Photos: Nokia 5800 XpressMusic (aka Tube)

Nokia has unveiled its 5800 XpressMusic 'Tube' handset -- a fully touch-controlled music handset with unlimited free music downloads and no a proprietary headphone socket in sight.

Nokia has finally officially unveiled its 'Tube' handset -- the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. As if we didn't know already , it's a fully touch-controlled handset with an 81mm (3.2-inch) screen, and an emphasis on replacing your iPod as a portable music tank. Good luck with that, friend.

Nokia's got off to a good start, mind -- the quad-band 5800 is packed with features. These include a 3.5mm headphone socket, up to 24GB of storage from 8GB of on-board memory and support for 16GB microSD cards, a 3.2-megapixel camera featuring Carl Zeiss Tessar optics and dual LED flash lights, stereo Bluetooth 2.0, GPS navigation, Wi-Fi, and HSDPA data access.

You'll get a microSD card in the box as well, giving you an initial capacity of 16GB for music. And this is no bad thing considering the 5800 will be one of the first phones to incorporate Nokia's new Comes With Music service. You'll be able to play MP3, WMA (protected and unprotected) and unprotected AAC files.

Still, there's also a secondary camera located on the front for video calling -- this is still a phone, not an MP3 player -- and support for Microsoft Exchange email. You'll get access to a full QWERTY keyboard on the touch-screen for tapping out emails and texts, as there's no physical keyboard.

We've got no word from Nokia yet concerning what dedicated audio chip -- if any -- is handling audio processing on the inside of the phone, so we're reserving any judgement on how good the thing sounds as a music player.

The 5800 will be out towards the end of the year on as yet unconfirmed networks in the UK, for about £220 off contract. However, this isn't the Comes With Music version. That version will follow in early 2009 for as yet unknown prices.

So, what's your take? Is Nokia's latest and greatest rocker a hit or just a rehashed crock of shiznit? Let us know in the comments. Then feel free to click through for some bonus pictures of the 5800 in all its dude-it's-a-bit-chunky glory. -Nate Lanxon

Here's the phone from a jaunty side-on angle. Notice the physical volume controls and a dedicated camera key.

Good old Stylus McPointless for handwriting recognition sneaked his way into the box, and a twin brother too, should you lose the original.

This stand comes in the box as well. And that plectrum-like thing you're looking at, is indeed a plectrum which doubles up as an alternative stylus.

Chicks and man bag-wearing metrosexuals rejoice: it appears a dashing pink version of the aforecriticised plectrum comes in the box as well.

 

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