Skip to main content

Nokia Windows Phone 7 Lumia 800 - A First Impressions Review

Nokia’s departure from using their Symbian platform as the main OS to run their flagship mobile phone was seen last week. The Finnish handset manufacturer officially launched the Lumia 800, running from Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7. This device is Nokia’s key phone, just as their N8 Symbian^3 mobile was last year's, where that handset was unveiled at the Nokia annual symposium in 2010.

In this feature we are covering our first impressions of the Nokia Lumia 800, comprised of the time we spent with the handset last week, together with the time we have spent with the phone since it arrived with us on Tuesday.

The design and shape of the Lumia 800 is a unique proposition in the mobile phone world, where other Windows Phone 7 deployments can be found on bog standard handsets - which could be running Android, or really anything else.

One Mobile Ring believes Nokia has handled the significant design change between their usual mobile phones and the Lumia 800 very well indeed. In June this year the N9 MeeGo run handset was announced, with a noticeably different design shift to other Nokia phones - although not many countries received the device.

Four months have passed since then, whilst the industry and consumers got used to the idea of the N9 design whilst eight months has also passed, since the Microsoft partnership was announced in February. Both of these separate spells of time were enough we believe for the the world to get use to these new concepts – which were both brought together in the Nokia Lumia 800, at Nokia World 2011.

The new flagship Nokia 800 device has taken more than just a design note from the N9, as it uses the very same single moulded body the MeeGo device. Nokia’s Lumia handset is a striking shape and design, whilst being a comfortable fit in the hand and will stand out from other Windows Phone 7 handsets - just as the N9 once did too.

The 3.7-inch AMOLED curved screen is slightly raised from the phone, whilst adding an almost 3D element to the mobile. This display is very responsive to the touch, but does leave a lot of finger prints behind and has to be cleaned quite regularly. The Nokia ClearBlack technology has been included too and allows for a sharper image display, even in bright sunlight. This coupling rivals that of the Super AMOLED Plus, which is used by Samsung, in their Galaxy S II Android mobile.

Running the phone is a Qualcomm chipset which is a first for Nokia. It contains a 1.4GHz processor, which isn’t the faster CPU in a Windows Phone 7 product – that claim goes to HTC’s 1.5GHz Titian – but it is a good fit. The mobile restarts fast and handset performs multiple tasks well, even with many apps running at once. This is both thanks to the updated ‘Mango’ version of the operating system, with Nokia reportedly working very closely with Microsoft on build version.

Nokia offers a number of applications that won’t be seen elsewhere in their WP7 phones, such as the Nokia Drive, Nokia Music and Mix Radio, with the local app feature. The first of which is a turn-by-turn Sat Nav app that is preinstalled, with the maps residing on the Lumia 800. The second is an offering that allows access to Nokia’s music catalogue of 14 million tracks, with 100 Nokia radio channels being freely available to listen on and off-line too. The last are a range of applications that are relevant to the country where the phone is located , rather than the likes of New York subway map if you are in France.

These are all in lieu of a Nokia hub and as a way of standing out from HTC and others, who also use Microsoft's mobile platform on their handsets. As Nokia has provided preinstalled maps on their Symbian devices for sometime we expected this to be available to WP7 , but are pleasantly surprised that it mirrors a TomTom Sat Nav solution and also works very well. Nokia's music has to be challenge to Zune's music features and we are yet to discover how this will work on the desktop client, but we will include out findings in a more thorough piece in the larger review.

Nokia’s Lumia 800 performs very well as a mobile phone and as one running the Windows Phone 7 OS, with one of the best designs of a handset we have seen outside of Apple and Samsung studios. The phone is fast and responsive, in both the screen actions and way it performs overall. Whether this single device is enough to turn around Nokia’s fortune is another matter, but it does contain the engineering principles Nokia is well known for and offers more than the regular deployment of Windows Phone 7, which is found elsewhere.

Originally published at

Rob has worked in the affiliate industry for many years with large publishers, and previously worked as a journalist on titles such as Wired, PC Magazine, ITProPortal, The Register, The Inquirer, Pocket-Lint, Mobile Industry Review, Know Your Mobile and The Gadget Show.