By April 6, 2009

Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte Review

The Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte certainly looks the part, it certainly feels the part, and a quick glance at the phones spec list it certainly seems to tick a number of boxes however as soon as the price tag is discovered the 8800 suddenly has a lot more to live up to and certainly some extra weight on its 150g shoulders.


The Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte

What’s in the box?

  • Nokia 8800 Arte Carbon
  • Battery BL-4U
  • Chrger AC-6
  • Data Cable CA-101
  • Carry Case CP-212
  • Desk Stand DT-19
  • Bluetooth Headset BH-803
  • User guide
  • Software CD
  • 8800 Arte Carbon Story Booklet
  • Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte Specification:

  • GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • UMTS 2100
  • Dimensions: 109 x 45.6 x 14.6 mm, 65 cc
  • Weight: 150 g
  • 240 x 320 pixels, 2.0 inches OLED Display
  • MP3 support
  • Speakerphone
  • 4GB internal memory
  • GPRS: Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps
  • EDGE: Class 10, 236.8 kbps
  • 3G: 384 kbps
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • microUSB OTG
  • Camera: 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus
  • Browser: WAP 2.0/xHTML
  • Java: MIDP 2.1
  • Battery: Li-Ion 1000 mAh (BL-4U)


    As I mentioned the 8800 certainly looks every inch a well built, high quality device with some real weight behind it. However, as I also mentioned £1000 is a huge price to pay for a mobile phone so lets have a look around the 8800 and see if the device can match the price tag.

    The front of the device has a fairly small screen certainly smaller than recent phones Nokia have put out such as the 5800 however as this is not a touch screen device this can be expected.

    Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte – Front view


    Seen below on the front of the device is the multi directional navigation D pad with a selection push button in the centre and either side of this are four soft keys for call control and menu quick start.

    Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte – Keypad view


    The 8800 is of course a slider with a difference, whereas many sliders have the screen sitting on-top of the keypad the 8800’s keypad is housed in the bottom of the device meaning the phone can remain clean and portable when closed while keeping the thickness of the device down when open.

    Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte – Opened view

    The 8800 Carbon Arte is a very clean device with very little to no buttons cluttering either side apart from the two battery cover release push buttons meaning it looks as well built as it feels.

    Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte – left side view


    With no buttons to speak of it makes the sides of the device very difficult to talk about so rather than doing so I will allow you to admire the 8800’s beauty for yourself.


    Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte – right side view

    The standby button Is the only real key on any of the four sides of the Carbon Arte and it I wont patronise you in telling you what its function is.

    Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte – Top view


    The back of the 8800 continues the clean theme of the phone with the camera lens housed in centralised square housing and below this is a silver Nokia logo sitting perfectly against that carbon battery cover.

    Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte – back view


      • Superb Build Quality

      • Design


        • Price

        • Lack of features



        The 8800 Carbon Arte from Nokia is certainly the most expensive I have and probably ever will have the privilege of using, however when you are told the price your initial reaction is likely to be one of great anticipation for a device which is feature filled to the brim with built in lasers and a switch will will instantly launch a nuclear attack on the nearest unsuspecting nation, OK maybe I am exaggerating a little buy you would certainly expect some pretty decent features from a device of this price.


        The explanation and justification of the 8800 Carbon Arte price is its build quality and exceptional feat of technological engineering and this I cannot knock the device looks fantastic, extremely stylish in its design and is incredibly well built, these are all things that are reflected in the weight of the device, as Matt said in his un-boxing of the phone when you hear of things such as carbon etc. used in the construction of a product you instantly assume it will be not only sleek but also lightweight however at just over 150g this is not really the case for the 8800, its weight though is not something that should be held against it as it further enhances the feeling of quality.
        One thing that impressed me when I reviewed the 5800 was not just the device but also the things included in the box it felt like Nokia had thought of everything, and the same applies for the 8800, the contents of the box you can find at the start of this review but one thing that is slightly different to be included with a device is the blue tooth headset. The headset doesn’t feel like a last minute addition and a case of chuck the last few budget headsets we have left in the box it is a quality headset, sound quality is great and fits comfortably in the ear.

        Bluetooth Headset BH-803

        As I mentioned earlier the phone features a 3 Mega pixel camera the quality of which I felt was actually fairly poor, and certainly worse than some other mobiles I have used with similar spec devices. Another disappointment of the 8800’s camera is that no flash is included in any form which does make photography in different levels of light that much more difficult.

        As for the storing of your photos as well as multimedia such as video and music the 8800 has an in-built memory of 4GB with no room for additional storage via storage card. Watching videos and listening to music is not something you are likely to use the 8800 for seeing as there is no headphone jack and the only connection is via a mini USB.

        Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte – bottom view


        If you do manage to retreat to your safe haven from background noise and distractions you will find that the 8800 offers great sound quality and clarity. One downside to watching videos and or using the phone itself is it becomes useless in direct sunlight, something I experienced several times during the past week of surprisingly pleasant spring sunshine.
        Connectivity of the 8800 is unsurprisingly agreeable with Bluetooth 2.0, 3G, Edge, GPRS to name a few, I have no complaints about using them however I have to mention that the phone keypad is not altogether the most efficient I have used and this did affect things such as browsing. The phones connectivity is at an acceptable level as I mentioned however for a device of this price I suppose I was expecting something a little more groundbreaking or earth shattering but I’m afraid the 8800 doesn’t deliver this but it does keep you connected which is most important.

        A phone is an item you are going to be using every day you own it so it has to be easy and enjoyable to do so, that is why in my reviews I always try to let you know what the phone is like when using it for simple or more complicated daily tasks. One problem I found throughout my time with the device was that they keys do at times feel a little small and I often found myself accidently pushing two keys at once a problem I feel is largely due to the keys sloping design. Provided you are not standing in direct sun light and manage to get over the awkwardness of the keys navigation through menus is simple it uses the standard Nokia menus which I am sure may of you are familiar with, however, if not it certainly doesn’t take long to get use to. It seems amazing that I have managed to get this far into a review of a mobile phone without actually mentioning what the phone is like to use as well just that a phone, it is so often taken for granted now but I have used devices in the past with poor sound quality when in a call. However, I am pleased to report that the 8800 has great sound clarity I experienced no problems with muffling and the same goes for when using speaker phone. Battery life is stated to be around 300 hours standby by a mere 3 ½ talk time which I think is pretty poor and I did have problems with the battery life in terms of several charges in just a few days.



        Overall I feel that my conclusion would be very different if at this point I could tell you that the Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte comes with all the features and functions listed in the review and cost only £250 however I can’t and for that reason you may be understandably disappointed with the 8800, but as I kept reminding myself the 8800 is not about having a great camera or music player it is a masterpiece of design and technological engineering it feels every bit as good as it looks, it is the ultimate status symbol in the world of Mobile phones and is a true object of beauty which you could say would be more suited to the Tate modern than the shelf of your local carphone warehouse.


        Reviewed by: Nick

        Posted in: Reviews

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