Preview: Nokia’s Lumia 800

With the release of Nokia’s latest brainchild locally, the Lumia, it looks like the brand may receive some extra deserved attention even in the face of the monumental feat Accenture has achieved upgrading all Symbian ^3 devices to Symbian Belle this last week. But while the name remains the same, will the Lumia win over the hearts of existing Nokia fans, or will it draw in some newcomers?

It’s easy to spot the pedigree of the Lumia 800 – it shares the same polycarbonate shell as the N9, along with the removable battery and Corning Gorilla Glass. The screen is curved to give a premium feel to the user and also sets it apart from Android phones in terms of useability – you could operate the phone’s features without looking in some rare cases. Not that it actually matters much, but it sounds pretty cool.

The Lumia 800 will be the first Nokia on our shores to feature Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. Mango brought a lot of useful features to the Windows Phone platform and currently the OS is extremely user-friendly. As with older Nokias, you can rest assured the Lumia will stay frequent with updates for a very long time. Already the WP7 Tango update is under scrutiny by developers and network providers, and Microsoft has also spilled the beans on the next major update, Windows Phone 8/Apollo, and the Lumia will be one of the first devices to receive it.

Hardware-wise you’re likely to be impressed. While the specs sheet is not unlike other Android devices, the phone is on par with the Galaxy S+ in terms of specs. What’s really going to attract users is the quad-band HSPA support with 14.4Mb/s downlink speeds, the 8MP Carl-Zeiss lens camera with dual-LED flash and continuous autofocus, 16Gb of onboard storage, the GPS and accelerometer with the lifetime Nokia Drive license and the ever-excellent Nokia microphones, loudspeakers and active noise cancellation. While its definitely not an N8, its sure to leave you satisfied with your purchase.

Battery life should be similar to the N9, lasting you the entire day with e-mails, social networking, browsing websites, answering calls and chatting on IMs. The only drawback of the phone is the use of the relatively rare MicroSIM standard – you either have to specify that you need one, or cut a regular SIM for yourself. The phone also comes with a custom Nokia theme – black and blue, with pre-loaded Nokia applications like Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps; note the change here. You can’t navigate by car with Nokia Maps, you have to launch the Drive app separately. Drive is also capable of navigating in Offline mode, and you can download the maps you require from the Nokia store.

On the while though, its recommended you keep in mind that this is Nokia’s “comeback phone” – the real flagship is the Lumia 900 due out this year – the 4.3”, LTE-enabled superphone with a better processor and hopefully some revised software in the camera’s options menu. While good, many have found the single-shot performance to be well below the N8 and iPhone 4s, while Symbian ^3 devices with EDOF capture far clearer and detailed HD video.

So, do you want one? Well, you can’t have it – 200 were available at the exclusive Vodacom launch in Joburg on a Business Call contract with an Xbox 360 Slim bundle, and they’re all sold out. You’ll have to wait until late February to even be in line to get one of the pre-orders. Stocks are expected to start filling in mid-March, so hurry up and save!

Source: MyBroadband

Reviews: AllAboutWindowsPhone, GSM Arena