Nokia Lumia 800: Hands on and Comparison

At the Nokia Dev Con a couple of weeks ago, the emphasis was on Windows Phone. There was a lot of talk around Symbian and S40, but Windows Phone was what it was all about. And the current flagship Nokia Windows Phone is the Lumia 800. Of course, there’s also the Lumia 710, but I haven’t seen it or had a chance to play with it just yet, but that falls further down the rung.

While there is very little scope for differentiation in the Windows Phone platform (yeah, there’s hardware differentiation, and some software features as well), the Lumia 800 does stand out. A bit. I say that because of the design that it’s based on, which is the N9. Vinu had the phone to use while at Nokia World, and you can read his impressions over here. What we have here is more a comparison, in photos, of the Lumia 800 against a few other devices.

 What’s it based on?

 As mentioned above, the Lumia 800 is based on the same design as the Nokia N9, which was Nokia’s first (and last) consumer phone running Meego. The N9 had a 3.9″ display, which has been cut down to a 3.7″ display on the Lumia 800, probably to accomodate the 3 keys for the Windows Phone operating system (Back, Home and Search). The display itself is based on the same technology; Amoled Clear Black, WVGA (800×480) or FWGA on the N9 (854×480). It is Pentile, and that seems to be everyone’s favourite discussion nowadays. Pentile or standard RGB. Honestly, I can’t make out the difference unless you held two devices side-by-side, and even then it would probably be because of the greenish tinge that is prevalent on Pentile displays because of the extra green pixel. You don’t notice pixellation on the Lumia 800 because of the UI. Windows Phone is Simple, minimal, and has no curves. Besides that, the pixel density is adequate on the Lumia 800 because of the size of the display.

 How does it stack up against other Windows Phones?

Next up, here’s the Lumia 800 with the HTC Radar, which was their first device to come with Windows Phone Mango, and the Samsung Focus, which was a first gen device, but is now running Mango. Both the Radar and the Focus use a 1GHz processor (Qualcomm QSD 8250 and an Adreno 200 GPU on the Focus, QSD 8255 and Adreno 205 GPU on the Radar). The Focus has a 4″ Super Amoled Display, which also uses a Pentile Matrix, while the Radar has a 3.8″ S-LCD display. The Radar feels like a premium device in hand, while the Focus does not. However, being plasticy isn’t all bad; the extra weight on a metal device is a downfall if you drop your phone. The Lumia 800 on the other hand, is made of a Single Piece of Polycarbonate that has been milled, including the speaker grill, the cut outs for the camera and the flash, etc. It’s plastic, but it feels solid. Both the Radar and the Lumia 800 have a non-removable battery, and therefore can maintain their truly unibody design. The Lumia 800 does have a curved display, and this makes swiping across screens so much smoother. Also, I was apprehensive about typing on the smaller display on the Lumia 800, coming from the Focus, but thanks to the curved screen and the brilliant Windows Phone Keyboard, I had no problems whatsoever. The keyboard is quite brilliant; so much so that even on the Radar with it’s flat display, typing is easy. The Radar has a Front Facing Camera, which neither the Lumia 800 nor the Focus have. It isn’t all that bad right now, as the only Video Calling application that’s available on Windows Phone is Tango, but Microsoft should be completing their Skype aquisition soon, and I don’t see why Skype won’t come in an app form right now (with deeper integration later, for sure) to Windows Phone. It’s a bit of a let down, but most people do not use the Front Facing camera anyway (at least they don’t use it right now).

You have to hold the Lumia 800 to understand what I meant about the build. It’s just brilliant. 

How is it different?

 The Lumia 800 will be available in Blue, Red and Black. I mentioned the software differentiation in the first paragraph, and on the Lumia 800 and other Lumia Devices it will come in the form of Nokia Drive (Turn-by-turn navigation), Nokia Mix Radio (streaming radio mixes, with offline use), an ESPN suite (in certain markets) and a WRC application. Is that enough? Nokia Drive in itself, is enough. Nokia Maps is pretty much the best mapping software available. If you’re in a city that is. Besides just the Navigation bit, it has tie-ups with various partners, and that helps (think about finding a new restaurant or pub, it’s there. Want to find a new place to visit in a new city, it’s there. You get the picture). I haven’t had a chance to play with Mix Radio, so I cannot really comment on that. I hope it includes Nokia Music access, as Zune Music is available in a few countries (I believe it’s 7) , and Nokia Music is available in a lot more (around 30 markets).

Now onto the Hardware part. The Lumia 800 has a 8MP f 2.2 camera with Carl Zeiss Optics. Which is pretty much the same as the Nokia N9. I haven’t had a chance to play with that either, yet (Hint to Nokia, Where’s my Review unit?) but I did notice that it had a greenish tint to pictures that were taken. Thankfully, Nokia did acknowledge that and Damian Dinning, the camera wizard behind this and other cameras, including the one on the N8 did mention that there would be a software update to fix this coming out soon.

Oh, and if you haven’t seen it just yet, here’s a video of the Lumia 800’s camera in 60 seconds; starring Vinu .

Here’re a few more pictures of the Lumia 800 with the N9, the Radar, the Focus and more Lumia 800s. A big thanks to Dhruv Bhutani for the photos! Click through the images to view them.

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Raghu Kannan

Drummer, Car enthusiast and wanna be rally driver, between jobs and loving it! @raghukannan

6 thoughts on “Nokia Lumia 800: Hands on and Comparison”

  1. As now I’m a proud Lumia 800 owner. First thing i wanna say is that i was blown away by how well the phone is built and the form factor is great. And i had never used WP7 phone previously but after using it for just 2 days, I’m converted. Calling it spectacular is the least. 

  2. I agree the fone is great. I specially love the people hub. One can integrate facebook, twitter and contacts into on. It’s Awesome. 

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