Nokia’s first real attempt at an iPhone-beater comes in the form of the Lumia 800, a smartphone blending a keen eye for aesthetics, construction, and the latest version of Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. Can it outclass the high class iPhone?
The first phone out of the Nokia and Microsoft partnership, the Lumia 800 combines the familiar chassis and design from last year’s N9 handset with an emphasis on Windows.
First up is the case, and like the N9 you’ll find a one-colour plastic unibody case. Technically, it’s the same sort of polycarbonate used in the construction of ice hockey helmets with the colour blended through it. This sort of material makes the Lumia better with drops and scratches, as sharp cuts to the casing won’t show up as visibly thanks to the blended colour.
The Lumia 800 is available in four colours, including cyan, magenta, white, and black.
Sitting atop the casing is a 3.7 inch AMOLED screen supporting a 480×800 resolution. Nokia has had a part in making this handset, with the screen supporting ClearBlack, a technology that aims to provide better viewing angles and stronger blacks. The screen is also curved slightly and covered with Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass.
Under the hood, Nokia has thrown in a 1.4GHz processor, Adreno 205 graphics chip, 16GB storage, 512MB RAM, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, and a HSDPA connection with a max of 14.4Mbps downlink.
Only one camera exists on the Lumia 800, with an 8 megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, autofocus, and Carl Zeiss optics. Video is captured on this camera at 720p HD. There is no front-facing camera on the Lumia 800.
A first for Nokia, this phone is also equipped with Microsoft’s latest version of its mobile Windows platform: Windows Phone 7.5 Mango.
Nokia’s design of the Lumia 800 is pretty minimalist and the handset sports very few buttons or ports. On the button side, you’ll find three soft buttons below the screen, acting for “back”, “home”, and “search”. The only hard buttons found on the phone are painted in silver but otherwise completely unmarked, and these all sit on the right side. From top to bottom, these include volume up, volume down, power, and a dedicated camera button.
At the top of the handset, you can find a 3.5mm headphone port, microUSB port covered by a hinged door, and the bay for a microSIM card.
Inside the box, you’ll also find instruction manuals, power plug, microUSB charge and data transfer cable, headphones, and a bonus rubber protection skin matching the handset.