Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone
Nokia Lumia 800 review: Nokia's first Windows Phone is also the first smartphone to effectively compete with iPhone and Android rivals
- Fantastic design and build quality
- Slick and easy to use software
- Nokia Drive app
- No memory card slot
- Below average battery life
- Limited apps compared to rivals
The Nokia Lumia 800 may not be a better phone than some of its competitors, but it's the first Nokia phone that can at least offer a very good alternative. The Lumia 800 is easily the best Windows Phone on the market, combining a fantastic design with an excellent screen and very slick software.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
Embattled Nokia has been doing it tough in recent years, but the Finnish giant hopes the Lumia 800 will be the device that turns its fortunes around. It's the first Nokia smartphone to run the Windows Phone operating system, and we also think it's the first smartphone that effectively competes with iPhone and Android rivals. The Nokia Lumia 800 may not be a better phone than some of its competitors, but it's certainly a viable option for any potential smartphone buyer.
Note: The Nokia Lumia 800 reviewed here is an overseas model available to purchase through Australian online store MobiCity. Nokia will officially launch the Lumia 800 in March, and we'll update this review with any necessary local additions when it hits the market.
Nokia Lumia 800: Design and display
Take the Nokia N9, swap MeeGo for Windows Phone 7.5 and you get the Lumia 800. Nokia will tell you it's not exactly that simple, but the Lumia 800 looks almost identical to the N9. Normally we would be firmly against such blatant replicating, but the N9 was one of the best looking smartphones we've ever reviewed, so the Lumia 800 at least gets off to a positive start.
From the moment you pick it up the Lumia 800 feels like a superbly constructed piece of hardware. It's light to hold, but not light enough that it feels flimsy or cheap. The edges of the phone are rounded, so it sits in your hand perfectly. After using it for only a short period of time, the whole user experience — from holding the phone in your hand, to interacting with it by touching the screen — simply feels natural. If you're concerned about the trend of smartphones getting larger, we feel Nokia has struck a near perfect balance between a large screen and a comfortable design.
Like the N9, the Lumia 800 uses a solid polymer body that Nokia says is manufactured from the same material often found in ice hockey helmets. The Lumia 800's polycarbonate casing is coloured all the way through in the manufacturing process so scratches, dents or marks from everyday use will not show up. The Nokia Lumia 800 will be available in black, white, cyan (blue) and magenta (pink) colours and these will vary depending on carrier.
There are a couple of minor differences in design between the N9 and the Lumia 800. There's no front facing camera on the latter and the screen is slightly smaller — 3.7in compared to 3.9in. This isn't a huge deal breaker as the extra space was necessary to include the touch-sensitive Windows keys below the screen — back, home and search. The Lumia 800 also has a dedicated camera button on the right hand side which the N9 didn't include: it's a very nice inclusion and makes using the camera quicker and easier. Perhaps the only negative about the Lumia 800's design is the flap that covers the micro-USB port on top. It's awkward to open as you need to dig your fingertip into the left side of the cover to flip it up.
The Nokia Lumia 800's screen is responsive, bright and clear. It also displays outstandingly rich blacks, has superb viewing angles and performs reasonably well in direct sunlight. However, it lacks the higher, HD resolution of new phones like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. This means the 480x800 panel doesn't render text as well as some of its competitors. This is most evident when it comes to browsing the Web: text often appears jagged unless you zoom in quite close.
Next page: Software, performance, camera and battery life
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
- 2 Sony Xperia XZ review: turbo-charged last-gen phone
- 3 Sony X9300D and X8500D UHD 4K TV review
- 4 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 5 Moto X Force review: Leading features from a mid-range phone
Latest News Articles
- Allo 2.0 update brings app shortcuts, GIF keyboard support, and several new features
- Pixel demand is higher than expected, with some pre-orders being pushed back to November
- Beleaguered Samsung now fending off reports of Galaxy S7 Edge phones catching fire
- New Samsung loyalty program hints that the Note line may not be dead after all
- Google's Pixel XL is much easier to repair than the Nexus 6P
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- Japan Robot, gadget and car expo slideshow
- Panasonic DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review: Best all-round TV ever?
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- CCSnr Business AnalystVIC
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Manufacturing ConsultantQLD
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- CCSolutions Architect (Data Warehouse/Application Integration) - Contract - SydneyNSW
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant Advanced Warehouse ManagementACT
- FTSoftware Developers - .Net 4.6NSW
- FTBusiness Analyst - HKMAAsia
- FTInsights AnalystNSW
- FTEmbedded Software EngineerSA
- FTTechnical Services EngineerNSW
- CCPeopleSoft DeveloperVIC
- TPICT Security SpecialistQLD
- FTBI Developer-Micro-strategyNSW
- CCLead Technical Specialist VMwareVIC
- CCIteration Manager - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- CCSecurity Data ScientistVIC
- CCChange Manager - Telco projectsNSW
- FTData ScientistSA
- CCContract Systems Analyst (HACMP/Oracle) 161103/SA/335Asia
- FTWeb DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Telco - Melbourne CBDVIC
- FTMigration Release ManagerACT
- CCMicrosoft AX Support AnalystsQLD
- CCWintel Technical LeadVIC
- CCInterface AnalystSA