If anything can mount a challenge to the iPhone/Android status quo, it'll be this joint effort from Microsoft and Nokia. Nokia is renowned for its hardware styling and camera quality, Microsoft knows a thing or two about operating systems (see the Instant Expert panel), and between them they've created one of the most desirable phones we've seen in a long time.

Nokia Lumia 800 – build

Machined from a block of tough polycarbonate, the 800 feels great in the hand. There's no speaker panel to ruin the lines, just tiny holes milled into the side, and the screen melts into the body. Only a slight rattle from the buttons stops it having the soothing tactile solidity of a Zen worry stone.

Nokia Lumia 800 – in use

The Lumia's processor is tuned to 1.4GHz, but it's just a single-core. Despite that the user experience is breezy, with swipes being greeted with slick page transitions. The virtual keyboard is responsive and offers clever autofill options, but like the iPhone's, it feels a touch cramped.

Nokia Lumia 800 – battery life

Daily recharges are a fact of smartphone life, and this one's no exception. Nokia is usually strong on battery, but the Lumia 800 can begin to flag as the day goes on – especially if you're using it a lot and taking advantage of key features, such as instant email delivery.

Nokia Lumia 800 – the screen

It's a 3.7in AMOLED, to which Nokia's added its own ClearBlack display tech. The result is just as vividly colourful as the best AMOLEDs, though some rivals are a touch crisper. The screen's glass is slightly curved, making it feel good on the face.

Nokia Lumia 800 - the camera

True to Nokia's rep for making great camphones, the 8MP stills the Zeiss-lensed snapper produces are sharp and detailed with a realistic colour palette. It also provides neat effects and control options. Max video res is 720p and you can't zoom while shooting but footage is silky smooth.

If this is the standard of things to come from Nokia's new direction, it's well and truly back on track.



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Stuff says... 

Nokia Lumia 800 review

The 800 looks cool, feels cooler and has multimedia skills to rival those of the 4S