If you have been following me, you may have known that I am no longer an iPhone user. Since last month, I have been using a Nokia Lumia 800 phone running Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS. Even though we already know that this phone, or in fact none of the existing Windows Phones, support compatibility with the new Windows Phone 8 OS, I am still extremely happy with my experience with the phone so far.
The design of the phone is simply sexy. The vibrancy of the colors make it look even stylish than any competitor. The phone is constructed of a polycarbonate material using a unibody construction, meaning that only one piece of the plastic is being used to make the phone, alongside the corning gorilla glass that is curved by the edge to make the seam between the glass and the plastic feel completely seamless. It’s also nice to have a capacitive home, back and search button that vibrates when you tap on it. All of the other controls are located on the right side with volume, sleep/wake and a dedicated camera button. Headphone jack is located on the top with a flip-door for a micro-USB port and a micro-SIM tray. The design in general is absolutely fantastic, and is one of the main aspects of why I have switched away from the iPhone. One negative about the design, though, is about the micro-USB port. To access it, you have to flip open a door that feels like it is going to break anytime soon because of it’s thin construction.
Because of the unibody construction, the phone does not have a removable battery. However, the battery life is not disappointing. It will last you for the whole day with normal usage, and charging is also very quick with fast charge.
The camera has an 8-megapixel sensor with dual flash. To be very honest with you though, the photos taken by the camera is fairly disappointing. Colors did not look rich. Focus seems to be out of focus. And the overall quality of the photo just seems dull. However, on the positive side, we have a great HD video recorder. The 720p videos are taken at 30fps look gorgeous with rich colors. Don’t know why there is such a big difference between photo and video quality, but that’s how it is on this phone. Even accessing the camera is fast. Just click on the dedicated camera button and you are directed to the camera app in a flash. No lag or anything. One of the great advantages of Windows Phone 7.
Windows Phone 7.5 & Apps
The OS that is running on the Nokia Lumia 800 is the latest Windows Phone 7.5. In the 7.5 version, there are many features includes over the 7.0 version. One of the biggest being multitasking. Before I dive into the features though, I would just like to say that I am extremely pleased with the performance of Windows Phone. Even though the phone only has a single-core CPU, the OS is really optimized to run smoothly on the phone with absolutely no lag. I have never experienced any sort of lag on this phone. Tapping on an app, going back to the home screen is such a joy with the cool animation effect that is current throughout the entire OS. The live tiles on the home screen is also a joy to just watch. New updates come in and are shown on the tile. No annoying notifications will pop up because the live tiles are subtle and elegant.
Now talking about some features. The Me tile and the People hub is a pretty nice feature. It has tight integration with Facebook where if you wanted to post up a status update, you can do that really quickly right from the Me tile without having the enter the Facebook app. Tweeting is just as easy. Uploading photos is also a joy.
There is a negative side though. Multitasking does not work as seamless as I thought it would. If you wanted to multitask, you have to tap and hold onto the back button. Then you get this great view of all the recently opened apps. And if you tap on one, you are directed back to the app with no lag and you can continue to use the app with no loading time. But, the negative comes in when you want to go back to an app that you just visited, via the home screen. If you exit and app by pressing the home button, and then try to go back to that app you were just in a second ago, via the home screen, the app will reload itself right from the beginning without the seamlessness of going back to the app from the multitasking viewer. This might be a problem with the app, but it has occurred with all 3rd party apps.
The Marketplace is a great place to download and purchase apps and music. As long as you have a Windows Live ID, then everything is seamless. The only negative about this is that the Marketplace is simply not as vibrant as the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store. Not enough apps, and not all big apps are there. As an example, Dropbox is still not there.
Syncing your Windows Phone actually seems easy because Microsoft has developed the Zune app for Windows and the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac, which allows you to grab media files from iTunes and photos from iPhoto, and sync them onto your phone. Now that’s all great when it works. Most of the time, it doesn’t. Why? Because it just crashes every single time I connect my phone. 4 out of 5 times it will crash, and when it is successful, the syncing time is just too long. Sometimes just syncing a few files can take between 5 to 10 minutes. Plus, there is no wireless syncing as of today.
Overall, the Nokia Lumia 800 is a fantastic option for those whoa re buying a new smartphone. If you are thinking of switching from an iPhone or an Android, there are a few things to sacrifice, such as the apps that you used everyday, as well as the camera quality. However, this phone really is brought up high in attention because of its great design and the integration of Windows Phone 7.5.
Plomonet rating: 8/10
Watch our full video review below: