A microUSB connector is used to link the handset to your computer and to charge the battery. Anyone used to carrying a miniUSB charge cable for several devices will need to also carry the microUSB one required here.
The 8800 Arte and Arte Sapphire have a metal and glass shell and this means they are quite heavy phones at 150g. With many similarly sized mobiles a third lighter, you are likely to notice the weight in your pocket.
I’m going to stop differentiating between the Arte and Arte Sapphire and refer to both phones as the 8800 because the remainder of the specifications are identical.
Holding either phone in the hand is a satisfying experience. The 8800 has a thin candybar design measuring 109mm tall, 46mm wide and 15mm thick. Flick up the slide and the phone grows to about 133mm tall.
However, the number pad is quite squeezed. Its keys are reasonably wide but very short. They are shaped with a raised bottom edge, which makes hitting them a little less troublesome than it would be if they were flat, but texting at speed was still not easy. If you have stubby fingers you might also find things too cramped for comfort.
There is 1GB of internal storage but no flash memory card slot to add more. I find mobiles without memory expansion harder and harder to fathom unless they are at the entry level. Who wouldn’t prefer to pop a microSD card to get photos or music on and off their handset over having to physically connect it to a computer or use Bluetooth?
On the software front there are some goodies to be found. Opera Mini is here, for a start. And while viewing Web pages on the 2-inch OLED screen might be a challenge to some, downloading pages should be fine as the handset is 3G, with tri-band GSM, GPRS and EDGE as fallbacks.
You could always opt for WidSets instead. This is a sort of RSS-like service, pushing new content out to your handset whenever a change is detected in a Web site. Web sites need to be in the scheme and offer a WidSets service; you need to have a data plan and to be able to justify the download costs; and you need to really want to see every change to a web page. If those three things triangulate, then WidSets could be very useful.