Layman’s Take on Nokia Lumia 800- Take a look over it without shadows of anything


Though it wasn’t necessary to include in the review, but as many of the users and friends asked me for it, so that I thought to list down the differences between Nokia N9 and Nokia Lumia 800 from a Nokia Fanboy angle here. May be I am wrong at some points, but this is what the info suggests (treat it as separate from the whole review itself):

Nokia Lumia 800: 10 big differences from Nokia N9 or any other common Nokia from a layman user perspective:

So as you can see, while from the exteriors, we find Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia N9 kind of identical twins, from the inside things change on many points, not just namesake but big ones. Software differences will go miles, but here I would mention the one that are considered as core ones.

Let’s just take a look over the 10 big differences/cross checks first and their context in terms of Nokia Lumia 800:

1. Different Processor and SOC: Like Nokia N9, Nokia Lumia 800 is also no dual core offering again but its not the same ARM Cortex A8 either. Windows Phone market has been dominated by Qualcomm SoCs and even if Nokia had strong plans to move forward with ST-Ericsson NovaThor SOCs, with their first Windows phones, it was not the right time to play aggressive. So the choice was 1.4GHz Single Core MSM8255 CPU, Snapdragon /Scorpion S2 chipset and Adreno 205 GPU. A safe bet for now.

So, if you are reading between the lines, then it does say a lot of things about Lumia 800 and other upcoming offerings from Nokia.

I might be badly wrong, but It seems to say… Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 are kind of place holders for Nokia. Introduced to market to show that Nokia is in Windows now and they are closely tied with it. But… but it doesn’t actually differentiates Nokia from other Windows Phone vendors and what will be differentiating (NovaThor) is yet to come on board. Once all of rest Windows Phones by Nokia get geared up with ARM based NovaThor, Lumia series will be walking with common Windows updates from Microsoft and Nokia application updates only rather than some special Nokia treatment.

While the geeks might be looking into these details, all this hardly matter for a common buyer. Reality is, currently Nokia Lumia 800 is the best performing Windows Phone (Nokia Lumia 900 has been launched now) and even if you might have loved the way things are done in Nokia N9’s MeeGo, you will never see a moment, where you find Nokia Lumia 800 slowing down in comparison to Nokia N9. It just works.

2. No Pentaband Frequency Support: Unlike Nokia N9 or almost all global Symbian^3 handsets from Nokia, Nokia Lumia doesn’t support Pentaband 3G radio. For a normal user it might be a shocker, but for the people aware of tech happening around, it was just obvious. May be I am wrong, but I am yet to see a Qualcomm offering with Pentaband Wi-Fi radio, so was our Nokia Lumia 800.

In fact, all these Qualcomm SOCs fabricate the modem on the same chip as processor etc, so while it saves the space for the handset manufacturer, it also limits the options for a different modem unless Qualcomm offers one. May be things will change with NovaThor in future, but as of now, it is like this.

May be this doesn’t affect Indian buyers, but it would be a pinch of salt for the US buyers.

3. No Internet tethering via USB/via Wi-Fi/via Bluetooth: I must admit that I didn’t noticed this important point while reviewing Nokia N9 that as of now, Nokia N9 doesn’t support USB Tethering or not means you can use your phone as modem or not as I been doing with my Nokia phone since like always. But it seems that as of now, neither of N9 or Lumia 800 are capable of doing USB\Bluetooth DUN (Dial Up Networking). Nokia blames FCC for the same and there might be an firmware update on the way to enable this but as of now, you are deprived of this essential functionality with Lumia 800. And its then when unlike iPhone or most of Androids, you don’t have any Wi-Fi tethering option inbuilt.

It is a sad state for me personally. It might be just an update away but for me, its missing an essential for users like me.

4. No Bluetooth transfer: Like most of the Nokia devices, transferring files over Bluetooth was no big deal for our Nokia N9, but with Nokia Lumia 800, while the contacts transfer app shown some promises, the fact is, it doesn’t support BT transfers to other phones or from other phones.

Now the people who say that BT transfers are no big deal, should talk with me that how should I transfer my photos without using Zune or any kind of data connection to some other PC or some other phone, when Windows Phones do not have the Mass Storage Mode option even (only MTP mode that too after a workaround with registry settings).

Though on the other side, the specs sheet of Lumia says support for PBAP 1.0, RFCOMM 1.0, SPP 1.0, GAVDP 1.2,AVDTP 1.0, AVRCP 1.0, AVRCP 1.3 while it lacks of FTP, OPP, DUN majorly. Check out the wiki link to know more about these features and what difference they do make. Strange to see SPP (Serial port profile) on board while DUN (Dial Up Network) missings and at the same time absence of OPP (Object Push Profile) ensure that BT Transfer not gonna come to Lumia 800 in future as well.

5. No mass storage mode: While I loved the way, Symbian^3 handsets let you view their content via Mass Storage mode even if phone is switched off, I was aware that its coming to an end with Windows Phone. Yes! Nokia Lumia 800 doesn’t support Mass Storage Mode on connecting it via USB cable unlike rest of Nokia offerings.

