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Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte review



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Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte
  • Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte
  • Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte
  • Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte
  • Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte
  • Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte
  • Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte
  • Nokia 8800 Carbon Arte


Our Score:


Nokia has got some front. The 8800 Carbon Arte is an S40-toting handset retailing at over a grand. Who, especially in these cash-strapped days, is going to spend more than a thousand quid on a SIM-free mobile phone?

A year ago I drew a sharp intake of breath at the £600 SIM-free 8800 Arte. There has also been a version of the phone with a belly-button sapphire (OK, the gemstone is actually located in the centre of the D-pad), and that, the 8800 Sapphire Arte, is currently listed by Nokia as costing £979 inc VAT SIM-free. However, several factors combine to help justify the 8800 Carbon Arte's four-figure price.

There is the craftsmanship and materials including carbon fibre, titanium, stainless steel and polished glass. There is the 4GB of internal memory, though frankly that's a bit of a poor justification as you can add memory by the gigabyte to phones cheaply these days, and most, unlike this model, have a microSD card slot for the purpose. Yes, that's right. While you do get 4GB of memory here, it is all internal and you can't bulk it out further.

And there is the bundle that comes with the phone. This includes a Bluetooth headset with a rather nice touch-sensitive strip for volume control. A double tap of the touch-sensitive area mutes and unmutes the phone during calls.

You also get a desktop stand. This connects to your PC via cable and can be used to charge and sync the phone. It is reminiscent of the old PDA stands in this respect and allows you to view the screen easily when the phone is on your desk. The charge/sync cable and charge/sync interface on the phone itself both use a microUSB port so you won't be able to use any of your stash of miniUSB chargers/cables while travelling.

There is no wired headset provided and any you choose will need to use that microUSB port as this is the only connector on the phone.

The package also includes a cleaning cloth and a nice pouch into which the phone fits a little too snugly. Trust me, you will look a chump fiddling to get the phone out of its case rather than oozing aspirational, stylish, ubercool vibes.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Zero 1

March 13, 2009, 4:49 am

who will actually buy this??? its like the vertu i have never seen anyone with one of them before

Sean Groarke

March 13, 2009, 10:39 am

This is a S6600 slider with a frock on. My wife changed her mobile the other day and got a S6600 for 1 Euro. If only I'd read this review first, I could have spent loads of Euros more on one of these!! Ah well.

Now I *know*, from past correspondence, it's an iffy subject around these parts, but forgive me: how does this phone get 5/10 for value? Please, just talk me through it... How?


March 13, 2009, 11:24 am

I often find your phone reviews quite bizarre but to give this phone a value of 5/10 is comical! Come on, just hit it with a 1 or 2!

Having worked for one of the big mobile phone companies (in I.T. support, not in the stores), the take-up on the Nokia 8xxx series isn't as low as you think, but the people end up paying about 𧶲 plus a 㿏p/m 18 month contract which in itself is a lot of money for such a basic phone.


March 13, 2009, 12:11 pm


I've never met anyone with a Vertu either, but I did see someone buying one in Selfridges once. Looked about 16. I suspect we don't move in the same circles as people with these handsets!


March 13, 2009, 12:27 pm

Ultimately the materials used to construct this phone are expensive so the phone's going to be expensive. So without any obvious alternatives offering the same build quality for less money it's hard to be too critical in terms of value.


March 13, 2009, 4:34 pm

For that kind of money I expect to be able to shave with it too - especially since it looks like my dad's old Braun.

I really think manufacturers have missed a trick here.


March 13, 2009, 5:58 pm

"So without any obvious alternatives offering the same build quality for less money it's hard to be too critical in terms of value"

Haha, Ed...I have to say it, but that's a *really* weak argument!

You know this phone should have got a 2 or 3 out of 10 for value, in the current financial situation the 5/10 mark just seems even more silly (Sorry Sandra, your reviews are great!)...ٟ,100 for a basic steel & carbon Nokia (carbon fibre is not *that* expensive to produce any more) - King George might be interested.



March 13, 2009, 9:14 pm

I'd have given it a 2 ;) But then again you guys already know my hatred of such things: http://www.trustedreviews.c...

Daniel 7

March 14, 2009, 11:29 am

Sandra, I think you missed the point here. The 8800 Carbon Arte is not about the biggest feature list, and it's not even about 'value for money' in the traditional sense. It's aimed at people for whom status is more important than features or price; the kind of person who has a Mont Blanc briefcase, a Breitling watch and who drives a BMW 335i Convertible. In other words, somebody who earns considerably more than the average, but not yet a millionaire (then they'll want a Vertu).

I found it interesting to note that several reviewers have referred to this phone as a 'midrange' model - midrange as in somewhere between consumer handsets (everything from the Nokia 1650 to the N97) and the Vertu handsets costing many thousands.

That's the target market, and when you realise that it starts to make a lot more sense.


March 16, 2009, 1:48 pm

I think your comments have pretty much highlighted precisely why Sandra has scored this phone as such. On the one hand your knowledgeable techy consumer will just see this as a waste of money (i.e. the majority of you so far) whereas someone that cares less about such things but likes 'nice' devices will be quite happy with it as it saves them spending many thousands on something likte a Vertu (i.e. the point Daniel wa making). Sandra could've sided with either argument but has instead kept a relatively balanced view.

Sean Groarke

March 16, 2009, 6:22 pm

I know I shouldn't take the bait, but I will... It's just that this really bugs me. 'Ed', your defence of the value for money rating is nonsense! Maybe we should call this site "AveragedReviews" instead? With only a slight change to your argument you could show that *everything* should be receive a 5/10 rating for value.

I sympathise, as such a rating will always be somewhat subjective, but in that case one should just bite the bullet and be that: subjective. Yes, qualify it ("I'd give it 1/10 for value, but those with vast amounts of money might give it 5/10" - although that seems pretty self-evident) but tell us what you think, not some artificial, meaningless (to both ends of the spectrum) arithmetic mean. Please.

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