Mobile phone giants Nokia describe the Lumia 800 as “easier, faster, funner”. Building on technology used in previous handsets – the Nokia Lumia 800 is the more expensive of two new Nokia Windows phones (the other being the budget Nokia Lumia 710 model). Display-wise, the Nokia Lumia 800 includes a 16-bit AMOLED ClearBlack display (as per the Nokia N9 model), whereas the Nokia Lumia 710 incorporates a 24-bit ClearBlack TFT display. Although the depth of colour could be deemed as slightly superior on the Nokia Lumia 710 display, the AMOLED screen used on the Lumia 800 is generally considered as ‘better’ technology, due to improved contrast ratios and a more vivid colour display.
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Nokia Lumia 800 – Design
The screen size of the Nokia Lumia 800 may seem slightly small (3.7”) when compared to competing handsets such as the HTC Titan (4.7″) – however, it’s important to note that all comparable handsets on the market are also limited to the same 800 x 480 pixel resolution. Size-wise, the Nokia Lumia 800 measures in at 116.5mm x 61.2mm x 12.1mm and 142g – making it a reasonably lightweight and streamline phone. When compared directly to the HTC Titan (131.5mm x 70.7mm x 9.9mm and 160g) – it is slightly thicker in design – a point that many people will squabble about. However, all in all, the Nokia Lumia 800 is a great-looking and highly functional handset – it uses a smooth curved design for ease of use, either with our without the protective case (usually included with the initial purchase).
Exploring the palm-friendly and sturdy unibody design further, the Nokia Lumia 800 features top-mounted flaps to cover the charging port and SIM slot – great for users who are frequently on the go – along with a microSIM, which would seem to be a very en-vogue option for newer smartphones. The Nokia Lumia 800 appears to share its overall design with the previous Nokia N9 model (a handset that received considerably less hype upon hitting the market) – although the Nokia Lumia 800 screen size has been reduced from 3.9″ (854×480 pixels) to 3.7″ (800×480 pixels) in order to conform to Windows phone specifications (the Nokia Lumia 800 is the first Windows phone model to be launched following the Nokia/Microsoft collaboration announced in Feb 2011).
Nokia Lumia 800 – Tech
So, the Nokia Lumia 800 certainly cuts the mustard aesthetically-speaking, but does it contain the backbone required to stand head and shoulders above its counterparts? The answer to this would appear to be yes – the Nokia Lumia 800 holds some impressive technology within its sleek chassis. With a 1.4GHz MSM8255 Snapdragon/Scorpion CPU (building on the 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 CPU version) – the Nokia Lumia 800 navigates Windows Phone Mango OS with ease. You can also expect 16GB of fixed internal storage, that’s more than enough room for the storage of media (and much improved on both the Nokia Lumia 710 and HTC Radar, both of which offer just 8GB of storage).
Clearly, the Nokia Lumia 800 is different to previous Nokia models as it runs on Microsoft Windows Phone software. The handset uses the latest Mango version – with a number of useful features including support for multi-tasking. The CPU certainly does allow for quick and seamless browsing and tasking. The home screen alone is very easy to navigate – the display shows a column of “live tiles” that helpfully update with new information (for example; social media network updates and any unread messages that you may have received). You can also pin pictures, contacts, applications and a number of other items to your homes screen for quick, shortcut access. On opening an application, you will see a super cool flip-effect, repeated when you return back to the home screen.
If you’re an avid social media fan – networking is pre-built into the Nokia Lumia 800 OS. People Hub collects all of your contacts in one central place and displays feeds to you from your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. You can also use the messaging application for easier conversations – jumping between social media messaging and text messaging quickly and with little fuss. As a slight drawback to using OS, integrated Bing Maps are slightly poor – not showing as many street names as you would expect when using Google Maps on Android or the iPhone, on a standard zoom – this appears to be a commonly-experienced problem with Bing Maps. Additionally, cutting and pasting can be a little complicated, due to the text selection tabs being slightly on the small size and OS does not as yet support Adobe Flash, meaning that you cannot view videos on some websites (i.e. BBC iPlayer).
Gorilla glass encompasses the Nokia Lumia 800 screen and three Windows Phone touch buttons can be found at the bottom of the handset, allowing for quick navigation and providing a smooth overall look. The only physical buttons to be found on the Nokia Lumia 800 are the ones that are mounted on the right-hand edge of the handset. In this spot, you will find the lock button, volume rocker switch and a dedicated camera button. As with other Windows Phone handsets on the market, the dedicated camera button allows you to jump directly to the camera function – even when the phone is on standby mode – by simply pressing the button and holding it down. Unfortunately, the Nokia Lumia 800 does not include a front-facing camera (as per the HTC Radar and Titan). This means that you cannot use the camera for video calls or take advantage of the video conferencing features offered by Skype.
