Nokia's Lumia Windows Phones – was it worth the wait?

Nokia's Lumia Windows Phones – was it worth the wait?
No, it wasn't! Okay, okay, we're just kidding here. It's been quite a bit of a wait since Nokia announced that it's adopting Windows Phone as its main platform back in February, but we've finally been treated to the very first fruits of this new partnership. At Nokia World 2011 this week, the still largest cell phone manufacturer by volume in the world introduced its first Windows Phone-based smartphones, namely the Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710. Thankfully, the more interesting of the two, the Lumia 800, will start shipping as soon as next month, but after all the waiting to see an actual device, we can't help but wonder – are the Lumia Windows Phones good enough to help Nokia reestablish its brand as a premium phone manufacturer in today's landscape?

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.

The flagship

With an up-to-date specs sheet, featuring a powerful, yet single-core 1.4 GHz processor, the Nokia Lumia 800 positions itself nicely among the other serious players on the field. However, it's obvious that this device will not excel with specs. Nokia knows that and has cleverly focused on its industry-leading craftsmanship and reliability in order to drive desire for the handset. Being an almost exact replica of the hot and innovative 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.

When you look at the whole picture, it seems evident that if there's a right time to launch the Nokia Lumia 800, it's now, and that's exactly what Nokia's going to do. Windows Phone still has a lot of catching up to do, but version 7.5 Mango has just come out, and it's able to offer a contemporary software experience that will cater to the needs of many smartphone users our there. Symbian smartphones are on a decline because of their inferior OS and poor ecosystem, but now, with an OS that actually works, why shouldn't Nokia's handsets sell well, with their awesome design, quality and recognition? When we put things into this perspective, it looks like the wait was actually worth it.

Invading the mainstream

Just a few weeks after the launch of the Lumia 800, Nokia is expected to release its slightly more affordable offering – the 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.

Differentiation

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.

Related phones

Lumia 800
  • Display 3.7" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 16 GB
  • Battery 1450 mAh(9.50h 3G talk time)
Lumia 710
  • Display 3.7" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S2, Single core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB
  • Battery 1300 mAh(7.60h 3G talk time)

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57 Comments

1. redmd

Posts: 1941; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

no. but for nokia fans, it might be.

19. eiyoy009

Posts: 57; Member since: Jun 01, 2011

it proves that phonearena is truly against nokia... PHONEARENA don't understand business.. nokia is just re-used the design hardware of 603 and N9 because they dont have time to spend designing a monsterous specs YOU want... it is really a good move of nokia because they make a solution s fast even though they are not ready of making wp7 this year...GET IT PHONEARENA!!!

26. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Agreed not really woth the wait except for a niche nokia fan base. Phonearena made an interesting point of how buyers will see its from nokia and know its reliable,phonearena doesn't obviously have and real retail phone experience as I can tell you that the n8 and c7 and c3-01 have been some of the most problematic phones my shop has ever stocked (outside of all the iphone 4 faults and dropping calls complaints),all sorts of problems arise ranging from these 3 phones freezing,turning off,screens going blank etc. Sometimes repair engineers reports say it was software problems sometimes hardware so its not symbian itself to blame although symbian on the vivaz was a nightmare of a phone. Tbh even some of the affordable nokia basic calls and texts phones these days are proving troublesome at times,nokia has really fallen behind

33. hari120

Posts: 22; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

wp suxxx

2. redmd

Posts: 1941; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

the Galaxy Note however ... Nokia Lumia 710 will be against last year's wp7 handsets whose price just went down accordingly. Now an average Joe would ask why he should choose Nokia over HTC Samsung LG WP phones.

3. Andman314

Posts: 61; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

No the Nokia Lumia Windows Phones was not worth the wait. Its just another windows phone. Im not a big fan of the new windows phone 7. Do get me wrong i had a windows phone before the iphone came out. But today windows phone all do the same thing and all look the same. I call the WP7 iphone light. LOL

13. Eingild

Posts: 203; Member since: Apr 19, 2011

It's called a unified experience.

4. ryq24

Posts: 875; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

no its not.

5. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

I guess you guys didn't even read the post, sad

6. redmd

Posts: 1941; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I read it. In my opinion, it's not worth the wait. You guessed wrong.

7. bigboss

Posts: 80; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

As long as I get extra features like free navigation and music I would wait for that.

8. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

The reason why I say it it's because most people just read the title and not the whole poest, why is it so hard to be objective???

