It’s the end of the year and Nokia has finally announced its “Piece de resistance” handset – the Lumia 800. It’s the first, of course in the series and is based on their MeeGo running N9 device only this one is, of course, running on the latest version of the Windows Phone 7 OS, which is Mango. We’ve already done a detailed preview of the handset where we outlined the kind of features it comes with, but here’s a closer look at the overall functionality.
The Lumia 800 is built out of a single block of Polycarbonate plastic. Don’t let the ‘plastic’ part sway you as the handset is quite durable. It sustained quiet a few hard knocks and drops from about 2 feet without too much of scratching or any issues with functionality. The 3.7-inch, slightly raised gorilla glass display, although quite a fingerprint magnet, survived quite a bit of torture without giving in to scratches. So, in terms of durability and funky design form, the Lumia 800 is definitely high on our ranking. If the slippery shell doesn’t meet your fancy, worry not as Nokia has thrown in a rubberized case that makes it much easier to manage.
Slim and sleek
Check out our Hands-On preview for more information on the 800’s design.
Features and Performance
Powered by a 1.4GHz Scorpion processor and running the Windows Phone Mango (7.5) OS, the Lumia 800 is a seriously speedy handset. When it comes to functionality, as limited as the OS itself may be, the Lumia 800 manages to do everything it’s capable of extremely well. WP7’s stripped down; visually simplistic user interface is what keeps most of their handsets, irrespective of processing power, running quite smoothly. The Tile and Hub set up is really what makes WP7 so attractive. Unfortunately for Nokia though, this fantastic piece of hardware can’t live up to its true potential that’s curtailed by the OS. The Linpak Benchmark test we subjected it to gave us a score of 49.3 Mflops, which is impressive as far as mobile handsets go. Multi-tasking was, of course, a non-issue.
Simple and easy to mange UI
Although WP7 is a user-friendly system, like we’ve said many times before, it’s still in its nascent stage and will require a considerable amount of tweaking before it can really give Android or iOS a run for their money. The few things about the Lumia 800 we took issue with, included the fact that Nokia has decided to go Micro SIM on us and also leave out the external memory support. Like the N8, the uni-body design translates to; should your phone hang, restarting it will not be as easy as it used to be. Thankfully, the Lumia 800 functioned without any “hang-ups”. But it seems like a - if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em - type of sentiment is at play here.
What we also noticed with the otherwise crystal clear display was that whites usually took on a slightly yellowish tone. This was especially noticeable on websites with white backgrounds. Other than that, visibility in broad daylight from any angle was top-notch.
It was quite surprising to see that Nokia missed on including any audio enhancements for the 800 and that is a major downer. Audio quality was consistent with any other high-end smartphone, but it could have surely been better with a few options to personalize the output. We did find the decibel level a tad low, especially in crowded areas. The speaker phone was also a little too low for our comfort level. The built-in FM radio was just fine and even managed to pick up signals quite well on a daily commute through the city. Nokia has pre-installed TuneIn for Internet radio options as well.
The audio quality would have been so much better with some enhancement options
Once again, we were plagued with the Zune menace, meaning we had to make sure that our videos were first compatible with the software, before it could take its own sweet time transferring to the handset. Once on the handset, the picture quality, Nokia’s Clear Black Display enriched the colors. 16Gigs of internal storage space is also quite a bit to keep media lovers fairly satisfied, even if they can’t extend it any further.