Nokia Lumia 800 Review
Introduction:

Nokia, wow, it's been a journey and a half tracking all the highs and lows Nokia have encountered over the past few couple of years. Losing a monumental amount of smartphone market share and abandoning their prized Symbian in favor of Microsoft's new OS. On the plus, their decisiveness to move forward and even the strengths of their now abandoned MeeGo platform have to be commended. But we're not here to lament, no, lamenting is what we did when reviewing the Nokia N9. Now we are embracing change, embracing Windows Phone 7.5, embracing Stephen Elop's vision and embracing the Nokia Lumia 800. A unibody plastic device with a beveled Gorilla Glass display, a 1.4GHz processor and f2.2 8MP camera put the Lumia 800 at the top of Windows Phone technology on paper, but the question on everyone's lips seems to be: have Nokia done enough?

The Lumia 800 is currently not expected from any US carrier. It is somehow usable with AT&T's 3G network, supporting the 1900 MHz band but lacking the 850 MHz one.


Design:

With little in way of variance between the Nokia N9 and the Nokia Lumia 800, it's fair to say our over-riding impressions of both device aesthetics are similar, however if this was a competition, on physicality alone, the Nokia N9 would be the winner. Let us explain.

The Nokia Lumia 800 is graced by high-grade polycarbonate (plastic) unibody design - Nokia Lumia 800 Review
The Nokia Lumia 800 is graced by high-grade polycarbonate (plastic) unibody design - Nokia Lumia 800 Review
The Nokia Lumia 800 is graced by high-grade polycarbonate (plastic) unibody design - Nokia Lumia 800 Review

The Nokia Lumia 800 is graced by high-grade polycarbonate (plastic) unibody design


Nokia Lumia 800 Review

You can compare the Nokia Lumia 800 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Starting with the screen, unlike the Nokia N9's Full WVGA480x854 display, the lower end of the Nokia Lumia 800 is re-tasked to function as three capacitive buttons, sacrificing on resolution (now WVGA480x800) and making the display roughly 7% smaller at 3.7 inches. What you do still get is the bevel edged Gorilla Glass fascia atop Nokia's Clear Black AMOLED display. It looks beautiful, as if AMOLED displays were made with Windows Phone in mind, with Live Tiles gliding vertically below the bevels and above the deep black beneath. This is emphasized by how responsive the Lumia 800 is, coupled with the glass offering a rich, cool sensation to the touch. If we never saw the Nokia N9, we would have been none the wiser. The Nokia Lumia 800 has a beautiful display. As we have seen it however, we also know it's not the best that Nokia can do.

The Nokia Lumia 800 has a Clear Black AMOLED display - Nokia Lumia 800 Review

The Nokia Lumia 800 has a Clear Black AMOLED display


Moving away from the screen and the same, high-grade polycarbonate (plastic) unibody design graces the Nokia Lumia 800 as the Nokia N9, except for two key differences. The first - the flash is repositioned, the second - there is a physical camera button. Which is better? Well that depends, form or function, which is your preference. There's no denying the camera button clutters up the right hand side of this lithe, slick bit of kit, however, we like taking photos and taking them quickly, so can embrace the advantages of the camera button. Otherwise, the physicalities surrounding the handset is the same with a microSIM card and microUSB port up top aside the 3.5mm headphone jack. 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.

Left side - microSIM card and microUSB port up top aside the 3.5mm headphone jack - Nokia Lumia 800 Review

Left side

Back - microSIM card and microUSB port up top aside the 3.5mm headphone jack - Nokia Lumia 800 Review

Back

Volume rocker, power and camera buttons (right) - microSIM card and microUSB port up top aside the 3.5mm headphone jack - Nokia Lumia 800 Review

Volume rocker, power and camera buttons (right)

microSIM card and microUSB port up top aside the 3.5mm headphone jack - Nokia Lumia 800 Review
microSIM card and microUSB port up top aside the 3.5mm headphone jack - Nokia Lumia 800 Review
microSIM card and microUSB port up top aside the 3.5mm headphone jack - Nokia Lumia 800 Review

microSIM card and microUSB port up top aside the 3.5mm headphone jack


Overall, the hardware works beautifully with Windows Phone 7.5, from the AMOLED screen with its Clear Black technology, through to the flat bottom sitting atop your little finger for one handed use. We can't wait to see what Nokia brings us when they make a piece of hardware with Windows Phone in mind from conception. Nokia N9 comparisons aside however and the Nokia Lumia 800 is a standalone triumph.

