Review: Lumia 800
I’ve owned quite a few smartphones in the last few years, but NONE of them (not even my beloved Dell Venue Pro) compares to the beautiful Nokia Lumia 800. This device is simply stunning, in almost every way. I saw this Lumia 800 on eBay, so I decided to pony up the cash and buy it. To do so, I had to part with my beloved Dell Venue Pro, but that’s a sad tale for another day.
The Lumia 800 runs Windows Phone 7.5 (build 8107 for US devices) and is built using the same chassis as the N9, so the device glass is actually large enough for a 3.9 inch display. Due to the requirements behind the WP chassis specs (in this case a 800×480 display and 3 front buttons) the display size was reduced to 3.7 inches. For the record, the N9 display is 854×480 pixels. Despite the smallish screen size, the Lumia 800 feels really good in your hand, and is quite comfortable to use. The BEST part of the display, is the polarized ClearBlack AMOLED screen. I have almost zero issue looking at my screen, while in direct sunlight. Sure it’s not as good as when inside, or in the shade, but it’s the best display I have ever seen in any device I have owned.
The Lumia 800 is one of the only Windows Phones to feature all of the buttons (Volume/Power/Camera) on the right side of the chassis. The volume rocker is at the top right side of the chassis, and is a bright silver chrome. Right underneath it is the power button, which is perfectly placed and can be easily reached while in either hand. As is the case with all Windows Phone devices, the Camera button is located at the lower right of the chassis, and is also a bright silver chrome.
As for cellular connectivity, this device supports HSPA+ on the AT&T network (as well as the prepaid MVNO, Red Pocket Mobile). Currently it only gets EDGE data on T-Mobile, due to their usage of the 1700Mhz AWS band for 3G. T-Mobile is currently moving 3G off of that band, and onto the 1900Mhz band, which this device supports. Once that is completed (sometime in October) you will also have HSPA+ on T-Mobile.
Now, let’s get into the guts of the device. The Lumia 800 has the following specs:
- Polycarbonate 1 piece body (no removable battery)
- 3.7 inch ClearBlack AMOLED display
- Single Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 8255 @1.4Ghz w/Adreno 205 graphics
- 512MB RAM
- 16GB internal flash storage
- Wifi B/G/N
- Support for HSPA+ speeds on AT&T (and soon to be T-Mobile)
- Bluetooth 2.1
- Compass, Accelerometer, A-GPS
- 1450 mAh battery
- Micro USB port (on top left w/magnetized cover)
- MicroSIM card slot (beside Micro USB port, with a slide out/pop up removable tray)
- 3.5mm audio jack (top left of device, uncovered)
- loudspeaker and microphone
- 8MP Camera with Carl Zeiss Optics and Dual LED flash. Records 720p video
- Available in Black, Cyan, White, Magenta colors and includes a matching rubber bumper case in the box
- Includes micro USB cable, in-ear headphones (which sound GREAT, btw), and an AC adapter
What I Dislike
I’ll be honest, there is very little I dislike about this phone. It has great haptic feedback on the front keys (Back, Home, Search), the physical buttons are perfectly placed on the right side, the loudspeaker sounds great, the sensors all work properly, the Micro USB cover snaps into place very well, as does the Micro SIM tray.
The ONLY thing I wish this phone had, was a front facing camera. Then this phone would be perfect.
What I Like
I honestly love everything about this phone. The design is outstanding (of course, it’s a Nokia) the assembly is rock solid, the display is bright in direct sunlight, buttons feel and respond great, and the device does not weigh very much (especially after holding the Dell Venue Pro).
Nokia also provides their Lumia devices with unique, Nokia specific, apps. Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, Nokia Music (on the Int’l version) as well as some exclusive WP7 apps. Nokia also provides a great app for transferring your contacts over Bluetooth, which is something SORELY MISSING from the core WP7 OS. This app is handy for those upgrading from a feature phone. I expect Nokia to release more great apps, as time progresses.
Another nice touch, is that Nokia provides a free bumper, the same color as your phone, with each Lumia 800. This is a really nice compliment to your device, and helps keep it from getting scratched, or grimed up with oil from your fingers and hands.
The other shining star on this phone, is the camera. WOW is all I can say. I have NEVER had a smartphone with this good of a camera, no matter if it was Android or Windows Phone, the Lumia 800 has, hands down, the best camera optics of any phone. The phone focuses really well, snaps and processes images really quickly.
The Lumia 800 will not disappoint you, should you purchase it. The device may look small, but after comparing it with a Lumia 900, I will gladly take my Lumia 800 any day. Just for the record, 3 of my last 4 smartphones have been 4+ inches, with the HTC Arrive being the one phone under 4 inches. The only thing that would complete this phone, would be a front facing camera but then people wouldn’t be buying the Lumia 900, would they?
If you are going to look for one on eBay, take note that there are two versions. The US model is the RM-819 and supports US frequencies 850/900/1800/1900/2100. The International Version is the RM-801 and is the most common (since the Lumia 800 isn’t really sold in the US, by itself). Take note that the RM-801 does NOT support the 850 frequency. As a result, some markets that use 850 for 3G, will not work. If your carrier has 3G on 900 and higher, then you’ll be fine.