Randy's Nokia 8890 hints and hacks

I was not able to resist gathering some tools and toys for my Nokia 8890. As friends seem to have the same phone, here are what I chose to keep/use.

Nokia's sales/features page on the 8890 is here. Nokia's official help page on the 8890 is NokiaHowTo.com. The free Nokia official MS-Windoze tool for dorking with your 8890 is PC Suite. But it does not offer the functionality of LogoManager, referenced below.

Nokia 8890 - Secret Codes

To maintain the phone, the phone book, look into its innards, change logo screens, upload ring tones (I have not tried this), etc. LogoManager seems the most complete tool. The demo is free and fully functional. But if you want to upload screens without "DEMO" in them, then you have to pay $25.

The hidden internal status screens of the 8890 (enabled by LogoManager) are described in netmon_0.8.pdf, thanks to Vafa Ashrafi <vashrafi@iranaiwa.com>.

To maintain the 8890's phone book from your Palm Pilot or Psion, try PhoneMan. But I am having problems when the phone book gets above 40 or so entries. Patrik Fältström uses GSMtool on his Palm Pilot to manage, dial, ... his 8890. It looks good too.

The web sites for cell phones tricks and software are embarrassingly lurid. But the best English language site I have found for the 8890 is NOKIAX. Warning, it mistreats your browser window horribly.

There is stuff around the net to turn off SIM-locking. I have not needed it, so can not say if it works or how well.

Prices on GSMs are wilder than the NASDAQ. But, at the moment, the best deal on 8890s in the States seems to be $450 for a bare phone at CellPoint. UStronics has the full package for about $560. Note that in the States, the full package includes an ear-piece and a desk charging stand. The accessory selection and prices on CellPoint seemed better than elsewhere.

Look here for a good description of the physical casing etc., as well as instructions for disassembly.

If you find any other really good hacks/tools, please tell me.

My experiences with VoiceStream, the dominant US provider, are:

Nokias are notorious for screen flake. Here is a recipe for fixing it on the 8890. But see my note at the end

From: Andrew Harmsworth <Andrew-Lists@home.com>
Subject: Re: 8890 problems - Explanation and Repair Method
Newsgroups: alt.cellular.fido
Date: 2001-03-02 23:32:05 PST

The problem with the 8890 screen is the same as the 6190. The contact
between the LCD screen and the printed circuit board is based on pressure,
and the pressure is maintained by a little rubber pad.

On the 6190 it was reported that they fixed it with a thicker pad.

I fixed my 8890 about a month ago by placing a piece of tape on the inside
of the phone case such that the pressure of the rubber pad was increased.
I take no responsibility for this, but you can open and remove the
battery, grasp the black antenna housing at the bottom and lift it up like
it is hinged at the top, it will come off eaisily. Remove the 4 screws you
see carefully (#6 Torx - available some months ago at RP electronics in
Burnaby). The front of the case drops off. and you can see the rubber pad
on the back of the phone and the place it rests on on the case. I added a
single layer of masking tape here.

I also carefully unclipped the LCD display and gently cleaned the contacts
on the board with a soft eraser, using compressed air to blow the dust

Be Careful, it is an $850 phone. I take no responsibility.

They offered to loan me a 5190 while they fixed my 8890. I said no, have
made my views very well known to senior staff, and fixed my phone myself.

Hopefully they will soon change their policy on loaners, as providing a
pinto as a loaner to someone who purchased a Lexus in not acceptable.


In my experience, adding a bunch of shim to the pressure pad only makes the Nokia face-plate crack. A bit of shim is fine. But I also suggest using an emery board to file down the two spacer tabs at the top of the LCD assembly. This makes it easier for the LCD to make contact with the circuit board, thus requiring less pressure from the above hack.