Back in May 2007 I wrote a review of my new phone, a Sony Ericsson P990i. If you are a Ciao member (if you’re not then skip this paragraph and the next) and sort my reviews in order of most read you’ll come across it, and also see that I was awarded a shiny diamond for it (I think mainly because it’s one of my most read reviews by the public).
Bye Bye ‘Perfect’ P990i
Ok, so the P990i wasn’t quite perfect in the end, although it was what I wanted at the time. However, the battery was somewhat temperamental especially as it got older, and it just took so long to load up (essentially being a PDA as well as a phone) when switching it on. Most annoyingly the lens cover for the camera would come open while in my bag and then the battery would run down really quickly.
The final straw was when I came to take the charger out of the phone, and it snapped. This meant that a load of Sellotape was needed in order to charge it – I went back to my old K700i while I decided what to do.
Hubby and I and our phones
A history of my mobile phone usage can be found in my P990i review. However, I will say here that hubby has an annoying habit of waiting until I’ve chosen my phone and then a week later getting one for himself which is better than mine.
Therefore obviously as I needed a new phone he decided he did too. This had the potential to end in tears…
Onto the Internet
Trawling the Internet and there wasn’t really much which stood out to me apart from the LG Prada which I thought looked pretty good – but that was going to cost. Hubby came across the Nokia 5800 Xpress Music (its full name), and pretty much decided straight away that that was the one. My main concern was that it didn’t have a QUERTY keyboard like the one on my P990i, in fact it didn’t have any keys at all. I couldn’t really get my head around this, although obviously I have seen I-phones. Although my old phone had a touch screen, this wasn’t instead of the keypad, and it wasn’t for using when making calls.
Off to the Orange shop
A miserable rainy Saturday morning (7th March 2009 to be precise), and hubby and I wandered off to the Orange shop in town. Neither of us really wanted to change from Orange, although if we couldn’t get a deal we were happy with then obviously we’d have been phoning up to get our code thing so we could take our phone numbers elsewhere – I would never ever change my phone number, and I HATE it when people do, very inconvenient!
Into the Shop and Looking Around
Hubby and I had a bit of a potter round, and a bit of a bicker. Basically I wanted a phone with a camera that was more than 2 mega pixels (otherwise it wouldn’t be any better than my old phone), but then I didn’t want 8 mega pixels as that’s the same as my camera, so what would be the point?! Hubby couldn’t see my logic.
There was no LG Prada in store, although a couple of phones I quite liked the look of. The two shop assistants came over to help (but not pestering us by any means), and I was getting quite sold on the idea of a Blackberry. Hubby meanwhile went to check out the Nokia 5800.
Really it was love at first sight….as soon as hubby started playing with the Nokia 5800 I knew that that was the phone I wanted, I barely had a second glance at the Blackberry. And the best thing,
Pictures of Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
even though there’s no real keys, when pressing on the keypad it vibrates…and there’s a QUERTY keyboard screen, and and and….well read on!
So, what was the cost…the phone and the plan?
Hubby and I had both completed our 18 months on our contracts and were due an upgrade.
For hubby the phone handset was free. He is on the same mobile phone plan as me (Dolphin 25)….however, he uses his phone more than me, and he also has insurance so pays more each month.
Therefore I was told it would be £117. However, I was having it no matter what the cost (and the LG Prada would have been £225). As they gave me £50 off for giving in my P990i (I have no need for it especially with the broken charger, and can use my K700i if there’s a problem), it really cost £67.
As for the phone plan, both hubby and I renewed our Dolphin 25 contracts which is £25 a month for 18 months (you can find out about tariffs on the Orange website). However, we both decided to get the Internet option which is an extra £5 a month (for 500MB).
We both get 10% off our bills for continuing on the same phone plan. We also get 10% off for “Trade Secrets”. I’m not sure if this is just a local thing, but if you can show that you work locally (show them a payslip) then they have to phone someone up and (in my case following a bit of an argument with the Orange people) ask them to add Trade Secrets to the bill. Anyway, if you’re with Orange and not aware of this then it’s worth asking next time you upgrade.
