Thoughts on S60

reflections on the most popular mobile operating system worldwide

5800 XpressMusic Mini Review Part 1: Calling

with 8 comments

Given how much my opinion of the 5800XM has fluctuated so much since I first received it, I think the only effective way I’ll be able to review it is in parts, similar to how the Guru is reviewing it. I would, however, like to review some of the lesser noticed features that people may be interested in rather than the main features that have been reviewed to death as it is already.

Click ahead to read how well I feel the 5800XM performs as a phone first.

My new boss happens to have an iPhone and usually asks me to use it for him (particularly if there’s any text input needed, which I hate), so I get to revisit the experience every day. One thing I noticed that I thought was really impressive as compared to the 5800Xm’s effort is the on-screen menu options during a call. Here’s what you see on the iPhone…

The caller’s name is in large letters at the top of the screen with a smaller, yet very legible talk time underneath and the caller’s image appears behind the options. The options include very large, transparent buttons to mute the call, place the call on hold, activate the loudspeaker, add a new call, open Contacts or the keypad, and a large red button to end the call. Brilliant.

Now here’s what the 5800XM looks like.

Similar to how older S60 phones would display a couple options prior to a call connecting, this is the first screen you see. You have the option to end the call before it connects and activate the loudspeaker while it rings, and the name, number, and large caller image are all displayed. Here’s what it looks like when the call connects…

The menu options are very similar with a few differences. One is the caller image is refitted into the call window bubble on top of the menu options and made transparent. While not as visually pleasing as what you see on the iPhone, it’s done this way because as you add more callers, each of them will have their own, thinner caller bubble that looks similar to the one above. It makes things very easy when trying to swap between multiple calls. My only gripe (and the reason I brought up the iPhone at all) is the lack of the new call option on the screen. Instead, to add another call, you have to press the Options button to bring up the menu, which, like any S60 menu, is just a long, unappealing list.

If it isn’t bad enough that you have to open a separate menu in the first place, the New call option isn’t even on the first page! You have to scroll down to get to it! Adding insult to injury, all of the menu options that come up already have shortcuts on the active call screen! Loudspeaker, Dialler, Hold, Mute, and End active call all have their own onscreen shortcut, the screen and keys can be locked by hitting the lock switch on the side of the device, and you can use the Send/End hardkeys to place the call on hold or end it as well! The only new menu option is the Switch to video call selection, which is not supported in the US. (!)

After scrolling down, you can finally get to some other useful shortcuts.

5800XM Call Options List 2

Not only can you start a new call, but from here you can also get back to the home screen, send the active caller an MMS, send DTMF tones, or open the Help pages (that no one reads). Why couldn’t this have been one of the onscreen shortcuts? I understand you can only fit so many on the screen, but the Hold button could have easily been removed in favor of a New call button since you press the Send hardkey to place a call on hold anyway. If this isn’t feasible, I really think the whole menu structure should be reconfigured, and I don’t think it would be too difficult. Here’s a quick mock-up I put together in Photoshop of how the buttons could be reconfigured.

As far as quality and reception are concerned, I didn’t mention them because they’re about what you would expect from any typical Nokia. Reception has actually been noticeably higher than average with this phone as I seem to be getting much better signal in places where my other phones would struggle. Quality sounds just fine, but if I had to complain, I would say the earpiece is just a small bit lower than what I’m used to, but it’s nothing to be concerned with. Calls still come through the earpiece very loud (now that I’ve fixed it).

The loudspeaker is the one thing that will absolutely blow you away. As others have reported with the music, those little speakers are extremely loud, almost to excess, but the beauty is that they rarely distort. Nokia did a very good job their music-oriented phone was just that, with no bones about it.

Oh, and one other cool trick I found. Tapping the call bubble that floats over your menus when you’re not in the active call window brings you right back to the active call. 🙂

I have plenty more to say about this device as well as a bunch of accessory reviews, some more toys from WOM World, and with luck, the last N96 challenge. Keep sending me ideas so I can win and get these trials out!


Written by Jonathan

January 9, 2009 at 7:37 am

8 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] Thoughts on S60 – Using the Music Express 5800 to make phone calls […]

  2. Hey ,
    I am to new to nokia and symbian OS, been using motorolla for the past 6 years. Grabbed my 5800 a week back. But i still have 588 as my secondary phone, since i was not able to figure out how to transfer my contacts from the moto to 5800.

    Also, could you tell me how to get the contacts from my sim to the phone book. I just can’t find the option. Please help.



    January 11, 2009 at 7:06 am

  3. To move your contacts from your Moto to your Nokia : why don’t you just sync you Moto device with Outlook or Lotus Notes (don’t know which is your default mail system), then sync your Nokia with Outlook/Lotus Notes using Nokia PC Suite (or iSync if you’re on Mac) ?

    As far as I’m concerned, it has been ages I don’t have contacts anymore on my SIM card. All is in my desktop mail (Outlook), Professional mail (Lotus Notes) and my smartphone.


    January 13, 2009 at 4:35 pm

  4. thanks for the reply fred.

    That seems like the easiest solution and a good one at that. I will try it in outlook.
    Well most of the times i have stored my contacts in the sim, thinking that if I change phones, I would not have to go through the trouble of copying all the contacts from one phone to the other.

    But still i this case of 5800, where to we get the option of copying the contacts to the phone (from the sim), or making the contacts visible in the contact book from the sim.
    Just can’t seems to find that option.

    Kindly help me out in this.



    January 20, 2009 at 1:36 am

  5. Kermitz, you should find the options easily… Open the contact application, open the Options menu, select Settings, and for “contacts to display” you can just select if you want to show your SIM contacts, or the ones located in the phone memory, or both of them. Quite straightforward, no ?
    If you want to copy them in the phone’s memory, select to only display your SIM contacts, select them all and copy them over in the phone’s contact memroy, then switch back your settings to show up only contacts stored in the phone’s memory.
    BTW, just started a new 5800 blog :


    January 20, 2009 at 7:14 am

  6. Looks good thanks for the in depth on the call screens


    January 24, 2009 at 5:34 am

  7. […] the call experience to an iPhone, and including many screen shots, Jonny reckons the 5800 delivers, except when it comes to adding another call to your list. Here he says there are far too many […]

  8. I am moved by the way you treated this topic. It is not often I come across a web site with enthralling articles like yours. I will bookmark your feed to stay up to date with your incoming updates.Just striking and do continue up the rational work.

    Nelida Cestari

    December 22, 2009 at 5:58 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: