Nokia 5800 XpressMusic: first thoughts on touch

Nokia5800xpressmusic_6_lowresI’ve been playing with the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone that arrived yesterday for a bit last night and again this morning. Since the touchscreen is a major feature, I want to share a few initial thoughts about that in particular, after just a little bit of usage. I realize this isn’t the first touchscreen Nokia handset, but you can’t overlook the fact that the touch experience is a major factor with the device.

I’m finding that the resistive touchscreen isn’t as effective for me as a capacitive touchscreen, but that’s likely not news to anyone. It works far better with a fingernail, the included stylus or the "guitar pick" than it does with my fingertips. I’d rate the experience similar to the Nokia Internet Tablets, so if you poked at one of those, you’ll know what to expect with the 5800 XpressMusic. The device does provide haptic feedback, which is a little vibration each time it registers a key-press for menu options, the keyboard and other input. I think I’ve only felt two times when the haptics "jiggles" but the device didn’t register what my key-press was. All in all, that bit of it is pretty accurate.

Where I’m struggling a wee bit is in the operating system when combined with the touch. The best way I can put it: it doesn’t feel consistent. From what I can see (or feel, rather): some items are a single tap on the screen, while others are double-tap. It could just be me getting used to the device or it could be due to my not using an S60 unit in quite some time. Either way, it feels like the touch and the user interface could use a little more in the optimization department; something that can easily be addressed via a software update if Nokia felt the need to refine it.

Browsing solely by touch has been an adventure, but I’m still getting used to the touchscreen and I hope it becomes easier. It seems to be a little more of a chore than a benefit at the moment, i.e.; tapping with a finger in standard view is sometimes inaccurate so I almost always have to zoom in before tapping links. A double-tap zooms the page, but there’s slight lag before it happens and I’ve still had link taps go unrecognized or activate the wrong link. I’ll chalk some of this up to my limited usage for sure, but I’ll be watching to see how much better the experience does or doesn’t get.

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