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[REVIEW] Nokia Lumia 800 and Windows Phone 7.5 [update: 24.SEP.2012]

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whitealien
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(Last edited by whitealien; 24th September 2012 at 01:44 PM.) Reason: Bugs has been fixed
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Wink [REVIEW] Nokia Lumia 800 and Windows Phone 7.5 [update: 24.SEP.2012]

update 24/09/12: All known bugs has been fixed with latest firmware 1750.0805.8773.12220 from Nokia. Personally I didn't believe they gone fix that nasty audio bug, but they did it. Great job! Another important thing to note, if you have intentions to buy this phone take into consideration that this phone won't get upgrade of latest OS from Microsoft WP 8, but will get instead 7.8 version, which is kinda stripped down version of it's older brother. Mostly the reason is incompatible hardware, which is understandable, but I've been using this phone for nearly one year, and I find it still amazing.

Hello dear xda bodies,

I was thinking to write a really detailed review, but then I thought that there are already tons of very complete reviews on the web about this phone. So this will be more like my personal opinion and what I think about it. Also I'm not a chief redactor of IT magazine and English is not my native language, so forgive me for grammar errors.
NOKIA LUMIA 800 REVIEW














TECH SPECS
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Quad-band 3G with 14.4 Mbps HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps HSUPA support
  • 3.7" (vs iPhone 3.5") 16M-color AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of 480 x 800 pixel resolution 252ppi (vs iPhone retina 326ppi)
  • 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
  • Nokia software bundle

CONS
  • AMOLED PenTile display, not Super AMOLED
  • No USB mass storage (file management and sync pass only through Zune)
  • No front-facing camera. Video calls work with Skype
  • Noway to backup your SMS/MMS
  • No notification LEDs
  • Non-user-replaceable battery
  • No memory card slot (and no 64GB version like the N9)
  • No native DivX/XviD support, videos have to be transcoded by Zune
HARDWARE


After a 2 weeks of use I can say that Nokia did a really great job here. I don't know how much efforts they put in designing it, but externally looking at Lumia it is a copycat of its older brother N9. Phone fits very well in your hands, not too big, not too small and slides nicely in and out of your pockets. Its unibody is made from polycarbonate scratch resistant material with rounded edges on sides. Top of the phone features 3.5mm jack with covered micro simcard and usb slot, left side is clean without anything, on the bottom there is a microphone and speaker and on the right side there are 2 volume buttons, on/off button and dedicated camera button which all are made from metal. Screen is a little curved and made of Gorilla glass with anti-glare treatment and features 3 tactile Windows Phone buttons. It is nicely fusioned with unibody so you barely can feel the joint place with your finger. Phone itself is a little heavier than similar phones in its category, but not by much. When you take a phone in your hand it gives a feeling of holding something solid, well made worth it's value and not a cheep toy of plastic (sorry Samsung SII). Also if you like to show off and be the first man in the village I guaranty you a great success and surprised people faces since this phone does not leave people careless.

Now if we look more closely at cons there are few things which may push somebody to reconsider of opting for Lumia.
  1. Nokia decided for going with AMOLED PenTile display. It is a less quality and cheaper version of Super AMOLED and difference can especially be visible on small text, which is kinda sad since Mango interface have a lot of small font. This also makes difficult to read e-books and web pages with tiny text so if you are big e-book reader you may be disappointed. Here is a text comparison in Kindle: Top to bottom: Lumia, iPhone4, HTC Titan SLCD photo. In general you can get used to it. Some people even don't see the text fussiness if you don't point it out. But overall display is great, its deep black fusions seamlessly with screen edge so you can't see where really screen ends. It is also perfect outdoors in bright sun thanks to its slight curved design and anti-glare treatment. I just remember how reflecting and annoying was Hero screen.
  2. There is no front facing camera. Personally I don't care about it since I won't be walking around the streets and making video calls. For me it's more a like a gadget. All my video calls I'm doing from my laptop, but considering that Microsoft bought Skype it is just a matter of time when it will be available for WM. Currently there is no Skype app on Windows market for WM, lol. Crazy, I know.
  3. There is no notification LEDs or some fancy light bubble like on HTC Hero. To see if you have new mail or SMS you will need to turn on the phone. At first I thought this is going to be annoying, but somehow at the end I even didn't miss that feature. When phone is with me I hear when there is new mail and if I left it on table and then come back later I always turn it on to see if there is anything new because anyway you will want to look one more time at that gorgeous AMOLED screen .
  4. There is no mass storage option. At 1st I thought it will be a biggie, but then OS integrates so good with Zune and Skydrive that I completely forget about that.
  5. no expandable storage. You have 16Gb and you will need to live with it. OS takes about 4Gb so user have about 12Gb of available storage. You have also access to SkyDrive which offers additional 25Gb of space. Personally for me 16Gb is more than enough, but for those who like to run around with all they video collection might find it too small. Also you can make videos with phone on 720p which are uncompressed. One short video of 2 min takes about 150Mb.
Overall I'm very pleased with Lumia build quality, which I never doubted, it is still Nokia, come on! Nevertheless there are few serious bugs. They did the right thing to abandon Symbian and MeeGO and move over to WM7, but it seems that they did it in a very big rush.


