The Nokia Lumia 800 is due to shortly hit our shelves here’re in Ireland, and might just hit out heartstrings. Nokia’s first Windows Phone 7 handset is seen by many as the ailing mobile giant’s last chance to turn it’s luck around, as well as the clock and rise to the top of the league again. It’s not an easy task, that’s for sure. We’re all getting pretty comfy with our snazzy iphones and androids, so it’s going to be tough to woo people away and back to what is still seen as ‘the old reliable’.
The gorgeous Lumia800.
Some background into the phone first though. Back in summer this year, Nokia famously announced it’s partnership with Microsoft for their ailing smartphone arm, with would mean that instead of the dated, but very stable Symbian, Nokia would use the Windows Phone 7 software, with a lot of their own custom adaptions (which are actually, pretty clever!) which were demanded before the Finish manufacturer would sign the deal. Nokia eschewed Android, as the may reasonably so, get lost in the crowd, WP7 allows a lot of adaptability to the platform while begin unique enough to get noticed. Nokia finished off the N9 with Meego and then used the same handset, with slightly different specs, to produce the very sleek, Lumia 800.
Well, first off let’s have a look at the phone itself, like you’d expect from any Nokia product, this is a solid piece of kit. The case is solid aluminium and is coloured to match the phone, this means that rather than being painted blue or black, the aluminium actually is that colour, which makes sure that you’ll never have ugly scratches again. The AMOLED screen is another beauty, curved glass to match the handset build, this is Nokia’s ‘True Black’ technology, and it really shows through. Everything looks really crisp on this screen and combined with the camera (Nokia as always, supplying a flawless camera) gives you a really vivid experience and is in many ways one of the better out of the WP7 stock currently on e Market.
At the moment only the 16GB version is available in the UK (the rest of Europe has to wait until 2012 to get this phone), but won’t be available in 4GB for some time, this is a bit of a draw back if you’re an app happy smartphone user, but most people are generally happy with 16GB, especially when you consider Windows relatively small app store. The processor is a respectable, 512MB RAM, while this pales in comparison to most other phones on the market (and is about half the power of the N9, the Lumia’s Meego sister) it doesnt feel overly sluggish, and still handles functions pretty well.
Other than that the Lumia 800 is packed with all of the standard features which you’d expect from a handset, complete with a micro-USB charger, headphone jack, 8MP Carl Zeiss camera, and like it’s biggest competition, the iPhone, it employs a micro-sim.
The Nokia C7, one of the last Symbian handsets
The Software is also something interesting. The WP7 platform has seen a lot of custom modifications from Nokia, including their own music store and streaming service, native multi-tasking and Live frames which allowed real time social network updates. Windows had for some reason omitted these in an otherwise impressive platform, but Nokia having used similar features before anyone else on their own doomed OS, Symbian, saw these as a necessity. Otherwise, the WP7 handset isn’t bad, the limited app store is the biggest letdown, but it is growing quietly but quickly. You’ll still find most of your favourite apps, they’re not quite as good as their iOS or Android counterparts, but they work pretty well. Overall, the WP7 Mango platform is a joy to use, gesture and user friendly at the core, it’s a lovely experience.
Will the Lumia 800 save Nokia? Well, no… And it’s being a bit, overly dramatic to expect it to. But it does go a long way in restoring Nokia’s lost street cred, suddenly owning a Nokia smartphone doesn’t get met with sneers from your iPhone tapping colleagues.
If you really want a Nokia to knock your socks off, the Lumia is a bit rushed, but beautiful. Word is that the Apollo will be the phone to save Nokia, and bring it back onto the growth which has been slipping for several years now. Lumia has almost stolen my heart, but it’s just not there yet.