboard (portrait small QWERTY with a stylus) and virtual standard keypad (portrait, stylus or finger). The device also has haptics that cause a vibration when you touch it and I hear there are other cool things (like scroll bar movements) that can be felt and I really need to get my hands on one to experience it.

5800 media playing

There are only 3 buttons along the bottom for send, end, and the S60 menu key. Watching the video of the device in the pre-release press materials it appears that single and double taps are used in the touch UI, which is different than the iPhone single tap to activate something. As I understand it the taps are used like a PC with a single tap for control buttons and for grid format menu items (aka big button shortcuts on a PC) while double tap is used when you have a list of objects or when menu items are organized in a list. I think this is something that is tough to judge without actually using it in conjunction with the haptics feedback.

Text input

While music is the main focus of this device, gaming may also be a cool experience. A version of Global Race will allow you to steer by tilting the handset. It doesn't appear that N-Gage is supported on the device though and it would need an update to work with the new touch UI.

Specifications include:

  • Quad-band GSM with different versions supporting UMTS/HSDPA in various regions of the world
  • 3.2 inch, nHD 640x360 resolution touch screen display
  • 802.11 b/g WiFi
  • Integrated GPS receiver
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support
  • MicroUSB connector
  • Stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • 81MB internal memory with a microSD memory card slot (8GB card in the box)
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss and dual-LED flash
  • 1320 mAh battery
  • Size:111x51.7x15.5 mm (4.37x2.04x0.61 inches)
  • Weight: 109g (3.84 ounces)
  • Talk time:Up to 9 hrs (WCDMA), 5 hours (GSM)
  • Stand-by time:Up to 17 days (GSM/WCDMA)

Portrait mode

S60 5th Edition also announced: As you may have noticed on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, the OS is S60 5th Edition. With this latest S60 operating system we see the support of touch and tactile feedback. I doubt very few, if any, existing device will be upgradeable to this latest version since it really encompasses hardware upgrade support for some new functionality not capable on existing devices.

Other new features and improvements include:

  • Enhanced display resolution support and widescreen mode
  • Advanced sensor technology support for features like silence with the flip (thanks HTC) and haptics
  • S60 Web Browser with Adobe Flash Lite 3 support (included in some previous updates)
  • New image and video editors

It remains to be seen how the left and right soft key functions of older applications will work on the new OS, but Nokia has made the tools available to help developers upgrade their applications for touch if they desire.

New headsets announced too: Nokia also announced four new stereo headsets to make your music experience even better, including the WH-800, WH-500, WH-202 and BH-504 (Bluetooth headset).

Topics: Hardware, Mobility, Nokia

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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