Onto the phone
This phone seems to get better and better everyday. One of the main attractions of this phone was that as my old Ipod has seen better days it was really time for a new one. However, with my new phone I won’t need one, this phone can be both my phone and my MP3 player!
Rather than listing the specs I will talk through the main aspects of the phone and cover the main advantages. Of course different people want different things from phones, and I’m not the world’s most technically minded person – so this is really what is important to me!
What it looks like – The Nokia 5800 weighs 109g. It is a black and red colour (the red isn’t overpowering though). It’s approximately 11cm long, 5cm wide and 1.5cm deep. For me it is the perfect size – any bigger would be too big, and any smaller would mean that the screen is too small for watching videos on. The best thing about the phone’s design is the way that it locks/unlocks – means it’s impossible to accidentally dial 999.
Battery Life/Charging – This is one of the most important things really. Seeing as the phone’s only 3 months old I can’t say how the battery’s going to last over time. However, from what I’ve experienced so far I have to say I’m pretty impressed. I generally find I need to charge it about once a week, or twice a week if I’m using it heavily. Obviously what I define as heavy use will be different from other people’s, but trust me the battery life is good! It is said to have 9 hours of talktime or 400 hours standby (which is better than the Iphone).
Messaging – I tend to sent quite a lot of texts, and having got used to a QWERTY keyboard I find it very difficult to text normally now. I really like the fact that there is a touch screen (well obviously, as there’s no real keys) QWERTY keyboard. It is fairly easy to use, although when using my fingers/thumbs I do sometimes hit the wrong keys. It is more accurate using the stylus, but really it just takes a bit of practice. There is also handwriting recognition, but I haven’t used this. I would say that the only disadvantage (and something I do actually quite miss) is that there’s no option to insert smiley faces in text messages.
Map – GPS – My new game whilst on the train is sitting and watching the dot move along Cumbria as I travel to work. What an exciting life I lead! Personally I’m not that good with maps or things like that, but hubby loves this feature, especially since it didn’t cost anything. Obviously when out walking he still takes all his other stuff with him, but he said that it wasn’t too far out when they got to the top of a mountain. Even better, it didn’t run down the battery much at all. You can also sign up for a 90 day free trial of a route planner/ Sat Nav type thing for walking and driving which is pretty nifty, but not worth paying for after the trial I don’t think.
Music Player – This is where the phone really shines through. Currently I have about 250 songs on my phone – it could hold a lot more (probably 2000 if you had nothing else on the phone), but I find I like to listen to the same songs over and over again! In terms of volume, it goes about as high as my old Ipod, which is alright, although sometimes (when there’s a very loud child on MY train) I would like it to go a bit louder. The best thing is how easy it is to get music from the computer onto the phone – I think I can even manage without hubby’s help now!
I should also note that the radio is also pretty good from the few times I’ve used it!
Camera/Video – 3.2 mega pixels isn’t fantastic for a phone these days. In an ideal world I’d have liked 5 (just because it’s half way between 2 and 8). However it has something to do with Carl Zeiss, who is apparently some photography bloke. So apparently that makes the camera better than otherwise. It apparently has a dual flash too!
The camera is pretty simple to use, no lens cover to uncover or anything. You can either access the camera through the applications menu, or just press the button for taking pictures and you’ll get there. The video camera actually is pretty good quality….it’s just a case of remembering that I have it, and taking films!
Games – I know that this isn’t the most important thing when getting a new phone, but games add to the novelty value. The Nokia 8500 comes with 3 games – a platform game called “Bounce” which I eventually figured out how to control and completed in a couple of hours (I’m pretty slow). There’s a car racing game “Global Racing Thunder” which is fun (I love the controls, moving the phone moves the cars – obviously as there’s no buttons!), and I actually beat hubby when playing a 2-player game – this is pretty much unheard of! Finally there is a game which is like Guitar Heroes, called “Guitar Rocks” – that’s the reason why the phone comes with a plectrum. But I use the stylus…it’s a pretty good game actually, although the music quality could be a bit more sophisticated – it is very basic. Another problem is that the graphics are often out of sync with the music and it’s all a bit glitchy at times. But when playing it on the train the time passes so fast it’s unbelievable! I’ve now completed that game though too.
