Nokia Lumia 800: A smart case for Windows on phone

With its late 2011 launch of the Lumia handset in India, Nokia emphatically restated its reputation for producing sturdy, user-friendly phones sharply targeting particular sections of the user community. The word ‘sturdy’ in this context might mislead. Unlike so many Nokia offerings, the Lumia 800 is sleek, light and -- looks-wise – stunning.

The phone is an unashamed offering for the young and restless, bold and beautiful generation of Internet-savvy, social media dependent generation of customers world-wide for whom Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – or its indigenous equivalents – is a natural habitat; texting and chat a 24 by 7 preoccupation. The data speeds available with the WCDMA GSM network ( HSPA) cater to the fastest connections available today and at least for a year.

The large 3.7 inch AMOLED display is large enough for most of the ‘smart’ things its archetypical user wants to do with a phone. The 1.4 GHz chip and a matching graphics processor serve up the speedy video capability that a combo of 3G connectivity and services like YouTube and Flickr remand. An 8 megapixel camera with Auto Focus, Carl Zeiss Optics, 2x LED Flash and HD Video ensures that owners can generate high quality still and video content. And software-wise, it offers the ability to combine Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn feeds, chat and SMS messages in one conversation and the touch interface makes this even easier. There is 16 GB of usable memory – arguably a big chunk – but I am surprised there is no microSD slot for expanding this. Nokia’s target customer is a hungry gigabyte gobbler and in India at least, the trend of storing movies on Flash disks, is just catching up. I can see a little bit of grumbling at the inability to add one’s own storage to the phone’s.

This is Nokia’s first Windows phone ( Windows 7.5 Mango to be exact) and the browser unsurprisingly, is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 with Outlook for mailing. Another feature that comes with the Windows connection, is a hub for Xbox Live for online gaming and 3D ‘avatars. The GPS enables free turn by turn navigational use of Nokia Maps.

But I have a feeling what will really help Nokia leverage its new Window to the mobile market are those 700 odd India-specific apps that are said to be on offer in the Windows Phone Market Place. If these click with young buyers here, then Nokia’s path breaking decision to embrace Windows o its Lumia phones, in preference to its own operating systems will turn out to be a canny commercial move whose impact will be felt in the new year. The Nokia Lumia is priced just shy of Rs 30,000. -- Anand Parthasarathy.

Link to product details  

December 31 2011

Our earlier coverage of the Lumia 800: