Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: a cat with 7 lives

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic multimedia device
The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic multimedia device

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic was announced back in October 2008 with the earliest phones hitting the market the following month. The multimedia device was cutting at that time and was widely considered as Nokia’s answer to the iPhone. Indeed, it was one of Nokia’s earliest touchscreen mobile phones and one of its most successful. As of November 2009, 8 million units had been sold.

Nokia has systematically kept the phone close to the hearts and minds of its fans by releasing periodic firmware updates that have fixed known bugs and added some functionality which have improved overall user experience.

Firmware Updates

From firmware version 20.0.012 onwards, the 5800’s CPU clock was increased from 369 MHz to 434 MHz matching the N97 specification[3]. However, improved overall performance can be observed since firmware version 30. On January 13, 2010, Nokia released a major firmware update, version 40.0.005. The update includes bug fixes, speed improvements and new features. The most visible are kinetic scrolling to all menus (except the main and applications menus) and an improved home screen that was first introduced on the Nokia 5530. This version update also saw the removal of alphanumeric keypad in portrait view during text input. This was replaced by a full QWERTY keyboard. The new home screen provides a contacts carousel, with up to 20 contacts and program shortcuts on screen at the same time.

On April 19, 2010, firmware version 50.0.005 was released. This new major update brought some new features available in Nokia N97, such as an upgrade to the existing web browser to version 7.2 and full kinetic scrolling and auto-full screen while browsing the web; a new music player with mini-album art in the song list and the album list, initial letter filtering of track titles in the music player while scrolling using the scroll-bar. As a result, the search function was removed from the music player. A new application called Ovi Sync was installed and the Nokia Music Store received a revamped user interface and was renamed to “Ovi Music.” In some regions, Quick Office 4.2.374 is integrated with full free license. Search application’s icon was changed and a few more minor updates for better touch sensitivity and tweaks for faster operation of the phone are present.

Firmware 51.0.006 appeared in August 2010 and contained minor bug fixes and updates to various applications.

A powerful application has since been made available to a selected number of Nokia smartphones, including the 5800. Nokia’s Ovi Maps has since gone off its premium business model and is now subscription-free. Ovi Maps makes the 5800 even more attractive to end-users.

Of course, Ovi Store opens up the device to a world of apps. A wide variety of entertainment apps exist in Nokia’s marketplace that take advantage of the 5800’s multimedia credentials to offer even more value and functionality.

One cannot help wondering how long the 5800 would stay relevant considering the imminent entry of Nokia N8.

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Oluniyi D. Ajao
Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet Entrepreneur and Tech Enthusiast based in South Africa. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.


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