My Nokia Lumia 800

It’s now been almost two weeks since I got my new Windows Phone – a Nokia Lumia 800. How has it been so far?

I think I’m still very much in the Honeymoon period. The hardware (Nokia) and the software (Microsoft) of the device continue to delight.

The design of the Nokia Lumia 800 looks good and feels right to me; it whispers I’m a quality piece of consumer electronics and when I heft it in my hand it feels solid and dependable. Yes, I know that these are very subjective things, but, to me, it seems that the Nokia designers have done a good job with this particular product.

And, heavens, I think that the Microsoft software designers have done a good job with Windows Phone 7.5. I know that I spend a lot of my time pointing out flaws in Microsoft software (Windows Live Photo Gallery, and Windows Home Server 2011, I’m looking at you), but the Windows Phone operating system is pretty damn good, particularly for what is essentially a brand-new operating system, when compared with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android – both dating from 2007. The user interface (Metro) feels fast and fluid, even on what is fairly basic hardware. Android lovers seem to turn up their noses at the hardware in typical Windows Phones, but the fact of the matter is that Microsoft’s OS seems to be doing a better, and more efficient, job at exploiting the hardware. Then there are features such as the live Tiles on the Start screen, and these seem to me to be a clear step forward over Apple’s iOS and Android’s static icons.

Of course, all is not perfect. The performance of the camera in the Nokia, despite the 8 megapixels and the Carl Zeiss lens, strikes me as being lacklustre. Nokia have acknowledged the issue, and say that a software upgrade will be forthcoming this month. The same goes for a battery life issue – some owners are struggling to get through a full day on one charge. Nokia say that there will be a software update this month to address the issue.

But, on the whole, I remain very satisfied that I made the switch from a Nokia dumbphone to a Nokia smartphone running Windows Phone.

I’ve been struck, when reading blogs and newspaper articles by others on their experience with the Nokia Lumia 800, by the fact that not everyone is as positive as I am. It seems to me that some of the negativity comes from the fact that this is not a Nokia Symbian or Apple or Android phone. If you’ve been running your life and social interactions through your smartphone, then the change from the Symbian environment (or an iOS or Android environment) to Windows Phone is more than just a culture shock to some people. It’s apostasy, and deserves death – preferably for Stephen Elop, for singlehandedly destroying Nokia. I’ve been dipping in to the discussions on the Nokia forums, and some of the vitriol from Symbian users is quite staggering, but, given that we are all human (I think), not surprising.

Perhaps I’m fortunate in that, having come from a dumbphone, I have no previous smartphone religion to deal with. All I know is that I like what I see, and thus far, it seems to be an environment that I can comfortably live with.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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5 Responses to My Nokia Lumia 800

  1. Al Feersum says:

    Like you Geoff, this is my first smart phone. The previous incumbent was an antique E65, which replaced a washed 6310. I’m agree with all the points you’ve raised, though I do have issues with the media player (lack of gapless playback, poor audio quality), and as mentioned before, the lack of Flash is really annoying (though not enough to trigger my inner Vince Fox). Battery Dave mode is good, but the downside is that you get no pushed content – a bigger if you use something like WhatsApp. IE Mobile seems to have a few (intentional?) holes in it too (try downloading Opera Mini, for e.g.), though I am still very pleased with the Lumia, and would certainly recommend it to others. Any minor niggles could easily be fixed in software, so it’s just a case of MS and Nokia pulling their collective finger out and acting on the requests of the users.

  2. Al Feersum says:

    Oh yeah – the Bing spell check isn’t perfect, replacing what you’ve typed with what it thinks you should have typed: Dave should read Save in the above reply.

  3. Technogran says:

    I love mine Geoff and you have beaten me to it, as I intended to write a review (of sorts) of how I am using the Nokia. I love it Geoff, and unlike you, its a replacement for an iPhone. I am finding that I am using this much more than I ever used the iPhone. Its the UI I think, its just so easy to use. I might still do one, it depends on how I feel to be honest. It needs some really good marketing now, something that unfortunately MS tend to fall down on, and incentives to all sale staff in the phone shops so that they don’t continue to just push the iPhone and the Android phones.

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Thanks, TG. Interesting to hear that you’ve moved over from using an iPhone – so there are some people who can do that!

      As you say, Marketing (or the lack of it) is the problem. Since Microsoft does not control the phone in the same way as Apple, but relies on the phone manufacturers to help with the marketing, I think that they are at a disadvantage. Only Nokia has really done a WP marketing push, because they need Windows Phone to be a success. The other manufacturers have a couple of strings to their bow, Android and WP, so their marketing efforts send mixed messages. And until Nokia (and the carriers) launch in the US, we’ll continue to get negative noises out from the US media and blogsphere.

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