Nokia Lumia 800 Hardware Review

, posted: 15-Mar-2012 10:32

My first smartphone purchase was the Nokia N95 when it had just come out in New Zealand. I still have it with me actually sitting in my drawer in case if any of the family member’s phone packs up on them and they need a phone in the mean while.

It took great photos and the phone had excellent build quality. I used it for good 2 years before I purchased my first Windows Mobile (not to be confused with the current Windows Phone platform) in 2009, the HTC Touch Pro 2. I replaced the software/ROM on it nearly every day from xda-developers website to gain extra battery life, features that were not available out of the box on the phone, speed and fluidity of the OS. I was very ignorant back then of the iPhone. I had never used it and would tell people off from buying it because it was missing this and that features until I used one for the first time which was the iPhone 3GS. It was speedy, it was fluid, there was almost zero lag and it also had a great hardware design like every other apple product that’s out there.

Back then I thought about my next smartphone and had made up my mind on buying the iPhone 3GS or whatever the next iPhone would be if Microsoft could not come up with their next OS that paid attention to  the design, speed, fluidity and a good applications store. Basically an OS that was easy to use because Windows Mobile was not.

The wait paid off and Windows Phone was announced in early 2010 with a redesigned user interface that looks nothing like the competition, with the first handsets were released in late 2010.

I did not like the design and hardware of the HTC Trophy that was officially released in New Zealand so I imported a Samsung focus from USA via Amazon at launch. I had since then been using Windows Phone as my primary Smartphone and have no regrets not buying an iPhone.

When Windows Phone 7.5 (codename Mango) was released in late 2011, I upgraded my Samsung Focus to the HTC Titan which is a second generation Windows Phone device. It has a 4.7” screen which I got use to very quickly.

I received an invite from Geekzone asking me if I would like to take part in the Nokia Lumia 800 trial to which I said yes as I had read reviews about the device, about its excellent build quality, camera, screen and the apps like Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps that come bundled with the device. What made the offer sweet for me was that it came from Telecom NZ. I have been using their network since I got my first Windows Phone and really like their data speeds since web connected apps like Facebook and Twitter load content very quickly.

For me this is the best Windows Phone device out in the market after owning a couple of Windows Phone devices myself and playing extensively with few other Windows Phone handsets that my family, friend and work mates had purchased. It feels great in the hand. It’s made out of Polycarbonate which is the same stuff used to make Ice Hockey helmets. The entire body on the Nokia Lumia 800 is made from one bit of polycarbonate and the colour (Cyan) is dyed all the way through it. Even if you somehow manage to get a scratch or dent on this body, the colour Cyan will still be there on the scratch or dent. 







The only thing that comes apart from the Nokia Lumia 800 is the USB latch and the micro-SIM card slot. The 3.7” Clear Black Display AMOLED screen is amazing. The Clear Black Display technology from Nokia helps beat the sunshine reflection on the screen when you are outside and the AMOLED screen displays deep black levels where black pixels do not light up on the display thus saving battery life.

The screen is slightly curved which helps it viewing it from different angles and gives the device a much more premium feeling when you are swiping your hand over the screen. The screen is vibrant with superb contrast and colours don’t look washed out as they do on my HTC Titan’s screen.



The camera on the Nokia Lumia 800 has Carl Zeiss optics with an 8 MP F2.2 aperture, dual LED flash and 720P @ 30FPS video recoding capabilities. The phone takes excellent photos even in low light conditions and is one of the best camera phones I have used. You can even take photos while the phone is locked by pressing down on the camera button for few seconds. I will go into much further detail about camera shortcuts and features in a later blog post talking about the Pictures Hub.



 





The battery life on the Lumia 800 is great. My first couple of days with the Lumia 800 were not so great when it came to battery life. I lost 70% charge while I was sleeping at night and had only received a couple of emails with no apps running or using the background tasks feature of the Windows Phone. I was worried that that the battery on this device I have received is faulty. I did a hard reset on the phone which takes the phone back to its factory settings and did couple of battery drains and then full charge and this solved the issue for me.

With my personal Hotmail and work Outlook accounts syncing as mail arrives and with Facebook and Twitter syncing in the background 24 x 7 as well I get just over a day out of the Lumia 800, which is the norm with almost all super smartphones that I have used.

The speakers are well placed right at the bottom of the device and drop great sound. The Bass is excellent and there is no crackling or cheap sound coming out of them. I use the device everyday connected to my car stereo via Bluetooth and the audio and call quality is excellent.



This brings to an end of my hardware review of this superb device. I have owned two Windows Phone devices before the Nokia Lumia 800 and I have played with four other Windows Phone devices extensively. I have also played with the iPhone 4/4S. I always envied its hardware design because the competition never even came close. Not anymore.  The Lumia 800 feels and looks better than the iPhone 4/4S to me. Nokia has put a lot of effort in designing this phone. The hardware is stellar. I agree with Nokia when they say that ‘This is the first real Windows Phone’.In my next series of blog posts, I will talk about the Windows Phone operating system itself and what it has to offer in partnership with the Nokia hardware.

About the author:

Hi. My name is Karan (billgates). I do not work for Microsoft and nor am I paid by Microsoft. I like what they do. I work as a field engineer in Auckland and hop between Auckland and Hamilton every weekend. I love technology and like to keep myself updated with it every day reading various blogs and sites like Geekzone. This will be the first time I will be writing a blog series myself so really looking forward to this experience. It feels good to have been given the opportunity by both Geekzone and Telecom to review a product that I had been waiting to lay my hands on personally. I know the Windows Phone OS very well so will offer great insights into it including any annoyances that I might find in both the hardware and the software. If you have any questions regarding the device, software or the network performance, feel free to PM me or ask away in the blog series.



Other related posts:
Kids and the Nokia Lumia 800
Nokia Lumia 800 Battery Issue
Nokia Lumia 800 as a Remote Office






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Telecom Tech is a different type of blog. We're sponsored by Telecom New Zealand, but most of the posts here are from every day users like you.

We choose tech savvy Geekzone users to "test drive" the new handsets from Telecom New Zealand.

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