The music player in Nokia 8800 Arte is identical to the one found in Nokia 7900 Prism. Looks have improved looks over the Nokia 6500 classic for example, but all remains unchanged featurewise. The music player sorts songs by artist, album and genre.
The player works with MP3, MIDI, AAC, AAC+, and WMA formats. The supported A2DP profile allows listening on Bluetooth wireless earphones. The player looks can be changed to the classical skin if that suits the user better.
The handset uses the microUSB jack for connecting a headset, so finding a set of headphones for listening to music may just turn out very hard. Anyway you are not very likely to listen to tons of music on your Arte anyway. Besides you can always use the Bluetooth handsfree for that purpose.
The sonic experience of the player is enhanced by an equalizer and a stereo expansion function. Nokia 8800 Arte has only one loudspeaker located on the side, right next to the camera. We did already mention that we weren't impressed by its performance at all.
On the positive side, we have to mention that it does not get muffled at all when the phone body is placed on its back.
Unfortunately, there is no FM radio on Nokia 8800 Arte, which the Luna for example used to have. So if you get bored with the music player all you can do is turn the video on. The video player is compatible with the 3GP and MP4 formats. Videos can be played in fullscreen mode, as well as fast-forwarded or rewound. The possibility to remove the soft key captions to make better use of the full screen view mode is nice and generally improves video watching.
We personally aren't great fans of how the gallery looks in Series 40 models. The fact that it also acts as a file manager somewhat damages its user-friendliness and looks. For example you do need a few extra presses to get to your music files, as there is no file filtering. The Gallery relies on your putting the right type of files in the right folder.
There are three different views for the gallery: list with details, list and grid. Once you pick a picture you can zoom on it to see more detail. Zooming itself is not the fastest thing around and doesn't allow a picture to be zoomed in too closely, so actually it is not much of a help.
The pictures can also be viewed in fullscreen and can be edited with the built-in picture editor. The latter however offers very limited options, but considering the fact that there are very few users that actually use a picture editor on their phones, this is understandable.
The final extras of the gallery include the available Slideshow and Search options. The latter can be quite convenient for finding a specific file in overfed folders. Nonetheless, the gallery on Series 40 devices could be improved a lot. That goes true especially in user friendliness and we do hope that sometime in the future the file manager and the gallery of these phones will be separate applications.
|"...Nokia 8800 Arte is equipped with a 3 megapixel camera with autofocus. It may not be the most impressive in terms of specifications, but is surely the best among the Nokia premium mobiles. In general the photo's detail is high, but the colors are oversaturated and the noise levels are high not only in the shadow areas, but in the well lit ones too. ..."|
Nokia 8800 Arte is equipped with a 3 megapixel camera with autofocus. It may not be the most impressive in terms of specifications, but is surely the best among the Nokia premium mobiles. Typical of Series 40, the camera settings are few, but that makes them simpler and easier to use. The settings include white balance, three photo quality options going form basic to high, and various effects. Sequence shots and shooting in both portrait and landscape mode are also among the available extras.
Unluckily, as mentioned, there is no flash on the device, which makes photos in low light conditions unusable. Even in good conditions the photo quality is not be on par with the best 3 megapixel cameraphones such as the Sony Ericsson K810. In general the detail is high, but the colors are oversaturated and the noise levels are high not only in the shadow areas, but in the well lit ones too. Just look at the skies from the samples below and you will get the idea.
There are two letdowns about the camera that are not directly related to picture quality. The first is the absence of lens cover. The Nokia 8800 Arte's camera only relies on the fact that it is a tad sunk in the surface to avoid scratches. We don't find that enough for such a phone but the Nokia R&D team probably though that lens protection would ruin the design. Anyway, this is maybe the best reason to carry your phone around in the leather case that comes in the retail package.
The lack of a dedicated camera button is another real disappointment when it comes to operating the camera. It is quite uncomfortable, especially when shooting in landscape mode, to use the confirm button of the D-pad for that purpose. Besides, the function of the capture key changes to delete once a photo is taken which we don't quite understand. Although erasing a photo by accident is very unlikely, as confirmation is still required, we can't help wishing the Nokia designers did better here.
Finally a few words about the camera speed. Nokia 8800 Arte is about as fast as the senior member of the prism family - the Nokia 7900. This means that it's a decent performer and it won't take ages to take a photo. Still, don't expect it to be as quick as the Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot phones. After all, the Arte doesn't presume to be a cameraphone.
The Nokia 8800 Arte also manages video recording. It can capture videos in VGA resolution, which is a great achievement. The frame rate is only 15fps and that is quite a downer, but nevertheless, on most occasions videos turn out nice. The videos are captured in 3GP format and their length is only limited by the free memory available. All in all, the Nokia 8800 Arte offers a very good performance for a non-cameraphone. Here is a sample video, so you check for yourselves.