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Nokia 5800 Experience Sharing – How the 5800 Feels Like


Four days ago the long awaited Nokia 5800 ”Tube” NAM arrived here, as always I tried to do a video unboxing of it to share the experience and show the 5800 in a closer look. However, this time I used the Nokia N85 as the recording machine rather than a videocam; all in all, the video was a disaster, from sound to focusing and image quality, the 6 minute video went to the bin.  So there was I with the box already unboxed and without video, I felt bad and tried to find a way to share the 5800 Tube experience, and that is why I came up with maybe the first genre in mobile phone articles, the ”Experience Sharing”. It is not a review, is more like explaining how does it feel to have the 5800, what it looks like, what to expect from it and make the reader feel more familiarized with the 5800 before making the final decision. So here is goes, divided into three sections, please don’t hesitate to leave any kind of  comment; good or bad, they are welcome.

Before Arriving

The Nokia 5800 launching in the USA was a disaster, the phone did not connect to 3G and the date was pushed back 1 month. But aside from all this, I still went ahead for the 5800.  I was very eager to see the first touch screen of Nokia, I wanted to see how S60 would perform in a bigger screen, how web browsing would be like but most important: the Nokia 5800 is a whole new flavour of Nokia.  When I get a N85, N96, N78, N95 8GB etc… I already know what I am going to get, almost-same software with slightly different hardware and form factor, a 2.4 or 2.8 inch screen with a D-Pad below and a T9 keyboard.  Getting one of this devices was not as exciting and they did not produce as much anxiety in me to check the tracking number 100 times in a day like the 5800 did, maybe other device that also made me jump was the E90 and N93, but the 5800 is the most exciting one, a whole new taste and flavour coming from Nokia.  

First sight

I did not see the 5800 in real life before having it, the closest Nokia store from where I live is 1500 Miles away. Anyway, I ordered it and after one month of waiting it got to my door via FedEx. The 5800 that I had seen so many times in pictures, videos and articles was finally here. I got it out of the box and my first impression was ”wow, cool”, I know it is not a profound thought or impression, but I am not going to lie; all I thought was that the device looked really cool, modern, sexy and nice. Then I inserted the battery and started to play. The device vibed every time I touch its touch screen, which by the way did not look as big as I imagined, but I felt it was very responsive. After setting the time, language etc… It took me to the desktop, which really looked naked with just a few icons on it, later I found there is no way to fix it; the only shortcut below the 6 icons regular S60 devices have (4 in the 5800) is ”Search”,  there is no ”Calendar” ”WLAN Scanning” or ”OVI/Share Online” shortcut. The menus are very bad organized, for example, the web browser ”Web” icon is hidden two folders below the root folder and calendar icon too.  

In the hardware area, I felt the device just a bit uncomfortable. The 5800 felt to me too narrow and too long, it is not like the iPhone or Blackberry Storm which offer a wider screen with more space. The 5800 has a frame around the screen that makes hard to reach the corners of the sides of the screen, specially uncomfortable when scrolling.  But overall the 5800 feels like a sturdy device with a good build quality (note that there is also ”superb build quality”) and good construction materials, the plastic is good enough.

In the box I found a lot of useful goodies, to start 1 month of free Nokia maps is always welcome. But the best gift is definitively the $50us Voucher for Amazon video, I can download around 5 movies to watch in the 5800 for free. I also found a stand on the box that you can actually attach to the 5800 with the strap and use it without removing it from the 5800, specially useful when watching videos, and a guitar pick to attach to the 5800 and use like a stylus. An 8GB card is also there, in conclusion,  the 5800 comes very well bundled.

After Some days of use

I started to use the 5800 ASAP, took me 1 hour to take everything from the N85 and install it on the 5800.  The first hours I was very concerned about the device being too narrow, the screen looked to me too small between left and right edges to be comfortable to use. The most influenced aspect that the ”narrowness” affects is the text input methods.  In portrait mode I was expecting to see a text input method as efficient as the full landscape QWERTY keyboard, for example the BB Storm has a  Semi-QWERTY keyboard and the iPhone a full QWERTY keyboard in portrait mode; the 5800 has the handwriting method (stylus required), T9 (I am not a fan) and Mini-Qwerty (impossible to use with finger), what does all this mean? That the ONLY way to input text directly with the fingers is in landscape mode using the Full QWERTY. After some time I just got used to turn the 5800 to input text, but unfortunately there is another complaint. The text input is inefficient in the 5800, when the user is inputting text, the 5800 opens the keyboard frame and you see what you are typing *inside* the keyboard frame, not directly where the user is typing. For example, if you are typing a URL, you dont see the text appearing on the URL Address bar, you see it on the keyboard frame, just like when a Java app (Ex: Opera Mini) takes you  to another screen to input text and not directly where the text goes.  

Aside from the text inputting problems, I don’t have any more complaints. Wait, wasn’t I thinking it was too narrow?  Well, it is but as everything it has its advantages and ultimately you get used to. The advantages are that the landscape mode is extremely pleasant, easy and comfortable to use; the videos also look AMAZING because of the ratio of the screen, but most important is that although narrow, the ”problem” actually contributes for the device to be more usable with one hand while on the go (T9 keyboard is a must in portrait mode).  The 5800 can be described as flexible.


Full Screen Browsing

I gave the 5800 a test on the music department,  after all it is on its name ”XpressMusic”, the speakers resulted impressively loud and clear, songs sounded beautiful as well as videos. The XpressMusic name also means that there is some shortcut to get to the media and the 5800 has a media bar which can be accessed by pressing the arrow above the screen, it is very useful, not like the Multimedia Menu on Nseries devices that does absolutely nothing, the web, pictures, videos, online sharing and music icons are just brilliant and offer a quick way to get to each app. 

The 5800 got into my list  of top devices just behind the oldie Nokia 9300.



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  • Ruth

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    • edward

      Thank you Ruth! Glad you you like the blog! Any suggestion is welcome. :)

  • Jram

    Recently purchased the 5800 and have to say that I have been enjoying it very much. Have already downloaded Iron Man from Amazon with the $50 coupon. Web browsing is great on this ph as is the music. Have already downloaded a few apps but can’t wait till the Ovi store comes online at end of the month. All in all a great ph from Nokia. May have to retire my N95 8gb…maybe. btw. like your blog site.

    • edward

      Yeah the 5800 is a great device, and the Amazon Voucher is a very nice addition from Nokia! I am very flad you like my blog, if you have any suggestion about design or topics please let me know! Thank you!