Product Type: Nokia mobile phones
Newest Review: ... happened since. Not entirely pleasing, but as it hasn't happened since and all phones can have their glitch problems, I'm not thinking it's... more
Bye bye Nokia I'm sorry to say I won't be missing you
Nokia Lumia 800
Member Name: jipp05
Nokia Lumia 800
Advantages: It's a good looking handset
Disadvantages: Softwear, Zune, Battery
I am a man who likes his tech toys so I am always chopping and changing my mobiles on a regular basis. I tend to buy them outright rather be locked into a contract for two years since technology moves at such a rapid pace and I like to keep abreast of the latest developments. The last phone I bought was the Nokia Lumia 800 about 6 months ago and as I am now changing to a Nexus 4 I thought I would write a review and share my findings of living with the phone for the past few months.
~~~~~~~~~~ The look ~~~~~~~~~~
I thought I would start with the look of the phone as this was the main reason that I bought it. I was getting sick of having a choice of either black or white when it came to buying phones so when the Lumia 800 came out I was pleased to see that they had added some bright colours to their line-up. I settled on the phone in Cyan which is a bright blue and it is the one thing that I can honestly say that Nokia have got right. It is made up of a solid piece of bright blue polycarbonate with a 3.7 inch Gorilla Glass screen which sort of curves over the front. I absolutely love the look of the phone and the Cyan colour is really vivid and makes it stand out in the rows of black and white phones on the market.
On the back of the phone there is a silver strip of metal with the camera lens and the Nokia logo as well as the camera flash. There are no physical buttons on the front of the phone but on the side there is a dedicated camera button and two volume rockers as well as a button for locking and unlocking the screen. On top there is the headphone jack and two plastic tabs which can be pushed to revel the USB charging port and the SIM card slot. These little plastic tabs are extremely flimsy especially the one that covers the USB port and my one managed to snap off within about 2 weeks even though I tried to be careful with it.
~~~~~~~~~~ Operating System ~~~~~~~~~~
The Lumia 800 runs on the Windows 7 operating system which has a completely different look to it than with the Android and IOS operating systems. Instead of widgets the Windows operating system uses live tiles which are basically what they say. When you download apps etc. you can pin them to the start screen and they become a live tiles which constantly updates itself. I actually really liked the live tiles as they were larger than the widgets I was used to and I really liked the fact that they updated themselves.
The one thing about the live tiles which I really didn't like and could never figure out how to change was the fact that my photos would randomly change and be shown on my start screen whenever I unlocked my phone. Some people may like this but I didn't like the fact that I may have had personal photographs floating about the screen that I may not want a random stranger sitting next to me on the train to be able to read.
The main other points about the Windows operating system that you can actually notice are that instead of using the usual Google application found on Android the Windows operating system uses Microsoft owned application so for using the internet they have a tile with a mobile internet explorer and the search engine is Bing. The email app is also set up to be used with Hotmail which was a bit of a pin as I use Gmail and there was no Gmail app to be found on the app store.
~~~~~~~~~~ Apps ~~~~~~~~~~
Talking of apps the selection of apps on offer in the Windows app store was absolutely dire and there was none of the fun of the Google Play or Apple store when searching for something. They have most of the main apps in there but the choice really is very limited and searching the store wasn't an enjoyable experience.
~~~~~~~~~~ Media ~~~~~~~~~~
Now other than texting and phoning I really like to use my phone as a little media machine for when I'm on the train etc. This has to be the worst smartphone that I have used for media. The soft wear that the Lumia uses is called Zune and it really has to be one of the most awkward and least user friendly media syncing systems I have ever used. It was honestly so difficult to figure out and there was nothing intuitive about it in the slightest. It was such a pain anytime that I wanted to put music or videos on my phone that 9 time out of 10 I just didn't bother and used my tablet on the train instead and just listened to whatever music I had been lucky enough to have actually got on the phone in the first place.
The biggest bug bear about this phone for me personally was that there was no option for dragging and dropping files which is something that I have got used to over the past couple of years with smartphones. If I wanted anything then I needed to use Zune which was the thing that put me off this phone more than anything else. The copying process for videos takes absolutely ages and you couldn't just decide that you would like some videos for your train journey an hour before you leave as it could sometimes take over an hour to copy across a 25 minute TV show which is ridiculous in this day and age.
If I was lucky enough to actually get a video on the phone then it looked quite good and played well with no lag or stuttering most of the time. The screen is nice but nothing special. It is an Amoled screen and it looks nice and bright but my old Samsung Galaxy S2 blows it out of the water when it comes to vividness and that is a much older phone.