Though there is a workaround that requires a little registry editing. You need to go to following path in registry

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB then search for ZuneDriver and then you will get something like the below path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USB\VID_045E&PID_04EC&MI_00\6&79603a7&0&0000\Device Parameters

Toggle the 3 keys there as given below and you will find your device showing up in my computer as a MTP device:

EnableLegacySupport 0 to 1
PortableDeviceNameSpaceExcludeFromShell 1 to 0
ShowInShell 0 to 1

Yes! we know that its not the fault on Nokia part, but still this is something that long time Nokia user gonna badly miss even if they forgive them on lack of Bluetooth Transfer part.

6. Slightly different Display unit, No Anti-Glare screen like Nokia N9?: While I am still unsure of this point, as most of the big blogs saying that besides the minor size\resolution difference, the display units on Nokia N9 and Lumia 800 are exactly the same. But my own experience suggests that while Nokia N9 and Nokia Lumia 710 do sport an Anti-glare screen, this is not the case with Nokia Lumia 800. Though presence of CBD minimizes any difference that a user may perceive, but there is a difference and one will feel it when will try to take a close shot of icons on Lumia 800 from some other camera or DSLR.

Please point me if I am wrong on this.

7. No Front Camera & entirely different kind of software for the main camera: Even if Nokia N9 front camera was kind of namesake (without any app to access the same), but there was a front camera in it. It will be a big puzzle for the world that why Nokia chosen to remove the front camera from Windows Phone, when everyone can see that Microsoft owns Skype now and soon it will be all about Microsoft Skype phones. Probably the answer lies within the placement of Windows Phone specific buttons at the bottom where there was a front camera in Nokia N9, but whatever reasons might be behind it, it will be a pain for users and bloggers talking about it.

On the other hand, for me, a VGA camera was going to be just crap for the purpose of Skype calling and if Nokia wouldn’t have introduced at least 1.3-2 MP camera, then it was going to be crap for me anyway.

It also might be the case that Nokia couldn’t find a proper housing in time for providing a proper HD camera in Nokia N9\Nokia Lumia 800 casing and the actual Skype update was still half an year away, so the extra efforts to make another design\housing was not that worth.

There should be no doubt that Nokia Lumia 800 is the best Camera Phone in Windows Phone Ecosystem. I was very happy about the speed with which it takes snaps and get ready for the second shot.

At the same time, I wont deny the fact that after coming from a Nokia N8, you expect a real big deal from a Carl Zeiss Optics and Nokia Lumia 800 falls short here. It was sad to see greenish grainy images in case of low light conditions coming out of a camera that has aperture of f2.2. Hard to admit, but I will agree that even iPhone 4S shoots better than Lumia 800 in low light conditions. But there are reasons ..

When the platform changes then it changes the implementations of all the algorithms and the changes go deeper than the hardware specs alone. If we compare it from Nokia N9, then the features Nokia Lumia 800 lacks on specs sheet are Automatic Motion Blur Reduction, Exposure Compensation, Face Detection, Full Screen Viewfinder, 3X digital zoom in place of 4X digital zoom and Still Image Editor. Also we will miss the special tricks of Open Source MeeGo like non-destructive editing, tagging by name of location rather than co-ordinates, copyright tagging text etc.

8. No out of box support for multiple video formats: What most of top end Android and Symbian^3 enjoyed since long was their wide support for the majority of video formats around us. But note that both of the OS been the open source one. When we enter into close source OS, then things go license based and propriety OS doesn’t mixes well with Open Source or close source Codecs. Same happens with Nokia Lumia 800.

With Lumia, you can’t play avi/mkv/xvid codec based and are left with common ones like mp4, 3gp or wmv9. There might be some players out there to support other formats, but as of now, the only bet is to convert the video files to watch on your Lumia 800. Though Zune doesn’t the same job of conversion very well and retain the quality as well, but point is, you can’t just put any kind of videos by the MTP trick as I mentioned

9. IE9 Mobile Browser streams and doesn’t let you download files: While on the basis of other features and performance reasons, IE9 is one hell of the browser, but while it tries to speed up things from the bar set by others, it lacks a few of legacy tricks. I didn’t tried many of the third party browsers on Nokia Lumia 800 (not many are there actually), but IE9 doesn’t seem to be allowing you to download any kind of media file to your Lumia 800 for offline usages.

Like if someone has shared a .mp3 file with you via link then you can hear the same via streaming but won’t be able to save it. A big annoyance for the users who are already deprived of BT Transfer or Mass Storage Mode.

10. No OTA Updates for Nokia Lumia 800: There might not be a clear confirmation about this outside, but I want to confirm you in loud words that Nokia Lumia 800 doesn’t support OTA. Means if you don’t have a PC installed with Zune, then you can not update your phone with the new firmware out there. This would b e a bad news for people who don’t like Zune. Specially bad for people like me who have their phones as the only source of Internet and were used to tether their PCs with their phones.

First no tether and then no OTA. Welcome to a new world.


