The Symbian OS offers the by now familiar six rows of customisable shortcuts and widgets. At the top is time and date plus phone mode (general, silent etc) and beneath that is a user-defined row of shortcuts that defaults to messaging, Internet, Ovi Maps and the Ovi store.
The social networking integration leaves room for improvement
There's room for four favourite contacts with pics below that. Then, there's Facebook, e-mail and another customisable row that you can populate with any shortcuts you like – out of the box it came with picture gallery, camera, calendar and notes. It's a solidly capable system that allows you to access virtually everything you need direct from your home page, which is just as well, since there's only one.
Still, it can be a little slow when switching between applications and proved frequently frustrating; taking its time even when all I wanted to do was wake it up to answer a call. The Facebook widget shows your latest three updates and pressing it takes you into the full application. It's a pity though that you can't add your Facebook contacts to your phone book as you can with Android phones for instance. There's no direct integration for Twitter either, though you can add an app from the Ovi store and include it on your home page.
Setting up e-mail accounts is easy enough though, requiring just address and password in most cases and there's support for Exchange, as well as a range of instant messaging options, including Windows Live Hotmail, Ovi Mail and Yahoo Mail.
There's fast access to the Internet with HSDPA or Wi-Fi broadband and the Symbian browser renders pages well. It has a single menu button in the corner to bring up zoom, search and go to options, as well as a deeper menu with bookmarks, keyword search and RSS feeds among others.
E-mail is a breeze to configure, but the keypad could have featured more options
The browser menu encroaches a little too heavily on the pages, especially when you only want to zoom, but you can double tap the screen for a quick zoom option. If you prefer, the Opera browser is on offer from the Ovi store, though there's not a great deal of difference in terms of usability. Flash Lite is on board but you can't view video on the BBC's iPlayer site, but there is a YouTube app available.
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'but social networking could have been better integrated'
Why on earth does a phone's ability to integrate with social networking sites 'out of the box' make a blind bit of difference to how you rate this phone?
Not all of us are sad enough/insecure enough to feel the need to share every minute detail of our day to day lives in real time, and Symbian as a mature OS is very, very well catered for by thousands of apps (just because they're not in the Ovi store doesn't mean they don't exist)
Couldn't give a toss about I-Player, it is an excuse for the BBC to want you to have a TV Licence for your phone.
I am after a new phone and will consider this one, but I would be temped by the Motorola Milestone, if I can find it on a good deal.
X10 Mini Pro
Yeah, I already have this phone and the only niggle with it is that the screen can be a litle weird at times.
The keyboard on that is pretty good for its size. Personally I would go for android every time over symbian. Im not that impressed with Nokia any more
The last Nokia phone I had was the E70 - which was great, until they decided they couldnt be bothered to support it - which makes no sense to me whatsoever.
X10 mini pro...
..is the same price if you wanted an android alternative. Probably cheaper now that it's been out for a bit.
comparable features but smaller. Probably better IMO
is available on Ovi for Symbian. At least for the Xpress 5800.