While the Nokia Lumia 800 was generally acclaimed for its industrial design and the OS it ran, most reviewers (correctly) noted the lack of applications as a disadvantage. However, with the Lumia 800 being a Nokia device, it was designed to not only appeal to the typical smartphone crowd, but also traditional Nokia users who probably don’t care that much about apps. Unfortunately, most reviews are written by professional reviewers, of course, who do not come from this standpoint.
So, it’s quite refreshing to see Joe Mathewson reviewing the Lumia 800. He previously owned a Nokia E72, running Symbian, and chose the Lumia 800 over the iPhone 4S after trying it out in a shop, because it felt better in the hand and he got a free Xbox 360 along with it. He notes:
Iâ€™ve seen complaints elsewhere that retailers were really pushing people away from Windows Phone. I found, both in the Orange (network) shop and the Carphone Warehouse shop, they seemed to have similar disdain for me buying either the iPhone or the Lumia. Both models were available to try. I wasnâ€™t pushed to buy either.
With the iPhone being alrady established and Apple’s massive brand, it practically sells itself â€“ no surprise sales people aren’t explicitly pushing it. As for the Lumia, it is, indeed, problematic, though Microsoft is looking to fix that.
Going on, he liked that it “just works”, found the Live Tiles pretty useful and especially praised the People hub:
I soon realised that my geeky 11-year old self would have hated this phone. There are almost no options to play with. You can change the â€œaccent colourâ€ in the UI. Thatâ€™s about it. Maybe this is a problem in that the techy early adopter crowd wonâ€™t really appreciate the phone and thus recommend it to their less geeky friends. However, the busy 27 year old me appreciates this. This phone has good defaults. It just worked, and I didnâ€™t have to worry about messing around with it.
Windows Phone Mango also seems to work really well. It feels fresh and uncluttered, and I like the way the front screen is a set of live widgets (called â€˜tilesâ€™ apparently) rather than a giant list of apps, which is all the iPhone seems to offer.
The People app is my standout favourite smartphone app I have ever used. Maybe other phones also do this but it feels like the future to me. I had to hand over all my social network credentials, but my phoneâ€™s contact list is now able to show me: each personâ€™s latest activity across Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, all their contact details from the above, my history of communication with that person, their photo, their job title, their address, their photos from Facebook and more. Not in separate screens but a single, cohesive, contact record. Like the ultimate CRM for all my friends, all presented in a very slick interface. This feels like a great way of working. Separate social networks for the different uses – recruiting, people I know and people I want to know – all with their own features and clients for when I need to actually do something complicated, but an app that integrates all of them with my own address book. Brilliant.
But he also had some criticism, in that you can’t tell what is click-able and what not, which is definitely true. Once you get used to everything, you’ll know, but it isn’t that obious at first and can and should be improved.
Overall, it’s a pretty interesting perspective, and we can only recommend you to read the full review over here.