Unlike most of the XpressMusic series, the 5800 doesn’t boast dedicated music controls on the bodywork. Nokia does include a 3.5mm headphone socket on the top of the phone, allowing users to plug in their own 'phones, rather than the reasonable, if average-sounding, bundled set.
The bundled earphones aren't bad...
The music player is familiar S60 stuff, listing tracks according to artist, album, composer, genre and so on that you navigate through by scrolling and selecting. On-screen buttons and a track timeline let you control playback. Cover art, if available, is supported, but there’s no iPhone-style album art browsing, and touch control doesn’t really radically change the S60 user experience.
Still, the player is capable of a superb audio performance with a decent set of headphones in place. It has a very pleasing balance and detail, with sufficient bass underpinning it all. Even with the supplied earphones, it sounds more than acceptable.
The stereo speakers sound better than those on most phones do, too, though still with more top end and less bass than we’d like. The radio function, with RDS, has a neat, non-tricksy user interface and delivers a pleasant enough experience either through the earphones or speaker.
...but there's a 3.5mm socket for adding your own
With an 8GB Micro SD card bundled, the 5800's modest 81MB of internal storage isn’t an immediate issue. Nokia’s obviously hoping that many users will be signing up for its Comes With Music unlimited download music service: sign up for a year’s downloads and you can store and keep the DRM-encoded tracks on a PC as well as the phone.
The 5800 supports the usual array of audio formats: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+ and WMA.
S60 is not for touch
The whole point of the iphone is that you DON'T have to unlearn and relearn anything!! Their interface is something called 'intuitive'. New word.
Okay, I'm being an idiot and confrontational.
But my point is this, S60 has _mainly_ been used for non-touch phones over the years. Not only that, but S60 is not as user friendly as it might be. It's not bad, but it's not amazing either. It's just what we've all gotten used to over the years because it's all we've really had for smart phones. Other than winmo of course and lets not talk about that.
Your points above seem to suggest that somehow MS and other companies don't change because they are scared their users won't be able to use their new interfaces....I don't think that is the case at all. There are many reasons they don't change stuff too much (see vista) but they always want to improve user experience as much as possible. Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 anyone?
When folks bought the iphone did you hear anyone complaining about how it didn't look or behave like their previous phone OS? Because all I heard was people saying how much easier to use it is and what a relief it was that someone had made such a decent job of it.
Surely then if Nokia released an updated OS designed specifically for touch that was AS good or....wait for it....even BETTER that Apples attempt then surely people would be shouting about how brilliant it is - not how it's familiar it is. Familiar is only normally quoted as an advantage when people move to an OS that is even worse than the one they're currently using. For instance, when users moved from a Nokia to Samsung or Motorola (Samsung/Motorola being unfamiliar but not better and possibly harder to use than Nokia).
Yes S60 (the front end to Symbian?) is good but its nowhere near as good as it could be. Don't stay in the past, innovate and improve things even if it means users have to be happier with their new 'difficult to learn' OS. Which wouldn't be the case actually would it because if it was difficult to learn it would be any good, would it.
Yes Nokia is a big ship that turns like an Oil Tanker which is why I'm so grateful to apple (as much as I dislike the way they do business) because it it wasn't for them we'd all still be using 6310i's or K810i. Funnily enough Apple is also a very large company (at least in terms of revenue) but still manage to produce great _new_ (in every sense of the word) products.
Facts are important
Bill, you don't know which foot to stand on except that you are obviously anti-Symbian. Most importantly Symbian was the first mobile OS that supported touchscreen; in fact the first Symbian device ever had touchscreen, and the first Symbian phone ever, back in 1999, the Ericsson R380, also had touch screen. So your notion of 'bolted-on' is simply nonsense. And then you opten for non-touch screen anway so it's blur what you're getting at.
In terms of innovations, if you except the iPhone UI, i can't right now think of any new phone innovation that wasn't launched on a Symbian device before any other OS, and there is no reason to believe that this is not going to continue.
Nokia has chosen to make the 5800 and N97 touch screen UIs familiar to their existing S60 user base, which is most widely used in the marketplace. I would say that's a very wise move; the worst thing they could do now is to come up with something fancy demanding massive unlearning and relearning.
The user compatibility is rightly far more a concern for Nokia than binary compatibility.
Wise move to continue with S60 on Symbian for touch screen phones
Contrary to the above commentator, I think it's the wisest move by Nokia to base the new touch screen phones (5800, N97 etc) on the S60. This will make it familiar to the largest phone user community in the world. It's far better than, for the sake of 'innovation', come up with something different.
I would think it's far more a concern for Nokia to be compatible with its large user base, than being worried about binary compatibility, which is really a non-issue.
Some other factual errors of the above commentator should also be pointed out. Symbian was designed for touch-screen from the outset, it's not something bolted on. The first Symbian device ever, back in 1996, was a touch screen device and the very first Symbian phone, the Ericsson R380, was a touch screen device.
I would also argue that far more innovations have been first launched on a Symbian phone than any other OS in the market.