Check out this masterpiece in hardware and software

Nokia’s first smartphone running Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating has not officially landed in the UAE yet, but hopefully it will be available soon. And when it is, I suggest you hurry up and check it out.

By Magnus Nystedt (PRODUCT REVIEW)

Published: Sat 28 Jan 2012, 11:53 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 1:54 AM

It’s a masterpiece in hardware, as well as software, and it’s a smartphone that competes with the very best available from any other manufacturer right now.

The Lumia 800 has the same design as the N9. There’s the same one-piece polycarbonate body, which makes it different from any other smartphone. It just oozes quality, and it’s a delight to hold and use. The 3.7-inch display (480 x 800 pixels) also is the same as on the N9, and it used Nokia’s ClearBlack technology, which makes colours just pop.

Windows Phone 7.5 Mango runs very fast on the Lumia 800 even though it only has a single-core 1.4 GHz Qualcomm processor.

Most other top-of-the-line smartphones now sport dual-core processors, but it doesn’t seem like the Lumia needs that. There’s 16 GB built-in storage memory and 512 MB RAM. There’s no memory expansion, but you do get access to Microsoft’s SkyDrive with 25 GB free storage. Apparently all of this runs down the battery rather too quickly though.

My Lumia 800 runs flat well before I leave the office in the afternoon after having charged until I leave for work in the morning. Nokia just released a software update that should remedy this but even after applying it I’ve not seen much improvement.

Microsoft has created a breath of fresh air in Windows Phone. It has a different look and feel compared to iOS, Android as well as BlackBerry. The home screen is made up of squares, or tiles, which can show you current information, like how many emails you’ve received

Tapping a tile typically launches an app, which gives you more detailed access to information and functionality. I don’t like everything about Windows Phone, but it offers a fresh approach to especially a smartphone’s user interface, and that’s a very good thing, I think. One thing that was especially disappointing was Internet Explorer 9 on the Lumia 800. It is very fast, but it doesn’t seem to render as many sites correctly as Mobile Safari for iOS, for example.

The 8-megapixel camera on the Lumia 800 has a Carl Zeiss lens. Photos are clear and bright, as is video (it can record HD 720p video). Arguably, the Lumia 800 is one of the best camera phones on the market. I especially appreciate that there is a dedicated camera release button on the outside and that you don’t have to start up a particular app to take photos. The lens has a maximum aperture of f2.2, which means you can take better photos in less light.

As excellent as I think the Nokia Lumia 800 is, I can’t see myself switching from my iPhone 4S at this point. That has pretty much all to do with quite a few apps that I’m attached to, and very little to do with the actual smartphone. Until those apps are available on Windows Phone, or I can find satisfactory alternatives, I don’t see myself giving up iOS. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t at least consider Nokia’s masterpiece. It’s an excellent smartphone that in hardware as well as software beats almost anything else out there right now.

Magnus Nystedt, @mnystedt

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