Nokia finally unveils the 'Tube', rechristened the Xpress Music 5880


After a year of rumor, speculation and occasional media appearances in films like The Dark Knight, Nokia has finally made their "Tube" iPhone challenging touchscreen smartphone official, albeit under a far less memorable name: the Nokia 5800 Xpress Music.

The specs are about what you expect for an iPhone challenger: the 5800 has a resistive 3.2-inch touchscreen (no multi-touch) rendering at 640x360, and will support both finger input and generic stylus control.

The built-in camera is a significant step-up from the iPhone's rather dinky camera: a 3.2MP autofocus with a Carl Zeiss lens. Video can be played back and recorded at up to 30 frames per second in 16:9 aspect ratio.

There's no built-in storage: files, movies and music must be stored on microSD cards, although the slot supports up to 16GB.

There's 3G internet support, as well as built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS. The interface supports both an onscreen QWERTY keyboard or T9 predictive text on a numeric keypad.

It actually looks like a lovely little phone, and the price is great: when it comes out later this year, the XpressMusic will be sold unlocked in black, blue and red at €279 ($385), including an 8GB microSD card. That aggressively puts it in the iPhone's consumer space... without any necessity for a carrier contract to boot. I wonder how hard it will prove to slap Android on this.

Update: Gizmodo's not so enamored, though:

On the prototype we played with briefly, it's much harder to get touches to register, and far less accurate than the iPhone's capacitive screens. The 5800 packs a built-in stylus for this reason–you'll be using it a lot.

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  1. I just picked up my N96 – it’s a good phone but quite a lot like my N95… nothing much has changed. Since I liked my N95 that’s not a bad thing.

    I think Nokia are in danger of confusing consumers with their countless products and product-lines. Until recently we knew the N-series was supposed to be high-end and multimedia oriented.

    And now we have the non-N-series 5880 whose specifications seem to be very similar to the N95/N96 except for the addition of a touch-screen.

    So what of the N-series… is it obsolete? Is it for crusty button-pushers like me?


  2. I don’t know. Seems like a lot of excessive packaging for a guitar pick. And can you get the pick in different thicknesses? What about for bass guitar or ukulele.

    I’ll try to keep an open mind. Perhaps today I’ll see if I can get used to playing my guitar with a deck of cards tethered to a pick.

  3. I think that they’ll get a lot of Bondi Blue iMac nostalgists who’ll want to smartphone like it’s 1999. Srsly tho, the thing that bugs me most about it is that it’s got a strap. Say what you will about cadaverous, book-dismissing La Steve, he trusts that you’ll be able to hold onto your Mother Box without having it tethered to your wrist like a grade-schooler’s mittens.

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