Nokia Lumia 800 review
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By Tan Ming Sin
24 February 2012 – The Nokia Lumia 800 has just arrived in town. While passing by the Nokia retail shop, I’m sure you guys can’t resist checking out the Nokia N9 look-alike. Or probably just making sure if it is Nokia N9? Anyway, here is our take on the Nokia Lumia 800. Read on to find out the differences.
At a glance:
+Attractive one-piece design
-Require Zune Software to transfer data
-Limited apps available
In the box:
-Nokia Lumia 800
-USB power adapter
Exterior, Controls and Screen
Upon opening the box, we felt a sense of déjà vu. Even the accessories in the box are exactly the same as Nokia N9. However, it is not surprising as we know that the Nokia Lumia 800 inherit the chassis of the Nokia N9.
Nothing bad about that though, what we have here is an attractive one piece polycarbonate slate. There is also a volume rocker and a lock/unlock button on the right side of the phone – the exact same position with the Nokia N9.
However, in addition to the Nokia N9, the Nokia Lumia 800 offers three Windows buttons - Back, Start, and Search (left to right). And there is an extra camera button on the right side of the phone as well.
The micro-SIM slot and the micro-USB port are tucked away neatly at the top of the phone. You may find it difficult to open it at first attempt. However, over some time we got used to how it works (especially after we’ve experienced the Nokia N9). The 3.5mm headphone jack is located there as well.
The 8-megapixel camera is located at the back of the phone, right under the dual-LED flash. Nokia branded the camera with “Carl Zeiss Tessar” right underneath the imager.
(Random snapshot with the 8-megapixel camera)
As for the Lumia 800’s display, it sports an AMOLED touchscreen with 480 x 800 pixels. Due to the addition of the three Windows buttons, the Nokia Lumia 800 offers a slightly smaller display screen when compared to the Nokia N9 (3.7-inches vs 3.9-inches). More importantly, the Nokia Lumia 800 is coated with Nokia ClearBlack display (CBD) - a technology introduced by Nokia itself. Technically, the Nokia CBD blocks incoming light reflections and allows the device to display “clearer” display when compared to devices without it.
(comparing iPhone display with Nokia ClearBlack display)
Software, Application and Games
The Lumia 800 is powered by the Microsoft Window Phone 7.5 Mango, and we definitely have to give credit for its simplistic user-interface (UI). There are only one home screens on the phone, which contains the shortcuts to the most common applications; messaging, hotmail, and games. Plus, you can see every application in a list format by click the arrow on top right corner. Thus, it is easy to spot what application you need and Nokia threw in a search button to easily access your apps.
Also, there is the Microsoft Tellme. By holding down the Start button, you will gain access to voice recognition assistant. You can then just speak out what you want the phone to do. It is similar to the Siri voice recognition assistant on the iPhone. Tellme is also able to type out your message. However, to do that, you will have to access the voice recognition from messaging application.
As for apps, Nokia included their Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive for your convenience. Nokia also threw in an extra Maps app, which we felt is rather redundant. Other than that, there is also the Microsoft Office included in the phone. You can either create a new file or transfer files from SkyDrive.
For social networking apps, the phone is preloaded with the People app and the Me app which connects you to updates from Windows Live and Twitter.
(Nokia Lumia 800 preinstalled with Microsoft Office)
Camera, Video and Audio
The Nokia Lumia 800 is equipped with an 8-megapixel camera, capable of capturing images up to 3264 x 2448 pixels. The camera will be using the usual Carl-Zeiss optics and equipped with autofocus and dual LED flash. Be reminded that the 3264 x 2448 pixels will be resized to fit the 480 x 800 pixels displayed on the phone screen. The camera is also capable of recording 720p video.
(Different settings offered by Lumia 800's picture taking)
As for video playback, the 3.7-inch display features a great viewing experience. The Nokia Lumia 800 has around 252 ppi pixel density, the same as Nokia N9. The Nokia Lumia 800’s speaker is located underneath the phone.
Despite the lack of Dolby Digital Plus on the Lumia 800 (unlike the Nokia N9), we found that the Lumia still managed to pump out pretty good sound quality.
Things to take note of:
- The three main controls; Back, Start, and Search does glow even under influence of light. However, if you were to manually set the brightness under Settings, it will only display a faint glow.
- Both Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps require an Internet connection. So you may want to think about the data usage costs as you use the apps.
- Hold down the Search button and you will gain access to Bing.
- Music and Videos require Zune software to transfer files from computer to phone.
- There is no secondary camera.
- The phone does not support NFC
- Microsoft Office is unable to create new files for PowerPoint.
The mid-end price point coupled with the simplistic Windows Phone OS and the unibody chassis of Nokia N9 is definitely a good buy. The Nokia Lumia 800 definitely is a great choice to include to your to -buy list.
However, the drawback will be the limited applications available for Windows Phone (for now) and the absence of mass storage. Overall, you will find it a pretty decent partner to go with, especially when it is priced at RM1650.