Just as we expected the signal reception and call quality are in line with the Nokia 8800 Arte high standing. Calls are loud and clear on both ends eliminating any possible obstacles to communication.
However, many can consider the lack of video calls a real disappointment. It feels the 3G support is not used to the maximum. Not that video calling is something we cannot live without but it sure wouldn't hurt having it.
A great new feature of Nokia 8800 Arte is the turn-to-mute functionality. It allows muting the phone during a call or hushing the alarm by simply flipping the device over. Here is a video that should give you an idea of exactly how it works.
Turning the front pannel down mutes the incomming call of Nokia 8800 Arte
Here is how Nokia 8800 Arte ranks along some of the other handsets we've measured in our speakerphone loudness test. It surely doesn't have the loudest voice around but there aren't many occasions you will miss a call with the Arte. You can find more info about the test itself, as well as results from other tested devices here.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overal score|
|Nokia 8800 Arte||66.7||66.5||66.5|
|Apple iPhone (firmware 1.1.1)||67.2||60.2||66.6|
|Motorola RAZR2 V8||66.3||65.7||81.9||Good|
|Nokia 6500 classic||74.7||75.7||83.8||Excellent|
|Nokia 7900 Prism||66.7||66.2||69.7||Average|
|Nokia 8600 Luna||73.0||66.6||66.1||Average|
If you expected Nokia 8800 Arte to bring some great surprises softwarewise, you will end up disappointed. It employs the Series 40 5th edition user interface with navigation and control almost the same as with the previous UI edition, used in the Nokia 8600 Luna. The Arte offers a large number of configurable options but at the cost of a little complicated menu structure and navigation.
When in stand-by, the display as usually visualizes the pre-selected wallpaper plus signal strength, battery status and time in the top bar. Beneath the top bar are the operator logo and the date. The bottom bar is reserved for the labels of the functions assigned to the center of the navigation key and the two context keys. The center of the navigation key opens the main menu, while the context keys can be assigned a function of your choice. The font on the main display can be of any color.
You can also turn active standby on if you want. It consists of several parts that can be edited or relocated according to the user's preferences. In the most common case, the top area is reserved for instant access to favorite functions indicated by their respective icons. The central area provides instant access to the music player.
At the very bottom events from the calendar are displayed set for the current day. A cool feature here, that even Nokia smartphones do not have, is the possibility to add a note to the active stand-by. The two soft keys' functionality can also be altered if necessary.
The main menu in Nokia 8800 Arte can be visualized in four different ways: a grid of icons with or without captions, a list of items, and tabs. While each of them has its pros and cons our personal choice remains the typical grid view with legends. If you prefer more icons to appear simultaneously, you can go for the grid view without text, as it displays a 4 x 3 icons grid.
|"...A great new feature of Nokia 8800 Arte is the turn-to-mute functionality. It allows muting the phone during a call or hushing the alarm by simply flipping the device over. Here is a video that should give you an idea of exactly how it works..."|
The icons of the main menu can be freely reordered to suit the user's taste. An interesting thing to note here is that the Opera Mini browser, the calculator and the WidSets application can be found directly in the main menu. They are also featured in the applications folder so, basically, you can access them from wherever you prefer. Probably these three were considered important enough to place in the main menu for quicker access.
The submenus follow no consistent pattern. Some items have captions, others do not. In certain cases, you will even be able to see the selected item described in small font, so you will not need to step further into another menu level. As usual, the menu items are intuitively accessible through keypad shortcuts.
The color background of the entire menu, as well as the wallpaper on the display, can be easily modified by applying one of the pre-installed themes.
The menu responds quickly, without lagging or holdups. This is the case with basically any S40 device nowadays and we wouldn't expect any less from the Arte. Also, there were no halts or unexpected restarts for the time of our review.
Heavy on looks inside out, the Nokia 8800 Arte comes with six preinstalled themes. All of them are quite up to the task with their conservative styling. You can of course download additional themes, which are available all over the internet. There are even some that produce sounds on certain events, such as opening or closing the slider.
There are as many as five predefined ringing profiles on Nokia 8800 Arte, plus a Flight mode, which turns off all transceivers on the device. That number should be enough to have you covered in practically any circumstances. The flight mode can turn out very convenient if you decide to use your phone as an MP3 player and it can be used without a SIM card inserted.