Me, myself and my Lumia 800

I confess, Nokia Lumia 800 is really good. It looks great, has good performance and is really easy to use. Overall it’s a really lovely device. Actually, it kinda reminds me of the original iPhone that I got in early 2008. Like the iPhone, Lumia 800 has a soul. It feels somewhat organic, with a great personality. Very few devices can ever reach this level on humanity. It requires absolute success in marrying hardware with an operating system in order to create a one pure user experience. Many firms never master this. Apple has been especially good in achieving this but also they have many times failed. Some times miserably. Apple is believed to have the advantage of controlling the whole experience. Whereas on Lumia 800 the experience is the outcome of vigorous collaboration between two companies: Nokia and Microsoft. Collaboration is never easy but here the two companies have really pulled it of. In essence Nokia Lumia 800 is the first real Windows Phone.

In my mind the biggest drawback of Lumia 800 is that it runs the Windows Phone 7 operating system. And no, I don’t think there is anything wrong with WP7 per se, quite the contrary. I think it is magnificent OS with hopefully a great future ahead. The thing that distracts me and possibly also other potential customers is the “Windows” in its name. No offence Microsoft, I do understand that Windows is a powerful brand and therefore you felt compelled to brand your mobile OS also Windows. However, I feel Windows as a brand to be somewhat tarnished. People relate Windows with beige box PC’s, extension cords, computer viruses, constant software updates and last but not least frustration. Windows Phone 7 marks a fresh start for Microsoft and it should show in its branding as well. Windows Phone 7 is generally just a bad name. It is not too late to make the change. Call it Metro and be done with it. But act fast before Lumia comes synonymous with Windows Phone 7. Nokia Lumia 800 with Metro; see how much better that sounds?

I have to hand it to Microsoft that they had the courage to ditch Windows Mobile and the nerve to refrain from following Apple’s and Google’s approach. Kudos to Microsoft for creating something unique, attractive and simple!

My past week with my Nokia Lumia 800 has been very enjoyable. I love the curved glass screen and the unibody design. The UI is really pretty and snappy. Camera takes good pictures, sound quality is good and I like the concept of live tiles a lot. Oh, and did I mention how pretty it is? With that said there are things I would like to see improved on. Like for example the little switch that covers the micro-USB port, the location of the sleep button or the selection of apps in the marketplace. So far the performance, despite the lack of a dual-core CPU has been brilliant. Reception in Finland is generally always perfect so that is hard to judge. Battery life seems to be acceptable and in line with competing iOS and Android devices. I normally get through a day without recharging. Can’t say the same of either of my two iPhones.

Nokia Lumia 800 might just be the most important product Nokia has ever created. And they have done a really good job. It’s a perfect device for most of us. Given that it might not yet have the app catalogue to persuade hardcore iOS fans. Still it’s a lot simpler to use and much more enjoyable experience than what Android can ever offer. And for most Android users, new smartphone adopters and some iOS users (like myself) Lumia 800 is a magnificent alternative.

My top nags

  • USB port cover seems like it’s gonna break off at any moment.
  • Sleep button is too close to volume rocker key.
  • Windows Phone 7 has only one volume profile that applies to music, games, videos and… – wait for it – ringer volume! What’s up with that?
  • Calendar tile and month view are both missed opportunities.
  • Could do with more quality apps

My top praises

  • Build like a tank (excluding the USB port cover “thingy”)
  • Fast performance and responsive UI
  • Beautiful design; both device and operating system
  • Good camera
  • Nokia apps, especially Nokia Music.
  • Very nice display with curved glass surface and “blacker than black blacks”.

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