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

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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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