BUGS

FIXED with latest firmware 1750.0805.8773.12220. Audio playback. It is the worst ever since my 1st walkman I bought in USSR 20 years ago. It is disastrous. There is some kind of parasite noise coming from GPRS and sound is mono. How can you release a phone to public with such a big flaw. Just before Christmas they release an urgent ROM update to fix this. Now that the noise is removed and there is a stereo sound there is no bass at all. The sound is completely flat no matter how good earphones you use. I even went to Virgin store to try out some best earphones available and even with Dr.Dre blacks (retail price 300€+) sound is just plain flat crap. HTC Hero does a lot better. I just hope it is not a hardware issue and it can be fixed in the future.

FIXED with latest firmware 1750.0805.8773.12220 MMS Bug. There is one very neat bug with MMS configuration. When you insert a sim card all network settings are automatically configured and most of the time MMS configuration fails. If something goes wrong it stays wrong and there is no way to set it manually. Only hard reset can help. So right now I have a top edge phone which can't send or receive MMS. Even my girlfriend was laughing at me. I hope Nokia or Microsoft will release a fix for this.

SOFTWARE



Nokia Lumia 800 is running on Windows Phone 7.5 aka Mango. The OS is very young so I won't be too harsh with criticisms, but there are few interesting things to point out when considering moving over to WM.
For long 2 years I was a loyal soldier of Google OS and I put all my faith in it, but it failed me. After I red this article (How about some Android graphics true facts?) I understood that Android is already many years behind its competitors. Te get back on track they need to rewrite whole Android OS from scratch and I don't see it coming for next 2 years.

Mango. Getting married with Microsoft you play with their rules in their sand box. There is no openess and no tinkering and hacking. Zune install you will, live.com account create you will. That's the rules, but with a price comes some benefits. You are getting very well build OS. The big advantage of Windows' phone operating system is the clean, clear, but far from antiseptic Metro interface, which is so good that Microsoft has taken it to both Windows 8 and Xbox 360. Microsoft hasn't messed with success here – Windows Phone 7.5 Mango has the same signature look as its predecessor, only better.

The OS is really great, social network lovers will appreciate it. Everything is flawlessly integrated into OS. It is so complete that you almost don't need 3rd party apps. Today Windows market contains about 50K apps, which compared to Android 400K or iOS 500k might seem pretty small, but it's constantly growing and Nokia arrival to the party might give a big kick to it. If you want to move over to Microsoft, but you have some apps you can't live without then it might be smart to check on windowsphone market if your app is available. Also Nokia brings up to the table their own property apps like Nokia drive, Nokia Music and Nokia Maps. Possibility to chose between 90 countries arround the world and to save your map for offline viewing is huge for those who travel often. Nokia music offers few nice features called mix radio which allows to listen your favorite artists, save for offline play or find concerts or events arround your location. Also it's worth to mention great gaming capabilities of this device and perfect integrettion with Microsoft LiveBox. I just tried Angry Birds and Need for Speed: Underground and game experience was very smooth and fluid without laags whatsoever.

