The Lumia 800 is a really attractive device. It’s very obvious from the moment you pick up the device that Nokia has gone the extra mile to make sure the experience and feel of the device is top notch. The overall size of the device makes it very easy to hold in your hand. The Lumia features a ClearBlack AMOLED 3.7” screen, 1540 mAh battery, 16GB storage, 1.4 Ghz Snapdragon processor, 8 mega pixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and dual LED flash, and of course, support for the Telus 4G network with 14.4 Mbps download and 5.76 Mbps upload.
The screen is oddly different than most devices you may have used. It actually bubbles out from the body. Where the galaxy nexus curves the other way, into the phone. Just like the galaxy nexus, I don’t think curved screens add any extra value. With the Lumia, the curve is gentle and many people might not even notice it. The screen on the Lumia is very smooth to the touch and responsive. While we’re talking about the screen and the build of this device, it’s worth noting how well these two fit together. I mentioned that the screen curves out of the device, but you can’t even feel the edge between the screen and the body. The two fit together so nicely that it’s just one big smooth surface to the touch.
The body of the 800 is a solid piece of plastic with no removable battery, no MicroSD slot, no backpanel to remove, no nothing. The only openings on the device are along the top of the device. At the top left is the charge door, held shut by a thin magnet on the inside of the door. In order to open the door, you have to push down on the little bump at the end of the door and the other end will pop up. At first I felt this would be a weak door that’s just begging to be broken off. But after using the device for a while, I found myself repeatedly playing with this door, popping it open and then letting it snap shut again. I have to admit that it held up much better than expected. It never gave me a problem and of course, never broke off. Under this magnetic door is a MicroUSB port for charging and syncing the device. Next to it, is the MicroSIM slot. In order to open this door, you first need to open the charge door on the left and then slide the MicroSIM door on the side. This will pop the SIM tray allowing you to easily remove it. Nokia did a pretty slick job on this SIM tray. It may look a little like the one on the iPhone, but it’s significantly improved. The SIM tray on the Lumia 800 has two little clips to hold the sim in place. Unlike the iPhone, the MicroSIM card will remain safely in the tray after removal. For anyone that switches between work and personal phones, or whatever the case may be, you won’t have to worry about losing the SIM after removing the tray.
The last thing you’ll find along the top if the device is the headset jack. This 3.5mm plug is located after the SIM door at the far end of the device.
The 800 has all of its buttons down the right side of the phone. This is a little different approach from other Windows phone devices that have spread the buttons around the phone. From top to bottom on the right side you will find the volume up, volume down buttons. Followed closely by the power button. Then way down towards the bottom you will find the dedicated camera button. All of the buttons have a good feel to them and are easy to press while holding the phone with one hand.
Most phones have the camera at the top end on the back of the phone. With the 800, the camera is about two thirds of the way up the phone and centered right in the middle. The perfect position for taking landscape based pictures. It also works well for portrait mode, although on occasion I did manage to get my fingers in the way of the lens.
The Carl Zeiss lens is a big addition for any phone. I snapped a couple pictures with the Lumia in one hand and my older Samsung Focus in the other hand. Overall, I think the cameras a both really well done. On average, pictures on the Lumia appeared to be darker than the Focus. However, once they are transferred to the PC, this difference is pretty much gone. So I would attribute this to the ClearBlack display on the Lumia and the over saturated display on the Samsung. I’ll let you be the judge – the pictures below on the left are from the Nokia Lumia 800, and the ones on the right are from the Samsung Focus.
In the box you will find the phone, of course, along with a USB cable with a neat little plug adapter, and a typical set of earphones. It would have been cool if they could have color matched these to the phone. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, they didn’t even use the same color USB cable as the wall adapter – A black charge cable with a white plug looks odd. Especially when it’s connected to a Magenta or Cyan colored phone. The bare minimum, these should have been both black or both white. But ideally, they should be colored to match the phone.
Hiding in a sleeve that was very easy to overlook, is a silicone sleeve. The sleeve is a fairly close color match to the device color and fits incredibly well on the device. All the cut outs on the sleeve match up perfectly with the buttons and the screen on the device. I’ve used a number of silicone cases over the years, and never has the case fit as well as this one did. It’s not a hard shell case, but it does offer some basic protection for the device.
Lumia 800 photos by Kendra
I’ve talked a lot about the physical aspects of this device. But there’s so much more to it. Everywhere I took this device, it caught peoples eye and brought out all sorts of questions. From the 6 year old girl wondering who is this crazy guy was with a pink phone, and why can’t she have one? To my daughter who instantly proclaimed it as her device – or tried to anyway. From receptionists to cab drivers, financial advisors to waiters, everyone wanted to touch and hold the Lumia. I’ve never had so many people ask me about a phone that I was reviewing. Clearly, Nokia is doing something right. The design seems to connect with people.
Inside the Lumia you’ll find Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango). But don’t let that fool you into think this is just another Windows Phone device. Nokia has added in a number of extra’s to help make this a great experience. The first app that many people should be using – especially if your contacts are not hosted in an Exchange or GMail server somewhere, is Nokia’s Transfer app. Transfer allows you to connect your new Lumia to your old smartphone and transfer all of your contacts across. Very handy for a lot of people – and it’s free.
You’ll also find Nokia’s Drive app right there on the start screen of the device. Drive provides turn by turn directions for your Windows Phone. I talked a little about this app during my Lumia 710 review. Overall, I think Drive has some great features like offline maps, and support for multiple languages. However, it is a little confusing to use – especially when switching between the two different map modes and then there’s the different settings screens based on which map mode you’re looking at.
The extra Nokia apps doesn’t end there, you will also find a App Highlights – where Nokia staff highlight their favorite apps along side the most popular apps on Windows Phone, Nokia Maps – a mapping tool like Bing and Google, Nokia Transit, Creative Studio, and even more. Nokia is still hard at work on the app front. Since reviewing this unit, they have released a few more apps exclusively for their devices, like Nokia Reader – an eBook reader.
Nokia is still a new comer OEM to the Windows Phone arena, but that didn’t prevent them from producing an amazing device with some pretty handy extra’s like the Carl Zeiss lens and the custom Nokia apps. Overall, the Lumia 800 from Telus is a great device with lots of things for you to enjoy.
Currently the Lumia 800 is available from Telus for $0.00 on a 3 year contract, or $530 for the non-contract price. If you ask me, that’s a great price for the Lumia 800.