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.