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46 Comments

1. AKm007

Posts: 108; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

lol, no front facing camera is mentioned twice.

31. Mobile-X-Pert

Posts: 565; Member since: Dec 20, 2010

''Lumia 800 is expected to land for about $580 (EUR 420) without carrier subsidies''. Why do PA say that this phone is too expensive???

33. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

Because compared to the other competition, the Lumia 800 is expensive.

43. bbin82

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 31, 2011

Check the contracts dude! It really isn't.

8. ngo2dd

Posts: 896; Member since: Jul 08, 2011

Dude you are trolling shut up.

3. drahmad

Posts: 480; Member since: Aug 20, 2011

its not windows. its doors.

44. NokTokDaddy

Posts: 21; Member since: May 12, 2010

You're right: 'Windows' implies a view onto your digital world, whereas Mango offers open doors. This is the most liberating mobile experience available right now: I was playing with a friend's iP4 after a few days with my Lumia 800 and it actually felt clunky and awkward after Mango Never thought I'd say that about iOS...

4. Pego71

Posts: 7; Member since: Nov 08, 2011

The first device windows phone nokia no call cam...absurd !!! remember that Microsoft has acquired skipe, ANDROID FOREVER !!

7. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

That's very true! My old Nokia X6 has a front-facing camera but their new 2011/2012 flagship doesn't have one.

21. ChiX017

Posts: 308; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

U know it' was made within 8 months and atthe time they made it Windows had no support, not time to redesign the phone from scratch....don't forget it's Nokia we're talking about they started video calls

40. Stoli89

Posts: 333; Member since: Jun 28, 2010

Yes, both my N8 and older 5800XM have FFC...but to be honest...I hardly ever used them. In fact, I used FFC a short while on fring almost 2 years ago...then stopped because I much prefer the PC for this type of activity. To me, I would much rather have expandable memory and NFC. Then again, the Lumia's come with 25GB cloud storage...which is also very nice.

29. NokTokDaddy

Posts: 21; Member since: May 12, 2010

Having had front-facing cameras on various Nokias for years now and not used them for anything, this is a feature I can easily live without. Here in the UK at least, mobile data charges and network capacity effectively prevent video calling taking off on mobile, and if you look at desktop video calling this has hardly been an overwhelming success either. I think we have to remember that WP7.5 is intended to be a minimalistic yet easy-to-use UI atop a solid and fast OS; WP7.5 is not intended to appeal to the more technically-orientated power users - Nokia have Symbian and (for now) Meego-Harmattan for that. Having been a Symbian and Maemo user as well as having a SGS2 in the house to play with I can appreciate the virtues of WP7.5 and will probably be buying a Lumia 800 next week: Even as a power user and sometimes hacker myself, Mango delivers the functionality I need most: excellent email integration, integrated social media, and offline navigation - the latter a feature I rely upon for about five hours every day. All this in a very sexy package... I was sorely tempted by the Titan (better camera, IMO - something I never thought I'd say about an HTC - especially against an equivalent Nokia) but the more handy size and sheer quality of finish of the Lumia 800 do it for me. What I find most interesting about WP7.5 is how it makes both Symbian and Android look unduly heavy, complicated and awkward. From a power-user and tinkerer's perspective I'm sure I will find it lacking because everything just works so well. I suppose I can always keep my N8 or play with the SGS to if I want to indulge in some techno-massochism!

5. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

One of the Pros should be the 8MP still images, the quality is pretty good.

