Still, there is no denying that the 8800 Carbon Arte itself is beautifully put together. The stainless steel outer casing of this slider is lovely to look at and lovely to hold. The rounded edges add a touch of class and the grey/black carbon fibre patterning on the front below the screen and on the back is a design is pleasing to the eye.
Tall and thin is the order of the day with measurements of 109mm tall, 45.6mm wide and 14.6mm thick when closed, growing to about 133mm with the slide opened.
The metal elements to the casing do add to the phone’s weight, though, and it feels like more than the 150g Nokia quotes for it. At least the weight distribution has been well thought out as the 8800 Carbon Arte doesn’t feel top or bottom heavy with the slide opened. There is no ledge to grab with a thumb to open the slide so you will inevitably leave fingermarks on the screen.
The rest of the user ergonomics are fine. The D-pad is fairly large and its raised rim makes navigation easy. The Call and End buttons and softkeys are on flat panels and they were easy to use accurately. The number pad keys are a little narrow but they are nicely shaped with a raised lower edge to help with accuracy and there’s no problem with hitting the bottom row thanks to a bar of unused space between that row and the bottom of the slide.
The OLED screen measures just two inches. Its 320 x 240 pixels are clear enough indoors but the screen isn’t as readable as it could be outdoors in bright sunlight.
This is a tri-band handset with 3G. There is no front camera for two-way video calling and no HSDPA so data speeds aren’t as fast as they could be. Web browsing seemed reasonable for speed during testing, but the small screen let things down as it will for other data-rich tasks. At least Opera Mini was pre-installed to help the screen along a bit as far as the Internet is concerned.
There is no Wi-Fi, GPS or accelerometer, all of which I would expect as standard in a phone costing as much as this one does. The S40 operating system includes a fair few goodies but is not up to the capabilities of S60. Many people will probably find it fine, but advanced users will want more.