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Nokia Lumia 800 - Review


Nokia Lumia 800 - Review

The Nokia Lumia 800 is the first official Windows Phone from Nokia. It features a 3.7 inch display, 8 megapixel camera with dual-LED flash, 16GB of internal storage and is powered by a 1.4GHz processor with 512MB of RAM.You can purchase the Lumia 800 in black, cyan and magenta and it shares the same ergonomic polycarbonate design of the Nokia N9 and the Nokia Lumia 900.

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The last couple of years have been a series of highs and lows for Nokia. The company has lost a large amount of smartphone market share which has resulted in them abandoning their prized Symbian platform and fledgling Meego platform in favor of Microsoft's Windows Phone OS. Now we are in the cusp of a new era as Nokia introduces us to their first Windows Phone 7.5 device, the Nokia Lumia 800.

Design

The Nokia Lumia 800 borrows the design elements from the MeeGo running Nokia N9, however it would have been nicer if Nokia's first Windows Phone had shared a little more than visual similarities with its Meego counterpart.

The Lumia 800 features a 3.7 inch touch Clear Black AMOLED display with a 480 by 800 pixel resolution. While the display is extremely responsive, offering a rich cool sensation to the touch, its smaller than the 3.9 inch (full WVGA 480x854) display on the N9.

The handset also employs the same, high-grade polycarbonate (plastic) unibody design which feel more metallic than plastic to the touch. There are two key differences on the Lumia 800 compared to the N9 - first - the flash is repositioned, the second - there is a physical camera button.

The microSIM card slot and the microUSB port can be found on the top of the device alongside the 3.5mm universal audio connector.

The right side is laden with silver buttons: a volume rocker, lock / power button and two stage camera button while below is the loud speaker.

The reverse of the Nokia Lumia 800 is the 8MP f2.2 camera with Carl Zeiss optics as well as the accompanying dual LED flash.


Hardware

The Nokia Lumia is a quad-band GSM, tri-band 3G phone loaded with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS on board. You get 16GB of storage for your files, music, photos and video, and a 1.4GHz single core Snapdragon processor with 512MB of RAM. While many may consider the hardware inadequate against some of the modern Android flagships, it is more than capable of running the well optimized Windows Phone platform smoothly.

Call quality on the Nokia Lumia 800 is pretty good overall. During our tests we found the quality to be crisp and clear. The loudspeaker delivers good, clear sound both for voice and media and we really like the fact that it's placed at the bottom of the unit so when the Nokia Lumia 800 is lying down, we can still hear the music or conversation as nothing is covering the speaker.

The battery life on the Lumia 800 is also quite decent, generally lasting a full day on heavy use. It looks like Nokia and Windows Phone will be a good combination when it comes to battery life, especially against some of the Android devices in the market.

Camera

The Nokia Lumia 800 comes equipped with the same resolution 8MP autofocus camera as found on the Nokia N9. You also get dual LED flash to light up your photos in a low light situation. While the day time shots captured by the Lumia 800 are good, the low light photos tend to appear quite grainy.

The 720p HD video capture performs well overall. Videos captured on the Nokia Lumia 800 also play back pretty smoothly and should suffice for most day to day needs. Unfortunately, continuous focus isn't always great, sticking every now and then.

Software

The Nokia Lumia 800 runs Windows Phone 7.5. The newest version of the mobile platform from Microsoft is modern, unified aesthetic, easily navigable and an affordable ecosystem. With the latest update, Windows Phone 7.5 retains all the visual flare of its launch build and bestows the Nokia Lumia 800 with some much needed function, including elements such as copy/paste, multitasking and deeper social-networking integration amongst others.

Windows Phone still offers too primary screens: the homescreen and the applications. The homescreen consists of live tiles which act as both shortcuts to apps and app specific notifications. Slide the homescreen out of the way to reveal a list of applications on the right. All these can be pinned to the start menu with a long press, or just opened from the list. In Windows Phone 7.5, a long press of the back button activates a multi-tasking pane with cards that can be swiped through, each representing an open app frozen in its most recent state.

You can learn more about the features of Windows Phone 7.5 below

Windows Phone 7.5 - Here's all you need to know
Windows Phone 7.5 is a big improvement over it's predecessor and brings rivals all the features already available in it's competitors platforms. Here's all you need to know about the latest version of Apple's mobile platform

Nokia has included some of their one exclusive features to the platform to allow the device to stand out among its competitors. We get Nokia Maps which is an alternative to Google Maps, Nokia Drive and Nokia Music, as well as App Highlights.

Nokia Drive, is a voice guided turn by turn GPS app. Offering functionality you could pay hundreds of bucks for standalone, Nokia even give you the ability to cache your maps, downloading entire countries before you even set out on a trip. To say the world is your oyster is no understatement, as we simply opened the app, went into settings, found our country and clicked download. 195MB later and hey presto, no sense of direction? No problem. As far as using Nokia Drive goes, it's a harmony of simplicity and function. Large finger friendly icons, no faffing, just a simple ' set destination' and away you go with downloadable voices to guide you with an accent of your choosing. Bravo. The GPS locked onto our location in seconds when outside and performed extremely well upon every test.


Conclusion

Nokia's partnership with Microsoft has reached fruition and the first taste is in our hands. Bearing in mind how quickly Nokia got this to market, the custom Nokia Apps they pulled out of the bag and the reformatting of MeeGo hardware to fit a Windows Phone platform, we can do little but commend. The Nokia Lumia 800 sports a beautiful screen, slick design and promising OS only made more attractive by the inclusion of Nokia Maps, Drive and Music. While it does have its weak points, with the AMOLED delivering a blue hue when viewed at an angle and lackluster noise handling in the images, not to mention less than stellar battery life, we still find it very easy to recommend Nokia's new flagship as the pros outweigh the cons ten to one.

Looking at the current landscape of the Windows Phone market, the Nokia Lumia 800 is obviously one of the better options. With Nokia promising a stronger presence in the U.S. with Windows Phone, we cant wait to see what variants of the Lumia 800 make it to the American shores.

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