6. Muhannad

Posts: 455; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

Also, I find battery life to be decent not one of it's Cons. I think it's because we're used to longer battery life from Nokia phones because of Symbian.

30. NokTokDaddy

Posts: 21; Member since: May 12, 2010

True - we have been spoilt ;-> As a possible point of reference, someone I know who has had a Lumia 800 for about a week now has said that he's experiencing similar battery life to his own N8 under the same conditions. I don't think there are any standard devices that could last me a full day away from a charger, so for me at least this is less of an issue.

9. JayJayTG

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 10, 2011

How is the screen 57% smaller than the N9?? The N9 is 3.9" the 800 3.7" so it is not over half the size smaller!

11. PhoneArena Team

Posts: 258; Member since: Jun 27, 2006

Hm, it is a typo. It is 7% smaller. Sorry :)

12. JayJayTG

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 10, 2011

Not to worry lol

10. JayJayTG

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 10, 2011

If people video call then this phone is not for them. Honestly though who does video calling even when they have a FFC on their phone? I recon only 1-2% of smartphone users that have FFC's on their phone video call. Video calling has been going for years just hadnt caught on. People tend to prefer to be indoors when video calling rather than mobile, even then they would use a computer of sorts. The only other reason to have a FFC is if you like taking pictures of yourself lol.

13. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

but i think it deserved better than 7.5 atleast an 8.. thats what i think but obiously i hvnt used it yet.

14. stevedojobs

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Stephen Elop said this phone is the real Window Phone!!!!! As for me it's not because it's the real Elop Phone instead of real Window phone.

15. ryq24

Posts: 874; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

people now use their phone for skype and having no secondary camera is a big disappointment. then you add the fact that it has only a 3.7" screen. and finally the price. heard its expensive. android can rest easy.

17. orangejuice

Posts: 11; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

If Nokia would have just kept the same hardware as the N9 for the Lumia I would have been way closer to making it my next phone. Going from a 1.4 to 1 ghz processor, 1gb to 512mb RAM and finally the fact that the N9 has a dedicated graphics chip and the Lumia does not are just too much to overlook. WTH Nokia.

18. JayJayTG

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 10, 2011

Actually your wrong its going from a 1GHz CPU (N9) to a 1.4GHz CPU (Lumia 800). Oh and your wrong again. The Lumia 800 has a dedicated GPU. It uses the Snapdragon S2 SoC that has the Adreno 205 GPU. More advanced than the OMAP SoC PowerVR SGX530 GPU found on the N9!

19. orangejuice

Posts: 11; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

I stand corrected, when I compared the two I must have flipped them in my mind. The Lumia is back on my radar! Thanks for the correction.

22. JayJayTG

Posts: 5; Member since: Nov 10, 2011

Lumia is defo on my radar to :)

34. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

even so, if system and apps are fluid, what for better hardware. You don't like your battery?

23. snowgator

Posts: 3614; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

While I like this as a great first effort for Nokia, especially for the Europe market, there are good things a-coming for the US. So if you were tempted to grab an unlocked 800, you may want to wait until the calander reads 2012 to see what is next. Not only is there the rumored 900, but this LTE gossip based on this 800 design as well: http://www.wpcentral.com/nokia-and-ATT-working-lte-windows-phone

24. nando2do

Posts: 53; Member since: Nov 10, 2011

how come you didnt give 7 to iphone 4s since it has 3.5 screen and the unlock version is waaaaaaaaaaay more expensive! cmon lets face it. then i invite you to check unlock version of samsung galaxy, motorola droid, etc there been on the market for about 6 months and still expensier than this one!

25. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

I'm just going to wait to see if the Samsung Focus S holds any promise. PA you can't ding it for having 10% less screen size than the N9, and the battery life is better than a lot of Android handsets Having Xbox Live integration is good, and all in all, this is the best and fullest WP7 offering to date. I'm really not impressed with HTCs Windows handsets, HTC please go back to using AMOLED panels in your phones' screens.

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

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)

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