Nokia lumia 800 review engadget

The phone once died suddenly in the middle of a call and flashed the battery warning, but then it switched itself back on and revealed that the battery was still at 52 percent. On another occasion, the phone initially refused to charge with an official Nokia micro-USB charger -- albeit not the one that came in the package. Both issues were short-lived, but we're keeping an eye on the behavior of our review sample and will update if anything new arises. One more thing: As we said in our full review, the aluminum also has extremely high build quality, albeit with a completely different design.

Performance and battery life The Lumia packs a Qualcomm MSM single-core processor -- exactly the same System-on-Chip that powers the Titan, except that Nokia has decided to clock the Lumia slightly slower at 1.

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Does this make a difference? Not really. In everyday use, we sometimes experienced minor lags when opening up Nokia Drive or Nokia Music, and occasional judders when using a processor-intensive app like Local Scout, but the Titan was no better. We don't expect to see any Lumia-owning geeks on the performance leaderboards. Surprisingly, though, the benchmarks gave the Titan a clearer lead than we might have predicted. WPBench gave the Lumia an overall score of around 86, versus the Titan's Part of this difference was in proportion to the slower CPU clock speed, but a bigger cause of the disparity was actually the Lumia 's tardiness in shifting large chunks of data between its memory and storage.

Likewise, the Sun Spider Javascript benchmark gave the Lumia a score of ms for surfing on the Web Kit browser, versus 6,ms for the Titan. Overall, we don't think there's anything to be too concerned about here, but we don't expect to see any Lumia-owning geeks on the performance leaderboards. The battery is only mAh, compared to the Titan's mAh behemoth.

However, the Lumia's smaller and more power efficient display cancels out this disparity and the two phones end up being roughly on a par.

With heavy use, with a fair amount of photography, e-book reading and so on, the will probably die by late evening. With more normal use, involving calls, push email and a bit of music, it could stretch to a day and a half. In the WPBench battery test, the phone lasted two hours and 40 minutes -- against three hours from the Titan. Nokia knows how to build phones, so reception and call quality were both reliably average when using the Vodafone network in and around London.

Importantly though, the Lumia doesn't do internet tethering, whether by WiFi or cable, whereas the Titan does. The Lumia might not be the first to make this happy pairing, but it's a powerful union here nonetheless -- and if you've never used an AMOLED phone before, then you're in for a big treat. The key selling point is that any black areas on the screen are completely black. Deep, true, outer space black. In comparison, LCD panels are just a very dark grey. What's more, when you bump up the brightness on an LCD, you can take a hit on contrast, because that background grey gets steadily lighter.

But with AMOLED, the blacks remain implacably perfect no matter how high you push the brightness -- producing a level of contrast on the Lumia that can make your eyes throb if you deliberately mess with the settings while indoors. The brightness pierces through smudges and reflections on the glass, while also delivering powerful color saturation. We wouldn't want use it for reading e-books in direct sunlight -- we've got e-ink for that -- but the bold live tiles of Windows Phone seem tailor-made for the Lumia 's display and we'd certainly choose it over LCD for everyday use in the fresh air.

The strange pixelation can be distracting. Go indoors, however, and it's a different story. Nokia is an extremely savvy player when it comes to building smartphones to a price point. Some phone users take issue with this technology, because it lowers the sub-pixel count and can impact on color rendition due to the excess of green sub-pixels.

Nokia Lumia Icon review - Engadget

We look forward to testing the revised software on the device to see if it improves things, and we genuinely hope it does, but for now shoppers may be forced to choose whether high-quality photography in the dark is truly enough to make up for occasionally middling performance when the sun is out. It's worth reiterating that the smartphone's image stabilization is a marvel, rescuing some shots we thought would be a blurry mess. It's another example of genuine innovation coming from Nokia -- but it's not quite there yet.

We also found that the Lumia had difficulty metering the scenes we presented. We often had to decide between capturing a detailed skyline or a well-lit subject. An HDR mode certainly wouldn't go amiss. Admittedly, the low-light performance, as we'd already teased , beat everything else outright, but that performance has somehow cost your well-lit images a degree of detail you might not want to give up. We suggest take a look through our image gallery -- we were sure to run the camera phone through as many different environments as we could.

Noise artifacts are low again, especially in low light and file sizes suggest that Nokia hasn't compressed much away. But we can't fight our disappointment with these results; after all that fanfare, the all-round imaging performance still leaves something to be desired. In better news, video capture is crisp and amazingly stable -- thanks to that OIS.

Walking with the phone introduces minimal stutter -- especially compared to what we're used to on other smartphones, while autofocus is able to latch on to points of interest quickly. You'll make the prettiest video clips you've ever seen on smartphone, all lacking any motion sickness-inducing shuttering.

