With so many players around and innovation coming up almost everyday, battle for survival is getting tougher and tougher in Mobile market, more so for companies like Nokia. Nokia, which was once the leader in Mobile Market share, seems to have lost it’s edge. Windows Phone seems to be the most promising chance to make a mark in mainstream smartphone world, for both Microsoft and Nokia. While Microsoft has been a lot successful with their desktop products, their attempts to make a mark in the Smartphones world has been more or less futile.
Till now, all the major manufacturers including HTC, Samsung, LG have failed to make an impressive Windows Phone device. This is probably because they’re too busy with their honeymoon with Android.
Nokia was perfect for Microsoft to partner with – Enough cash, user base, innovative engineers and a dying market with Symbian. So was Microsoft for Nokia, they desperately needed a manufacturer who would pay more attention to them.
Nokia has started its journey with its Lumia series among which Lumia 800 is their flagship phone, also known as ‘Sea Ray’. Nokia was generous enough to send me one unit for few weeks to play with. Is it impressive enough to lure users into the Windows Phone world? Let’s find out.
Unboxing – First Impressions
Build and Styling
Windows Phone 7.5 – Killer features and Drawbacks
Unboxing – First Impressions
DULL BOX, BEAUTIFUL PHONE, SOLID EARPIECE,
The start was pretty unimpressive. The box is not at all attractive, it’s quite dull. It should have been more bright and glossy instead, but the look of the phone sitting quietly inside compensates it.
Earphones was the first thing I searched for and they’re of very high quality as compared to what other phones offer. It fits quite well in the ears and sound quality is very clear. It’s better than what Samsung had given me with my Galaxy S II which had to be replaced twice in the first 6 months of purchase.
Nokia also packs in a very thin phone skin made of rubber. Other items contained inside are manuals, USB cable and a USB charger. The cable can be used both for connecting the phone with a desktop and for charging.
Nokia should have packed in a CD as well with the essential software like Zune as it’s a pretty big file to download.
|Display||3.7” AMOLED, 480 x 800 pixels|
|CPU||Single-core 1.4GHz Scorpion Processor and Adreno 205 GPU|
|Storage||16GB (non-extendable), 512MB Ram|
|Connectivity||GPRS, EDGE (Both class 33)|
3G (HSDPA, upto14.4 Mbps)
WiFi, USB 2.0 and Bluetooth 2.1
|Camera||8 MP rear. Video Recording: [email protected]|
|Battery||1450mAH, Standby: 265 h (2G) & upto 335 h (3G) Talktime: Up to 13 h (2G) & upto 9 h 30 min (3G)|
Build and Styling
FEELS GREAT IN HANDS
For any phone, the hardware can make a huge difference to users experience and Nokia knows this very well. The feel of holding Lumia 800 in hands is maybe the best I’ve ever had, even better than my Samsung Galaxy S II. Its exterior is made up of monobody polycarbonate plastic or simply polymer, as Nokia refers to the material.
The dull look of its exterior actually gives a better look to the phone, even better than aluminum or other material as in other Nokia handsets. The ‘polymer’ back makes the whole phone scratch resistant along with the screen equipped with scratch-proof gorilla glass.
It has a uni-body construction meaning there is not a single open-able cover in the device and the battery is also locked inside, you cannot remove it out, but nobody will care for that. In over 2 weeks, I never felt the need for removing it. It further makes the device look more beautiful.
On the top, there are three ports among which the earphones plug is the only visible one. The micro-USB and micro-SIM ports are hidden by separate doors which have a nice way to open. There is a small raised region over the micro-USB door and it can be opened by swiping towards it.
The positioning of the volume, power and camera buttons have been done quite cleverly. They’re on the right, making it easier to hold the phone in left hand. Further, there are no buttons on the opposite (left) side so it avoids any confusion between the power and volume buttons as I used to experience when I had newly got my Galaxy S2. People who’ve previously owned a phone with a camera button will find it a nice addition as most of the smartphones these days choose not to include one.
The speaker and microphone are positioned at the bottom, hidden by a grille. This position is really good as compared to my Galaxy S II’s speaker position on the back side which gets muted while placed on a flat surface. More on the quality of speaker later.
3.7″ Super AMOLED, 480×800 pixels, Gorilla Glass.
IT IS GORGEOUS
If there’s anything that makes a phone stand-out from the crowd in the very first impression then it is the display and Lumia 800 excels in this department. The AMOLED display is gorgeous and the bold colors of Windows Phone 7 help it look even better. The screen’s resolution is 480×800 pixels and text appear very crisp.
