Nokia Lumia 800 review

The first Windows Phone from Nokia has finally arrived, but is this smartphone the shot in the arm Nokia so desperately needs or a shot in the foot? Julian Prokaza finds out in our review.


Nokia caused a bit of a stir when it unveiled the N9 smartphone earlier this year; partly because it was a beautifully designed and constructed piece of hardware, and partly because it ran the then new MeeGo operating system which was already obsolete following the Finnish phone manufacturer's alliance with Microsoft. While the N9's MeeGo OS is now dead in the water, Nokia hasn't abandoned the hardware which is now available, albeit in a slightly retooled form, as the Lumia 800 with Windows Phone 7.5 onboard.

The blue Nokia Lumia 800

Four physical buttons are picked out in silver on the rounded right-hand side of the case.

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The good news is that the Lumia 800 retains the N9's drop-dead gorgeous design and, alongside, the iPhone 4S, it's by far one of the best-looking smartphones we've ever seen. The case consists of a single piece of polycarbonate that's machined in much the same way as the aluminium unibody' MacBook Pro to create a smooth, seamless slab that combines organic curves on the back and sides with crisp edges top and bottom. The matte finish still looks and feels like plastic, and is prone to picking up scuff marks, but it also feels extremely solid and wonderfully tactile. Our black-coloured unit is stylishly inoffensive, but more eye-catching pink and blue versions will also be available.

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Four physical buttons are picked out in silver on the rounded right-hand side of the case the usual volume rocker and camera shutter release, with the power button in between. Unlike the latest Windows Phone 7 smartphones from HTC, these are easy to find using touch alone, although the close proximity of the power button to the volume rocker makes it easy to press by accident when fumbling with the Lumia 800 in a pocket.

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