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Review: Nokia Lumia 800, The Stylish Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone 7.5 MangoPros:

Unique Tile Display
Solid Build Quality
Windows Phone 7.5 UI

Cons:

No Front Camera
Disappointing Camera Performance in Low Light.
Very Few Good Apps in Windows MarketPlace.
Bluetooth Connectivity – No File Transfer

After a long time, Nokia has come up with a good mobile phone to relax the competition. Being the best Windows Phone at the moment, the Lumia 800 is definitely a smartphone to watch out for. Excellent Display, Unique UI and a Decent Battery Life makes the Lumia 800 a force to reckon with.

Package:
Handset, Charger, USB Cable, Earphone, And Manuals in Different Languages.

Hardware, Looks:
Nokia has derived the looks of Lumia 800 from the Meego N9 smartphone, but with a smaller display size(3.7 inch) to accommodate three touch buttons for Windows Phone Functionality. With curvy edges and a slightly raised display, the Lumia 800 gives you a pleasant and minimalist feel. The left side is completely clear and expanse while the right side has four physical buttons – Two for Volume Control, a Power button in the middle and a camera button at the bottom. At the top left, you have a 3.5 mm jack and flaps that has a micro USB Port and a micro SIM Card Slot.

Nokia Lumia 800 Front HomescreenInitially it took sometime to figure out why the flaps were designed in such a way instead of giving individual handling. Obviously, you won’t open the micro SIM tray often. But definitely the design of flaps could have been better. At the back side, you have the 8 MP Camera with Dual Flash. At the bottom is the Speaker. Basically, you have a clean Poly Carbonate material 😉

The Lumia 800 comes with a Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon Chipset and a 1.4 GHz Scorpion processor on a single core. The lack of Dual Core is surprising considering that most mobiles in this price range comes with a Dual Core processor. There is 512 MB RAM to keep things going smoothly. Nokia decides to go with only 16 GB Internal Storage also restricting external memory cards. I think this will be the trend in the coming years – Mobiles with enough Internal Storage avoiding the need of microSD Cards.

The non-removable battery has a 1450mAh capacity which is pretty good for long standing battery life.

Display, UI:
The Lumia 800 has a 3.7-inch AMOLED touch display with a pixel resolution of 800×480. The Lumia 800 has a Gorilla Glass Display in the front which secures the display from scratches. The ClearBlack Display helps in reducing reflection. Overall, the display is crisp and clear.

Coming to the UI, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango will impress you initially with a new unique interface based on Tiles. A press on the Power button brings the unlock sceen. Swiping it up will bring the live-tile metro user interface. Its quite engaging and intuitive. A new user will surely be impressed with the UI. Swiping is cool. Surely, the Tiles display brings in a new experience for an iPhone or Android user, as they are used to the Icon based interface. Obviously Windows Phone 7 is still in early stages of becoming one of the top OS in the mobile market.

Tweaking settings is a breeze as everything is straight forward and even a beginner to mobiles can actually get used to it very quickly. Once you start using this interface, again and again, you will kinda get bored. I was forced to change the theme colors to make it more interesting.

Camera:
The Lumia 800 has an 8 MP Camera, a f/2.2 Carl Zeiss Optics which was used in Nokia N8, autofocus, dual-LED flash and 3x digital zoom. It has now become a standard for every high end smartphone to have an 8 MP Camera. In bright light conditions, the Lumia 800 produces very good results. On the other hand under low light, it fails to deliver. A kind of disappointment for those who wanted the mobile to be a Point and Shoot Digital Camera replacement to save a few bucks. But the camera has decent options to choose from. You can select the pixel resolution unlike the iPhone. There is an option for Macro effect as well. Video recording takes place at 720p. It does a decent job under bright conditions.

Performance & Features:
The phone doesn’t lag in its Touch Interface. The Tiles is simply straightforward and multi-tasking is not an issue in most cases. In order to close the background tasks, you just need to long press the Return button. It works very much like the iOS way.

You have Voice Commands in Windows Phone 7.5. This means you can dictate text and request to read the reply. You can also initiate Bing Search. The Phonebook has a new UI as well. You have the contacts listed alphabetically as usual, but with a screen highlighting the alphabets that are used in contacts. You can also set the contacts to list by First Name or Last Name. You can create groups, send texts and share as well.

There is a Me app on the Home screen. It allows you to set your profile photo, update your status for the Social Networks that you have integrated. The call quality is decent, with occasional drop calls in areas of poor network coverage. The messaging is pretty much user friendly with the threaded view and online view. The QWERTY Keyboard appears well in both Portrait and Landscape. You also have a single inbox for multiple accounts allowing you to keep a track of all the emails. You can also select text, copy and paste.

Nokia Lumia 800 SettingsWhen it comes to video playback, there is no support for DivX, AVI Files. But rest assured, the Zune Software automatically converts such videos into .mp4 format, which takes some time depending on the PC Configuration. Syncing with a computer is done by Zune with no support for Mass Storage. You can sync it over cloud on SkyDrive, a free Microsoft service which offers 25 GB of Cloud Storage.

Web Browsing is made simple by the updated Internet Explorer 9. But users have to be content with the lack of Flash. There is a limitation that you can have only 6 Tabs running at the same time. Obviously it’s not a big limitation.

With the App Connect feature, you get an App result on every Bing Search possibly. With the Xbox Live, gaming apps are pretty much organized. Office Hub makes Document viewing and editing a breeze. You have the Word, Excel and Powerpoint apps – pinching and zooming is pretty simple and allows you to view complex documents.

Surprise Package:
Contacts Transfer deserves a special mention. You can transfer contacts from other devices via Bluetooth and every information is copied neatly. What’s new in this? Well, there is a separate menu for this handling and makes things easier. You get a Built-in TuneIn app for Internet Radio. There is Built-in Social Networking, although you are forced to install the apps.
Nokia Drive is simply cool. Its a satellite navigation system that gives voice commands and instructions for every turn. Nokia Maps is another app to watch out for. Good Battery Life as with any good Nokia Mobile 🙂 Good set of options for Image Capturing. There doesn’t seem to be any lag in the touch interface. With more apps to come in the coming months, the phone will have a lot to offer. The headphones come with active noise cancellation and a dedicated mic. The timesPoynt app which uses GPS to find localized services comes in pretty handy.

Disappointments:
Disappointments are a result of Expectations. Well for starters, there is No Front Camera. It basically means you can’t make video calls. Bluetooth only supports certain profiles. File Transfer is not possible via Bluetooth(Similar to iPhone). Camera, despite being 8 MP, cannot take crisp photos under low light conditions.

The camera also doesn’t allow zooming while recording videos. With a lack of a dual core processor, you will miss the 1080 HD Video Recording. Lumia 800 comes with only 720p Video Recording. The Macro effect also doesn’t produce desired results. No external memory card slot, although 16 GB is very much manageable for a normal user. Despite all these which are considerable, the biggest disappointment lies in the lack of Quality Apps on the Windows MarketPlace. One of the biggest reasons why iOS and Android are on top is the availability of plenty of Quality Apps.

Final Verdict:
Nokia Lumia 800 is probably the best Windows Phone out there. Obviously its a little expensive at INR 29,999, considering a lot of factors. It may not be the best smartphone around. Both the hardware and software are pretty good but isn’t a killer mobile overall. If you are looking to go for a Windows Phone, this might be the best possible option simply for the proprietary apps of Nokia.

Ratings: 3.5/5

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