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Nokia 8850 8/10. Date Posted 02/09/2002.

Although there are newer Nokia flagships like the 8890 and the new black 8910, the 8850 is still very expensive. This is obviously a result of the design which is slick, especially with the slide down cover on. There is no large aerial to disrupt the clean lines. Inspite of this the reception is very strong. The brushed metal covering can get scratched but only if you are particularly careless! Apart from that I cannot really criticise the design. Slide down the metal cover, and a backlight comes on illuminating the screen and keys. All the keys are chrome covered, and click reassuringly when pressed. It has the same menu system as all other Nokias, along with the usual games like Snake. I find Nokia's very easy to use, and I suspect most other users would (mainly because most people are used to them!) It is a dual band phone, so it will not work in America, the pricier 8890 does offer tri-band though.

There is also no GPRS or WAP on the 8850, but to be fair, it was released at a time when these standards were only just emerging. The new 8910 does also offer these features. Not a major problem for most of us, but it would have been nice to have them at this price point. It does, however, offer infra-red. I managed to connect to the internet on a Compaq iPaq PocketPC quite easily, and for occasionally browsing the 9600bps is quick enough, to check e-mail or do other simple tasks, but not very browsing sites with extensive graphics.

The battery is Lithium Ion, so you should be able to squeeze a reasonable number of hours of standby and talktime out of it. In short, this phone is expensive, and is not as fully featured as the competition, but it looks great and if you value style, the 8850 will probably be near the top of your shopping list alongside Motorola's Moto phone and some of the more expensive Samsung flip down mobiles. Also it is cheaper than the 8910, and would make a good choice if you do not really need data features.