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Nokia 108: ultra-affordable camera phone

Nokia 108: ultra-affordable camera phone



Those on a tight budget, but yearn for a camera phone from a global brand, Nokia will soon come to your rescue. Before you jump the gun, no it’s not an ultra-cheap Lumia, but a feature phone instead. The ultra-affordable camera phone is the Nokia 108, which will also come in a dual SIM variant. The 2G-compliant phone does not come with 3G, EDGE, or Wi-Fi support, so the only way you can share images is via Bluetooth 3.0 with SLAM, or a microSD card reader. Although India doesn’t feature in the local product listing pages, but rest assured, like all Nokia handsets, this $29 (Rs 1820) one will land in the local markets as well, by the end of the year.

The phone packs in a VGA snapper, and is being marketed as a secondary handset for people, thanks to its long battery life – 13.8 hours of claimed talk time, up to 45 hours music playback time, and 31 days standby. The handset will be available in red, black, and white, and the yellow and cyan variants will join the family later. For its price, it seems quite a decent deal.

  • 2G (GSM 900/1800); dual-SIM variant.
  • No EDGE/GPRS, Wi-Fi support.
  • Dimensions: 110.4 (l) x 47 (w) x 13.5 (d) mm; 70.2 grams.
  • 1.8″ TFT display with 65k colours.
  • 32GB microSD card support.
  • 2.0 mm charger connector, Bluetooth 3.0 with SLAM, 3.5 mm audio jack, FM Radio.
  • VGA Camera.
  • 900 mAh battery with 13.8 hours of claimed talk time; up to 45 hours music playback time; 31 days standby.



Also available as Nokia 108 with single SIM card support.
GENERAL 2G Network GSM 900 / 1800 – SIM 1 & SIM 2
SIM Dual SIM (Mini-SIM, dual stand-by)
Announced 2013, September
Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2013, Q4
BODY Dimensions 110.4 x 47 x 13.5 mm, 70.1 cc (4.35 x 1.85 x 0.53 in)
Weight 70.2 g (2.47 oz)
– Flashlight
DISPLAY Type TFT, 65K colors
Size 128 x 160 pixels, 1.8 inches (~114 ppi pixel density)
SOUND Alert types Vibration, Polyphonic(32), MP3 ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB
Phonebook 500 contacts
Call records Yes
Internal 4 MB RAM
Bluetooth Yes, v3.0
USB Yes (charging only)
CAMERA Primary VGA, 640×480 pixels
Video Yes, QVGA@15fps
Secondary No
FEATURES Messaging SMS(threaded view), Email
Browser No
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
Games Yes
Java Yes
Colors Black, White, Red, Blue, Yellow
– WAV/MP3/AAC player
– MP4/H.263 player
– Digital clock
– Calculator
– Calendar
– Converter
BATTERY Li-Ion 950 mAh battery (BL-4C)
Stand-by Up to 600 h
Talk time Up to 13 h 40 min
Music play Up to 41 h
MISC Price group Rs. 2000/- ($29)










Nokia Lumia 720: Review & Details



Ever since the Finnish company decided to join forces with Microsoft, Nokia has been steadily releasing a slew of Windows Phones into the market covering various price points. We have seen devices like the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820 in the past, which took care of the high-end of the market and phones such as the Lumia 520 and the Lumia 620, which are covering the low-end. 

Today we have the Lumia 720 with us, which sits bang in the middle of Nokia’s Lumia range and is a mid-range device with enough features to attract those who don’t want to spend too much but want something more than a budget device. Let’s see how well it performs.


Nokia has history of making great looking and the Lumia 720 is no different. The phone takes on the appearance of the more expensive Lumia 920 and looks really good, particularly the red version pictured here. Unlike some of the other Lumia models, the 720 has a unibody construction and the polycarbonate on the back fuses effortlessly with the glass on the front.



The front has the Gorilla Glass 2 stretching from top to bottom and housing the display roughly in the middle. As with the previous Lumia phones, there is a sizable bezel around the screen, particularly below with the three keys, and it does tend to make the display look smaller than it is. Above the display are the earpiece and the front facing camera.




On the right, the phone has the volume control keys, power keys and two-step camera shutter key. Having the power key on the side instead of the top is convenient but having it on same side as the volume keys means you often end up pressing one when you want the other. Having it on the other side would have reduced the confusion.

On top is the 3.5mm headphone jack. Since the phone has a unibody design, the card slots are on the outside, with the micro SIM slot on top and microSD slot on the left, both operated using the provided tool. On the bottom is the micro USB port.




On the back is the 5 megapixel camera with an LED flash. A secondary microphone can be seen just above the flash. Near the bottom are the connectors for the snap-on wireless charging cover and loudspeaker. The snap-on cover is a separately sold accessory and not part of the standard equipment. It adds extra size and bulk to the phone, not to mention makes it look worse, for the convenience of wireless charging.

The hardware has a nice feel and fits well in your hand. The matte red unit we received looked nice but was a tad slippery, which was exacerbated by the curvy body. The phone, however, feels rock solid despite the plastic construction and should be able to take a few drops without any issues.

Overall the design and build of the Lumia 720 are very impressive and although it is only a mid-range device it has a premium feel to it that surpasses that of many expensive phones.


