Nokia Lumia 800 Review
Nokia Lumia 800 Review, a review of my new Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Mobile 7.5 phone.
I was lucky enough to get the new Nokia Lumia 800 mobile phone with the Windows 7.5 Mango operating system on the day it was officially released in the UK on 16.11.2011 on the Vodafone network. My previous phone was the Samsung Galaxy S with the Google Android operating system, which itself was a very impressive phone. The main push for getting this phone for me is as it's closely related to my current profession of software development on the Windows platform, so it can only help my programming skills. However, it maybe a while before I get to do anything like that on the phone, so I'm getting to enjoy it's more standard features.
Homepage - Tiles
The thing which grabbed me first playing on the phone in the shops, was the homepage and the tile system it operates. This screen scrolls very smoothly, the colours are bright, and the display is animated in places, the main difference which initially stands out. Each square tile on the homepage is a button (or link) to either an application, or a shortcut to a phone feature, such as your Contacts (called People), text ,messages, Sky News... These combine a mixture of bright colours and images, the images swap round, so for instance a larger tile gradually animates between photos/pictures you've marked as favourites, and they scroll slowly from top to bottom.
The 'People' tile, once you've setup your phone, animates a matrix of 9 small photos which are fed in from Facebook and other social networks, skipping between them, swapping one at a time, and sometimes making a mosaic using 4 squares to make a bigger picture of someone.
You can assign new tiles, you can make shortcuts to applications, you can put contacts on there. When you put a contact on the homepage, and you've plugged in the social networks, you get their pictures, latests social media updates straight onto the homepage of your phone. So now I can see what my closest ones are saying online, without even having to move passed the homepage, let alone getting onto a computer.
Once you connect your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Messenger account to the phone which is easily done through the settings area (there is also a Google account integration although I haven't personally tried that yet), then the next big difference with this phone starts to stand out in quite an innovative way, (good or bad I don't know, but I'm not discussing ethics here), is the way the phone makes you feel so connected. It feels like one giant leap from maybe the days of when text messaging took off. The phone has been designed to integrate the social networks into the phone, not so much that you need an application to get to the social networks, more the phone brings the social networks into the phone, almost masking them, as if they were just a part of the phone.
For instance, someone sends you a Facebook message, it comes onto the phone as if it were a text message, you reply to the message on Facebook, as if you were typing in a text message. Open the contacts, not only have the photos from the social networks been pulled into the contacts list automatically (seen that on the Android), when you view a Contact (from which you can make a call, send SMS, send Facebook message or mention on Twitter from the first Contacts area menu, if you scroll right to the next menu called 'what's new', you get a live feed from all their social networks pulled through onto the contacts page, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. It even pulls through the photos from Facebook which get posted.
So now anytime you want to check the latest Facebook updates for all people or just specific people, just a few flicks on the phone and you've got it, very easy, you don't even need to load an application, it's effortless. Also pushing photos taken on the phone to Facebook and Twitter are just as easy as sending a text message. This connectedness feels like a whole new era in personal communications and feels like it is going to change the way we use phones and social networks, pretty good as we embark into this new decade of advancement.
Another feature which brought me towards the Windows Phones is Xbox Live. When I first heard of it I dreamt about playing the Xbox version of Call of Duty on my phone, but sadly that was expecting too much. However, the quality of some of the games I have tried is quite impressive, and would suggest Call of Duty would be a possibility. For instance, Sonic the Hedgehog, although not quite as easy to play as the MegaDrive version, certainly looked just as good with the fast animation I remember from the original Sega classic. Also the paid games let you try them out for 7 days for free, which helps you from wasting money on games you may not like or be of a high enough quality.
This phone is getting pushed quite well at the moment, I caught some adverts whilst scanning through OK magazine the other day, not to mention other places I've seen it. There have been some Windows Phone 7.5 camps to help developers get into the action, and the development software is free to download and use. Application publishing looks like it costs £100, though Nokia mention something about been able to wave this if you publish through them.
The battery seems to be lasting on average about a day and a half, unless I'm giving it some heavy use. The Internet is alot faster than I had on my last phone, it's not far off an average broadband connection in terms of accessing web pages. The phone came with a protective rubber shell, which isn't too cumbersome to lose the phone's styling.
Overall I'm very happy with the Nokia Lumia 800 and Windows 7.5 Mango. They've impressed me quite well so far. Everything is nicely presented, my only gripe would be the text message keyboard is slightly smaller than the one I had on the Galaxy. However the Homepage and the social network integration has been very impressive. I've had the phone for a week and a half now and I'm very happy with it.