As good as it might seem OS is not perfect. Apart from MMS bug I already talked there is problems with Google calendar sync. You can sync only one calendar and it does not updates.
Skydrive. You can access, create and edit documents stored on Skydrive from your Phone or PC. You can also setup some folders on your PC which are automatically synchronized on skydrive, but it is stored separately from rest of the skydrive documents, which are not accessible from your phone.That means that today you can't set automatic document sync cycle between PC - Skydrive - Phone. Stupid. Also needless to say that all Office documents have to be saved in Office 2007 format if you want to edit them later on your phone or Skydrive.

CONCLUSION
Today's choices of phones running WM7 are pretty slim. Actually you have only four decent top end handsets - Samsung Omnia 7, HTC Titan, HTC Radar and Nokia Lumia. I choosed Nokia for its well made design and because it's Nokia - No1 phone producer in the world. Backed up with Microsoft it makes two giants ensuring that you get best user experience available. By choosing Windows phone words like laag and force close will disappear from your vocabulary. Just remember that Mango is closed OS and modifications and tinkering IS possible, but a lot harder than on Android. If you like openess then it mighty be better idea to stick with Google and go maybe for Samsung Galaxy Nexus or Galaxy SII. Someone may reason why to choose Lumia 800 when there is already rumors going arorund about Lumia 900. Well, from my point of view there will be always a better phone with only 1 - 2 month interval so by the time you will chose to buy Lumia 900 there will be rumors of Lumia 1000 and etc. So if you have a chance to get Lumia 800 for good price (mine was offered for free by my career lol) then I highly recommend this phone, you won't be disappointed.

Reviews [external links]
Nokia Lumia 800 Review by engadget + video
Nokia Lumia 800 review: New beginnings by gsmarena
Nokia Lumia 800 review by TechRadar
Nokia Lumia 800 (Black) Review by xda member Warren.D

Cheers, Whitealien
REVIEW [09/01/12]: [REVIEW] Nokia Lumia 800 and Windows Phone 7.5 [update: 24.SEP.2012]
ROM [10/12/11]: [ROM][Sense 2.1] Heroine ++ WWE base 3.36.405.1
Radio: 63.18.55.06PU_6.35.15.14
Kernel:Flykernel-13 2.6.29

---------------------------
[18/12/11] NOKIA LUMIA 800
[27/11/09] HTC HERO [SOLD]
---------------------------
If you like my work then you can or click on THANKS
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to whitealien For This Useful Post: [ Click to Expand ]
 
Atomos33
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(Last edited by Atomos33; 8th January 2012 at 09:37 PM.)
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Hey, it's a really good review you wrote there!

But you are making one huge mistake it's Windows Phone 7 not Windows Mobile 6.5 (A.K.A. Photon which have been discontinued by MS).

I really loved the thing you wrote about the OS being so complete that you almost don't need 3rd party apps. That really is true and people don't realize it often as they have the bad habit of downloading specific app for a task.

About he handsets available in France you forgot a lot of them. Here is the list of the WP7 available right now:
HTC Mozart, HD7, Trophy, 7 Pro, Titan, Radar
Samsung Omnia 7, Omnia W
LG Optimus 7, Jil Sanders (It's the Optimus 7 rebranded)
Acer Allegro
ZTE Tania
Nokia Lumia 800 (Obviously)

The HTC Surround, Samsung Focus, Samsung Focus S and the Dell Venue Pro are only for the US and the Lumia 710 is not released yet.

About the sound i don't have flat music on mine so... I listen my music with a Sennheiser HD238 (~100€) and some good Sony earphone. Trust me Beats is crap the solo is really really bad...

About MMS Nokia released an app for that : here is the Zune link Zune in french the app is called Configuration Reseau. The real reason behind this is that changing MMS setting changes registry and since Mango MS have blocked that. So only First configuration or OEM app can change these settings. Samsung and HTC also offer these kind of apps don't know about the other OEM.

Anyway you didn't mention the fact that Nokia offers a cover for the Lumia which is quietly rare these days.

You also forgot that bloatware doesn't exist on WP7 as you can remove them.

Thanks for the review
 
falconeight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomos33 View Post
Hey, it's a really good review you wrote there!



I really loved the thing you wrote about the OS being so complete that you almost don't need 3rd party apps. That really is true and people don't realize it often as they have the bad habit of downloading specific app for a task.


