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Nokia 8890 Review

Highs

  • Very stylish
  • supports multiple GSM networks

Rating

Our Score 8
User Score 0

Lows

  • Expensive
  • hard to find.
This phone's progressive modern design and compact convenience are big pluses, but you'll have to sacrifice a few comforts...

Summary

The Nokia 8890 is packed full of features. If you are willing to forego mobile Internet, and don’t mind the small keys, you will be amply rewarded. The 8890’s styling alone is enough to make it worth the sacrifice. Couple this with a 120 country roaming zone and infrared data transfer and you have an irresistible phone that fits cleanly in your pocket or small purse. Overview

The Nokia 8890 is a power package with unquestionable style and the ability to make calls in 120 countries. But life is full of trade offs, and the Nokia 8890 is no different. This phone’s progressive modern design and compact convenience are big pluses, but you’ll have to sacrifice a few comforts to get them.

Aesthetics

One look and you know what this phone is designed for – style. Plain and simple, Nokia was out to make a real looker. This phone is visually intriguing and tacitly gratifying. Its clean chrome lines frame a rich brushed aluminum case that sings to the touch. Where the eye would usually be distracted by a busy keypad, the 8890 hides it’s goodies behind a sliding cover. Thumb the cover down (noticing its smooth glide and how sturdily it clicks into place) to reveal a miniature chrome keypad. And when you fire it up, a cool blue screen soothes your eyes. And at a slim 3 ounces, the Nokia 8890 is as small as I can imagine a traditional mobile phone being, while still retaining a manageable form factor.

The phone is so small you can carry it in a pants pocket with no unsightly bulge… major plus!

Cool Features

The Nokia 8890 comes with the standard features you’d expect in a mobile phone; like a phonebook (this one holds 250 entries), caller ID, text messaging and a selection of ringtones and games. But the Nokia 8890 goes a little farther – to 120 countries on five continents to be exact (according to Nokia’s literature).

• Works outside of the US

The 8890 is a GSM phone (GSM being the wireless network standard for roughly 170 countries). The standard in the U.S. has been TDMA, but Nokia has developed a way to use GSM over the existing US networks. What this means for you: fly to London with your current phone and it is magically transformed into a high-tech paperweight. Fly to London with your new Nokia 8890 and be the cool person who can phone a cab from the jet way. This is a real treat for those of us who have had to deal with renting phones in other countries. According to Nokia, the 8890 will work in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas and Australia.

• Good battery life

The Nokia 8890’s lithium ion battery is good for about 3 hours of talk time or 6 days of standby.

• Voice recognition that works

The 8890’s “voice tag” feature enables you to dial up to 8 numbers by speaking a name. I found the voice tags easy to program and had no difficulty dialing numbers with them. Voice tags work best when recorded and used in low-noise areas. But even on the train or in a room with a TV I had no trouble using them.

• Infrared wireless modem and PC sync capability

We didn’t have the chance to try using the 8890 as a wireless modem, but according to Nokia it has this functionality. The phone and PC connect using infrared; no wires needed. This could get the international business traveler out of some sticky situations. Odds are if you need a phone that will work in 120 countries; you can recall a couple times when a wireless modem would have saved your bacon.

This infrared PC connectivity also allows you to download contact and calendar information to your phone, compose text messages on your PC and send and receive faxes.

• SIM card

If you are using a phone with a SIM card now, then this is a plus for you. A SIM card is storage that can be transferred from one phone to another (assuming both use SIM cards). This gets around the trouble of re-entering all those names and phone numbers when you get a new phone. Instead, just pop the SIM card out of your old phone, stick it in the new one and you’re ready to go.


• Caller groups

With the 8890 you can set up caller groups and designate different ringtones for each. A method of screening, this let’s you know if it is your boss or your buddy on the other end without looking at the screen.

Downside

I know I mentioned up front there are some trade-offs to get all this cool stuff, so here they are:

• No wireless Web

Since the US is still way behind in the wireless Web adoption curve compared to the rest of the world, this may or may not matter to you, but for those who like to surf the net through their cell phone, the Nokia 8890 is not Web enabled.

• Difficult keypad entry

The Nokia 8890 sports some good looking, very small, chrome keys. They take some getting used to, and make text entry challenging.

• Different headset jack

If you are using a headset with another Nokia phone, it probably will not be compatible with the 8890.

Bottom Line
The Nokia 8890 is packed full of features. If you are willing to forego mobile Internet, and don’t mind the small keys, you will be amply rewarded. The 8890’s styling alone is enough to make it worth the sacrifice. Couple this with a 120 country roaming zone and infrared data transfer and you have an irresistible phone that fits cleanly in your pocket or small purse.

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