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Sleek, stylish phone with many features

Small buttons, poor build quality

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Look & Feel

Durability & Robustness

Battery standby time

Value for money

Range of features

Battery talktimeGood

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Nokia 8210


One day whilst at my computer, I decided to click upon one of the many annoying mobile phone pop-up’s. I was directed to the Orange website, where I was presented with a wide range of handsets and associated monthly tariffs. I browsed through the site and decided to apply for the Nokia 8210 which was offered for FREE. Realistically I was paying for the phone by paying the line rental each month - as we all know nothing is free! Anyways enough about the operator, here is the lowdown on my new phone:

After 2 days of impatient waiting, the bright little box was delivered to my door. I opened it up to find the phone front, battery, back panel, sim card, battery, instructions and various other operator leaflets. The instructions clearly explain how to assemble and connect the phone.


After putting my phone together, I reached to the power button on the top of the phone. This is when I found the first main problem. I discovered that the power button 2mm wide and was set into the phone ie. It didn’t stick out! As I enjoy the habit of biting my nails on a regular basis, I knew this was going to be awkward. I assume the button was made like this to prevent you from accidentally switching the phone off, but it also prevents you from purposely switching the phone on! Nevertheless I reached for a screwdriver and eventually powered up my phone!

Whilst checking out the features of the phone I found the small buttons were a little tricky. I found myself pressing the wrong buttons, which become increasing annoying after a few weeks of using the phone. The “up” and “down” selection buttons are too close to the cancel button. On many occasions I have been browsing through the options and I have pressed “cancel” by mistake - This can become infuriating when attempting to send text messages. Designers of mobile phones should remember that people usually use their thumb to press the buttons - not their fingers! The biggest and only effective button on the phone is the volume button on the side, which is rarely used.


The display is a little smaller than the Nokia 3310 and 3330 but works effectively. The backlit monochrome display allows up to 5 lines of text, which can be read with ease. The right-hand side of the screen shows the battery gauge and signal strength on the left. The time is also displayed in the top-right of the screen for the benefit of those people who do not wear a watch! The clock is also used for calendar functions & reminders, which can be useful when it comes to remembering someone birthday, which you forgot last year!


The phone options may vary according to your operator - for example call forwarding may be disabled for “pay as you go users”, but most main options remain the same. Here are the main phone options:


From this option you may send SMS (small messaging service) text messages. You are able to select “write messages” to compose your message to be sent to another mobile phone user. This message may also be stored in your “Outbox” where a copy of the message is stored for future use.

The “Picture Messaging” feature allows you to send various pre-made pictures along with a message. Additional pictures may be downloaded from the Internet, as well other sources. The cost of sending a text message is usually 10p, but some operators may charge up to 30p to send a picture message.
These pictures may also be used as a screen saver, which is displayed when your phone is idle. The purpose of the screen saver is to spice your phone up, as opposed to actually saving the screen!

You may also access your voice messages from this option, where you can retrieve oral messages left by callers. This is basically an answering machine which takes your calls when you are busy, or your phone is switched off.
You can personalise your answering machine by adding your own voice, a downloaded voice or the standard operator voice. When a caller is directed to your voice mail, they are charged at the premium rate, and on some networks you can be charged to retrieve the message.

You may change your message settings to various formats and the service number to which your message is sent to, before it is directed to the recipient. Fax options are also available for those who may want to send their short messages to fax machine.

Call Register

From here you can see what numbers you have dialled, your call durations, received calls and missed calls. All records can be deleted if necessary.


This is where you can personalise your phone and change the way it responds. You are able to change the ring tone (with a choice of 35), ring tone volume, keypad tones, message tones and game tones. The pre-made profiles include “general, silent, meeting, outdoor and pager”. Each profile has different settings, for example, the “general” profile has medium volume ring tones and keypad tones, whereas the “outdoor” profile boost all volumes up to maximum. You can edit these profiles to suit your needs as well as having the ability to switch on the phone’s special vibrator option. (Jokes on a postcard) :-)

Phone Settings

Using the “settings” option you can do many things from setting an alarm clock to changing your phones PIN code. The PIN code is a set of numbers required to access the phone on power-up. From here you can set your pin and choose to turn it on or off, as well as setting call barring.
Other features allow you to automatically withhold your number, change your phone’s language, change networks or compose a welcome note, which is displayed when the phone is switched on.
You can also choose to automatically re-dial when a number is busy, or choose to answer your calls by pressing any button on the keypad.


