Nokia Updates Touch-Screen Smartphone

Nokia's iPhone competitor received a firmware upgrade that improves download speeds, adds a dictionary, and boosts the cameras.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Smartphone

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic smartphone
(click for larger image)

Nokia has pushed out a firmware upgrade for its touch-screen smartphone, and the company said it will improve the camera, e-mail, and responsiveness.

The 5800 XpressMusic is Nokia's first touch-screen competitor to Apple's iPhone 3G, and it sports a large 3.2-inch resistive touch screen. Powered by Symbian S60 fifth edition, the smartphone utilizes a familiar operating system that has been given a finger-friendly overhaul.

The software update can be downloaded for free from Nokia's software page, and it improves the download speeds, adds a mobile dictionary with voice playback, and adds the ability to have the handset automatically check for application updates.

Another significant improvement is that the update lets the smartphone's cameras be more useful. The front-facing camera can now be used for taking still images in addition to video calls, and the 3.2-megapixel camera has an added burst mode, which allows the user to take multiple pictures by pressing the shutter button just once.

"As mobile devices become more and more advance, additional features and new functionalities are easy to install to the existing device," said Soren Peterson, Nokia's senior VP of devices, in a statement. "We recommend people to take advantage of the new features and upgrade their Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, and get more from their existing device."

The 5800 was well received when it was released last October, as it sold more than a million units worldwide. The music-centric smartphone had a rocky U.S. launch, as it was pulled from the stores after issues were reported regarding 3G connectivity. Nokia has fixed the problem, but it's unclear if these bugs will affect the sales figures of the 5800.

As smartphones become equipped with more desktop-like capabilities, road warriors may soon be able to ditch their laptops. InformationWeek looked at how smartphones could potentially become replacements for laptops, and the report can be downloaded here (registration required).