Nokia officially unveils the 5800 XpressMusic touchscreen media phone

Just as expected, Nokia today finally pulled back the curtains on the 5800 XpressMusic device. After nearly six months of rumors, leaks, and Dark Knight cameos, the pretty little touchscreen device once known only as the “Tube” has been made official.

Coming sometime in Q4 2008, the 5800 will be the first handset to rock Nokia’s much anticipated S60 5th Edition platform and the touchscreen-centric UI it brings with. The spec sheet on this one is a bit of a mouthful: 3.2 megapixel autofocus Carl Zeiss camera w/ dual-LED flash, stereo speakers (reportedly nice and loud), a secondary video calling camera on the front, proximity sensor, A-GPS (w/ Nokia Maps and voice guided navigation), Flash support in the browser, WiFi (802.11 b/g), and Bluetooth 2.0 w/ A2DP stereo support, all hidden behind a 3.2 inch 640×360 haptic display. It will also be one of the first handsets to support Nokia’s all-you-can-gobble-up Comes With Music service when it lights up in 2009. Though the handset itself only totes 81 megs of internal memory, it’s expandable up 16GB by way of microSD, with an 8GB card included in the box.

They’ve plopped a couple of new features onto the home-screen to take advantage of the touchscreen. The Contacts Bar tracks texts, photos, phone logs, and blog updates for up to four friends — which is great, if you only have four friends — while the Media Bar lets you access your favorite media with a tap or two. They’ve also added some “clever shortcuts” for common menu items. One-touch access is great and all, but the wary minimalist in me fears they’re packing a bit much into the home-screen.

I’m intrigued by the 5800, but with the platform battle raging at an all time high, I’m much more interested in the S60 5th edition platform it runs. Peter and John of CrunchGear got to spend a a bit of time with it last night, and walked away unimpressed. Chances are, we’ll have more on this by the time it launches worldwide for around 279 EUR (about 388 USD) sometime by the end of this year.