You also forgot that bloatware doesn't exist on WP7 as you can remove them.

Thanks for the review
Great observations and the first is why this OS is the one to beat.
Nokia Lumia 920, S4, MacBook air
 
whitealien
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@Atomos33

Thanks for criticism. Windows mobile was just a typo, it's corrected now.
I see that you mention a lot more phones running WM7. I was kinda more focused on latest and top end handsets that's why I did not mention HD7 or Acer.

I know about MMS config app by Nokia. Unfortunately they retrieved it from market because of some security issue. Even so link from zune works, but there is no option to install it. Adding or editing apn manually does nothing.

Bloatware does not exist in unlocked phones. With locked to SFR or Orange you will have plenty if crap pre-installed, but fortunately in most cases it can be uninstalled.

Nokia offers cover, you mean support? Well HTC offers good support too, but only for 1st six months. Let's see how long it will be for Nokia.
REVIEW [09/01/12]: [REVIEW] Nokia Lumia 800 and Windows Phone 7.5 [update: 24.SEP.2012]
ROM [10/12/11]: [ROM][Sense 2.1] Heroine ++ WWE base 3.36.405.1
Radio: 63.18.55.06PU_6.35.15.14
Kernel:Flykernel-13 2.6.29

---------------------------
[18/12/11] NOKIA LUMIA 800
[27/11/09] HTC HERO [SOLD]
---------------------------
If you like my work then you can or click on THANKS
 
Atomos33
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(Last edited by Atomos33; 9th January 2012 at 09:19 PM.)
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No Nokia gives you a cover made in rubber with the phone to protect the phone.

About the bloatware I have an orange Lumia and the app being pre installed is normal but it can be removed. In Android you don't have the choice. So I don't consider it as bloatware. The only downside of this is that MS only leave OEM and carriers one slot for tile color and orange replaced it by their orange.

Sent from my Lumia 800 using Board Express

Samsung Galaxy S3
 
lakikaki
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Thanks for the review, it's nice to read about Windows Phone from a long-time-Android-user viewpoint without bashing it unnecessarily. I like the idea behind WP, though I think it needs more time to become a real competitor to Android and iOS.

As a fellow HTC Hero user I'll stick to my Hero for a few more months and will most likely upgrade to another Android device (Xperia S looks terrific), but I really appreciate you doing this review. Cheers.
 
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Nice review.
I actually joined this forum (xda) to ask about battery life and some more details for the Sony Xperia P smartphone.
Actually, I have never used a touchscreen phone, and all of the features are new to me. I have been using SE's k750i phone for more than 6 years.
And smartphones are a bit confusing to me.

I have got some questions about Nokia's interesting Lumia WP smartphone. In my country, a new Lumia is 270 euro, contract free but I have one offer of a month or two old Lumia for 210 euro. Completely new with no signs of use. That puts it in the class with these phones: Samsung Omnia W, Galaxy Ace 2 and Xperia Sola. Same price for all. So I am a bit confused which to buy.

Could you guy at least help me with impressions on Lumia 800 vs Omnia W? Those two phones are almost the same specs on paper, and are WP7... Is the Nokia that much better?
 
Carlo82
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Go for Lumia 800. What makes it special for me: strong and beautiful shape, Nokia special apps (Drive, Camera Extras), crisp display, accurate touch, never crashes, WiFi sharing very stabile. Disadvantages: camera quality not top.
 
piyushjeswani
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Thanks for a great review.

Did help me know a lot about WP 7.5
 
whitealien
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I'm glad it help you with choice.
Since thread got unburied I took an effort to bring some updates to the post.
REVIEW [09/01/12]: [REVIEW] Nokia Lumia 800 and Windows Phone 7.5 [update: 24.SEP.2012]
ROM [10/12/11]: [ROM][Sense 2.1] Heroine ++ WWE base 3.36.405.1
Radio: 63.18.55.06PU_6.35.15.14
Kernel:Flykernel-13 2.6.29

---------------------------
[18/12/11] NOKIA LUMIA 800
[27/11/09] HTC HERO [SOLD]
---------------------------
If you like my work then you can or click on THANKS

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mango, nokia lumia 800, review, windows phone
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