Nokia's Lumia Windows Phones – was it worth the wait?
First of all, we should note that the announcement event was very interesting, one of the most impressive ones we've seen recently. It's obvious that the people in charge of preparations have given it a lot of thought – all speakers were flawless, while a number of surprises managed to really excite the spirits in the hall – like, for example, the unexpected video link with a Finnish Nokia factory, where they showed how they package a Nokia Lumia 800 and ready it for shipment. And it seems all of this fuss wasn't in vain, as the new Nokia handsets do look pretty nice, especially the Lumia 800 and its fancy design. However, now that the dust has settled, we want to think about how relevant the new products are, and whether or not the wait was worth it.
Nokia N9, the Lumia 800 will probably achieve what the N9 never will, and that's massive user adoption. We're still a bit hesitant about this though, as Windows Phone is also an unestablished platform yet. But it does stand better chances than MeeGo for sure. Interestingly, Stephen Elop went as far as to say that this is actually the “first real Windows Phone” ever! This sure is a bold statement, since we've seen some quite good WP smartphones, and even then, Microsoft's mobile OS failed to gain almost any traction this year. However, when we think about it, Nokia might be the best partner to help Redmond set its foot on the market. Actually, we're pretty sure that the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 will sell not because they run WP, but because they are Nokia phones. And of course, that should be a-okay for Steve Ballmer and company for the time being.
Invading the mainstream
Nokia Lumia 710. Now, what about this one – will it be a relevant product when it finally hits the market? It seems so. After all, it still has a pretty sizable 3.7” LCD Clear Black display, as well as a fast 1.4 GHz processor. In addition, it also looks good, although the build quality isn't as spectacular as with the 800.
But since this is a Nokia handset we're talking about, we can expect that it would be reliable and trustworthy, so people will likely consider it, when the time comes to make a purchase. And with its pretty decent specs sheet, as well as form factor and dimensions that would appeal to the mainstream public, we have no reason to think it won't sell, if it ends up priced appropriately, of course.
It's crazy to think that Nokia has spent all of this time just designing these two phones. And it hasn't. Meanwhile, the Finns have also worked with the WP software in order to bring some unique value to the platform – value that will be available only on Nokia handsets. Now, this is really important, because although Windows Phone is a pretty decent OS, it can still make good use of some big features such as quality navigation and easy access to music, all for free. That's exactly what Nokia has brought to the table.
Nokia Drive, Nokia Music and ESPN Sports Hub are all major features that will surely appeal to consumers. Not only will users be attracted to Nokia's Windows Phones, because of their superior design and recognition, they will also have the upper hand in the user experience field, when it comes to navigation and entertainment, which are two core categories of smartphone functionality.
Thinking about it, the Lumia 800 and 710 Windows Phones look like two very good packages. Unlike Android phone manufacturers, Nokia hasn't taken the monstrous specs approach; instead, it has focused on targeting the average user with two more balanced offerings, which seems to be the right move. We don't think that the 800 and 710 will be irrelevant when they hit the market later this year, as by the looks of it, the manufacturer has done a decent job for the time these phones have been in development. However, we aren't blown away either. It will take even better products, as well as great consistency from Nokia, in order for it to reclaim its lost positions. But it's a nice start, and a definite shift from the unfavorable situation of being on top of the burning platform.