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the Nokia Lumia 800 Windows 7.5 "Mango" phone - a user's review

the Nokia Lumia 800 Windows 7.5 "Mango" phone - a user's review

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While I was traveling in Europe, I was inspired by some announcements that were made in regards to the release of the first Nokia Windows Phones.
Inspired and encouraged as I was .. I tried to get my hands on one of them which shouldn't be that big of an issue since my parents only live about 30 minutes away from the border to the Netherlands, where the phone was released on November 17th.
So here we go - starting to drive - with a good old printed map, to find directions to one of the stores in Terneuzen, NL - my first stop was Belcompany one of the larger phone supply chains in the Netherlands.
Arrived at the store, I got dissappointed, since the first store sold out of them already.

No problem --- The PhoneHouse (one of the other phone shops in the Netherlands), had one on stock, and before I realized I spent about $675 on a brand new, Nokia Lumia 800.

First impressions:

The phone feels very solid, probably due to its metal frame, and it truly feels like it has very solid and quality manufacturing.
It also clearly has the Nokia brand on it, accompanied by the well know Windows Phone buttons allowing quick navigation through applications.

The side of the phone provides solid metal buttons for volume control, Lock / Power and of course the Windows Phone Camera button to quickly snap pictures.

Front View Side View (volume buttons, power button, camera button)

Phone specificifications:

General 2G Networks GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Networks HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
Size Dimensions 116.5 x 61.2 x 12.1 mm, 76.1 cc
Weight 142 g
Display Type

AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
480 x 800 pixels, 3.7 inches (~252 ppi pixel density)
- Gorilla Glass display
- Nokia ClearBlack display
- Multi-touch input method
- Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
- Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
- Touch-sensitive controls

Memory

 512 Mb RAM, 16Gb internal storage

Data

GPRS - Class 33
EDGE - Class 33
3G - HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps

 

connectivity

 Bluetooth

3.5 mm phone jack

MicroUSB 2.0

Camera Camera

 8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, dual-LED flash with geo tagging

Video

 720@30fps

Features
OS

 
Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango


CPU

 1.4 GHz Scorpion processor, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon chipset, 3D Graphics HW Accel.


Radio

 
Stereo FM radio with RDS

 - MicroSIM card support only
- SNS integration
- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
- Digital compass
- MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player
- MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
- Document viewer/editor
- Video/photo editor
- Voice memo/command/dial
- Predictive text input

Battery Stand By

 Up to 265 h (2G) / Up to 335 h (3G)

TalkTime

 Up to 13 h (2G) / Up to 9 h 30 min (3G)


 Phone call quality

The call quality on this phone, as well on the speaker phone and over bluetooth is great, which is what I would expect from a manufacturer like Nokia.

Screen Size / Display

While the screen size is smaller than some of the other windows phones, this display and screen seems much brighter, even in outside/sunny conditions.
A smaller screensize is definetely something I welcome since the phone perfectly fits in my pocket and is well protected using the standard, in-the-box, provided sleeve that seamlessly fits around the phone.
After using the phone for about a week now there isn't a single scratch on it - which - surprising to my usage (putting it in my pocket with car keys etc) - is quite exceptional by itself.

Nokia Drive - GPS application.

When traveling, I truly can use a turn-by-turn GPS system, since I tend to get lost in a shopping mall.
The nice thing about the built in Nokia Drive GPS is that you basically have a global GPS system on which you can install maps from anywhere in the world (a feature that is only available on select portable GPS systems, that end up costing you more than a Nokia Lumia 800 phone).
Immediately after my trip to Europe I was able to put this GPS system to a test, since I traveled to Hollywood with my wife for Thanksgiving, and we decided not to opt for a GPS with our rental car.
It took a while to install the 1.7Gb maps (which covers and spans the entire United States), but after the installation we were ready to go - ready to test the navigation getting us from the airport, to the airport, and discover Hollywood and surrounding areas.
When connecting the phone to the car charger (microUSB available at any retailer), it perfectly fitted onto the dashboard, acquired a GPS signal within seconds, and took nothing to set our destination to start our navigation to our destination.
The maps display in either 2D or 3D which is fully selectable. Driving around in Los Angeles, going to Universal Studios, Beverly Hills.

