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Nokia 8600 review: Nokia 8600 Luna

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The Good Stylish smoked glass slider; crisp 50mm screen; nice 2-megapixel snaps; approachable media player.

The Bad Crazy price; no memory card; no LED light; weak videos; not 3G.

The Bottom Line They say that style never goes out of fashion -- but unfortunately technology does. This underpowered and overpriced handset looks and feels fantastic now, but hasn't got the mobile muscle to outlast its first flush of fame

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7.5 Overall

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Nokia continues to court well-heeled customers with another painfully expensive (around the £700 mark, SIM-free) handset aimed squarely at the luxury market.

The 8600 Luna is a solid 2.5G mobile that's all about style -- from its smoked glass top to its stainless steel tail. It's available exclusively through The Carphone Warehouse, from free with selected contracts over £40 a month.

Strengths
There's a fine line between 'reassuring' and merely 'heavy', but the 8600 falls on the right side of the tracks, cramming its 140g into a pleasantly tactile 16mm waistline. Much of that weight is down to the slab of smoked glass that encapsulates the phone, sliding up gracefully in the middle to reveal a small illuminated number pad. The chassis and detailing are stainless steel -- overall this feels like one tough handset.

The 50mm (2-inch) screen boasts 16 million colours and a 320x240-pixel resolution that means photos and videos look extremely sharp and natural. The animated graphical interface is typically straightforward and responsive -- anyone who's used a Nokia before will feel right at home.

Multimedia features are basic but effective. The 2-megapixel camera produces acceptable snaps in daylight, although it does ladle on grainy digital noise in the background. The media player has a very simple interface that makes using the FM radio or playing individual songs simple. You'll need a headset (ideally Bluetooth stereo) to make the most of both, as the built-in mono speaker is nothing special.

GPRS Web browsing is acceptable thanks to the sharp screen, but is no match for a genuine 3G handset. Messaging options include a good email client and Nokia's Xpress audio messaging, which allows you to send voice-clips as MMS. There are also some impressive 3D games on board.

Weaknesses
Exotic materials do have their drawbacks. The metallic backplate attracts scratches almost as easily as the glass front encourages smeary fingerprints -- although at least Nokia thoughtfully bundles a polishing cloth for the latter.

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