October 9, 2008 What looks like an iPhone, functions like an iPhone, but isn’t an iPhone? Nokia’s new 5800 XpressMusic, that's what. Nokia would most likely balk at suggestions their new mobile offering is in response to Apple’s ubiquitous device, but comparisons are inevitable with the 5800 sporting similar looks courtesy of a large touch screen, similar looking interface and focus on music. The 5800 XpressMusic will be among the first devices to support "Comes With Music", a Nokia service which offers one year of unlimited access to the entire Nokia Music Store catalogue.
Nokia’s 5800, which is a little more compact than the iPhone, features a one-finger touchscreen (in contrast to the multi-touch interface of the iPhone), which lets users easily resize images on the screen. But to compensate the 5800’s 3.2" 640 x 360 resolution widescreen display vibrates when touched to provide some haptic feedback when responding to commands. The 16 by 9 aspect ratio display can also play back video at 30 frames-per-second and can record VGA quality video and take photos with its 3.2 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens. Images or videos can also be shared via online communities, such as Share on Ovi, Flickr, or Facebook with a single touch.
As the name suggests, the 5800 XpressMusic is no slouch in the music department. It includes a graphic equalizer, 8GB memory for up to 6000 tracks, support for all main digital music formats, a 3.5mm jack and built-in surround sound stereo speakers. Music playlist song titles can also be shared through Bluetooth, MMS or online sharing. When going up against Apple it is not just the hardware that competing companies must address – it is the dominance of Apple’s iTunes Store. To this end the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic provides easy access to browse and purchase tracks from the Nokia Music Store, where applicable, while the newly updated Nokia Music PC software allows for easy drag-and-drop transfer of songs and management of any music collection. Nokia’s Comes with Music service could also pose a threat to Apple’s iTunes store, which currently holds around 90% of the digital music market.
The interface’s 'Contacts Bar' lets consumers highlight four favorite contacts on their home-screen and, through a single touch, track a digital history of recent text messages, emails, phone logs, photos and blog updates. Nokia’s Vice President, Jo Harlow, likens the Nokia Contacts Bar to a “digital RSS feed on your life". The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic supports 60 languages worldwide, which covers nearly 90 percent of the world's population, and offers a variety of input methods including a virtual alphanumeric keypad, a virtual computer-style QWERTY keyboard, a pen stylus, and for true music enthusiasts, a plectrum – just don’t ask us how that last one works.
The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic could take a bit of the wind out of Apple’s sales. It offers much of the same functionality, similar form factor, and is set to be more than a third cheaper.
The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic will be available worldwide beginning in the fourth quarter of 2008 for an estimated retail price of EUR279, (approx. US$380), before taxes and subsidies in Europe – US pricing has not yet been released.
For further info visit Nokia.