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Nokia Lumia 800 review



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Nokia Lumia 800
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  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Orange San Francisco 2 (ZTE Crescent) 15
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Lumia 800


Our Score:



  • Beautiful design
  • Well built
  • Excellent ergonomics and basic performance
  • The best Windows Phone phone
  • Nokia Drive and Mix Radio are useful extras


  • Low res screen
  • Only single core processor
  • Smaller app store than iOS and Android

Key Features

  • 3.7in Amoled screen
  • Windows Phone OS
  • 8 megapixel camera with 720p video
  • 16GB storage
  • 1.4GHz single core processor
  • Manufacturer: Nokia
  • Review Price: £420.00

The Nokia Lumia 800 is the first phone to emerge from Nokia's controversial partnership with Microsoft and its exclusive transition to that company's Windows Phone platform. Ditching support for all other smartphone platforms in the process, Nokia has taken a huge gamble by going the Windows Phone route, but if the Lumia 800 is a sign of things to come it will be a gamble that pays off. It may not be quite the technical tour de force of many Android phones but it's a thoroughly enjoyable phone to use, and a damned good looking one too.

Nokia Lumia 800 3

Starting with those looks, the Nokia Lumia 800 earns its praise thanks to a combination of subtle design, top notch build materials and a real attention to detail.

The design, in many ways, is simplicity itself. There's a seamless slab of glass on the front and the body is a single smooth matt plastic surface. There's no clever use of different colours, no strange lumps or bumps, and no controversial glass back like on the iPhone. What makes it shine, though is the elegance of it all. The back is only interrupted by the silver plate containing the Nokia logo and camera, with the twin LEDs for the camera alongside, all the physical buttons are kept neatly on one edge, while the connectivity is along the top, hidden behind flaps.

The tapered top and bottom and the nicely rounded left and right edges also give it an appealing smoothness. Quite simply we think it's the best looking phone you can currently buy. Even the Cyan and Magenta versions look seriously classy in person.

It's also a really nice device to handle. The top and bottom edges may be a bit sharp but otherwise all the tapered and rounded edges make it nestle comfortably in the hand. The modest size of the phone also helps a great deal. The screen is 'only' 3.7in so the phone itself is correspondingly a relatively modest 116.5 x 61.2mm. In contrast the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is 20mm taller and 6mm wider, and it's far from the largest handset going. It's nice to note the Lumia 800 isn't overly slim either. At 12.1mm, it's a whole 5mm thicker than the Motorola RAZR, and 3mm thicker than the iPhone 4S but it's also considerably nicer to hold because (or perhaps in spite) of this.

The plastic used to construct the bulk of the phone's body also impresses. Not only does the polycarbonate have a lovely matt finish, but it also resists scratches well and causes no issues with hampering phone signal, unlike some metal encased phones. Best of all, the colour runs right through the plastic, so no matter how much it gets scratched, you won't end up going through the paintwork, which would make it look old before its time.

If you want to make doubly sure your phone doesn't come to harm the Lumia 800 also comes with a protective sleeve that covers the back of the phone. It looks surprisingly good and feels nice too, though we'd still prefer a proper leather case that protects the whole thing.

Of course it would be remiss of us not to point out that all these design qualities were also present in the Nokia N9, the ill-fated first MeeGo phone that Nokia essentially killed before it launched, by announcing it was going to be sticking to Windows Phone exclusively (not to mention it never even launched in the UK). Having had a few plays with the N9, we really have to question Nokia's logic and motives with ditching all other platforms for Windows Phone. To all intents and purposes MeeGo was ready for prime time and we could've had it several months ago. Hey ho, bygones and all that…

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Martin Daler

October 26, 2011, 9:49 pm

"Otherwise, the Nokia 800 looks and feels like a fairly typical Windows Phone"

I realise you guys have a bit of a downer on all things Nokia, but maybe you don't need to betray your prejudice quite as blatantly by trying to pass this off as looking like just any other WP7 phone, when quite clearly in looks at least it is most unlike any other phone out there.


