Nokia 8800 Sirocco is charged by being inserted into a heavy metal holder, whose base circuit is attractively illuminated in blue. Together with the handset the holder can simultaneously charge a second battery so that one can take it as a back-up right away. The second battery comes enclosed in the phone’s retail package.
Another attractive accessory is the earphone – a HS-15 headset with wires covered with textile material, a 2.5mm jack, and a clip with a microphone. The clip is metal and rotatable; in its top part there is a tiny hollow for the microphone accompanied by a call and voice-control button.
When we were testing the original Nokia 8800, we were criticizing its wire-handsfree, which we considered unsuitable for such an expensive phone. Such a device definitely deserved a wireless earphone. Fortunately, Nokia knows to learn from its mistakes: in Nokia 8800 Sirocco’s package you will find a second, Bluetooth HS-64W handsfree of elegant, light and compact design, with a removable clip. Its sound abilities are satisfactory. The button for accepting calls is spacey and comfortable, apart of playing the role of a decorative element. Another cool element is the tiny dual key controlling volume levels. The thin wire holds the device firmly behind one’s ear; it is extremely comfortable to wear, even if it does not seem so at first sight.
Another important accessory enclosed with the handset is the phone case. Would have anyone ever thought this could be made of something else but leather? The manufacturer’s logo is incrusted and polished in its top part. The phone is extracted in a rather interesting way, that is, sideways; both the top and the bottom of the case are closed. The „cutout“ starts on the right side of the case and comes up to the middle of its top: a great solution as the phone holds firmly inside and at the same time is easy to insert and pull out. Our only fear is that the edges of the open area of the case may become loose and start to gap away with the time – a tendency, which we could notice after only a few days of testing.
Nokia 8800 Sirocco display is identical to the one in Nokia 6230i, both in terms of resolution and size: 30 x 30 mm, 208 x 208 pixels. Supported colors have increased to 262K, but the difference is hard to tell with a bare eye. The displays of the original Nokia 8800 and Nokia 8800 Sirocco are absolutely the same.
Picture is very fine and sharp, with enough contrast. The pity, however, is that the font color can only be modified within the standby mode, but does not refer to the entire menu. In result, dark wallpapers remain virtually useless for work with the menu as these make some legends illegible. The display is protected by a hardened sapphire glass resistant to scratches.
The keypad is plastic. Backlighting is blue-white and strong enough. The keys panel is positioned comfortably so that one does not need to bend their thumb in an unnatural way. Typing is ergonomic, eased by the fact that Nokia 8800 Sirocco’s keypad occupies more or less the same area where most phones have their display. Keys react smoothly.
Certain changes have been made in the distribution and the form of the keypad when compared to the original 8800. The number keys are now positioned with an inclination. In result, they are easy to press no matter how little space they occupy. The call receiving keys are very large. The confirming center of the main control key has been enlarged as well and is now easier to be found without looking at it. At the same time, the band around it representing the four navigation ways will be the source of problems for most users: ladies will almost surely come to break long nails, while rich gentlemen with thicker fingers will lose a lot of nerves. And one more remark: the edge of the metal panel of the keypad disturbs the work with the bottom key line.
It took us a long time before we got used to the location of the context keys next to the thumb rest for slide-out. In other words, they are not part of the keypad, as in most phones is. At the beginning of our tests we would often mistake them with the call-control keys. The reason for the unusual place of the context keys is the design harmony, which is - after all - what most counts in Nokia 8800 Sirocco.
When closed, the phone offers very few options: accept calls, receive SMS, or silence ringtones. Nothing else. Aside from the context keys, the only usable element left is the main on/off button: single presses help you browse profiles, while a longer press confirms your selection.
Another significant drawback (mentioned already in the first chapter) is the absence of a standard Pop-Port connector. In the bottom of the handset you will only find a classical charger slot and a slot for a minijack, which results in a mono speaker output. If you want to listen to the radio, be sure to first plug in the earphone, as it plays the role of an antenna. Once the latter has been inserted, you may also direct the sound to come out through the loud speaker. In all events, both the radio and the MP3 player are said to be able to play stereo via Bluetooth.