It feels a bit strange to write this, but in terms of smartphones both Microsoft and Nokia are currently the little guys battling against the giants of Google and Apple. It kind of makes sense, therefore, for the two companies to come together to fight back, and their first joint assault take the form of the Nokia Lumia 800.
This is Nokia’s very first Windows Phone 7 device and marks the start of the phone manufacturer moving away from its Symbian platform. In many ways this handset could be make-or-break for the company.
It’s good, then, that first impressions of the handset are so positive. Measuring 117x61x12mm the Nokia Lumia 800 isn’t the thinnest we’ve seen and, at 142g, is about average for a smartphone, but its neat curved sides mean it fits comfortably into the hand.
It looks fantastic, too, thanks to what Nokia calls the ‘single piece injection moulded polycarbonate shell’. It’s this that gives the phone its sleek and sculptured look. Although we reviewed the black version, more attractive Cyan and Magenta versions are also available. Adding to the gorgeous looks is the 3.7in display, which has slightly curved glass that makes it stand out from the body of the phone. It’s good to see that there’s a black ‘bumper’ case included in the box to protect the phone from everyday knocks and bumps, although it lessens the phones desirability.
Powering up the phone shows the high quality of the AMOLED screen. It’s bright with excellent contrast ratios. With its dark blacks it really brings out the best in Windows Phone 7’s tiled user interface. We also tried looking at some images on the Lumia 800 – colours looked a little over saturated, and were a little too punchy in some cases. We compared it to the iPhone 4S and found that Apple’s device produced more realistic tones, but it was little more muted. Both are pretty evenly balanced and it’s really a matter of personal choice as to which one you’ll prefer.
With a resolution of 800×480, the Lumia 800’s screen falls in line with other Windows Phone 7 devices. Squeezed into the 3.7in display, this resolution has a high pixel density and we found images and text to be pin sharp.