Nokia Lumia 800 review

£440
Price when reviewed

Other upgrades include Local Scout, offering location-sensitive web content, highlighting restaurants, events and things to do. There’s also a voice search facility, Shazam-alike music recognition built in (Bing Audio) and a translation tool (Bing Vision), which allows you to snap foreign lingo and have it turned into English.

The Marketplace search allows you to filter results to apps alone – very useful – and there’s a host of email and office-based improvements, too, including the ability to link inboxes together and view them on one screen, threaded conversations, a to-do list and Office 365 support.

The apps in the Marketplace aren’t yet a rival for Android or iOS, and prices remain on the high side, but on this evidence Windows Phone looks to be maturing into a smartphone OS of real substance.

Camera and screen

So far so good, and Nokia manages to draw on its experience to supply good quality elsewhere, with the Lumia’s 8-megapixel shooter next on the tick list.

Its Carl Zeiss Tessar lens ensures pictures are sharp, clear and largely free of chromatic aberrations, and a wide maximum aperture of f2.2 means low-light shots aren’t spoiled too badly by noise.

Nokia Lumia 800 - camera sample

Macro shots exhibit exceedingly sharp focus, and the dual-LED flash works well, too, illuminating close-up subjects sympathetically. All good so far, but again there’s a little disappointment in store. The videos this phone produces look fine, but they’re limited to 720p – a step behind other manufacturers’ flagship handsets. There’s also no image stabilisation.

Nokia Lumia 800 - camera sample

The screen, meanwhile, is very good. It measures 3.7in across, boasts a resolution of 480 x 800 and it’s AMOLED, so colours are extremely vivid, and blacks extremely black, which suits the stark lines of Microsoft’s OS perfectly. Brightness is up there with the Samsung Galaxy S II (measured with a colorimeter, it topped out at 296cd/m2), and black measured at a perfect 0cd/m2, again right up there with the Galaxy.

Where it falls behind slightly is in its use of the slightly older PenTile matrix sub-pixel array, in which sub-pixels of some colours appear more frequently than others.

The result is a very slightly grainy look. Edges of text characters, for instance, aren’t quite as crisp as they would be on the Samsung Galaxy S II or iPhone 4S. These phones use an OLED screen with a standard RGB sub-pixel array in which the primary colour sub-pixels appear with equal frequency.

Performance and battery life

We’ve yet to be disappointed with the responsiveness of any Windows Phone handset and the Lumia 800 continues that trend. Under the hood there’s a 1.4GHz, single-core processor backed by 512MB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Windows Phone 7.5 flies along as a result.

Nokia Lumia 800 - bottom edge

Applications written to take advantage of Mango’s new and improved multitasking support fire up a lot more quickly than previously, and the new task-switching view works as well as you’d expect. Simply hold down the touch back “button” and a list of recent applications pops up, ready for you to scroll through. You can’t terminate apps from here, however, which seems an oversight.

Details

Cheapest price on contractFree
Contract monthly charge£26.00
Contract period24 months
Contract providerwww.buymobiles.net

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted13hrs
Standby, quoted14 days

Physical

Dimensions61 x 12 x 116.5mm (WDH)
Weight142g
Touchscreenyes
Primary keyboardOn-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity512MB
Camera megapixel rating8.0mp
Front-facing camera?no
Video capture?yes

Display

Screen size3.7in
Resolution480 x 800
Landscape mode?yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth supportyes
Integrated GPSyes

Software

OS familyOther

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