The internet generally worked well but I did find the screen a little cramped and I did have to use the zoom option a lot of the time. When I first got the phone I wanted to use it as a wireless modem so that I could connect my laptop and tablet to it when I was out of the house but I was shocked to learn that the Lumia 800 didn't support this function. Luckily Nokia gave a softwear update after a month or so which added this function and it worked really well and my tablet would always connect and not drop off while I was browsing. Unfortunately it is an absolute killer on battery life but a nice feature to have nevertheless.
~~~~~~~~~~ Camera ~~~~~~~~~~
The Lumia 800 has an 8mp camera with a Carl Ziess Lens. This was the one thing about the phone before getting it that I was confident that was going to be good as Nokia has such a good reputation when it comes to the cameras in their phones. Unfortunately the camera didn't live up to my expectations. It functions perfectly well but the pictures are never great from it and again like everything else getting the pictures off the phone requires using the Zune software. The flash is a double zenon one so you would expect that it would be good for low light conditions but it actually is so bright that it can blind you when taking a picture and cause everything to look over exposed. Blurriness was also another thing which seemed to be a pretty frequent problem with pictures taken with the camera.
The one thing that I did like about the camera on the phone was the dedicated shutter button. You can hold the button down when the phone is locked and it will launch the camera app straight away and while this wasn't the fastest shutter button ever it was quicker and easier than unlocking the phone and getting into the camera app.
Video was again only ok. It looked a little shaky most times and the sound was terrible but it would do if there was nothing else to use and you wanted to take a quick video of something.
~~~~~~~~~~ Battery Life ~~~~~~~~~~
Battery life on this phone was nothing short of atrocious. Windows phones are supposed to be much less demanding than Android and IOS phones so are supposed to use less power meaning the battery should last longer. When I first got this phone I would have to turn the screen down and use it minimally and I would still be lucky if I got 6 hours of use before it died. Nokia did release an over the air fix for the phone which was supposed to fix the battery issues. It did help to improve them but it still falls way below what I would expect from a modern smartphone. I can now actually use the phone but it still dies within 6 to 8 hours and I would never think of taking this on a long trip without having to take the charger with me too. One thing that might have eased this would have been if I had been able to carry a spare battery with me so that I could change over when needed but unfortunately Nokia in their wisdom decided to make the battery sealed in the back panel which is no removable and while this might look pretty it was a huge pain.
~~~~~~~~~~ Calling and Texting ~~~~~~~~~~
Surprisingly I actually used my phone occasionally for its original intention and made calls on it. For the most part this was pretty good as call quality was clear and the phone had good reception and very rarely dropped any calls when I was on the phone. The only slight thing is that the screen was so sensitive that a few times I was on the phone and my ear would accidentally press the hold button when I was in the middle of a call.
Texing again was fine for the most part. The only thing that I had problem with was when the phone was in portrait mode I found the keyboard to be a tad on the small side and I would quite often press the wrong letter.
One thing about this phone for anyone who uses whatsapp is that there is a major problem with it. My friends and I use whatsapp all the time and with this phone it would 50% of the time not notify me if I had a message and I would only find out if and when I actually opened the app to see if someone had messaged me.
~~~~~~~~~~ Price ~~~~~~~~~~
I bought my hand set brand new from Ebay so I paid less than I would have in the shops. The price I ended up paying for it was £220 which I thought was a bit of a bargain at the time.Obviously now I wouldn't pay £20 for the phone but if you do fancy it then there are some good deals to be had and the phone has been reduced significantly in the past few months (because Nokia are trying to flog a dead horse in my opinion) and it can now be had for next to nothing on contract and for as little as £143.96 plus a £10 top up on pay as you go.
~~~~~~~~~~ Conclusion ~~~~~~~~~~
It is a shame that this phone has so many little problems as the potential was there for it to be such a good phone. It looks absolutely beautiful and it works more or less seamlessly most of the time but the operating system and hardwear of the phone just let it down. Nothing is quite as good as it should be, the screen is a little on the small side after getting used to larger phones and it was most noticeable when trying to browse the internet, the battery life is rubbish but the biggest problem with the phone is the Zune softwear which I just found to be absolutely horrible to use.
I was recently looking at the new Nokia Lumia 920 phones and I found myself contemplating buying one as like this phone they look spectacular but after my horrible experience with this Nokia phone I think it will be a long time before I actually purchase one again. I'm glad though that I tried a Windows phone as it has made me realise that I much prefer Android or IOS and will be sticking to these in the future.
Summary: Good looking phone but let down by both the soft wear and the the hardwear
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