Nokia’s debut Windows Phone kit, the Lumia 800 is certainly a beautiful handset and arguably the best to grace the platform yet. But is it going to be Finnish giant’s knight in shining armour as bids to claw back into smartphone contention or just another drop in an ocean of competition? We’ve rounded-up early impressions from several industry peers to find out.
Gareth Beavis, TechRadar
“One thing's for certain: this is the best Nokia smartphone we've seen for a while (well, apart from the N9, but we're not allowed to mention that in the UK, remember?). It's got a great camera, really premium design and should come with a lower price tag to boot.
“It's not the most advanced or cutting edge piece of technology on the market, and there are still a number of features we want to see, but if Nokia can start to exert some influence on Microsoft for the future of Windows Phone, this could become a very fruitful partnership indeed.”
Luke Johnson, T3
“Looking like an all-round strong handset offering, the Nokia Lumia 800 is on track to become the first Windows Phone 7 device to bother the smartphone market leaders. Bringing the still fledgling OS to the fore, Nokia’s reputation in the consumer market is sure to see this specs impressive handset take the Microsoft OS into new ground.
“Whilst the handset does look and feel great with its rounded edges and smooth curves we can’t help but feel it is simply a heavily influenced copy of the little noticed N9.”
Vlad Savov, The Verge
“The Lumia 800 is exactly what it looked like when it was first announced at Nokia World: it is an N9 running Windows Phone. Ironically, in moving from the wildly imaginative Harmattan to the more straight-laced Windows Phone OS, this smartphone has undergone the reverse of the transition Stephen Elop wants to see Nokia make.
“He wants the company to stop being known for unexciting reliability and to start inspiring greater emotional attachment in its users. The N9 was that irrationally loved device, and no matter how hard the Lumia 800 tries, it simply isn't as thrilling.”
Sharif Sakr, Engadget
“Some people will notice that Nokia is building a special relationship with Microsoft, to the point where the manufacturer is able to deliver more exclusive features in its phones and push for things to be added in later revisions. If you're a WP fan, then there might be an argument for committing to Nokia in order to benefit from all those good things to come.
“However, we think that's premature. Drive [Nokia’s turn by turn navigation application] is a nice exclusive feature, but there's not much else yet. If anything, the Lumia 800's hardware risks being left behind as Nokia develops apps and platforms based on NFC, front-facing cameras and other (unknown) features that are likely being prepared for Windows 8 Apollo. The Nokia-Microsoft relationship will certainly become more important, but that's not enough to sway a purchasing decision today.”
Chris Davies, SlashGear
“The Lumia 800 suffers the same drawbacks of all current Windows Phone 7 handsets, not as much third-party developer support being the most obvious, but Nokia seems emboldened to do something about that rather than simply watch owners complain.
“A brilliant camera and compelling design, paired with a usable and clever platform, add up to a handset that’s straightforward enough for first-time smartphone users but still has enough appeal for those more familiar with advanced phones. It’s the first foray of what will be a far longer battle, but with the Lumia 800 Nokia is off to a very strong start.”