The Nokia 5800 is not a very eye-catching phone, design wise. But it is not an ugly phone either. It’s just that it is not

Review of the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic – Part Two

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58001The Nokia 5800 is not a very eye-catching phone, design wise. But it is not an ugly phone either. It’s just that it is not one of those phones you see for the first time and you immediately fall head over heels in love with. As for materials, besides the display, the phone is all plastic.

I must say here that being made of a plastic is not that much of a disadvantage to the 5800. The phone feels very solid in the hand, something that has become somewhat of a signature for Nokia.

The next point I will make is really something personal and I doubt that most people will agree with me on this – but coming from a long usage of various smartphones, most of which are relatively on the big side, I find the 5800 too small for comfort. Perhaps I need a change of orientation from believing that smartphones are supposed to be big. Finally on the redeeming side, the set of accessories in the sales package will make almost anybody happy.

The Nokia 5800xpressmusic, as the name suggests, is a music-focused phone and it does the job perfectly well. In fact this phone is the loudest speakerphones I have ever heard. It has two speaker grills positioned on the lower part of the left hand side of the device. The sound production of the pre-packaged earphones is the best I’ve used as far as earphones that come in the sales package are concerned.

For those who are looking for an out-of-this-world camera phone, I am sorry to inform you that the 5800 won’t meet your need in that area. In these days of 8 megapixel and 5 megapixel camera phones, the picture quality of the 3.2 megapixel camera on the 5800 is at best average. With very good lighting conditions the 58000 manages to take good photos.

Mobile Computing
Now to the Smartphone part of the device. The phone runs the new symbian s60 5th edition operating system. While on the surface this new OS resembles and at times behaves like the previous version, a lot of things have changed and the most ardent s60 faithful will be thrown a bit using the phone for the first time.

For instance, the way to get SIM contacts on to the phone’s contact has changed a bit. I found myself fiddling and fumbling for a while before finally finding my way around. (Please note that I lack the patience to read manuals in order to learn how a phone works). One thing I can assure you however is that after an hour or so of playing with the phone, you will find that the phone is really simple to use and highly intuitive.

Being a touchscreen device and with me coming from my experience with the Samsung Omnia, I was skeptical about typing on the 5800. To my greatest amazement I didn’t encounter any of the problems I faced with the Omnia during typing. There are four different typing methods the 5800 offers and all the four methods work well. In fact you won’t feel the absence of physical keys using the 5800 for typing. Kudos to Nokia for getting it right in this all-important aspect of the phone.

All in all, I find the Nokia 5800 a good phone.


  1. You don’t have the patience to read the manual? Are we supposed to be surprised? I am yet to meet one person who actually reads phone manuals.


  2. Lol @ Yomi. I am also guilty of that.


    This is one phone I would love to own, but it has compatibility issues. The fact that I can’t have my Olive Tree Bible reader on it is devastating. Is there any other bible application that runs well on it?

  3. Yes Tosin, you are right about the compatibility issue. If you don’t mind, I’d have to refer you to my comment on the post I did on compatibility issues. I answered your question there.

  4. Great review.

    I got this phone just when I was about to put my hand on iPhone 3G (Sorry Steve Jobs). And it has since been a good partner. But then, I’m a little disappointed at the camera… 3.2 megapixel?… with all its sexiness, it shouldn’t be anything less than 5 megapixels 😉

    Besides, NOKIA, I think, hasn’t gotten it right with the touch feature. I’m sorry, the iPhone still rules in this department. Really, I’m not so feeling the touch. Hopefully, an upgrade should address this. Isn’t it meant to be the iPhone killer?

    And I have a little challenge with it. I checked my Images and Videos session to discover that a particular video had duplicated itself for more than 19 times. I tried to delete all. But it’s been impossible. What I get is… “Unable to delete” And it has remained like that. Are we talking virus here?

    I’m still on the look out to find cool downloads on my 5800… dictionary, games and whatnot. But then, I’m a bit wary.

    What do you think?

    Once again, lovely review.

  5. Aloofar, smart move for picking the 5800 over the iphone. A few of the 5800’s advantages over the iphone: multi-tasking, auto configuration of network internet settings, better camera and most of all a more robust OS. Besides, the 5800 wasn’t meant to be an iphone killer.

    For the the video problem you mentioned, you might have to format your memory card in order to resolve the problem. Please also note that the 5th edition of the symbian OS is still undergoing development and therefore it will do you a lot of good to do firmware update for the phone anytime it is available. Currently there is firmware update available for the 5800 and one of the things it adds to the phone is a dictionary. I mentioned this because you said you are looking for a dictionary.

