We started with a Nokia 5800 unboxing, but let’s now continue. I’ll tell you what I think about the hardware and physical aspects of the phone based on my 3 days of usage. I’ll talk about features, applications, or software-related stuff in upcoming posts along with the usual videos.
You cant go wrong with the Nokia 5800 having a black and shiny body with a mixture of curved and straight edges. It looks good and my friends agree. When the keyguard is on, the screen and button lights turn off, showing a shiny front surface. There are nice lines on the back that becomes visible depending on how light hits it.
The Nokia 5800 is a touchscreen phone in a candybar form factor. There’s no moving slider to worry about wobbles, etc. Plastic is certainly the key material on this phone, but the 5800 surprisingly does not feel cheap. I don’t hear squeaking when I squeeze and don’t hear rattles when I shake it. Ricky from Symbian-Guru agrees by giving the Nokia 5800 build quality 5 of 5 stars.
Removing the battery cover is possible just by pulling it away from the phone. There’s no other button to press like in my previous phones, Nokia N85 or Nokia N95. It is locked on by 7 clips. Again, the material is plasticky, but it seems hard enough that I’m not worried it’ll break.
The dimensions are 4.37 x 2.04 x 0.61 in. That size is typical for many candybar phones. It’s not too wide, making it very easy to wrap my hands around it. Like what Rafe from All About Symbian wrote on his Nokia 5800 review, “think of your typical candybar smartphone, remove the keypad and lengthen the screen and you’ll get pretty close to the feel of the 5800.”
The Nokia 5800 has a 3.2in display with the resolution of 640×360 pixels. That’s 16:9 aspect ratio, great for watching widescreen movies and videos. The touchscreen is hard, so I don’t see “ripples” when I press. Graphics are sharp thanks to the high resolution. It’s good, but not as good as the Nokia N85 with OLED screen. For comparison, take a look at the Nokia N85 vs Nokia 5800 screen by CJ.
When the phone is on keyguard, I see 3 buttons with grey lines. When I turn the phone on, they become green, white, and red buttons. The green button is for making or receiving phone calls, while red is for ending calls or heading back to home menu. The white one is for application menus. They are easy to press and best of all, emit no light leakage that nit-picky people look out for.
Side. On the right side of the Nokia 5800 are the volume controls, keyguard, and camera button. I’m right-handed so the keyguard placed on the right side is very convenient for me. When I’m done using the phone and want to avoid accidental button press, I just flick the keyguard with my right thumb.
The speakers on the Nokia 5800 are probably the best I’ve heard so far on any phone I’ve owned. I like songs with a lot of bass, and the 5800 handled them REALLY well. You have to listen to the Nokia 5800 yourself to know what I’m talking about. Don’t believe me? GSMArena has objective results that the Nokia 5800 has remarkable audio quality.
Built for videos. Both the left and right speakers are placed on the right side of the Nokia 5800. The placement is perfect for watching movies on the phone, but gets covered when holding the phone with the right hand during a loudspeaker call. Nevertheless, the speakers are loud and gave me no problems hearing my callers.
Connections & Ports
Micro-USB. The Nokia 5800 connects to your computer via wire with a micro-USB cable. The port is located on top of the 5800 for transferring data only. It will not charge the phone while using this connection.
Standard 3.5mm jack. A 3.5mm jack is on top of the Nokia 5800. This seems to be the standard placement on recent phones now because it is a lot easier to listen to music while the device is in the pocket. That same jack also connects to the TV-out cable where you can connect the Nokia 5800 to a TV. This is great to show off to your friends and family the widescreen video recorded on the phone on a bigger screen.
MicroSD and MicroSDHC. The Nokia 5800 takes microSD and microSDHC cards on the left side. The door to the slot made of hard plastic and is secure when closed. The retail package comes with an 8GB card already inside the phone. What’s weird is that you have to go to file manager first then tell the phone you would like to remove the card. Otherwise a warning message says it is unsafe to remove the card without telling the phone. I did not have to do this on the Nokia N85.
SIM card Slot. Below the microSHCD slot on the left side of the phone is actually a SIM card slot covered by a door similar to the one for the microSDr. It’s easy to insert a SIM inside, but you’ll need to open the battery cover and remove the battery to slide the SIM out.
Stylus. There’s a 3.5in stylus within the battery cover. I think it’s useless, but Nokia put it there for people that might want it. I can imagine it very useful for handwriting notes, but I know I won’t be doing that on this phone.
The 3 megapixel camera on the Nokia 5800 is not protected by a lens cover. To activate the camera on the phone, you simply push down on the camera button. I don’t want to talk about the camera functions and the way it works yet because that will be in an upcoming part of the review.
The Nokia 5800 has dual LEDs for camera flash. However, it’s not as bright as the xenon flash on the Nokia N82. An advantage with using the LEDs, is that you can use it as a continuous light source when creating videos in poor light conditions. More thoughts on the camera and picture quality later.
The Nokia 5800 looks nice, has a pretty good build quality, sharp display, and great speakers. I don’t see anything to complain about when it comes to the hardware or physical aspects. In the next few days, I’ll actually turn the device on and review my usage experience. I’ll let you know if it affects the top 5 things I do on my phone. Stay tuned.
To read more about the Nokia 5800, head over to Dial-a-Phone, one of our sponsors, for pricing, deals, and other user reviews.