If your are busy or your phone is switched off, you can choose to re-direct your calls to another phone. This can be useful when you own a new phone and people are still calling you on your old phone.


It’s this great feature that makes those long waits at bus stops a little more tolerable! The phone features 4 great games: “memory, snake, logic and rotation”.

Memory Game

The “memory” game involves selecting squares to reveal various symbols - It’s your job to remember them and match up the pairs.

Snake Game

The “snake” game is everyone’s favourite, which involves guiding a snake around the screen, to pick up pieces of food which make it bigger. The more food you eat, the more points you get! - but don’t run into a wall or your own tail or it’s game over!

Logic Game

The “logic” game is basically a small version of the old mastermind game, where you have to figure out the correct combination of symbols. A fairly hard game which passes the time way!

Rotation Game

“Rotation” is a number game, where you have to rotate a set of mixed numbers to their correct order. Simple but fun!


The phone includes a nifty little calculator to work out your sums. It also has an exchange rate feature and a currency converter.


As mentioned earlier the phone has a calendar function, where you can set reminders, birthday reminders and meeting dates, all of which give you an audible alert on, or before the set date. The calendar can be printed via the infra-red transmitter on the side of the handset.


From here you can change numbers of your network provider and update any new services.


This feature allows you to request various information via SMS. For example you can request the latest football or lottery results. You can also set your phone to automatically receive information on your desired subject. Information messages are normally charged at the SMS rate (10p).

The Infra-red Transmitter

This little device are located on the side of the handset. It allows you to exchange data with another phone that has the infra-red feature. Not only can you send messages and pictures via infra-red, you can print information though your PC and play games in 2 player mode!

Personalising your phone

As with all Nokia phones there are many facias available for the Nokia 8210. It’s a good job too, because if you don’t keep your phone in a case, you will find that the once-shiny facia becomes rather dull and scratched. The official Nokia facias are rather expensive (around £20) and are very basic. Shop around in the high street and you will find un-official Nokia Facias for under £10. The only difference being that the Nokia logo isn’t printed on the top.

Battery Charging

When you first purchase your Nokia phone, you will find that the battery will not last very long. This is because it needs to be “conditioned” - which basically means that you must let the battery run dead, then charge it up to the max. You must do this a couple of times before the battery can reach it’s full potential.
After you battery has been conditioned, the phone allows 2.5 hours talk time and a maximum stand-by time of 4-5 days.


The Nokia 8210 is a great looking, stylish phone, which can be carried easily in any pocket. The talk time and standby-time is pretty impressive, considering the size of the small battery.

Although this phone looks the business, it has a rather tacky feel - much like a toy mobile phone. Unlike the Nokia 3310 and 3330 - which have a good solid feel, the 8210 fails in the build department due to it’s non-stable facias and creaking sounds when held in the hand.

The Nokia 8210 retails for around £200 for "pay-as-you-go” and is usually offered for free by most contract mobile phone operators.

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Comments about this review »

madamejojo 17.03.2003 20:29

I used to have this phone, but I couldn't get on with it, the buttons were too small, and it kept switching itself off.

MrDarkHelmet 18.09.2002 23:38

Nice review, I havent changed my phone in....well 5 years so maybe now is a good time... :) Cheers, Alex

BNibbles 08.09.2002 19:15

Nicely researched and written. I really must get to grips with my 3310 - I only discovered that it's got voice-actuated dialling out today! Just in time for its use to be banned in cars! Chris

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This review of Nokia 8210 has been rated:

"very helpful" by (98%):

  1. madamejojo
  2. tan55555
  3. Faithless2002

and 38 other members

"helpful" by (2%):

  1. richard_richard

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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