Nokia Lumia 800 Review

Introduction and Design

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.


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.

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.

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.

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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