October 26, 2011, 10:21 pm

I was referring to the OS at that point. Sorry if that was unclear.


October 26, 2011, 11:37 pm

Also remember that as part of this desperate deal, MS agreed to give Nokia free reign at the most basic OS level to tweak and adapt it however they pleased. All the more disappointing that it looks as bland as any other WP7 device. (Again, on the OS level).


October 27, 2011, 2:36 am

I can't help myself, but it feels like one looser found another. (Nokia+Microsoft) I am sick and tired of both. I don't think that this handset sell well respectively capture any noticeable market share in Europe. Promising N9 with Meego was scraped and instead of that American CEO @ Nokia is thinking that we can eat anything in Europe what they will serve :D what a mistake amigo Elop !


October 27, 2011, 12:24 pm

Quote: "when quite clearly in looks at least it is most unlike any other phone out there."

Not necessarily. Looks similar to the Foxconn made device more commonly known as Huawei Ideos X6/U9000 or the Motorola Triumph. Can have a look at http://www.motorola.com/Consumers/US-EN/Consumer-Product-and-Services/Mobile-Phones/MOTOROLA-TRIUMPH-US-EN .


October 27, 2011, 2:01 pm

heh read something rather amusing this morning!

Apparently no-one at Nokia speaks Spanish; "lumia" means prostitute according to here: www.wordmagicsoft.com/dictionary/es-en/lumia.php


October 27, 2011, 2:42 pm

@Martin "you guys have a bit of a downer on all things Nokia" ... or do you mean they disagree with your bias?

I used to be Nokia all the way but I am disappointed their delayed efforts have produced this, a larger iPod mini clone. Nokia 7110, 8800 ... these were great phones, well built and different from the pack.

So maybe Nokia are to blame, not TR.

Martin Daler

October 27, 2011, 3:53 pm

@Lantic - of course you are correct, TR does not agree with my bias.

But even so, this is certainly no worse an implementation of WP7 than any other, in some ways (navigation, music possibly) it is slightly ahead of the WP7 pack. Moreover the phone itself acquits itself very well aesthetically, successfully differentiating itself from the mass of iPhone and Desire look-alikes.
So I see a lot to like here, and I think the glass is definitely more half-full than half-empty.
I don't actually use a 'smartphone' of any description, never have. So I am at once totally unqualified to comment in detail, but also free of any need to post-rationalise or self-affirm previous purchases.


October 29, 2011, 4:13 am

"the Nokia 800 looks and feels like a fairly typical Windows Phone"

I think the reviewer should have gone to specsavers... :-D lol


January 15, 2012, 10:12 am

Is not a typical Windows Phone. I ordered mine thru Expansys Mexico. Came from italy. I use an LG Optimus for a time and is a lot better. I find every application that was in my two previous Blackberries (Storm, 8520). You don´t need to reset each time an Application is installed or removed. The Gorilla Glass is truly genial. Is not the best but the future of Nokia with Microsoft looks promising. I agree battery need improvement. Camera is enough for a phone. I use a decent Camera for that. Consider that our phone companies in Mexico tend to delay a lot new technologies. Definetively wins to Blackberry, Need more Apps compared to Android & Apple. The average people don´t use thousand of apps. Extra storage is a value but with a Iomega Wifii is solved. Beed more accesories. Definetly a leap forward! Is unlocked that gives extra value in my opinion.


April 20, 2012, 3:15 am

Both I and my son actually waited for this phone. So far Im onto my third handsetband my son the second. All replacement have been for the same reason LOCKING UP. Factory resets updates all have failed.
You would be on a call thE phone disconnect the call and restarts. It's a massive knock to the Nokia experience


December 21, 2012, 10:15 pm

If you are going to show how one phone displays text less well than another, the least you can do is show text the same size. In your side-by-side shot, the text on the "other" phone is at least one point larger. It is also a different font. Overall, though, I don't see that it shows that the Lumia 800's screen is any worse at all than the phone it is being compared to.

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