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KP says: Nokia Lumia 800   Rating: Rating: 5/6   
Updated: 2011-12-10 01:49:42    Type:  tech comment     English  View Comment Details   
Nokia Lumia 800 (tech comment)
I've had this wonderful new gadget/phone for about 10 days now and I'm truly in love with it. It has replaced my old N900 which has served me well, but simply is too slow and clumsy nowadays (I still love the N900 though.)

I've been wanting to switch to Windows Phone 7 for about a year now. Let's face it, I'm a huge Microsoft fan and I work as a .NET developer (now I can write my own WP apps.) One thing has kept me back though - the shitty hardware. My dreams came true when Nokia announced that they would join the WP family. I've only had Nokia phones for many many years now, and Nokia builds great hardware. In the meantime WP 7 had become WP 7.5 (aka Mango) and has matured in many ways. On top of that Nokia means you'll get the awesome Nokia Maps application as well.

I simply love the physical design of the Lumia 800 which is almost the same design as the N9 which is the successor to N900. But with Nokia more or less abandoning Meego (N9) and since I really wanted to go the Windows Phone way, the choice was easy for me. Not that easy though, since the Lumia 800 launch in Denmark is more than a month later than in 6 other European countries. Well, nothing the internet and a webshop couldn't fix.

Surely you'll need to have a certain love for Windows and Microsoft, because you will need to get deeply infiltrated in Microsoft's Live services to discover the full potential and you must use the Microsoft Zune program to sync and update your phone. If that sounds okay, then I'm quite sure you won't be disappointed.

My rating is based on my belief that Nokia will fix the battery life and the camera quality issues through updates. No phone has ever been perfect at launch time, but I honestly think this one comes close enough. It's not as revolutionary as N95 was when it first came out, but less will do and I certainly love my Nokia Lumia 800. Actually I can't stop playing with it for hours every day. Ain't that how a quality gadget should be?!

  • The Windows Phone Operating System is the most intuitive and user friendly OS I have ever tried on a phone. Everything makes sense and it only takes between 15-30 minutes to master.

  • Nokia brings the Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive applications. Both are really great GPS navigation apps and I personally prefer the Nokia Maps app anytime compared to anything else. It is awesome when you need to find someplace unknown on foot. It also comes with Nokia Music which is currently unsuppported in Denmark, but hopefully that'll change soon.

  • The Web browser IE 9 is quite fast and excellent at rendering websites. IE9 lacks Flash support, but who really needs it on a phone anyway?

  • The Onscreen keyboard supports multiple languages (e.g. DK and UK) and works well. It can be used in both horizontal and vertical mode.

  • The phone size is perfect for me. If it doesn't fit in the front pocket of your jeans then it is useless. This one fits. The screen size is 3.7 ".

  • The physical design looks and feels great. The physical camera button and the 2 volume buttons (can be operated without un-locking) are nice. It comes with a protection cover(condom) that should protect the phone somewhat and only makes it a tiny bit bigger.

  • The speed is lightning fast. You will never experience any lags whatsoever.

  • The camera is fast and it is easy and fast to view your images and share them in various ways.

  • The people hub in Windows phone is fucking awesome. It connects all your communication from Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, Windows Live in just one place. You'll rarely use a dedicated app. It rules!

  • The calendar is also a hub connecting all your calendars, be it Windows Live or your work Exchange calendar or Google.

  • The email and Exchange integrations are excellent. It supports all ordinary mail services like Exchange, pop3, Hotmail, Gmail etc.

  • Obviously a WP comes with a full version of Windows Office. And you get a Skydrive with access to 25 GB of free online storage.

  • Windows Zune is used for synchronization and it's not as bad as it sounds (iTunes), because you can easily control everything by yourself. You decide which folders on your PC to keep in sync and it all happens automatically. It can be done by USB cable or wirelessly. Zune is also the name of the built-in music/video player on the phone. It works nicely and does everything you expect it to do.

  • Xbox Live integration supports the Xbox console and Xbox Live games for PC. Many Windows Phone games support it too, e.g. "Angry Birds", so there's a good chance you'll like it, no matter what kind of gamer you are.

  • The Marketplace application store is great already. Lots of high quality games and tools. Some are for free while some cost money. Apps include Spotify (need a Premium account), Dropbox integration, Adobe, Facebook, Twitter, Weather, Credit cards/passwords safe, YouTube, Travel plan, Soccer livescores, Squeezebox control, Network radio, TV guide.