There’s a strange yellowish tint on white colors in the phone. Maybe Nokia has tweaked it to save some battery. Reason? An AMOLED screen is very inefficient and eats a lot of battery when white color is being displayed.
Lumia 800’s display could be compared to Samsung Galaxy S’s SAMOLED display which is due to the ClearView technology that produces more vibrant colors, but this move won’t help Nokia the way it helped Samsung sell millions of Galaxy S as the display technology is now two years+ old and there are phones with better displays now like Samsung Galaxy S II, Galaxy Nexus etc. Maybe Nokia could have put a little more effort to come up with better display that could’ve stunned people.
Nevertheless, the display is still very sharp, very beautiful and better than that in most of the phones out there.
After Samsung and Google chose to include contour displays in their Nexus line of smartphones, Nokia has done the same thing but in the opposite manner of bending the display outwards. This makes me sometime feel as if it has improved the scrolling experience on the phone.
In Direct Sunlight?
The display is very clear and bright under sunlight too. There are very less displays that look this good under direct sunlight.
Nokia has always been known for paying high attention to camera in their phones. Its partnership with Carl Zeiss has given its phones much recognition for their camera quality, with Pureview 808 being the latest packing in a 41MP camera. With Lumia 800 too, Nokia has done a great job with its camera.
THE CAMERA PRODUCES GREAT PHOTOS IN DAYTIME BUT FAILS DURING LOW LIGHT CONDITIONS
Talking about specifications, The 8 MP camera can take still photos with resolutions upto 3264×2448 (4:3, portrait) or 3552×1998 (16:9, widescreen) and can capture videos in 720p at 30fps. The phone sports dual-LED flash. Photos can be taken either by using the camera shutter button or tapping on the display.
The phone also has a camera shutter button on the right which operates in two steps, first for focusing and second for capturing photos. While the phone is locked, long-pressing the button also launches the camera making it ready to shoot photos without unlocking. This impressed me.
While producing great photos in proper lighting conditions, the camera fails to take great photos in low light. First, the photos appear to be washed out and secondly, a weird green tint is sometimes applied on the photo, particularly in areas around a light source.
The camera however, isn’t as great as that in my Galaxy S II. Galaxy S II produced better photos with more vibrant colors. Though, the difference isn’t as big to disappoint budding photographers.
No Front Camera !
I don’t get why Nokia decided to go with Lumia 800 without a front camera which has become a standard for any 3G compatible smartphone. This ends all the possibilities of using Skype on Lumia 800 or video calling any friend over the network.
Thankfully, Nokia’s next successor of the Lumia range, Lumia 900 will feature a 1.3MP front-camera. So for people for whom absence of a front-cam is a huge bummer, you should better wait for an extra month when it releases in the US and other countries.
When Neil Armstrong took the first steps on the moon along with his crew of Apollo 11, he had used a lens from Carl Zeiss to take the first pictures from the Sea of Tranquility. That was about 43 years back. Since then, Carl Zeiss has revolutionized the way we use our cameras.
See the difference in the above two shots? These two were taken inside a building with very less amount of light. Both were taken at the same time. The photo taken from Lumia 800 seems to be very blurry although it has motion stabilizer. The colors are also washed out completely.
I’ll update this review with few more photos taken in night mode as just one photo doesn’t justify a camera’s performance.
- No USB storage mode. Media files like photos, Music and videos can only be transferred using Zune.
- Bluetooth cannot be used for file sharing. It can only connect to hands-free devices.
- Tethering (internet sharing on another device like PC, phone etc.) is also not supported yet.
NO BLUETOOTH SHARING, NO USB-STORAGE MODE, NO EXTENDABLE MEMORY SLOT
Connectivity is where Lumia 800’s weakest points lie. Listening to music was the first thing I wanted to start with the phone after unboxing it as the earphones appeared to be of very high quality. But there is no slot for micro SD card. You can’t just plug-in your SD card from your old phone into Lumia and start using your files.
No problem, I said to myself and moved on to transfer some music from my Galaxy S II through Bluetooth but hey, the phone refused to pair with my Galaxy. I cannot transfer files using Bluetooth, the purpose for which it is mostly used. Maybe this has something to do with DRM issues i.e., spreading pirated songs over Bluetooth.
Okay, third attempt – let’s transfer some music from my PC. But damn, that requires Zune and there is no USB mass-storage support. I had to finally download Zune. Nokia should have at-least provided a CD with the essential software.
It only has USB 2.0 connectivity. I wish phone manufacturers now start using USB 3.0 instead of USB 2.0. USB 2.0 does not supports simultaneous writing and reading of data as USB 3.0 does and the transfer rates are 4x slower. This makes a big difference when you try to sync a large video with your phone using Zune.