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Nokia launches 5800 in Cebu

Nokia formally launched in Cebu last week its latest model in the XpressMusic product line, the Nokia 5800. The XpressMusic line is Nokia’s answer to Sony Ericsson’s Walkman phones, devices that are designed for music playing.

The features of the Nokia 5800 are formidable—it comes with all the features you’d expect from a modern phone plus touchscreen control, built-in A-GPS, wi-fi connectivity, high resolution 3.2-inch display, and a 3.2 megapixel built-in camera with Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flash.

NOKIA 5800. Nikka Singson-Abes, corporate communications manager of Nokia Philippines, holds the Nokia 5800 during its launching in Cebu.

The 5800 also comes with a cool new feature that enhances usability of the device—the media bar. It is a drop down menu that provides access to music, videos, photos and web-based services for uploading and sharing of photographs.

This drop down shortcuts bar is a great usability feature, one that should be incorporated in all phones. Sure, most phones have Home or Menu keys, but a shortcut bar containing links to frequently used applications is very useful, especially if the bar overlays the screen, wherever you are in the menu or whatever you may be doing.

One of the things I really liked about the Nokia 5800 is that it has a standard 3.5 mm jack you can use to connect to your headset. This allows the user to use the phone with other headset brands or products.

What I hate the most about Sony Ericsson products is its connectors. Give your Sony Ericsson phone a year and the connector for your earphones starts to falter and you’d have to wiggle it a bit for connection to be established. You don’t experience this problem with standard jacks.

The phone also comes with built-in stereo speakers with surround sound. A company press release describes the speakers as the “industry’s most powerful sound.” It was, indeed, loud but I seem to find Walkman phones sound better.

But that might just be a fleeting impression, however, since I was only able to listen to the 5800 for less than a minute while I’ve been repeatedly listening to music using Sony Ericsson phones for years.

On top of the wide screen and high resolution display, the 5800 also has a plug that allows you to connect it to a TV. I don’t know what other uses you’d have for this apart from gaming and presentation but it’s really a cool feature, one that would be good to have in most phones.

The phone also comes preloaded with 25 music tracks and 25 music videos from Universal as well as the “13 Seconds To Love” album of Kjwan. Buyers also have access to 450 Universal Music downloads.

With wi-fi connectivity, downloads won’t be a problem. The phone also comes with two months free wi-fi access in Airborne Access hot spots.

The phone has a suggested retail price of P19,900.

By Max Limpag

Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu City, Philippines. He is co-founder of the journalism start-up InnoPub Media.