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Nokia Lumia 800 hands on review

We get down and dirty with Nokia's brand new flagship Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 800 – design and build

Not since the iPhone 4 have we been so impressed with a mobile device’s build quality, and try as we might, we couldn’t coax a single creak or flex out of the single-piece polycarbonate body. Nokia’s Lumia 800 does seem a little on the chunky side however, and at 12.1mm thick it’s certainly not the thinnest contender in the smartphone arena.

The 3.7in 800×480 Gorilla Glass AMOLED screen provides deep blacks and bright vibrant colours, as you’d expect (Nokia’s equipped the Lumia 800 with its ClearBlack display tech). Nokia’s first Windows Phone model shows off the richly colourful tiles of Windows Phone Mango to great effect, although (as with the iPhone 4S) we can’t help feeling that a larger screen area might have been a better choice.

Nokia Lumia 800 – screen

Beneath the Lumia 800’s colourful anodised matt body beats a 1.4GHz processor, 512mb of RAM and 16GB of storage. Worried about the Nokia’s lack of dual-core firepower? Relax – Windows Phone Mango flies along without a single judder, with nippy transitions and smooth running apps.

Nokia Lumia 800 – power and performance

A single press of the dedicated shutter button opens up the camera app in a, er, snap and picture quality through the Carl Zeiss optics is expectedly impressive. Camera kit has long been one of Nokia’s strengths, so it’s good to see the Lumia 800 carrying the torch. Hi-def 720p video recording also looked smooth.

Nokia Lumia 800 – 8MP camera

Some will be disappointed by Nokia’s apparent lack of ambition with the Lumia 800. But in their haste to point out the single-core processor and rehashed N9 design, those same people will overlook a deceptively strong newcomer to the Windows Phone stable. With great build, optics and the addition of Nokia’s new Drive and Music apps, we’re looking forward to seeing how the Lumia 800 fares against its peers in our full review, coming soon.

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Nokia Lumia 800 verdict

Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home