As you might see in our samples, the phone often produced some slightly muted colors in our videos -- though we reckon this was still an accurate representation of the scene. Similarly, sometimes the auto-white balance would change in the middle of filming, meaning our videos would occasionally jump from warm yellows to cool blues and greens; something that would certainly benefit from some software adjustments. We'll leave the finer details of Windows Phone 8 to our in-depth review , but it's worth touching on how WP8 fares on the new Lumia.

The slightly more customizable Live Tiles give you something to mess around with as soon as you switch it on -- and they still feel fresh, if only incrementally different from what we became accustomed to with Windows Phone 7. Covering some familiar software highlights; Nokia Maps is a superb app and free turn-by-turn navigation is hard to sniff at. The Live Tiles are a common-sense setup and are easy to understand and adjust, while everything is largely organized in a sensible way.

However, plenty of issues still remain; the lengthy refresh time for social apps like Twitter and Facebook, lightweight Google integration which is admittedly better than what Microsoft's mobile OS offered in the past , and the jarring gap in app selection. While Microsoft was quick to claim it's catching up, the new iteration at the time of this review oddly lacks Spotify, already out on Windows Phone 7, while the likes of Dropbox, Instagram and Flipboard still remain absent. The gaming selection, despite the Xbox Live connection, seems littered with titles of yesteryear and doesn't give mobile gamers enough to pull them away from the rich delights of both iOS and Android.

Xbox SmartGlass replaces the My Xbox Live app, handing you another way to interact with your console. The full version requires an Xbox Live subscription and a capable broadband connection , and throws up some touchscreen controls that map to controller buttons along with a content browser. SmartGlass-compatible content is signposted with its own icon, although unfortunately not all of it notably Xbox Video has been switched live just yet. We were able to connect to Netflix, but again, this requires a subscription.

The contents don't appear to be fully fleshed-out yet -- presumably more contents will go live when the devices hit stores and while a keyboard is available when you browse through the phone, some parts of the Xbox UI still require typing through the UI -- and controller. We'd love to see further possibly in-game integration using Windows Phone as Microsoft continues to flesh out the feature -- because at the moment, there's not much here for us to do. We'll stick with the controller. While our ecosystem complaints remain, Nokia has continued to offer its own "hero" apps, and even improved some of them in the process.

Nokia Music continues to expand its music offering, despite obvious competition. The app itself now supports Dolby sound and has its own built-in seven-channel equalizer, while the gig finder feature now taps into location data for search results. The app will even spin out navigation results and the ability to buy tickets for your show of choice -- as long as they're still available. While anyone that's already signed up to Spotify, or Pandora will likely ignore the function, Mix radio still offers a raft of free mainstream and not music to stream and download, with the ability to take several playlists offline for use anywhere.

Unsurprisingly, Nokia's included plenty of additional camera and imaging apps, ranging from the reality-augmenting City Lens , which was more than capable of leading us to the nearest cafe or pub across London, to the GIF-crafting skills of Cinemagraph. However, that last one feels like it isn't quite ready for public use just yet. After recording a brief clip, you can then select areas of the image to keep animated, while pausing the rest. This file can be then shared as a GIF file -- well, at least through a convoluted upload to SkyDrive.

We were unable to get our animated pictures to send through email, Twitter or Facebook without the files being automatically converted to JPEG. In the end, the SkyDrive option does give you the animation, and even the chance to embed into your own blog, but it's a convoluted workflow for what could be a fun little extra. You'll also need a SkyDrive account just to see your uploaded pictures.

Nokia Lumia 800 review

Yep, Microsoft's cloud storage, while stitched into the very seams of the Windows Phone 8 is often rather unintuitive, especially when it comes to transferring pre-existing images to our phone. We just wanted to make the most of those photo tiles, but we found both the web and mobile side to the cloud storage system unclear and frustrating. Alongside that newer software comes fresher hardware -- and the arrival of dual cores on Windows Phone. The Lumia packs a 1. However, results line up with the HTC 8X and yet another impressive SunSpider score that's been borne out in our real-life experience with the handset; the device is more than capable of rendering the desktop versions of sites -- something that the big screen is also well-suited to.

It's also worth considering that the Lumia has both a larger and slightly higher-resolution display than HTC's device, meaning the internals are being taxed a little more. In typical use, the phone was more than able to keep up with a day's regular use, although we found that increased outdoor use and thus a brighter screen did make noticeable dents in the battery life. Using the Lumia 's contactless charger was a bit slower than simply plugging it in, but that's what you pay for convenience. We're just glad to see the charging function arrive without a clunky case ruining a phone's design.

Nokia arguably offered up the best hardware for the last iteration of Windows Phone. Does it repeat that success here? Yes, but it ties with the HTC 8X for that honor. The Lumia feels substantially chunkier, despite having similar by-the-number dimensions, but it remains another glorious piece of hardware from Nokia. That large shell has afforded more space for the latest PureView camera, which delivers superb low-light performance and effective optical stabilization across stills and video. But, if you lost interest after seeing " x ," here's our Hail Mary elevator pitch: Pixelation in apps and menus isn't really an issue.