Let you views and comments in, I would be waiting for the same. You can contact me about anything either on twitter @nkumar_ or at email id nitish@nitishkumar.net

Credits: Aditya from Worldofphones, Chris from theverge, Rafe from AllAboutWindowsPhone

Author: Nitish Kumar

I love to write and raising voice, sharing thought and heated debate is a kind of passion for me. Jobwise I am just another Computer professional handling Infra and designing solutions for a big Indian Media house but I love to write, sketch, photography and a lot more.

26 thoughts on “Layman’s Take on Nokia Lumia 800- Take a look over it without shadows of anything”

  1. Nice review , by the way about OTA , it’s a wp7 limitation and not lumia , soon wp in market currently supports OTA same is true about other few features.

  2. Good post , though I must say I couldn’t read it in one go 🙂
    Even though I havent used or tried any WP device for more than half an hour, I just hated UI and how it looks. I don’t think that perception of ugly,over simplified UI will change.
    As expected and read all over for me 3 things stand out for WP. These can make it success.
    1) People Hub
    2) Brilliant Office Suite ( and its FREE)
    3) Email

    But sadly I feel Nokia is going away from their soul and going Apple way.
    This may be good for company(I really doubt) but not good for industry as whole.

    1. Suyog,
      I had similar sentiments about WP UI before trying it myself. Even I mentioned once that I felt those uneven fonts as ugly. But trust me, views are bound to change once you allow it grow over you. Not all the praises going around are dummy.

      1. Agree with Nitish, once I got my hands on Lumia 800, I didn’t like UI for few hours or a day and missed home screens. But later, started loving the UI and now I am a fan of UI. 🙂

    2. People hub is exceptional as just like Meego it brings all social activities at one place and like WebOS it brings all the photos (even twitter ones).
      So in all, people hub will effectively help people managing their social needs without going behind any apps that is a great thing for n00bs or even people coming from Symbian/Meego.

      Second great thing is speed of UI that literally no offers either be Symbian or Android

  3. Suyog, I’ll agree with Nitish.. in just two words…. you will see my views about it changing too… it’s actually a good UI. there are however some features that really were needed but if talking about UI, seriously I think if I was given more time with it I would been liking this UI. and I’ll not say like many out there that “Windows Phone 7.5” is not that good to be used.

    But still I’ll say that MeeGo on N9 (for its given time) has been the most *Mature* smartphone OS (in most of the aspects) among all of them.

    And Nitish; that really is great post above, I’ll try to read it completely 😛

  4. Very interesting article, Nitish. I’m very exited with Windows phone on Nokia, but lack of BT and file transfer worries me. Nokia has been great among other things because of its flexibility and versatility. Does is support USB on the go, like my N8? What about something small but GREAT in functionality, notification light? Man, I think Nokia should never get rid of this. It helps the user so much to see through a notification light, that you have a missed event.

  5. Quite a thorough article on the Lumia 800(& upcoming 900)windows phone. The most important things for me are:i’m not going to sell a Rolls Royce to ride a better handlind motorcycle-ie,my Nokia E7-00 vs any Lumia! No storage! No tethering! No bluetooth! No sale!

  6. One of the most comprehensive review of Lumia 800 I have read. sheer Brilliant.

    Are u still using this device? How is the battery life holding up for you?

    Any word on Lumia 900 launch date in india?

    Thanks,
    -Pankaj

  7. The best review of WP that I have seen , kudos to u Mr. Kumar ! U r right , the Lumia 800 is beautiful ; it should be since it`s a copy of the N9 ! But that same design is also a problem in certain areas of the world ( more about this in a bit . ) .
    i`ve always said that WP has potential but it`s still immature ( Takes 3 years to work out enough of the bus and work enough features in , to make the OS useful . ) , seriously late to the party and there r too many other OEMs trying to get a piece of the pie . In all fairness to Nokia , they haven`t had a chance to make an impact on WP yet , maybe WP8 will change this . Nor have the Lumias been out too long , though this is changing . So it`s still a bit early to say for sure .
    That said , WP hasn`t exactly taken off yet , marketshare is still single digits . Nor do I like the Metro UI , though my issue with it is more function than form ( but I do think it`s ugly !) . I firmly believe that a homescreen should convey enough info to keep u current at a glance , and the Metro UI doesn`t do this . Even Windows Mobile could do this !
    WP`s biggest problem , IMHO , is it`s requirements for a constant connection and Skydrive . Not so much a problem in developed countries , but in emerging markets with their infrastructure issues and the need to watch data usage, it`s a different thing entirely . I don`t think WP will do well in emerging markets ( It seems to not be … ) , though it also doesn`t seem to be doing well in many developed countries either , with the USA , Finland and Russia as notable exceptions .
    Nor will do well in countries where the N9 was a success, most notably China , due to the problem that WP is functionally inferior to Meego , and Symbian , for that matter . even the new 311 is better from what I can tell !
    For these reasons , I don`t see WP as more than moderately successful , assuming it takes off , of course ! Maybe WP8 will change this , ir really needs too ! cheers !

  8. On second thought , looks like the 10/19/2012 post MIGHT have a reply so I take back the previous remark , t least to an extent lol…

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