Nokia 8801, The Porsche of Phones?


To get an idea who Nokia had in mind when it designed its sleek, stainless steel encased 8801, consider this: The 8801 is available for pre-order from Neiman-Marcus, and rings in at a wallet-busting $900. With its arrival, expected here in the US in the next few weeks, Nokia is signaling its intention to pursue the same flighty Hollywood starlets that helped make the Sidekick one of this year’s biggest mobile phone success stories.

So what else does the 8801 deliver besides a hefty price tag? While it can’t match some of the latest high-end phones for features, the 8801 delivers a surprisingly good tri-band radio—no dropped calls, clear call quality throughout the Bay area (on the Cingular network)—in addition to some basic, if necessary, features including Bluetooth, an integrated SVGA camera and both a FM radio and integrated digital music player (it plays AAC and MP3 files).

The included Nokia PC Suite software made it easy to synchronize contacts and calendar information between a PC and the 8801 via Bluetooth. Apple Powebook and iBook owners looking to synch PIM data will need to buy PhoneDirector for $29.95, which will make synching up data a cinch. Finally, the 8801 offers EDGE-speed downloads and 64 megabytes of memory to store Java apps, pictures and even video clips.

Ultimately, the goal of the 8801 is to be seen and heard with it. The brushed steel exterior gleams, a unique slider-design that hides the 8801’s (too small) keypad, and the crisp 256K TFT display let the 8801 rival the RAZR and other design-first cellphones for sheer visual appeal. And every detail—down to the ringtones that Ryuichi Sakamoto composed for the 8801 at Nokia’s request—screams luxury. At nearly a grand, it’s not cheap, but if you want to fit in with Hollywood’s A-lister’s this may be just the phone for you.

Review by Matt Maier, wireless and gizmo correspondent for Business 2.0 magazine. Subscribe to his Weekly Wireless Report.



This phone is worth 800 in Japan, Singapore or Hong Kong but it shouldn’t cost that much here. Some of you may be wondering what the 4th feature is, the my wallet feature. It’s that technology you’ve all heard of that allows you to pay for things with your phone. Although it’s advertised as a feature, it won’t work unless you are in Asia. Anyway, the phone is great, I got it for $120 so I can’t complain.


I have the 8801 and it is like my car, it is fine tuned machine, and is very well built and the phone is not light but the screen is not made of plastic but a type of crystal. It will not scratch very easily. And my car which i love to every detail is the audi S4, which reminds me of the phone. It does not have as much features as a treo, or an hp but is very classy. You really pay what you get, and i feel that you get all moneys worth

Om Malik

it slides open and it is pretty cool. 8860 was good looking phone but terrible. massive improvememnts – though cannot say antyhing about scratches as yet

Brian Breslin

i had almost the same phone 6 years ago. the Nokia 8860. It was uber cool. too bad it got hot as hell when in use, and smudged and scratched easily.
finally when it broke, they wouldn’t replace it.

ah well. the real question is, does it have a button to pop-the thing open?
that would be very cool.

Darla Mack

You know… the advertising for this phone should have been much more appealing than what it is. Have you seen the commercial? I don’t think anyone could find the seriousness in some chic stating how in order to get rid of her boyfriend she deletes his info from her phone. Lol totally retarded. Hi Om!!

Mike Rundle

I would absolutely buy this phone, in fact, I’ve been tracing the developing of this bad boy since I first saw some pics pop up on Engadget a few months back. Soooo droolworthy.

It’ll go right next to my $300 Cisco IP phone I barely use, and my black video iPod that I definitely never use ;)

Paul Farnell

I’ve got one of these myself (it’s been out here in the UK for a while, but called the 8800 here). It’s really, *really* good! Feels really solid, and does look amazing. They also have a 2 year warranty, and priority service from Nokia, which is quite good.

I’d recommend it, anyway. The best thing is that after about three months of ownership, I’ve only ever seen TWO other people with this phone! Just think how many Sony Ericssons etc. you see every day – I love that this phone is rare!


I am some how inclined to goto Palm which are approximately priced at half the cost of Nokia.

Comments are closed.