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The camera shoots video at resolutions to 640 x 480 pixels and stills at up to 3.2-megapixels. There's no side button for camera launching - in fact the only side buttons are twin backplate releases and the on/off switch. You can set the D-pad to launch the camera if you choose.

There are autofocus and auto white balance settings but no flash. You can do some photo editing before MMSing your shots. You can insert frames, small clip art icons and tiny renderings of other photos you've taken as well as crop images and add text.

Shots are a bit hit and miss. The coloured dish, photographed indoors under household lights, is remarkably good, and the chair, shot outside in bright spring sunshine, is also passable. The flowers are poor, though. Those in the foreground are more purple than pink, though the colours of the plant in the background are a little more accurate.

Music playback is fair and there is a good equaliser with space for two user-defined presets. However, without a microSD card slot you have to either download music directly or dock to get tunes into the phone. And as already noted there is no supplied wired headset.

Other software includes a voice recorder, single alarm, calendar, to do list manager, notes, calculator, countdown timer, stopwatch, and calculator. There is also support for WidSets.

Nokia claims 3 hours 20 minutes of GSM talk and 300 hours of standby from the BL-4U 1,000mAh battery. I found it kept me going for three days between charges, but without battery sapping features like Wi-Fi and GPS, and without the facility for piping stereo music to my ears in the box, this is hardly surprising. Basically, all I did with this phone was take and make voice calls and occasionally brave the web.


OK, it is beautiful to look at. But whether this, the array of bundled paraphernalia and what the 8800 Carbon Arte itself has to offer add up to a grand's worth of your hard-earned is entirely up to you. I am not convinced.

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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 &#163250 plus a &#16335p/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!)...&#1631,100 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:

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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