Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 review: First Look

Reviews 26 Oct, 2011

Nokia has finally announced its first Windows Phone 7 handsets, but do these new smartphones light the way or trail the pack? We get a hands-on sneak peek.

Verdict: 
Both of Nokia's new Lumia Windows Phone 7 models look very promising. However, whether the Lumias will be worth choosing over other Windows Phone handsets depends not only on the usual concerns like battery life, but whether Nokia's apps are distinctive and useful enough to set the Lumias apart from similar Samsung and HTC Windows Phones. We'll bring you full reviews as soon as we can.

Nokia's highly anticipated Windows Phone 7 handsets, the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, have finally been unveiled and we managed to get a hands-on sneak peek of both of them at Nokia World in London. These two new models aren't just another pair of smartphones though – they're part of Nokia's efforts to stay relevant in a smartphone market dominated by Apple and Google.

The Nokia Lumia 800.

It's been just eight months since Nokia announced it was abandoning its home grown Symbian and MeeGo operating systems in favour of Windows Phone 7. It's therefore no surprise that the Lumia 800 bears a strong resemblance to the N9, the Finnish giant's sole and ill-fated MeeGo phone. The injection-moulded polycarbonate design feels light yet rigid and well made with a soft, almost velvety touch to it. The micro USB port and micro SIM card are hidden under a pair of small flip-up panels on the top of the phone which were a bit fiddly to pry open.

The Lumia 800's micro SIM slot is hidden beneath a flip up cover that's fiddly to pry open.

The Lumia 800 will have an eight-megapixel camera, an 800x480 pixel 3.7in AMOLED screen and 16GB of on-board, non-expandable storage. These specifications are to be expected though given Microsoft's fairly rigid hardware guidelines. Nokia therefore downplayed them in favour of emphasising the quality of the camera in low-light conditions, the operating system's ease of use and its own apps.

The Lumia 800's side buttons will be unmarked making it difficult to tell which is the power/sleep button and which is the camera button.

Nokia showed off its two exclusive Windows Phone apps, Nokia Music and Nokia Drive. The Nokia Music app has a feature called Mix Radio which lets you listen to several pre-determined mixes of full-length songs that can also be cached offline. It bears more of a resemblance to the radio-like Last.fm service than a true on-demand listening service like Spotify.