10. Padmasali

Posts: 15; Member since: Aug 31, 2011

No... But it is a Start of Good things for Nokia...

11. Padmasali

Posts: 15; Member since: Aug 31, 2011

Nokia all ways had premium look on his hardware section of phone... but, now it get perfect OS for his phone... so it will be a success in future...

12. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

You're right, the only thing Nokia was lacking is a good OS, but now that they got WP7 with a ''nice and smooth UI and no Fragmentation'', they have a great opportunity to succeed

14. Eingild

Posts: 203; Member since: Apr 19, 2011

It's worth the wait.

15. hunted

Posts: 403; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

Going for a higher spec at the entry will not assure you success, the 800 is worth the wait looks good. I will get one.

16. bluechrism

Posts: 99; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

Just want to mention that around the web and on various podcasts i've heard people pleasntly suprised that nokia has 2 devices ready for sale to the public. Microsoft has a faily locked down set of specs still anyway so an NFS dual core device with expandable memory and TV-out was never an option here. The hardware is basically the same as the Nokia N9 and Nokia 603, but with a different set of internal components. If you do a hardware spec comparison on these devices, apart from the processor speed, I think you will find the MeeGo (N9) and Symbian Belle (603) devices are ultimately the better spec options: (NFC, tv out, front facing cameras, full offline mapping with full nokia maps, better support on your pc, more RAM (N9), more built in memory (N9), FM Radio and transmitter (603), expandable memory (603), USB on the go, bluetooth file transfer, probably some things i've missed). Nokia had almost no impact in windows phone mango so for any sort of software side differentiation was going to be in apps and offline mapping is nice. However, for anything with real nokia innovation in software and hardware we probably need to wait for Apollo, which nokia will undoubtedly have had impact in and hopefully there will be a more hardware freedom as well. However, compared to the other windows phone devices, these should be competitive at both the higher end with the 800, and the entry level (for windows phone) with the 710. Was it worth the wait - Yes, although there was no WOW moment like with the n9 launch, but ultimately a bit better than i expected. Many nokia followers have felt for a while that the nokia windows phones to get excited about won't be announced until next year, and the ones now are a good, solid start.

17. jasongohjr

Posts: 75; Member since: Sep 26, 2011

If it doesn't lack the ff cameras.... ): hopefully there is a 900 to be at the best of the best wp7

18. ReturningToNokia

Posts: 130; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

Dear PhoneArena: The 800 series phones from Nokia are NOT flagships! Only the 900 series phones will be considered flagships. Get educated about these things, will ya? Anyway, yes, it was worth the wait. And the U.S. launch in 2012 will definitely be worth the wait!

32. Eingild

Posts: 203; Member since: Apr 19, 2011

The least thing you can do is to say it properly and with a respectful tone.

20. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

I'm torn between getting this or the HTC Titan now... I do like Nokia Maps and used to to used to use it all the time but don't thnk its enough to sway me from the big screen the Titan has.

21. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

yeah, but keep in mind that the screen resolution is inferior compared to the screen size, so I guess the Lumia 800 is the best of the bunch.

22. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

I'm extremely exciting about getting the Lumia 710 but I was expecting more from Nokia. They put a display with 1000 Nits of brightness on a Symbian smartphone which they've abandoned but couldn't do the same on their new WP phones?! Or are these supposed to be some selling points for their Symbian smartphones only?

24. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

Actually, they haven't talk much about the display on the 710, probably it's got a CB IPS screen, who knows..

25. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

It's not an IPS LCD, just a normal CBD LCD.

28. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

you're probably right, cause I know that the Symbian 701 has got a Clear Black IPs screen of 1000 nits.

37. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

That is still quite good

23. ledbetterp3

Posts: 467; Member since: Aug 31, 2011

So, even people who don't like wp7 will want/get these phones just because it's made by Nokia?

27. rafael.roque

Posts: 78; Member since: Jul 03, 2010

Not the loyal ones like me, lol. I made my choice even when WP7 was around and I just love my Symbian N8 with all it's pros and cons! I am even going as far as getting the Meego N9 instead; it's the only plausible upgrade for me without sacrifising control of my phone to either microsoft, google or apple:). On another note: Long Live Nokia "Classic" that is before Elop turned it over to Microsoft and remove one more choice from the consumer. Because at the end of the day, Nokia was just that: another choice to Android(Google), iOS(Apple), and WP7(Microsoft)

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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