The Nokia Lumia 800 Review
When Nokia announced that they would be joining the Windows Phone 7 family, I was apprehensive at first; however, after taking it for a spin at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, I decided to make one my own. Canadian users will be happy to know that there’s a new phone in town to give you more options than the overly trendy iPhone and the Android OS. So, how does it do? Let’s take a look!
The first thing that you’ll notice is the simplistic, sleek design of the phone. Even with the three colors available (Cyan, Magenta and Black), the phone doesn’t “bling itself out” with an overabundance of chrome or eye-catching designs or tattoos on it. This is the trademark of Nokia, maintaining a simple design and straightforward functionality. Secondly, you’ll notice that the glass appears thicker than your average phone. That’s because the Lumia series phones use Corning Gorilla Glass on top of their 4.3-inch AMOLED display to ensure durability in conjunction with a rich display sporting rich, vivid colors and deep blacks that put most phones to shame.
This is a good thing, because like any other Windows Phone 7, it is exceptionally media-driven. With the integration of MSN Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and a vast variety of social media and email applications (including Gmail of all things), you need a phone that displays media as crisp and clear as possible. On top of that, apps such as Netflix, CNN and ESPN are available for your entertainment needs while on the go. Comparatively, the Nokia Lumia 800 is a strong contender against any other smartphone in terms of quality, clarity, and color.
Another excellent choice in design is the location of the power button. The HTC HD7 had a constant issue with a top corner power button that almost required you to hold your phone as daintily as possible to avoid accidentally depressing the volume or camera buttons; otherwise you would find yourself fighting a phone that kept turning the display back on. No problems here with the Lumia 800, however. The power button is seated below the volume buttons at a comfortable distance so as not to have issues while adjusting volume or holding the phone comfortably.
The Nokia Lumia 800, while very well designed, has some small annoyances. The phone is designed with a clean, minimalistic look, which means hiding the micro-USB port behind a small, flimsy door on the top of the phone which looks like it might (and most likely will) eventually break off during use. Another key annoyance is that the phone is in a completely sealed case, which means you won’t be able to access the battery if it goes bad. If in the event that it does, you have a rather expensive “throw away” phone. Other complaints would be a lack of a Micro-SD card slot which means you’re limited to the onboard 16GB of memory, so I wouldn’t go too nuts with downloading a whole lot of music or movies from the Zune Marketplace. Of course, you can always stream wherever you have a Wi-Fi or 3G connection if you have a decent data plan. I find that 5GB of data serves my monthly needs pretty well, as long as I don’t go nuts on Netflix.
For the mobile photo-phile, the Lumia 800 also features an 8 mega-pixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics that is capable of taking 720p video at 30 frames per second. It also features the camera button on the side that allows you to simply press once and have the camera app start without having to fish through your applications while those fun, interesting, and tender moments pass by.
There are a lot of positive aspects to the phone, however. Excellent battery life means that you’ll get about nine hours of talk time out of it. Normal usage (phone and idle time) with persistent connections to Facebook and MSN messenger still netted about 60 hours between charges. The Nokia Drive app uses your data connection as a quasi-GPS navigation system with controls that will be familiar to those who have used portable GPS units like a Garmin Nuvi. However, it doesn’t seem to leverage Bluetooth to give you directions through your car speakers. Unlike Apple, Nokia packs in a rubber bumper to surround your phone, without charging you an extra $16 to ensure that your phone won’t suffer from the death-grip issues that cause signal loss.
The Windows Phone 7 OS varies a bit for this phone than on my US-serviced HTC HD7. For instance, Internet Sharing (which allows you to use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for devices) isn’t available, nor are the quick tiles available to quickly get to apps by alphabet. No word as to whether these features will be available in a future update.
Telus customers only need apply for this phone currently. Rogers does carry the Nokia Lumia 710 Windows Phone 7, but you’ll find only Android OS and iPhones at Bell, which is why I jumped ship. The phone goes for $529.99 straight out of the box, but is pretty cheap (read: $20 or $30) if you’re renewing an existing contract or starting a new one. If you’re looking for something different, with great features such as Xbox Live Arcade, Microsoft Office and Netflix, or you’re looking to stay constantly connected to the Social Mediaverse, this is definitely the phone for you.
The Nokia Lumia 800 receives a 3.75/5.0
About This Post