Nokia Lumia 800 – Camera
The camera does have an 8-megapixel sensor and Carl Zeiss Tessar optics – and it is more than capable of taking good photos – however, it has been reported that the camera is somewhat fussy about having the correct ‘optimal’ conditions. Also, it has been noticed that the camera is a little on the slow side when focussing – and at times can obtain less than accurate focussing, especially when taking close-up photographs. Working indoors could also prove to be a little problematic – the camera’s flash certainly helps a lot, however, photographs may contain a little more ‘noise’ than those taken with superior cameras (i.e. the one included in the iPhone 4S). So what does that mean? Well, although the camera incorporated into the Nokia Lumia 800 might be sufficient for everyday snaps – it may not be capable of producing crystal-clear photographic works of art.
Video-recording wise, the Nokia Lumia 800 has the ability to record at up to 720p resolution. If you compare this to rival handsets – i.e. the iPhone 4S or Galaxy S2, both at 1,080p – it’s clear to see the difference. However, 720p resolution still offers a fairly high standard of recording, with a reasonable level of sharpness. Again, the Nokia Lumia 800 will work very well for everyday recordings, however, as with the majority of smartphones, the more movement that you have in a frame, the more likely the detail levels are to drop off. A slight bug has also been reported with the video recording mode – in that, when first switching to video mode the camera can have problems when trying to refocus.
Elsewhere on the Nokia Lumia 800 exterior you will find a standard 3.5mm headphone jack (for headphones/speakers etc.), at the top corner, and directly next to this a micro USB port for charging of the handset and any syncing processes. Along the top edge of the handset there is a sliding cover that provides easy access to the SIM card slot when opened. It’s important to note that, as with the iPhone, the Nokia Lumia 800 uses a micro SIM – this means that you will have to cut full-size SIM’s down to size if you want to use them with this handset. As the popularity of micro SIM’s grows, this may not be an issue in the near future, however, it’s definitely worth noting if you tend to use multiple SIM/handset combinations.
Nokia Lumia 800 – Review
In summary, the Nokia Lumia 800 may just live up to its tag of being “easier, faster, funner”. It’s certainly a very easy handset to use, and it’s perfect for keeping up to date with contacts on social networking platforms. The Nokia Lumia 800 also looks amazing and the handset is reassuring solid in design – indicating that this is a handset that is built to last. The software provided by this Windows Phone is perhaps not the most exciting we at PhoneShop.co.uk have encountered, but certainly, you will get a good amount of essential applications and features with the Nokia Lumia 800 – and top-notch technology. Perhaps the main sticking point with the Nokia Lumia 800 is the smaller screen size. Sure, the iPhone has achieved massive success with a comparably small 3.5” – however, in a media-driven world, many users simply may not be happy settling for a 3.7″ screen. Collectively, we seek a vastly improved internet and media experience with our new handsets – and for this reason alone, many people may not consider the Nokia Lumia 800 as their first choice. Additionally, many people may be unimpressed by the lack of a front-facing camera, the average camera quality and the large price tag. However, if you’re looking for great storage and top-notch technology – the Nokia Lumia 800 may just be for you. Widely billed as directly competing with the HTC Titan – the Nokia Lumia 800 is a great all-round handset and is available on monthly contract, PAYG and sim-free.
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I'm absolutely disappointed with the Lumia phone.
It's rather a frontend to all this useless Microsoft services than true smart phone. Actually, it doesn't feel smart by any means. It's rather useless without an instant-on internet connection and a PC is necessary for software updates. Plus, one has to instal this awful Zune only to access the file system. I gave mine back after just one week, but thanks to my local dealer I was able to swap it against the incredible great N9, which features the same housing but comes with 64 GB internal memory, a frontcam, NFC plus the battery lasts almost double as long as the Lumia.
If you have a choice, go for the N9!!
Thanks a lot for your UK review of the Nokia Lumia 800.
I must admit I wanted this to be good, having "grown up" with Nokia (remember the 3210?!) and I haven't been disappointed. The 800 looks and feels "class" and has a great usability and nice screen (size isn't everything, and battery life is good).
Most of the pros and cons are covered in your review but I just wanted to say that for me, this phone has a good "X-factor" and I'm really happy with it.