Nokia has announced that its 5800 XpressMusic handset is now available for sale in North America—and like many recent Nokia handset launches, the phone maker is going it alone, without a carrier partner to offer services and connectivity. The 5800 XpressMusic is available through Nokia’s stores in Chicago and New York, as well as through Nokia’s Web site and independent retailers; it carries a suggested price of $399.99.
The 5800 XpressMusic sports a 3.2-inch 640 by 360-pixel widescreen display, a 3.2 megapixel camera, and handles user input via an onscreen keypad or QWERTY keyboard. The phone features a “Media Bar” drop down menu so users can quickly access their playlists and video, and the phone offers full HTML Web browsing with Flash support. The 5800 XpressMusic also comes with 8 GB of microSD storage, integrated GPS and Wi-Fi, a one-month trial for Nokia Maps service, and a $50 Amazon video-on-demand voucher. And, for the truly dedicated music fans out there, the phone even comes with a wrist strap with a guitar pick—which owners can use as a stylus on screen.
The main thing that’s missing from Nokia’s music pitch to the U.S. market is Comes with Music, the company’s subscription music service that builds the price for a year’s worth of unlimited downloads into the price of a phone…and users get to keep the tracks they downloaded once the year is over—but if customers want more tunes, they have to buy a new phone. The 5800 XpressMusic was Nokia’s first mass-market touchscreen phone, launched hand-in-hand with Comes with Music in the UK last October (with the 5310 XpressMusic and a version of the Nokia N95 following). Comes with Music has been reasonably successful in the UK and Nokia says it plans to bring the service to the United States during 2009, but has not outlined a timetable.