Nokia 8800 Sirocco Edition
- Look and design, User interface, Display, Build quality
- Price, Weight, Keypad and controls
The 8800 Sirocco Edition is clearly for the style buyer. It's a great looking phone, but offers nothing outstanding for the asking price.
Price$ 1,699.00 (AUD)
The 8800 Sirocco Edition - an upgrade to the 8800 - is a flashy mobile phone that will appeal to the fashion conscious consumer. Be prepared to pay a small fortune for it though, despite its minimal feature set.
The voice performance of the Sirocco was adequate, although the in-call volume at its highest setting isn't loud enough, especially in noisy environments. All basic phone functions are included such as speed dialling, automatic redial, call waiting, call hold, call divert, call timer and conference call. The Sirocco also includes a hands-free speakerphone, along with voice dialling.
It has a 2 megapixel camera with a fair range of options, including a video mode, digital zoom, night mode, a self-timer and some effects. Users can also adjust white balance settings and images range from 160 x 120 to 1600x1200 in size. Picture quality is average; bright colours looked washed out, and most photos lacked sharpness. A flash is not included.
Nokia has retained their Series 40 menu system on the Sirocco. A coloured, animated picture greets you at every menu selection, with easy to read text underneath it. The menu can also be changed to a 3 x 3 grid style. The Sirocco includes special themes and wallpapers designed to match the phones exterior.
The Sirocco includes an impressive 128MB of internal flash memory. There is also a microSD card slot for extra storage, although this is inconveniently located beneath the battery. The music player with support for MP3, MP4, AAC, eAAC, eAAC+ and WMA formats as well as an FM radio should keep most users entertained, however a 3.5mm headphone jack is not provided and the player only has basic shuffle and repeat play modes. The included earphones must be connected to use the radio as these act as the antenna.
Other features include support for Java, a currency converter, world clock and a 1000-entry phonebook. The Sirocco also offers MMS, standard SMS and e-mail messaging and of course, T9 predictive text input. For email SMTP, POP3, IMAP4, and APOP protocols are all supported. Bluetooth 2.0 and local synchronisation with a PC using the included PC Suite software round out the Sirocco's connectivity features.
The 8800 series is all about style. The Sirocco Edition looks stunning and is a masterpiece of industrial design. The phone is built from stainless steel and finished in a brushed, gloss black casing. Unfortunately it is highly prone to smudging and fingerprints. Despite measuring only 107mm x 45mm x 17.5mm, the Sirocco weighs a hefty 138g.
According to Nokia, the Sirocco uses a slide mechanism encompassing premium ball bearings crafted by the makers of bearings used in high performance cars. Thankfully, it's not as complex as a car and only requires a small nudge to slide open. The build quality of the handset is superb; a small metal piece wedged between two selection buttons offers a place to sit your thumb when sliding the phone open. Our only complaint with the design is the rear battery cover, which is more difficult than usual to remove.
The 208 x 208 pixel display on the Sirocco is bright and clear in all lighting conditions, with an excellent viewing angle. The surrounding area of the display is a metallic, mirror-like surface which is almost impossible to keep free of fingerprints. Most disappointing was the Sirocco's keypad; the keys are incredibly small, cramped and uncomfortable to use. In particular, the five-way navigational selection key is way too small - even our little finger was too big to press it without bumping the directional pad keys.
Nokia includes two batteries in the sales package and these can be charged through either the supplied AC adapter or the included desktop charging cradle. The cradle is finished in the same surface as the phone and even includes a pulsating white light around its base. The cradle has a slot for both the Sirocco and the spare battery, but they can't be charged at the same time. According to Nokia, the Sirocco battery life is average, rated at two hours and 45 minutes of talk time and up to 240 hours of standby time.
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