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Hands-on with the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic touchscreen phone

Yesterday Nokia announced the 5800 XpressMusic, a touchscreen phone that's set to compete with the iPhone -- but can it deliver the same touchscreen goodness?

We'd like to be able to say that Nokia's first touchscreen phone, the 5800 XpressMusic, blew us away. But it didn't. It's not bad -- it's actually quite a good phone -- but as first impressions go we think there's work to be done over at Nokia HQ.

The 5800 looks and feels like a Nokia phone trying to fit in with the touchscreen crowd -- but not quite getting it. The plastic doesn't exude quality and it's not as attractive as some of Nokia's other phones, such as the 6300 or E71.

Casing aside, the interface is filled with useful functionality, such as a customisable home page with quick access to contact details, but the layout feels clumsy. There's lots going on and it's not always easy to figure out what to do.

The touchscreen itself is responsive, but not as responsive as the iPhone's. Why does most of the industry choose not to use a screen as sensitive as Apple's? It bemuses us -- if the touchscreen is where you spend all your time, it has to be good.

We didn't get long to play with the 5800, so we're not making any final judgements now, but from what we saw we think Nokia can do much better. If anything, it needs to simplify the interface and come up with a slicker case. Browse this way for more photos of the 5800. -Andrew Lim