    Finally, the first place to start looking for apps for the 5800 is in the “download” application found in the menu of the phone.

    There are free interesting apps I’m currently trying out for the 5800. I will bring you feedback when I’ve played with them a little.

  6. I guess my major grouse with the phone is the fact that its devoid of the regular office applications. I cant for instance access attachments containing microsoft word and excel documents. I guess its made to be an entertainment phone and not a business phone. Meanwhile, what’s the essence of the quick office application in the downloads? I installed it hoping to have my regular office applications running, but alas I’m yet to understand its relevance.

  7. Yes; Dero, the 5800 is an “XpressMusic” device – which means it is primarily entertainment, not business, in focus.

    The QuickOffice application in the Downloads folder merely gives Document viewing ability. To get the full editing features, you need to upgrade, and that’s at a cost.

  8. Hi again. Thanks for your response. Is it just me or is it the phone’s peculiarity, I cant seem to change my message alert from its default setting to my prefered tone. Also, I’m having a hard time creating contact groups. Finally does this phone have the voice feature which other models have to say the contact’s name when they are calling?

  9. Dero,

    To start with, if you haven’t already done so, I suggest you do a firmware update for your phone. A firmware update is about upgrading the phone’s Operating system. Usually, this results in better performance, corrects some malfunctioning, and at times adds new features.

    Being able to change the phone’s message alert from the default one to your prefered tone should be possible through the profile feature on your phone. When you open the message alert box from the profile, try and scroll further down beyond the list presented to you by the phone. You should be able to locate whatever files you already have on your phone.

    For the contact group problem, you might have to explain in detail how you went about creating a contact group. I am only assuming here that you clicked on the contact group tab in your contact menu and it didn’t respond. If that’s the case you need to change the theme you are currently using on your phone. For whatever reason (though it seems to be a bug in the 5800) , some themes prevent tabs from responding in the 5800.

    Also, the feature through which the phone says the name of the caller during an incoming call works. You might need to refer to your Manual for that.

    Finally, and by way of emphasis, don’t forget to get the latest firmware for your phone via a firmware update.

  10. Many, many, many thanks. I guess its easier to ask for help than it is to read the manual. Hope I’m welcome to come back and ask more questions? Lol. Have a great weekend.

  11. Dero, you said: “I guess its easier to ask for help than it is to read the manual“.

    You got that right! 😉

    You certainly are welcome to ask more questions.

  12. Hope this counts as a question. In any event you said I’m welcome to ask. I’m just curious how come you guys seem so knowledgeable about the functions of this phone. Do you work with nokia or you just tech savvy?

  13. Dero,

    Emm… Well, we are quite tech savvy. But it helped too that Dayo was one of the first set of Nigerians to own a 5800 XpressMusic (I think). Abi, Dayo?


  14. Yes o Yomi.

    Some of us have been asking for an s60 touch phone from Nokia forever. Therefore, when the 5800, Nokia’s first ever s60 touch screen phone was announced, I welcomed the news with great anticipation.

    Naturally, when it came into the country I was one of the first in Nigeria to know and also own one.

  15. Hmm… Dayo, I guess that makes both of us. For several months after its announcement, I eagerly awaited its release in November of 08 but it didnt get into the country until December. Its the same way I’m waiting for the N97 now. That’s a phone I must have. I know this is a 5800 review site but what do you guys think of the blackberry storm?

  16. Dero,
    If you already have PC suite installed on your laptop, simply launch it (pc suite), look for the sync icon and click it. That should do it.

  17. Hello,
    i have had this phone for about 2/3 months now, and have had no problems with it, and not dropped it at all, but all of a sudden, when i recieve texts, its just the numbers coming up, not that names. So i thought it might have deleted my contacts, but if i select it and press call, its comes up calling then the persons name, so it still is part of my contacts, do you know what might have happened?

  18. Hello Ian,

    I am not sure what is responsible for that phenomenom, but have you tried a soft reset or a hard reset? Note that a hard reset will wipe your device clean.

    To do a hard reset on the 5800, press and hold GREEN + RED + CAMERA simultaneously when powering up.

    Keep the keys pressed until you the handshake sequence displays on the screen.

    I gather that this is only available on phones with firmware version 20.0.012 or later.

    Before you do a hard reset though, I suggest that you wait to see what Dayo ‘s response to your comment will be. He owns and uses a 5800 day-to-day, so he should be better informed than I am. I’ll buzz him up for you.

  19. I haven’t experienced that on my 5800, so I’m not sure what happened. The soft or hard reset suggested by Yomi might just be the way to go.

  20. Where can i get an original 5800, i’m afraid to buy “over the counter” these days. Thanx!

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