Nokia Lumia 800 review: New beginnings

GSMArena team, 2 December 2011.
Pages: 12345678910

Introduction

It will take crowds erupting in delight to silence the ring of the "burning platform" speech in the Nokia Lumia 800's ears. The speaker being Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and the burning platform Symbian.

As Nokia are starting over, the Lumia 800 would do well not to look back. It's certainly beyond the ifs and buts. A shadow still lingers though. And there are people out there - loyal Nokia users too - who would've jumped in the fire with MeeGo rather than the freezing waters of Windows Phone.


Nokia Lumia 800 official photos

But it was for others to decide. The N9 was ordered to share its impressive unibody design with the Lumia 800. Good decision by Nokia - not saying fair - to give its WP7 pioneer a strong start. There are some Windows Phone mandated changes like the touch-sensitive Back, Menu and Search keys and a hardware shutter key.

The screen lost 0.2" and 54 pixels in height to make room for the capacitive controls. The oddly positioned secondary camera is gone as well. Still, the image quality of the screen seems unchanged - and we quite liked that AMOLED unit.

What else has changed? Well, there's a new chipset, among other things. To make this short, here're the pros and cons of the Nokia Lumia 800.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Quad-band 3G with 14.4 Mbps HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps HSUPA support
  • 3.7" 16M-color AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of 480 x 800 pixel resolution
  • Scratch resistant Gorilla glass display with anti-glare polarizer
  • 8 megapixel autofocus camera with dual LED flash, 720p@27fps video recording and fast f/2.2 lens
  • Windows Phone 7.5 OS (Mango)
  • 1.4GHz Scorpion CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8255 chipset, 512MB of RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Non-painted polycarbonate unibody, curved screen
  • GPS receiver with A-GPS support and free lifetime voice-guided navigation
  • Digital compass
  • 16GB on-board storage
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • Built-in accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack; FM Radio with RDS
  • microUSB port
  • Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP and EDR
  • Impressively deep and coherent SNS integration throughout the interface

Main disadvantages

  • Display is much dimmer than the N9's display
  • No Flash or Silverlight support in browser
  • No USB mass storage (file management and sync pass only through Zune)
  • No video calls and no front-facing camera either
  • Non-user-replaceable battery
  • No memory card slot (and no 64GB version like the N9)
  • microSIM card slot
  • No native DivX/XviD support, videos have to be transcoded by Zune

A strong showing by Nokia, but it's a bit late to the Windows Phone party. They do have the design experience from being in the business longer than almost anyone else and they have Nokia Drive as their ace in the hole.

The fate of the company rests on Windows Phone Nokias being a success and much of that weight falls on the shoulders of the Lumia 800. It won't carry it alone, but it's the leader of the pack, the attention grabber.

Nokia Lumia 800 Nokia Lumia 800 Nokia Lumia 800 Nokia Lumia 800
Nokia Lumia 800 at ours

And sure enough, it has our attention. But it's you the Nokia Lumia 800 has to wow, so sit down and let us tell you about its hardware.

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