March 4, 2008
Can you say functional elegance? That is exactly the personification of Virginia. Virginia is the codename for the stylish brown colored Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte, the latest addition to the 8xxx series from Nokia. So what makes this mobile phone a step above the rest? Imagine a mobile phone with panels covered with manually embossed goat hides of Eastern India and a body made of metal and glass. The goat hide is covered with a protective layer to guard against regular usage while the body is coated with an anti-fingerprinting material to protect against smudges. And the crown jewel for this masterpiece is actually a real jewel.
The Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte is enhanced with a genuine sapphire gemstone navigation key that accents the polished steel casing and soft leather giving the user that rich and sensual feeling. Adding to the elegance and sophistication of the Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte is the inclusion of the exclusive sound and video track from Kruder & Dorfmeister with visualizations provided by Fritz Fitzke. The use of sapphire gemstone and goat hide provides a nature inspired theme of sophistication and elegance. If there ever was a luxury mobile phone; then the Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte is it.
The Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte which comes furnished with a sliding mechanism, consisting of high quality ball bearings and spring mechanism, ensures the user of smooth and easy access to the front panel. The functionality of the Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte is matched with functionality that is present underneath its lavish exterior. Some of its innovative functionalities include tapping on the steel casing just below the OLED display, and it will immediately bring out a stylish analogue clock. Placing the mobile phone face down on the table allows the user to discreetly activate the phone's silent mode which is made possible by the integrated accelerometer. Another welcome addition which was first introduced in the Nokia 7900 Prism and incorporated in the 8800 Sapphire Arte, is the Living Wallpapers. It is especially designed to match the phone's design and provides a refreshing decoration. The handset comes packaged with assorted accessories that spices up its functional elegance like the Nokia BH-803 Bluetooth headset that features Active Noise Cancellation and volume modification that is touch sensitive. The standard package for the Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte comes with a linen lined leather pouch and a matching desk stand which adds a touch of security and sophistication to the handset.
The two-inch OLED QVGA screen, with a 240 x 320 pixel resolution, supports up to 16 million colors is also equipped with an Ambient Light Sensor to automatically adjust screen brightness based on the surrounding to provide for a more lively display. The 8800 Sapphire Arte is running on the Series 40 operating system with right and left soft keys and the menu key open to user configuration. The user also has the option of placing five icons on the display for fast and easy access of the applications. The menu which is icon based allows for quick navigation by the user to open any application. The handset also parades an auto focus equipped 3.2 megapixel camera with an 8x digital zoom that can capture still images and record videos with 177 x 144 pixels resolution. The user can also enjoy his/her favorite sounds with the integrated multimedia player and save all his/her pictures, videos and music in the phone's 1GB internal memory.
The Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte supports network frequencies using GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900 and WDCMA 2100. The handset is already 3G technology capable and supports data transfer via Bluetooth or wired connection to personal computers or other similar devices that support its all-in-one microUSB connector.
Summary of Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte Features
Network Support: GSM 900/1800/1900/WCDMA 2100
Dimensions: 109mm x 46mm x 15mm
Navigation: 5-Way Keypad
Battery Type: 1000mAh (3.33 hours talk time, 300 hours standby)
Memory: 1GB (internal only no expansion slots)
Display: 240 x 320 px (16 million colors, TFT with Ambient Light Sensor)
Camera: 3.2MP (8x zoom, auto focus, landscape view) – still and video capture
Audio Support: Speakerphone, MP3 player (MP3, AAC, eAAC+, MIDI, AMR, WMA)
Multimedia: Streaming (3GPP, H.263, H.264), Ring Tones (64 chord, MP3)
Messaging: SMS, MMS, EMS, E-mail (POP3, IMAP4, SMTP), Chat, T9
PROS: The most undeniable feature that makes the Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte one of the most desirable mobile phone in the industry is the fusion of functionality and elegance it brings to the market place. The Sapphire gemstone navigational key coupled with functional innovations not found in most mobile phones like the tap for time, unique silencing feature, living wall paper, anti-fingerprinting coating and the aura of style and exclusivity that it brings to the user makes it a very desirable mobile phone.
CONS: Despite the elegant and functional design that the Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte exudes, there are some features that could have been included to make the mobile phone more cost effective. For a 3G phone it does not offer very much in terms of connectivity for the lack of Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities. The lack of expandable memory despite the 1GB internal memory is a major setback especially in a multimedia driven world. The video resolution is just too low considering that it has a 3.2MP camera (a flash would have been nice). And finally, for such an elegant and stylish mobile phone, it would have been nice to see Nokia use a smartphone operating system in the Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte.
Overall: At first glance it cannot be denied that the Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte is for the fashionable, non-traditional and more elegant than techie mobile phone user. It has a larger size than the earlier 8800s and even weighs more but it also boasts of the slimmest contour with more innovative features in the 8800 series to date. The strict awareness of details and quality of manufacturing combined with choice of materials gives the Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte the feeling of exclusivity, sophistication and quality. Functional elegance is what it is all about.