The touchscreen 3G Nokia 5800 gives the mobile phone world a pleasant surprise. This Apple iPhone rival brings plenty of hardware goodies, but can it compete with Apple's crown jewel?

What you notice immediately about the Nokia 5800 is that it lacks external music controls - and it's supposed to be a music-centric handset.

On its right side, you'll find SIM and memory card slots, with stereo speaker grills underneath. On the left side of the Nokia 5800 are volume controls, a sliding screen lock, and a camera shutter. At the top of the phone, there's a power/profile switching button, plus a microUSB slot and a standard 3.5mm audio jack. A pleasant surprise is the included stylus, housed at the bottom right corner of the handset's back.

One of the Nokia 5800's most important assets is located at the back of the phone. The 3.2Mp autofocus camera sports Carl Zeiss lens with dual LED flash (take that, iPhone). Nokia just upgraded 5800's firmware last night, adding geotagging for photos (using the built-in GPS antenna), among other features.

The Nokia 5800 features a 3.2in 16:9 aspect ratio touchscreen (360 x 640 pixels), which has three control keys underneath it: call, menu and hang up. The front of the phone also has a secondary VGA camera for video calling. Above the touchscreen, there's a tiny touch-sensitive area that brings up five onscreen shortcuts for music, pictures, media sharing, movies, and web.

See also: Apple iPhone 3G review

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Music is the central point of the Nokia 5800, and the phone delivers.

The sound quality is excellent, and the Nokia 5800 has a dedicated music chip built in, offering a listening experience on a par with a dedicated music device such as the iPod and the iPhone. The music player offers plenty of functionality, including the ability to create playlists, view cover art, and an adjustable equaliser. The new firmware also allows users to modify song information in MP3 ID tags. As usual, iTunes DRM protected songs are not supported.

It's worth noting that the Nokia 5800 is almost 50 percent thicker than the iPhone but around half-inch narrower and quarter-inch shorter. In contrast with the iPhone's poor retail package, Nokia's 5800 package is quite rich, coming with PC and video cables, headset and remote control, extra stylus, a stand and wrist-strap with an alternative stylus. A 8GB microSD card and a carrying case come bundled as well.

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