Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)

Review: Nokia Lumia 800

, posted: 26-Mar-2012 00:59

After a European launch in late 2011, Nokia's first flagship Windows Phone has finally launched in New Zealand. It's stunning in Cyan and also in the generic Black option. I've spent a considerable amount of time with the Nokia Lumia 800 both before and after it being released publicly in NZ and have been extremely impressed. It's a phone with an impressive design and robustness.

The key areas where this handsets specification have improved over original Windows Phone 7 models of late 2010 include an improved 1.4GHz CPU and a design that is considered by many second to none. It draws on clean modern style influences whilst offering the robustness and strength that was a hallmark of Nokia handsets in years gone by.

This will for many be their first Windows Phone handset and they are unlikely to be disappointed. It's also the first Windows Phone handset to be available via all carriers in New Zealand: Vodafone NZ, Telecom NZ and 2degress Mobile.

Most of the software limitations we saw in the original Windows Phone release are long gone - so this Windows Phone 7.5 (aka Mango) handset really shines across the board - excellent battery life, beautiful user interface, slick social media integration and now with support for VOIP apps such  Tango, Skype (in beta) and Lync. The catalogue of applications has grown well past 60,000 and it's reported will surpass 100,000 apps over the coming months.

A big plus Nokia have over other vendors is their Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive apps. These are probably the best mapping and GPS navigation apps available on any mobile platform today - even when compared with expensive paid navigation apps such as TomTom.


Of interest to owners of first generation Windows Phone 7 handsets will be Wi-Fi sharing/tethering (aka Internet Sharing) that is due in the next update and DLNA support. The DLNA functionality will allow content such as photos and video from the handset to be pushed to your TV, Xbox, PlayStation, etc.

What's not to like about the Lumia 800 when compared with the iPhone, best Android and Windows Phones? Not much actually - in fact it's likely that Nokia will be acquiring customers from all these segments with this handset. The main thing I noticed that is not in this handset is a front facing camera - something I've not used much on phones that have the feature but it's worth noting none the less. But all the other benefits this great Nokia hardware delivers when combined with the Windows Phone software makes this handset a real winner (probably the next handset to better it will be next Windows Phone that Nokia release sometime in the future).


Features include:

  • 3.7" Display
  • Rear facing 8mp autofocus Camera / 720p HD Video Camera with Carl Zeiss optics
  • Audio, Photo, Video Streaming to TV, Xbox, etc (DLNA) - via beta software as at March 2012
  • 16gb Storage, 1024mb ROM, 512mb RAM
  • 1.4ghz CPU
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
  • 3.5mm stereo audio jack
  • MicroUSB connector
  • Supports MicroSIM only
  • Weight: 142 grams
  • Size: 61.2mm x 12.1mm x 116.5mm
  • Standard Windows Phone 7.5 hardware features: GPS, G-Sensor, Digital compass, Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor
  • Standard Windows Phone 7.5 software features: Synchronisation of email/contacts/calendar (Exchange, Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc), Zune Music/Video/Podcast Hub, Xbox Live, Internet Explorer 9, Maps app, Facebook Integration, Twitter Integration, Pictures Hub, People Hub, fully upgradable OS.
  • Nokia Specific Apps: Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Yellows Pages, All Blacks Official App
  • Chassis Type: 1
  • Keyboard: Onscreen touch keyboard

Official Networks: Telecom NZ, Vodafone NZ, 2degrees Mobile

Compatible Networks: All NZ mobile networks

NZ List Price: $899 incl GST ($782+gst)

Rating (as at March  2012): 4.5/5

(This review first published at Windows Phone NZ. The Lumia 800 has also been discussed on recent episodes of the NZ Tech Podcast)

Other related posts:
Review: Vodafone NZ Sure Signal 3G Femtocell

Permalink to Review: Nokia Lumia 800 | Add a comment (2 comments) | Main Index

Comment by Matthew Watson, on 26-Mar-2012 09:12

Hey, Thanks for the review. After reading this I went and watched this video from TechnoBuffalo. I really like the nokia drive application as navigation is the one thing I use the most on my phone. I find it strange though that they didn't include a front facing camera, would make skype seem kind of pointless. Gorilla glass is a big plus. Will add this to my 'look at' list.

Comment by Allan, on 26-Mar-2012 09:44

The other thing that I find annoys me is the lack of text re-flow when zooming in/out on the browser (okay my eyesight isn't what it used to be). I got quite used to it on my cheap Huawei interim phone and I note iPhone's achieve similar functionality via the Safari "reader" option.

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