It's there to some extent if you look hard enough, but the WP8 UI helps disguise it. We're surprised there isn't a noticeable drop in quality when compared with the Lumia 's screen, which crams the WVGA resolution into its smaller 3. Colors are rich and vibrant; whites are accurate; and blacks rank among the best we've seen, helped by Nokia's ClearBlack technology. The black of the screen is often indiscernible from the darkness of the bezel, making the entire front face look like it's supporting the Live Tile grid.

Viewing angles, outdoor visibility, brightness and the auto-adjust setting are all great. Color us impressed, but we can't totally overlook the resolution. Whether from local files, YouTube or Netflix, it's a perfectly adequate screen upon which to watch moving pictures the loudspeakers have a bit of punch, too , but you know you're missing out on those finer details. This would also be the case for games, but those with more advanced graphics aren't compatible with handsets rocking MB of RAM.


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You're probably well aware by now: You can check out our full review of the latest version of Microsoft's mobile OS here , but let's break it down briefly. WP8 is stripped back and simple. Beyond the lock screen is your Live Tile home screen and, on an adjacent panel, is a list of all your apps and core features like settings, messages, emails, et al.

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It's really easy to get the hang of, and Microsoft has built an OS that runs great on hardware that Android handsets laugh at. The OS is a major, if not the deciding factor when considering new handsets, so pondering whether WP8 is right for you isn't wasted time. On WP8, you're basically tied to Internet Explorer, so be ready to invest some time in moving those bookmarks across if IE isn't your default browser elsewhere. Once you're all set up, though, WP8 is relatively transparent, easy to navigate and a cinch to understand.

Our handset came straight from Nokia, so it was just a case of uninstalling the Angry Birds Roost pseudo-store to rid it of bloatware. Because this is a Lumia, you've got access to a bunch of exclusive apps not available on other Windows Phones, such as PhotoBeamer , Nokia Music and Pulse messenger currently in beta. There is also a host of imaging apps that afford you advanced features not available within the stock camera software: Several of these and Nokia's Here navigation aids come pre-installed on the , with any omissions easily downloadable from the software store.

Of the Here apps for the , only City Lens is exclusive to Lumias. Instead, you get Here Drive available on all Windows Phones -- a satnav app that is limited to the country your micro-SIM is allied to.


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  • You've also got to remember that the lacks support for a handful of apps by default, due to RAM requirements. But, at least the Twitter client is slick, right? The 's rear-facing camera is one of the main components that sets it apart from other WP8 models with otherwise similar core specs.

    While the , , 8S and Ascend W1 all have five megapixels to work with, the has a 6. Before we get to that, though, let's take a quick pass over the 1. Under artificial light, you can see the exposure compensation stuttering in the viewfinder as it struggles to adjust. Shooting p video on the front-facer results in much the same experience.

    If you're inside or caught by failing light, it's going to be just like the stills: In favorable conditions, video exhibits an acceptable frame rate and quality, but has a tendency to radically shift white balance if filming on the auto setting, making for inconsistent clips. Let's be honest: You're not going to be overcome with disappointment when using it for the odd video call or self-portrait.

    Like most touchscreen handsets, you can tap on the screen to direct focus and take a picture, but, as with all Windows Phones, there's a physical, two-stage camera button available to focus the main camera before shooting.

    Nokia Lumia 800 unboxed: we shed some light on what's inside

    We found this toggle a little too sensitive on other review handsets, but that's not the case on our The two levels are clearly defined, so no frustrations there. Shutter response, however, leaves a lot to be desired. It takes a good two seconds for the lens to focus, the picture to be taken and the saving animation to finish before you're ready for the next close-up. It's pretty painful, and a steady hand is essential during the sluggish process to avoid filling a microSD card full of blurry shots. If you're unfamiliar with the core WP8 camera app, it's pretty basic with only a handful of settings for both picture and video modes: Within the subsections, there are limited options and we only strayed from automatic settings to shoot in low light.

    There aren't any advanced features in the core app like HDR, burst capture, panorama, slow-motion video, etc.

    To get at these, you're kicked out of the standard camera interface into discrete apps, with loading screens in between. Panorama is a solid app that's easy to use and does a great job of stitching snaps together, even if exposure sometimes varies across the canvas. Smart Shoot is Nokia's take on the burst-capture mode, but the app can't improve the shutter lag on the , so it's only slightly quicker than taking a couple of regular shots in succession. So, how about that 6.

    Overall, we've got mixed feelings. When taking our sample shots, we didn't tinker with the settings much apart from selecting the appropriate scene type night, close-up, etc. Finding the best results came when we left the to make up its own mind in auto. By doing that, however, you're at the handset's mercy. Some shots came out crisp, with HDR-esque vibrancy and contrast, while others were dark or appeared to have all the color sucked out of them.

    Macro shots were agreeably consistent, by and large. Without the help of the sun, things got a little worse. Colors just weren't represented correctly in artificial light.