  • If you have Squeezebox (Logitech Media Server) running for your music collection, you will LOVE the Squeezebox control! It is excellent and almost makes you throw away your Duet controllers.

  • Battery life is an issue. The physical design does not allow an ordinary user to replace the battery. For a normal work day it will last between 20-22 hours for me, including a few calls, some internet/mail usage and playing some music. If you use it more intensively for games/video/camera/gps expect to run for a power plug somewhat sooner. Nokia has stated that they will improve battery life soon with some firmware updates and I sure hope they will. 22 hours is not enough when you cannot replace the battery with a fresh one from you pocket.

  • The camera is great in daylight, but it kinda sucks in low light conditions. I expect Nokia to improve it with firmware updates and they have stated that they will. It may be faster, but the quality is not as good as the old N95. However, an 8MP Carl Zeiss Tessar lens should be able to perform better and I'm sure it will, once Nokia get those updates done.

  • We still need some Danish banking apps. They will most likely surface when WP takes off and I'm sure WP will take off with this new Lumia 800 + the forthcoming Nokia WP phones in 2012.

  • The Facebook hub/app doesn't support groups which kinda sucks. Of course you can just use the web browser. But still, it's a thing to improve.

  • The phone really need a better battery indicator than the small graphic indicator on top of the display. A battery tile would be fine, showing percentage and hours left. It is too stupid that you have to dive into "Settings/Battery Saver" to see this information.

  • Not being able to replace the battery is bad. Apple started this bullshit with the iPhone and I really dislike it. I often go to music festivals, sometimes being trapped outside civilization for a week. Now I'll need to bring some big ass battery charger, when I would prefer to bring 4 or 5 small replacement phone batteries instead.

  • To be honest, I don't like onscreen keyboards. I'm certainly not helpless with this one and it functions fine. It's just that I prefer physical keyboards. If the future brings a top-end Nokia WP phone with a physical keyboard then I'll certainly buy it.

Reply #:    Name : KP     Country : Denmark     Created : 2012-04-27 23:25:47   
Just to make it clear: The battery problem was fixed long ago thru a firmware update and the camera is also doing much better. It's not the best phone camera ever, but I've shot some very good shots using it under difficult conditions, so I'm quite happy with it! It's now become a very good phone. It really rocks! Nokia fixes stuff.   
Reply #:    Name : KP     Country : Denmark     Created : 2012-03-09 18:34:32   
Without any official note from anywhere it seems that MS has kicked FB in the butt or maybe it all happened by magic, but no matter how or what - the issue now seems to have been fixed and solved. My Lumia 800 now displays all FB posts in the People Hub regardless of people's 3rd party apps settings. What a glorious thing this truly is! :D Thank you FB and MS or whatever magic frog out there fixed this problem.

Apparently the battery issue is the target (again) of the upcoming firmware update. So please hurry up and push it out. I'll shut my big mouth the day my Lumia 800 lasts for 1,5 days. I'll even look happy. :) 
Reply #:    Name : KP     Country : Denmark     Created : 2012-02-25 14:47:58   
The 3rd party app problem (see link below) and the battery is the main problems with this phone.

The battery problem is only a problem because you cannot have a spare battery to swap with (you need screwdrivers and shit to do so.) It hardly lasts 15 hours for me if I actually use the phone, 22 hours if it mostly stays in my pocket. It's just not good enough for a phone where you can't swap the battery.

The 3rd party app problem (only some of your friends Facebook updates are displayed in the People Hub) is a major deal breaker. I find it ridiculous that MS and FB don't solve this problem. The People Hub is a WP selling point, and for now it is broken.

I don't think I would be any happier with a different phone. I just don't understand why the Nokia Lumia 800 couldn't be perfect. Because it is not. 
Reply #:    Name : KP     Country : Denmark     Created : 2011-12-23 17:37:00   
Zune: it loads fast and works fine as the primary music player on your PC. It does however have some room for improvement.

It does not handle music compilations properly. If you add a directory of MP3 files all tagged with the same album name, but having different artists names it doesn't see it as a wholes but only as individual songs and adds x numbers of the same album to the album list. Not very cool at all. :( (No I don't want to build a playlist, having files with the same album name in the same folder should be enough info for Zune.) Please fix!

It would be a much needed improvement of Zune on the phone to add an equalizer. The sound quality of my new Lumia 800 is great, but it would be much nicer to be able to fine tune the sound to your specific headphones using a WP equalizer. Please Add! 
Concert reviews:
The Raveonettes - Vega, Copenhagen - Live - 2011-12-10
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