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Preview: Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte

Now that all of the N82 hoopla has died down, life as we know it can return to normal. So let’s hear it for the Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte, Nokia’s most expensive phone this year that’s NOT a Vertu.

This fancy-schmancy slider is the next handset in the 8800 series, or Nokia’s line of phones with more style than substance. But lately the Espoo-ey company’s been pulling out the stops – it wasn’t long ago that the 8800s were just nicer-looking phones made of steel, powered by old technology. But with the introduction of the 8600 Luna and 8800 Sirocco, Nokia started shifting away from el cheapo VGA cameras to more exclusive features – scratch-resistance glass displays, “pulsating” lighting.

Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte

An 8800 Sapphire Arte. Comes preloaded with tracks by Kruder and Dorfmeister.

Nokia 8800 Sapphire Arte

There’s actually two versions of the 8800 Arte series, and the Sapphire Arte just happens to be the more expensive (exclusive?) one. At 1150 Euros ($1686 USD), the 8800 Sapphire Arte isn’t a phone that you go around dropping all over the place. Like its previous incarnations, the Sapphire is manufactured from steel and glass. Unlike its previous incarnations, the Sapphire has an organic LED display, anti-fingerprint coating, 3G, 1 gigabyte of internal memory, and a 3.2 megapixel camera.

But it’s all about exclusivity, not megapixels or 3G. And the exclusive features on the 8800 Sapphire include a touch-sensitve area (that displays a clock when tapped), “turn-to-mute” (flip the phone over to silence it – sure beats using Hand Gestures), an actual sapphire gemstone (1150 Euros has to count for something), and possibly the most important of the bunch: never-before-heard tracks from two guys named Kruder and Dorfmeister.

And if that wasn’t enough for you, there’s a bunch of “free” stuff in the retail box – Nokia BH-803 headset, matching phone stand, and some leather pouch.

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