Dear Lazy Web: Hackable Mobile Phone with good Music Player?

Hey all, I need your help:

I lost my Ipod and now have to live without music on the road… Sucks pretty much, I can’t live without music…

Since my current mobile phone is pretty shabby I thought about fixing both in one go: Buy a mobile phone which could replace my Ipod as well!

Now lets first say what I need most:

What I found is the Nokia 5800 express music. It costs like ~260€. 16Gb more space costs like ~45€… It has stereo output and SDHC support. But what I don’t know: Where will custom software be saved on? Also on the SDHC? That would make hot- swapping kind of pointless…

Good thing: It’s S60 5th gen, so Qt will run it and I can write my own software - that’s pretty cool. Though one question: Do I need Windows for the SDKs or can I develop under Linux?

So… Does anyone have a better suggestion? Or any experience with that mobile phone? I really hate that there is no alternative to Ipods with a lot of space… Monopoly sucks! And I can’t even put my own stuff on such an Ipod… Not even Rockbox any more :( I hate Apple for that!

But since I’m a poor student I somehow really doubt that I’ll get myself a new phone, esp. since additional SDHC cards cost quite much…


Want to comment? Send me an email!

Comment by Allison (not verified) (2011-05-18 13:55:00)

HTC Hero with Android is best, it has got a nice music player and its cheap. Allison from iPhone Development.

Comment by AlexM (not verified) (2009-11-20 23:13:00)

I am using Nokia xpress music 5700 and I am very happy with it. I think that 5800 is even better than my phone, and it is the best decision if you want some musical phone. The thing is that I was buying Nokia xpress music just like you:because the ability to listen there music. Of course the memory card has a little bit space in it, but you can buy the bigger one. Oh and what’s more, Nokia has their special musical format, very close to mp3. I forgot the name of it, but the key is that your song will be 2 times smaller. If it was 3 mb mp3, in the Nokia format it will be 1,5, but it will sound exactly like mp3. So I would definitely offer you to purchase this Nokia phone. I hope it will help.

Alex Morton from mobile development.

Comment by Andreas Marschke (not verified) (2009-07-08 11:23:00)

Hm how about an openmoko the GTA02 seems fairly decent has mini-usb and aklinke i think. You can hack the drivers so tjhat you might get an external hd running on the little guy and its really neat. Qt runs fine on it I think …

Comment by BurkeOne (not verified) (2009-07-06 17:51:00)

Where did you lose your iPod and what kind of iPod was it? Maybe somebodyfound it, or somebody has seem someone who found it.

Comment by Peter (not verified) (2009-07-06 16:13:00)

In addition to JDs comments: You can even let usual software compiled for ARM run on the G1. That is, you can run all of the Debian OS software from within the Android telnet client. An xserver is also supported but screen access is not possible but you can circumvent this by using the Android VNC client connecting to your xserver.

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) (2009-07-06 15:51:00)

I was always a big fan of Cowon products - love my A2, still havent replaced it - the S9 is pretty slick.

I only know the US site - they do have UK retailers, its like £260-ish on the high end for the S9

Comment by Carl Caum (not verified) (2009-07-06 15:43:00)

Personally, I couldn’t be happier with my iPhone. The 3G connection allows me to stream from my media at home for the media I don’t have stored on my 32GB internal storage. This making hot-swapping media cards pointless. Almost all of Apple’s music is DRM free now, so you’re not locked in to a single device and you can even buy music directly from the phone. Plus shooting, editing and uploading video directly from the phone is hot stuff. Writing software is easy with Objective C. I don’t know about where you are, but in the states the 32GB 3Gs is $299 while the 16GB is $199. The only real downside to the iPhone is there is NO multitasking. Admittedly, that’s a huge downside. However, the new push notifications system fills a small portion of this gap.

I have friends with Android and Symbian devices. All of them have or will be switching to iPhone. Symbian crashes constantly and Android flakes out on simple tasks.

Comment by fish (not verified) (2009-07-06 13:21:00)

Go Android! HTC Magic or, even better, the HTC Hero! ;)

or wait a lil’ bit for this one:…

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) (2009-07-06 12:25:00)

Go buy yourself Motorola Z6. Cheap and absolutely hackable.

Comment by TGM (not verified) (2009-07-06 11:50:00)

cue dodgy 80’s music

You need a hero… You should hold out for a hero…

Comment by JD (not verified) (2009-07-06 11:17:00)

I’d personally recommend Android (either the T-Mobile G1/HTC Dream or the HTC Magic if you want something slimmer and without a physical keyboard)…I know you can get a HTC Dream for free with a 1-year contract with many European carriers.

I own a G1 and it’s quite possibly the best device i’ve ever owned. The battery life’s not great, but i plug it in at home and at work so it doesn’t bother me and that’s really the only complaint people have with it. It doesn’t have a standard headphone jack built-in, but it comes with a dongle that you plug into the ExtUSB port on the phone and it gives you a 3.5mm headphone jack. As a added bonus, using that dongle lets you use your headphones for hearing people if a call comes in which is quite cool and a bit trippy.

As far as hot swapping MicroSDHC cards, there’s a little door on the side of the phone that you can pry open (when the phone is on), pop a card out and pop a new one in and the G1 has been tested with up to 16GB MicroSDHC cards (32GB may work, but are they even out yet?).

As far as development and apps…There are about 6,000 applications in the Android Market in the US currently and the SDK for building apps runs on Windows, Linux and Mac. If you’re writing normal apps for the G1, you’re joing to be using a massively modified Java stack that’s custom to Android, but VERY easy to code for even if you don’t know Java. Although, as of quite recently, you gained a lot more choice. Google released the ASP and the NDK: ASP - Android Scripting Platform: Basically, with this, you can write Android apps in Python, Ruby or LUA. NDK: Native Development Kit: With this one, you can write android apps in C and C++…They won’t be able to interact much with your contacts and similar apps, but it’s a bit faster, you have access to android’s libc stack and android’s math stack.

IMO, a Android device (personally the Dream/G1) is the perfect device for anyone.

Comment by Anonymous (not verified) (2009-07-06 10:57:00)

Your software can be stored on both, the phones internal memory or the sd card.

Comment by Rabe (not verified) (2009-07-06 10:46:00)


I heard somewhere, that the symbian eclipse sdk isnt avail for linux… and compared to android, webOS and iphone os symbian is sucking hard (I own a symbian smartphone, besides ipod touch). :D

My suggestion: Android is the way to go.


Published on July 06, 2009.