Nokia BH-803 Review

Introduction, Design and Comfort

Nowadays, choosing a handsfree is a hard task, because the market is flooded. Some people prefer something simple, just as long as it does the job. Others, want a device that will look good on their ear, and at the same time to be light and to deliver a good sound quality. Nokia offers a solution for the second option. BH-803 is a combination of an elegant vision, DSP system, fast charging, and a „unique” volume and mute control. It is not a coincidence that the manufacturer offers the same device, included in the package of the high-end models like 8800 Arte.

The package contains:

  • Nokia Bluetooth Headset BH-803
  • Nokia Charger AC-6
  • Headset strap and clip
  • User guide

Design and Comfort:

Even at first sight, Nokia BH-803 catches the eye with the elegant and clear design. There are two color variants, but we doubt any of them would disappoint you: one is entirely black and the other is a combination with a silver button. We have on our hands the first one, which is clearer and more inconspicuous.

Well, the fact that this model is included in the package of the Arte, doesn’t mean that it is made of the same materials, because if the case were such, it would weigh more. For manufacturing the earpiece, the company has chosen a nice to the touch plastic material, which is shiny and smooth on the front and sides, and matte on the back. As always, the glossy part is a fingerprint magnet.

The device weighs 0.38 oz (11 grams), which is average, compared to similar devices, such as BH-702.

On the front, only the multifunctional button is visible. It is easily distinguished, visually and by touch, from the front panel. Although easily felt, pressing it is hard and unpleasant. An interesting innovation here is the volume control. The buttons have been replaced by the touch sensitive surface under the multifunctional key. By running your finger up/down, you can turn the sound up/down. This system sounds very user-friendly in theory, but actually, that is not so. Every time you have to turn the volume up, you have to slide your finger upwards on the surface, which makes the entire earpiece unstable and is very likely that it’ll fall off. We recommend you holding the BH-803 while increasing the sound strength.

On the top, we find the microUSB slot for charging and the LED indicator. The lack of a cap for the connector disturbs the overall design, but is not a big drawback. The opposite side is slightly skewed, so that the microphone hole points to the mouth for a better sound wave reception.

The speaker, in a rubber coating and the rotating hook holder are on the back.

Initially, the additional hook from the package has not been fastened to the device and attaching the BH-803 to your ear is easy and can be done singlehandedly. If you use the hook however, the procedure is not so simple, but is still uncomplicated and you will manage to do it with one hand without difficulty. The stability and the way the device is rests, depends entirely on your ear. A part of our team argued that it was better wearing the device without the hook and others thought that the fastener gave a more secure feeling to the user. This disagreement was due to the fact that sometimes (depending on the user) the Nokia earpiece was stable in both cases and in contrast, other users experienced difficulties no matter how they had the device attached. If there were additional tips included in the package, things would have been different, but since there aren’t, you’ll have to check for yourself if you’re feeling comfortable.

We gave up after about 3 hours with BH-803 in the ear, using the additional hook. Without it, we couldn’t go for more than 30 minutes, and we were aware of the device in both cases.


It rarely happens that the blond girl from the night bar turns out to be a rocket scientist. The same goes for the Nokia BH-803. The device supports the functions, standard for most handsfree gadgets with two of them using a new control system, but nothing more.

The multifunctional key is used to execute almost all commands: power on/off, Call/end/switch, pairing, and reset. All of them are performed by pressing and/or holding the button for a certain period of time.

The unique functions offered by BH-803 are the volume control and the muting. We described the first one in the previous paragraphs – it’s done by sliding/running a finger across the surface of the device. However, the second one gives you an idea of why BH-803 has been chosen to be a part of Arte’s package. Muting the microphone is done by double tapping a specific area (same way used to bring up the time in the phone) in this case, the same one, used to turn the volume up/down.


According to the official data supplied, the 125 mAh Lithium- Polymer battery is supposed to give you up to 6 hours of talk time and 160 hours in standby mode. In contrast, a 300 mAh one used in Plantronics 665 lasts for 3 hours of talks and 80 in standby. So we can’t really complain about the battery. The manufacturer claims that the BH-803 is charged quickly. We tried and it took us about an hour. Considering the small battery capacity, together with the fact that in BH-602 it is 210 mAh and is fully charged for 45 minutes, it’s hard to define 1 hour as “quickly”.

The sound of the earpiece will not impress you much. It is not loud enough and you’ll struggle in order to hear the words being said. On top of that, the monotony and the sharpness of the voices, including that they are unreal, sometimes make it totally impossible to understand anything. On the other end of the line, the sound is loud and real, but slightly sharp at times.

If there is a light or normal wind, the BH-803’s DSP system performs above the average. It sounds as if the voice becomes louder and sharper, but not robot-like. If it is really windy, similarly to most handsfree devices, you can’t understand almost anything. It’s the same story if there is loud music around you. In that situation, you’ll have to raise your voice and even repeat your words in order to have a conversation. We definitely do not recommend using the Nokia BH-803, when in a noisy environment.

The device’s coverage is enough, to walk around in your office for example. Once you are behind a wall or a thicker door, it gets disconnected.


Usually, when choosing a handsfree the most important criteria are sound quality, how comfortable is it and appearance/design. Nokia BH-803 only offers the last option, including a really “unique” volume control/mute system. However, these qualities do not justify the high price, because you can get something to satisfy all the criteria for less money. If you are still willing to live with mediocre sound quality in the name of the innovative design, then the choice is fully yours. Don’t forget that there are other similar devices, which you could try like Jawbone 2, Nokia BH-702 or Plantronics 925.


  • Elegant and beautiful design
  • A unique volume control/microphone muting system


  • Not everybody will feel comfortable
  • Unsatisfactory sound quality

PhoneArena Rating:


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