Calendar – I have had calendars on previous phones, but have always given up with them, but I love the calendar on this phone, being able to add meetings, memos, anniversaries and to-dos. The only slight niggle is that you can’t alter a memo to a meeting, but that’s hardly a problem. Obviously alarms can be set for events, you can tick the box when to-dos are done. It’s just a fantastic little calendar, and I’m starting to rely on it – I still keep my paper year planner at the moment, but the phone is so much easier rather than finding a pen etc! I use my phone more and more, I have a terrible memory, and it’s great knowing what I have to do in the day!
BBC IPlayer – To watch BBC IPlayer does require WiFi access. I find it quite a novelty really lying in bed watching Eastenders or Casualty on my phone (we don’t have or want a TV in the bedroom you see), and next time I’m in McDonalds or Wetherspoons I might watch it there! Anyway, I really like being able to get to IPlayer so quickly.
Internet – As mentioned we get 500MB a month. I only ever use about 40MB – for the most part it’s for going on Facebook when I’m on a train to moan about being on a train. If you want the full Facebook site (rather than just the mobile one) it does take a while to load up – and if you want to try petting your Pet Pupz (as I do), it just isn’t really worth it, as it just keeps kicking me off the Internet. However, I will add that connecting to the Internet is a lot faster and easier than it was on my old phone.
Other things you might want to know it has:
Clock – alarms etc
Bluetooth – this is invaluable for getting stuff from hubby’s phone onto my phone, like films!
Accelerometer – basically means that the screen adjusts depending on which way round you hold the phone. It can be a bit slow at times, but it’s a nice feature.
I can watch films on it – hubby got a load of films from a bloke at work, and I currently have Disney’s “Cars” and “I am Legend” on my phone.
Rather than list EVERYTHING, a full list of features can be found here - http://desinformado.com/2008/10/nokia-5800-xpressmusic-full-list-of-features-wgallery/ What comes with the phone (phone has 8GB memory card and stylus in it)
Headphones, and radio receiver
Black case which phone slides in/out of – I don’t use this, hubby uses his though.
Plectrum – I don’t have this attached to my phone, instead opting for the closest charm to a moose I could find!
Plastic stand – for when playing music out loud
USB connector – to connect phone to computer
Instructions, on paper and a little CD too
I think I’ve covered the advantages of the Nokia 5800, but just to be balanced, I have a few minor niggles:
Ear phones are a bit uncomfortable so I use my own
Can’t have it on the side view on the homepage
Costs money for adobe acrobat and quick office even though it says its free
It’s not pink – I have a pink silicone case for it
Screen gets finger prints on it
Memory card is very fiddly to get in and out
I should mention that hubby has had an issue with a funny screen which came up on his phone when unlocking it (looked a bit like when computers used to crash in the good old days, if you know what I mean – phone still worked fine though) – anyway, since he has insurance (I don’t – perhaps I shouldn’t advertise that as you might come and nick my phone) he has had a replacement phone. I should say though that hubby really abuses his phones, and can’t ever get through 6 months without a replacement phone.
I am extremely happy with my Nokia 5800. It’s only crashed once in more than 3 months, and I think that was when I was abusing it!
People rave about the Iphone, but I can’t really see anything better about the Iphone than this, except perhaps that application on the Iphone where you can pretend you’re drinking a pint. I suppose that the bigger screen on the Iphone might be attractive to some, but I like the size of the Nokia 5800 and find it much more convenient.
Personally I think that this is a better phone (aside from the fact that you can’t get an Iphone on Orange!) as the battery life’s better, there’s the option to use a stylus (Iphone you can only use fingers), better camera, video calling is an option (not on Iphone), Bluetooth and file sharing – I could say more, but I think I’ve said all that needs saying!
Apologies for the quality of my photos, but I found it nearly impossible to take a picture of the screen on the phone in focus!