Nokia returns with the Windows-loaded Lumia 800

Nokia has included a few extra bits here and there, all in an attempts to make its Windows Phone platform just that much more enticing for customers.

One of these is “Mix Radio,” a free music streaming solution similar to Rdio and Sony’s Music Entertainment Network. With a clean interface with lots of images, the system is very easy to use, allowing you to listen to tracks for free across a variety of genres, albeit with a limited number of tracks you can skip. While not available yet, Nokia promises that you will be able to download your favourite tracks and cache them to your device in case you’re heading somewhere without an Internet connection.

While the Xbox games can't yet be shared with an Xbox 360, we've heard that some will soon be playable across platform, including a new "Sonic the Hedgehog" title.

Nokia has also included its own mapping solution, skipping over the commonly used Google Maps and taking advantage of its own maps. Nokia Maps also includes public transit maps, which offers up train and light rail lines in Sydney. We didn’t get a chance to try this in other cities, but we’d expect that these sorts of options would be available in other Australian cities.

Meanwhile, Nokia “Drive” is the turn-by-turn version of Maps, offering spoken navigation and maps for most parts of the world.

And there’s even a bonus rubber skin thrown in the box for you to use, offering that little bit extra protection so you don’t have to buy one.

These additions are nice touches and offer just a little bit more than the basic phone you might get from somewhere else. That’s on top of what Microsoft is offering, mind you, with an official assortment of Microsoft Office apps found here, as well as Internet Explorer as the browser, music and videos over the Zune Marketplace, and an app called “Local Scout” that shows you places to go and eat at around you.

While Nokia’s implementation of Windows Phone generally makes for an excellent phone experience, there are some quibbles, most of which are features which just aren’t there, and probably should be.

One thing missing from the package is a feature we’re used to seeing on smartphones, and that’s a front-facing camera. It’s an odd omission from the smartphone feature list, especially since Microsoft now owns Skype and will likely introduce a Windows Phone Skype app in the near future.

Windows Phone is the only mobile operating system with a licensed Microsoft Office application.

Flash compatbility is still missing from Windows Phone, not a huge issue since the web is turning to a new format, but still something to be aware of, especially since the only other smartphone make to ignore Flash is Apple.

If you’re at all used to using an iPhone or Android device as a wireless hotspot for another device – say a tablet or laptop computer – you’ll miss out on that feature in the Lumia 800, as there’s no wireless hotspot mode here.

Despite the use of the name “Xbox”, none of the games on offer will currently play on the Xbox. Rather, the branding is still just that, even if you can see the achievments from your console, talk to gaming friends, and watch your avatar try to impress you by standing there.

And we’re a little surprised that there is no microSD slot in this handset and the memory is capped at 16GB. These days, 16GB is hardly a large amount of space to work with, especially when smartphones are arriving with 32GB and 64GB capacities.

The other thing we’re concerned about is the price, especially in relation to another Nokia Lumia heading our way very soon. Within a few weeks, we expect to see the Lumia 710, a handset with almost identical internals running inside a different shell.


We had a brief play with the Lumia 710 at the launch of Nokia's new phones and found the performance to be almost identical.

While the looks of these handsets are very different, the specs inside aren’t: 3.7 inch screen, 1.4GHz processor, Adreno 205 graphics, Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, 14.4Mbps HSDPA, and microSIM. The only major differences between them appear to be a 5 megapixel camera and 8GB memory on the Lumia 710, as well as a cheaper price of $379.

With few differences outside of the look, a camera, and the storage, it’s hard to be sure whether the Lumia 800 represents a solid value, even if the phone is a very impressive effort.


While we haven’t heard much from either the Nokia or Windows Phone camp in the past year, together these two companies shine in the Lumia 800. With Nokia’s hardware expertise running underneath Microsoft’s user friendly Windows Phone OS, the Lumia 800 shines and is a excellent handset to revive the Nokia brand.


Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Beautifully constructed; Very nice screen; Great performance; Included rubber skin;
Average amount of storage; No upgradeable memory; No front-facing camera; No WiFi hotspot;