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(Pocket-lint) - With the Matrix series still at the forefront of our consciousness, the Nokia 8910i resembles something out of the movie at first sight rather than your average phone. Unfortunately in the case of this phone, looks are only skin deep and you soon come to realise that while on the surface this phone looks like it might offer the world, once you slide back the cover it's difficult to use and doesn’t offer much.

Made from titanium, the case has been designed to take a beating and that it can do - we gave ours to the company dog and it had trouble munching its way through it.

Press the two side buttons and the phone slides open to reveal the keypad. Buttons are small and closely set - the first of many problems - and unless you have no fingernails whatsoever you’ll constantly find yourself pressing the button immediately above at the same time. The colour screen is bright, but not crisp and while the camera does offer support for MMS messaging the quality of the screen means that you can’t see much anyway. The screen itself does boast 12-bit colour, but you can’t really ever truly appreciate it through this phone.

The phone does come pre-loaded with 35 ring tones (not Polyphonic however), two games (Skydiver and Backgammon) a currency converter, organiser, stopwatch, to-do list and countdown timer among a other things and further ring tones and JAVA games can be downloaded and stored on the dynamic memory. The memory is enough to store some 500 names and addresses (how many people to you know) and 50 SMS messages all at the same time.

Connectivity is offered via GPRS, infrared and Bluetooth for those wishing to connect to a wireless headset or PDA, but the phone is only dual-band so don't even think about taking it to work in America.

As with all Nokia menu systems, everything has been laid out simply and while this is one of the phones strong points accessing the keypad to use the menu goes back to the same problems we discussed earlier.

Depending on demand the phone offers upto 300 hours of standby time and up to 4 1/2 hours talktime.

Charley Boorman, Black Friday tech, and more - Pocket-lint Podcast 131


If you have small fingers and short fingernails then this phone might only be easy to use, but ideal for you. Nokia has had a lot of flak recently because of its insistence on making the keypad smaller and smaller and this gets to about the limit most people would be able to take. If, like most however your fingertips aren't small and dainty then you're likely to suffer the same fate we had and be all thumbs about it. While this phone starts out well, it just goes to show that sometimes looks are only skin deep and in isolation, aren't enough to make an ideal handset for all.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 11 November 2003.