When we opened the box, we could not believe just how small the Nokia 8210 was. At first glance it looked like a scale model of a real phone. And when we picked it up, it reminded us of a plastic mockup of the real thing, as it's so light.
In fact, weighing in at a feather-like 79g, the 8210 is Nokia's lightest and smallest phone ever. At just over 100mm long and 45mm wide it's almost too small to hold, but it will fit into even the smallest pocket. The feature set doesn't stop there. Nokia has somehow managed to pack in voice dialling, silent vibrate mode, predictive text input, picture messaging and even a built-in modem with an infra-red port. This is fully compatible with the IrDA standard, so the phone will connect to any Windows CE 2.x device and newer Palm Pilots, making it a wireless solution for email and web browsing. You can even use WAP if you have a WAP browser on your CE device, without the need to have a WAP enabled handset.
The infra-red port can also be used to send and receive data between the phone and a compatible PC or printer - no additional equipment required.
In use, we liked the 8210's menu system that was both intuitive and comprehensive. Even though the screen is smaller than other models, it still has room to display information in the same familiar format as other Nokia handsets. The built-in calendar, alarm clock and calculator are very handy, and there's a facility to key in your daily appointments and have the phone remind you of them. Who needs a PDA?
With profiles, you can program the phone's settings for different environments and select the right profile for the situation. For example, in a meeting you can put the phone to a silent mode, or outdoors you can make it ring as loud as possible. The 8210 continues the Xpress-On trend with changeable front covers, although we loved the red one that came with our phone.
Those who enjoy some entertainment on those long commuting journeys will be pleased to know that Snake, Rotation, Logic and Memory are safe and sound under the games menu, and using the infra-red port you can play Snake against a friend.
The only criticisms we could level at this gorgeous handset are that the buttons are a touch too small for stubby fingers, and because of its tiny mass you might not notice if it dropped out of your pocket. These are minor points though, as this phone's great features more than make up for what it lacks in usability.