Lumianized

Jan 2, 2012

First off, a massive thank you to Nokia Connects especially to Paul for this two-week trial of the new and lovely Nokia Lumia 800.  On the 19th of December, the Lumia 800 arrived on my desk and well, let's just say I was "Lumianized".  For those who still didn't know, the Nokia Lumia 800 runs the latest Windows Phone code name Mango.  More on that later but let me just say it's a different experience compared to iOS and Android.  The OS is much younger compared to its rivals but it surely have a great potential if Microsoft and Nokia will join forces to improve the OS.  I love its simplicity and elegance.

Hello Lumia!

There are already tons of unboxing videos and reviews of this device so in this review I'll focus more on the experience.  For full phone specifications, click here.

Look & Feel

I got the black version of the device and it is mightily elegant.  Fits in my hand just perfectly and the grip is somewhat similar to the older design of the iPhone.  The buttons are just in the right place too.  Unlocking and adjusting the volume is a breeze.

Here's what I love about the combination of Mango and Lumia 800's design.

Windows Phone 7 visualizes any app as a large canvas and allows one to navigate through it as if you are moving the screen window within that canvas.  So you don't jump into a hierarchy of menus but slide the canvas further to see something new.  

Source:  Hindustan Times

The Nokia Lumia 800's round edges compliments greatly with Mango giving you a superb experience.  All in all, this is one gorgeous device. 

Audio & Video

I think this is one are Nokia can really improve on.  I'm not saying the audio and video quality of the device is bad but these could be better.  I'm expecting though a more powerful camera, better audio (loudspeaker) quality and a front camera.  Also, I do hope they'll throw in some N900 features like the FM transmitter.  That would be awesome!  I think Nokia has a lot of experience in this department and I think it is high time for them to bring out their big guns on the next Lumia (900?).



Anyway, I still had fun shooting some images and videos all throughout the holidays.  Results also looked very good on the display.

Apps & Peformance

Windows Phone is a very gorgeous OS, it is lightweight and the experience is unmatched.  The live tiles is a genius idea.  This is still a work in progress though and I'm excited to what's in store for the rumored Tango. There are several key features that I love about the OS.  The social media integration is also unmatched currently in the OS wars and I hope MS will further deepen and improve this feature in the succeeding versions.  Here are some notes.

  • Ability to choose a photo album on Facebook when uploading directly from the camera roll
  • Video title instead of video caption when uploading via camera roll
  • Improve third party apps like Facebook
  • Option to "save as" or "overwrite" a photo when using auto-fix
  • Ability to select threads by tapping on the side (this feature is available on the email)
  • Can send direct messages via threads even Facebook contacts are offline
  • Ability to create playlists in Nokia Music and Zune app
  • Skype App
  • Photosynth App
  • Improve Tellme

I love my app icons to look and feel the same and I hope all apps have an Windows Phone inspired version so all apps look and feel that same.  Also, I'm expecting a "folder" or a "groups" feature sometime soon for apps but it should be a different feel.  I currently love how I can browse my games through the XBOX Live Games app.  I think if they will bring in folders to WP7, it should also look and feel the same as the Games app.  There should also be an option to manually group or automatically group apps according to their category.

On editing details on contacts, I wish there was a way to customize the details on mobile numbers.  In my case, most of my contacts have two mobile numbers with different carriers.  I would love to tag these mobile  numbers with their respective carrier name.  Then, I would also love to see these details on the threads so I would know to what mobile carrier I'm replying to when sending SMS.

I also see that currently there is no option turning off auto-correct in messaging.  Also, the QWERTY keyboard took some time to adjust since they are a bit close to each other.  Anyway, it's not that hard either to adjust and would love to see an option where I can quickly switch to a keypad.  I think this is a great feature especially for people on the move.  A keypad is way much easier to type when you're on the rush and trying to push in a quick email or SMS because it does not require both hands to type and they keys are bigger.

Social Media & Cloud

Again, hope this feature will be further improved in the coming versions of Windows Phone.  I hope they will integrate social media so much so that there will almost no need for you to go to a separate app.  Hoping also they will bring in Google+ and its features like hangouts.  That would be a real game changer!

SkyDrive is also integrated on Mango so you have a massive 25GB of free storage for your media.

Tools & Productivity

Now on to the work side.

WP7 makes a good push on the work side, syncing calendars, emails and contacts from your Google or Live account. At the moment Windows Phone 7 sets up each email account separately (in a new tile) and that turns out to be a good structure for ones who do not want their email accounts to be interconnected with a unified inbox or a single email app. The good part is that do have option to link inboxes together and that leaves you with more control on how you want to deal with different inboxes.

Microsoft has integrated Office, OneNote and Sharepoint right into Windows Phone 7. Opening attachments and reviewing them on word / excel is smooth. You can also choose to sync all your documents online to your SkyDrive account and access it anytime. Shifting a Windows Phone 7 device resulted in all my previous OneNote and Word & Excel files auto-syncing with the new device (downloads the file names initially and the complete file as you access it). For many who rely on office apps for Android & iOS, WP7's office integration is a big attraction.

Source:  Hindustan Times

There are app tools that I want to see in the future: audio recorder and notepad are just some. I would love to see a timer or a countdown app integrated somewhere.  Again, SkyDrive can also store your documents on the cloud, so downloading and forwarding document is such a breeze within the Office app.

Final Words & Adieu 

For the past two weeks this has been my phone and it has been an awesome experience.  I think the whole minimalistic design of the phone and it's operating system gives you just that - only the stuff that you need and what's essential.  I know the whole theme of the Windows Phone operating system is to "Put People First" and I think with Nokia's design - it gives you just that.

Anyway, my two weeks of trial is up and I'm going to miss this phone badly.  Like I said, I was Lumianized! I would not think twice to choose the Lumia 800 over the iPhone 4s.  Thanks and kudos to the Nokia Connects team!

Happy 2012!

P.S.

If we still have time with the device, my brother from Eye Tricks and I are making a short video based on our experience of the Nokia Lumia 800.  Also, apparently I am not the only who was Lumianized.  A bunch of people who saw me holding this device were "wowed" upon seeing this eye-candy device.



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