Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Nokia 8800 Arte
- Stylish design, superb build quality, included Bluetooth headset
- Price, no memory card slot, controls, no extensive features list
The 8800 Arte is a stunning handset to look at, but its exuberant price means you don't get much bang for your buck.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
Nokia's premium 8800 series offers a reasonable list of features in a stylish, metal and glass design. The chic 8800 Arte is almost identical to the 8800 Sapphire Arte, minus the leather front and rear casing and the sapphire gem stone.
The slider design of the 8800 Arte falls in line with the rest of the 8800 Series. On this model, both the keypad and controls have been improved, but there are still some issues. In particular, the navigational pad is quite small and it's easy to accidentally bump the side keys when trying to press the centre key. In testing we also developed a knack of pressing the selection keys instead of the answer/end call keys and vice versa — both are close together and aren't clearly separated. The good news is that the keypad has been improved with slightly raised keys that provide a tactile feel. Our only quibble is that the first row of keys is too close to the top half of the handset.
As far as looks go there is no doubting the Arte's style. The handset feels superbly crafted and constructed, with its black metal and glass design providing a feel of genuine quality and craftsmanship — even if fingerprints on the display can be an issue, despite Nokia's claim of an anti-fingerprint coating on the metal and glass. The smooth spring operated slider is effortless to open and although the handset is quite heavy, it doesn't detract from its appeal.
Two distinctive features set this phone apart. Tapping the steel surface below the display makes an analogue-style clock appear on the screen, although the tapping wasn't as responsive as we'd have liked. Further, incoming calls can be silenced with the turn-to-mute feature — turning the handset screen-side down silences the ring.
In terms of features, we expected more from the Arte considering its asking price, though Nokia has added 3G capabilities, a 3.2-megapixel camera and 1GB of internal memory as additions when compared to previous models. The 2in display with ambient light sensor is serviceable, even if we felt it could have been a little brighter, while the 1GB of internal memory is welcomed. Unfortunately, there is no memory card slot for extra storage.
A media player with stereo both widening and equaliser settings does a reasonable job of multimedia playback, though an FM radio isn't part of the deal. The lack of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack is a downside — instead you'll have to use the included micro-USB headphones. Other features include support for Java, standard SMS, MMS, and e-mail messaging with T9 predictive text input and Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP.
The 3.2 megapixel camera features auto focus and 8x digital zoom, but the lack of flash makes night time photography inadequate. The camera will take photos of a reasonable quality, but it obviously won't replace a stand-alone digital cameras. The 8800 Arte also includes a front mounted VGA camera for video calling over 3G networks.
Nokia has retained its solid Series 40 menu system on the Arte. A 3 x 3 grid system is used for the main menu with a simple list format for most sub menus. Nokia has also added an exclusive video and sound track from producers Kruder & Dorfmeister. It also includes a matching BH-803 Bluetooth headset in the sales package, complete with noise cancellation and touch sensitive volume controls. There is also a desk stand and a leather pouch.
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