Nokia officially launched the Lumia 800, its leading debut for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system – marking the firm’s departure from using its Symbian platform as the main OS for its flagship devices. We got our friends at OneMobileRing.com to give it the once-over:
Now that we’ve had a couple of days to play with the handset, we’ve formed a few first impressions. The most telling of which is the Lumia 800′s design. The styling of the Lumia 800 is unique among Windows Phone 7 handsets, and clearly designed solely with the OS in mind, where others resemble bog-standard smartphones that could just as easily have been running Android.
The Lumia 800 takes its design cues from another Nokia handset – the MeeGo-based N9, using the very same single-piece moulded body as the earlier phone. Nokia’s Lumia handset is a striking shape and design, while being a comfortable fit in the hand.
The 3.7in AMOLED curved screen is slightly raised from the phone, adding an almost 3D element to the mobile. This display is very responsive to the touch, but does leave a lot of finger prints behind and has to be cleaned quite regularly. Nokia’s ClearBlack technology has been included too, allowing a much sharper image, even in bright sunlight. This coupling of technologies rivals that of the Super AMOLED Plus used by Samsung in its Galaxy S II Android mobile.
The phone is run by a Qualcomm chipset – a first for Nokia. It contains a single-core 1.4GHz processor, which isn’t the faster CPU in a Windows Phone 7 product – that accolade goes to HTC’s 1.5GHz Titan – but it’s a good fit.
The mobile starts quickly, and performs multiple tasks well – even with many apps running at once. This is both thanks to the updated ‘Mango’ version of the operating system, with Nokia reportedly working very closely with Microsoft on the build version.
Nokia offers a number of applications that won’t be seen elsewhere in their WP7 phones, helping it to stand out from the crowd. These include Nokia Drive, Nokia Music and Mix Radio, as well as its local app feature.
The first of these is a turn-by-turn Sat Nav app that comes pre-installed, with the maps residing locally on the Lumia 800.
The second is an offering that allows access to Nokia’s music catalogue of 14 million tracks, with 100 Nokia radio channels being freely available to listen on and off-line too. The last is a range of applications that are relevant to the country in which the phone is located.
As Nokia has provided pre-installed maps on its Symbian devices for some time, we expected this feature to be available to WP7 – but we’re pleasantly surprised to find the software mirrors satnavs like TomTom, and works very well.
- Superb design, fast and responsive.
- Glossy screen attracts fingerprints.
Nokia's Lumia 800 isn't just a good Windows Phone 7 smartphone - fast and responsive, it's one of the best handset designs we've seen outside of Apple or Samsung's studios. Whether this single device is enough to turn around Nokia's fortunes is another matter - but it does embody the engineering principles for which Nokia is well known, and offers a little bit more than the regular deployment of Windows Phone 7 you'll find elsewhere.