It's been a week since I bought my Nokia Lumia 800 and I think I've got enough experience to review it. Rather than writing it in the technical perspective, I'm gonna keep this review as what I like and what I don't like in this windows phone, so that I can write close to the truth.
Lumia 800 is the new Windows phone from Nokia, featuring the Windows 7.5 operating system - Mango. Apart from the Lumia 800, there are Lumia 710 and Lumia 900. I couldn't see any drastic change in the processing power (all are featuring the 1.4 GHz processor). Anyway, if you really want the finer details before choosing your next windows phone from Lumia series, you could compare [Lumia 710 vs Lumia 800] or [Lumia 800 vs Lumia 900].
Let's start with what I don't like first so that I can close this review in a positive note.
Lumia 800 - the things that failed to impress me:
- Sound - as a 'Ëœphone' this is a big letdown in Lumia 800. Even if I keep the volume to the maximum, the sound is not much audible. I have to be in a silent place to hear it clearly. Forget calling someone if you are in a noisy environment, you won't hear what the other person is saying unless you have very sensitive ears. The speaker too isn't that impressive.
- Data Connection Issues - I have configured my Lumia 800 with Airtel 3G. But suddenly, one day it stopped using the data connection and always throwing an Error Code: 80072EFD. I left with not able to access my emails for a whole day until I figured out a solution (i.e. delete the current APN and create a new APN). But still, it scared me off in the first place.
- Difficulties in transferring files other than Music, Photo and Video - Zune software did a good job in synchronizing the photos, music and videos between my phone and PC. But when I wanted to copy a CAB file from my PC to Phone, I was hitting the dead end. Zune didn't sync the file and I couldn't just copy the file to my phone as it was not showing up a storage drive in my PC when I connected it. I'm still not able to the copy the file I wanted and looking for workarounds like uploading it to my Gmail and download it from there.
- The cover that guards the USB charging port - before connecting your phone to a charger, you need to open a little cover on the USB charger port. Believe me, its not such happy experience given that the phone's battery drains a lot (considering my usage) and every time it irritates me to snap open the USB cover before connecting it to a charger. It might seem a like a little thing but it adds up everyday.
- Internet Explorer - oh, come on! As a web developer, I have grown hating IE to the core and I'm let alone with this only browser in Lumia. But I must say that it renders most of the modern web pages very nicely (yay! my home page looks good in my phone too!), but still the browsing experience isn't smooth. It does supports tabbed browsing, but its not easy to open a new tab with your favorite page in it. The browser needs something like a speed dial to save us some time. I'm trying to install Opera mini, but I couldn't find it in marketplace and due to the point #3 above, I haven't figured out a way to copy the installer to my phone yet.
- Not much apps that I need - yeah! there are hundreds of applications in the Zune marketplace. But I couldn't find the application that I need or the services I use. When the time goes on, the marketplace will grow. But at this point of time, you have to compromise yourself.
Lumia 800 - the things that I like the most:
- People hub & Personal hub - the one feature that beats me my android experience left and right. It's the only place that I constantly check to see what my friends are up to. I can easily connect my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Live accounts to my phone and see and post to all the social updates in one place. Totally love this feature.
- Camera and Picture quality - Lumia 800 comes with 8MP camera. The picture quality is good and the camera application is very much user friendly. To take a picture, just open the camera application and then tap on the screen where you want the focus to be in and your picture is taken (no need to hard press any button that might introduce shake in the photo). Nice!
- Performance - is real fast. The 1.4 GHz processor proves what its worth of (but as a side effect, the phone emits some considerable amount of heat, but you can't help it right!?). Now the Angry Birds are much more angry and ferocious.
- Multi-tasking - opening up several application and switching between them is simple and smooth. Just hold on the back button and you'll be shown a list of applications that are currently open and you can choose from them by tapping on it.
- The Metro UI - the new Metro UI surely gives a refreshing experience. Live tiles on the home screen, minimal UI elements everywhere - totally like it. Again, its just personal preference. You might have a different taste.
- Nokia Drive & Nokia Maps - The phone comes with this free application that helps you to see the route map while driving (like a GPS device). Comes handy when you want to explore unknown places.
- The on-screen keyboard and Auto suggestions - I have been using the Swipe keyboard in my Android phone that helped me to input words just by swiping a path. When I switched to Lumia 800, I was little worried about the keyboard performance. But then, now I'm totally satisfied with Lumia's keyboard. The auto suggestions were most of the time accurate and reduces my key input time very much.
- SkyDrive and 25GB of free storage space - SkyDrive is the cloud storage system from Microsoft and as a Lumia user you are entitled to a free storage space of 25GB. Quite useful to backup important files.
Well, that said, Lumia 800 is a great response from the Microsoft to the smarphone market. I hope the Application marketplace picks up pace and soon host all my needed applications. But that's not a show stopper to buy this phone. Worth the money.