When putting the phone into the vertical / horizontal position the map automatically turns as well, which is what you would expect.
As i traveled a lot previously and used several GPS systems (even though I have always been a big fan of TomTom), I am truly happy with the turn-by turn navigation in the Nokia Drive application (both from a sound quality perspective, as well as the time it takes for the GPS to determine its initial position (which was seconds, rather than minutes on some of the GPS systems I had in several rental cars).

This turn by turn navigation is definetely amazing - but keep in mind that, as any other portable GPS navigation system, turn by turn GPS navigation is battery intensive (you'll need a micro USB car charger - which to that advantage will also keep your phone charged :) )



Picture Quality

As I like photography, most of the time when traveling for fun I take my Nikon D5100 with additional lenses with me, so I rarely use my phone for pictures, other than occasional snapshots (that quick picture of our little guy, or a snapshot that is too funny not to miss when i don't have the camera handy). I've always been a big fan of the Carl Zeiss lenses on point and shoot cameras.
With the Nokia Lumia 800 featuring a f/2.2 aperture Carl Zeiss lens, it makes it the brightest lens on a mobile phone, resuitng in a great 8MP picture (sample below).


Random picture taken at the Hollywood Walk of fame

Nokia Application Highlights

The phone also features some Nokia Only Windows Phone applications that give you highlights of some of the new releases in the Windows Phone MarketPlace.
While I tend to use my phone primarily for email, navigation, texting and phone calls, the expected integration of Windows Phone with Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live, Xbox and LinkedIn, make this phone into a succesful business partner for me.

Micro SIM

One of the first surprises when i tried to move over my simcard (while in the store), was that the Nokia phone won't fit the standard simcard.
The PhoneHouse where I purchased it said that they can trim down the simcard to a micro-sim, however they don't have the tool/aid to actually cut it correctly and suggested me to ask BelCompany, the store that initially ran out of stock on the Lumia 800.
While I know that that kind of service probably is unlikely to happen at certain locations, the Belcompany sales representative made no issue about it, and cut down my simcard to a Micro-Sim form factor.
Amazingly that worked!

3G/4G

The phone in its current European release supports HSDPA.
High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) is an enhanced 3G communication protocol  also branded 3.5G, 3G+ or turbo 3G, which allows networks to have higher data transfer speeds and capacity.
Current HSDPA deployments support down-link speeds of 1.8, 3.6, 7.2 and 14.0 Megabits.. Further speed increases are available with HSPA+ providing speeds of up to 42 Mbit/s downlink and 84 Mbit/s.

Proud Owner / Conclusion

While the Nokia Lumia 800 has not yet been introduced in the United States, I am now the proud owner of a phone that gives me all the Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" features, and so much more with apps such as Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, Nokia Music.
While I also have a Samsung Focus S, I consider this Nokia phone to be my primary phone because of the "cool factor", the great and solid design, and the fact that I have a turn-by-turn GPS system on the Go.This is a great phone and I can't wait to get back to the office on Monday and put it on the table during meetings (pretty sure some people will look at it wondering what phone I have --- )

With that, I can't wait to see the Nokia phones being introduced to the US market, and am truly excited with the roadmap, and technology moving forward.
While I never had a Iphone before, but owned several Windows Phones prior to Windows Phone 7, I truly believe, as a Microsoft employee, that our company is on the right roadmap with our Windows Phone platform, and this product is so user friendly, that even my wife is happy with her Windows Phone and finally gave up on a phone with integrated keyboard :).

 

A special thanks to The PhoneHouse in Terneuzen, NL for keeping a phone aside while I was driving up there, and thank you to Belcompany for the great assistance in trimming down my simcard.

 

Comments
  • I think the Nokia 900 is coming as well and with front camera I hope.

    But indeed really nice phone.

  • Fix to "Nokia Lumia 3g/4g not working"

    Watch solution at following youtube video:

    http://youtu.be/n3X2OPh0Oko

  • Fix to "Nokia Lumia 3g/4g not working"

    Watch solution at following youtube video:

    http://youtu.be/n3X2OPh0Oko

  • Stop Nokia Lumia Music Player

    Watch solution at forllowing youtube video:

    http://youtu.be/uTyhAdTJMpI

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