The Lumia 720 has a 4.3-inch, 800 x 480 resolution ClearBlack LCD. The ClearBlack technology improves outdoor visibility by employing a polarizing filter that makes the display easier to see even under direct sunlight.

The 720 also uses a couple of software tweaks to improve the visibility under bright light by changing the color and brightness of the panel. The image no longer looks natural but if you’re just trying to look at text or a map under sunlight then it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Lastly, the Lumia 720 also employs the super-sensitive touch that we first saw on the Lumia 920. Once enabled, this lets you use the touchscreen even through gloves or pretty much anything, for that matter.

Speaking of image quality, the display on the Lumia 720 is actually quite good. The colors, brightness, contrast, viewing angles and sunlight legibility are all impressive. Only issue is the WVGA resolution, which makes some of the fonts look rough, especially while scrolling. Still, for most parts the display on the Lumia 720 is quite satisfactory.

Hardware, Software and Performance

The Lumia 720 runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8227 SoC with a 1GHz dual-core Krait CPU and Adreno 305 GPU. In terms if memory, it has 512MB of RAM and 8GB of storage space, out of which only about 3GB is available to the user. You’ll be glad to know then that the phone also has a microSD card slot. In terms of connectivity, the phone has 3G/HSPA, Bluetooth 3.0, Wi-Fi 802.11ab/g/n, NFC, A-GPS and GLONASS.

The software is the same old Windows Phone 8. Released over a year ago now, the OS is already starting to feel long in the tooth and Microsoft’s glacial pace at updating it isn’t helping matters. In its current version, Windows Phone would have been great four years ago but feels severely out of touch with what’s going on in the rest of the smartphone world. Whatever is the next version it couldn’t come soon enough.

Beyond the core operating system, Nokia has usual has installed its own range of apps and service. There is the excellent Nokia Here maps application, along with turn-by-turn voice navigation with Nokia Drive. Then there is the Nokia Music service for free streaming of Indian and international music, Cinemagraph for taking pictures with moving elements, Panorama for, well, panorama shots, Smart Shoot that takes multiple shots and lets you choose the best one, and a couple of others. Nokia has also installed a few third party apps, such as BIGFLIX, BookMyShow, Cosmopolitan, Hike, TripAdvisor and Zomato. As usual, you can choose to uninstall all of these, if you wish.

Nokia’s applications are what set their Windows Phone devices apart from everyone else’s (that and the fact that every else seems to have pretty much given up at this point). Nokia does a good job of making up for Microsoft’s inadequacies to quite an extent.

Unfortunately, Nokia can’t make up for everything and as before, Windows Phone still lags behind when it comes to third party apps. It’s disappointing that even after three years this is still an issue but that’s just how it is. If you’re not a big app or games person and only need the basic apps to get through your day, you should be fine. More demanding users would still be advised to look at iOS or Android.

In terms of performance, the Lumia 720 is in line with other Windows Phone devices. The UI is as smooth as ever, although occasionally it would hiccup in odd places. The menu in the camera app, for example, always lagged every time it was brought up.

As with other Lumia phones, the 720 comes with additional options in the Settings menu, such as for the display and network settings. These are not part of the core OS and added separately by Nokia through. Due to this, there is a distinct lag when you open them, complete with a loading screen. On surface, they look like any other settings item so the lag is likely to confuse an average user who doesn’t know what Nokia has been up to. It would be better if Nokia works on making the integration more seamless by getting rid of the loading screens.

The Lumia 720 comes with 512MB of RAM, which other than making a handful of apps incompatible with the device also makes it easy to run out of memory during multitasking. It’s not difficult to choke the phone by running a few apps in the background while web browsing. This usually results in the phone either closing the apps or closing browser tabs.

Performance in gaming is a mixed bag. In certain games such as Temple Run there was noticeable lag whereas Asphalt 7: Heat worked fine. It really depends upon the developers and how they optimize their apps. Unfortunately, most of them don’t really bother, which negatively affects the overall gaming performance.


The Lumia 720 has a 6.7 megapixel camera, which is a rather odd resolution to have. The main attraction is the camera aperture, which at f/1.9 is the widest on a mobile phone camera till date. What this should result in is some good low-light photography and shallow depth of field.










In terms of image quality, the Lumia 720 acquits itself quite well. Nokia is one of the best around when it comes to camera quality but it’s good to see the expertise trickle down to mid-range offerings as well. The images from the 720 are fairly detailed and noise-free with natural colors and sharpness. The large aperture doesn’t really result in a particularly shallow depth of field compared to phones with smaller apertures but then that is expected from such a small lens.

In lowlight, the camera once again delivers impressive results, with genuinely usable images, helped no doubt by the wide aperture allowing more light in than on most camera phones. Of course, the aperture alone can’t do much, so it’s good that Nokia has paired the optics with a good sensor as well. Low light images look pretty decent and have a surprisingly low-amount of noise.

Videos were once again quite good. The phone records 720p videos, which, other than the usual wobble associated with a lack of stabilization of any kind, were sharp and smooth.

The audio video performance is on par with other Windows Phone devices. The music player still won’t let you play FLAC files and the video player cannot play anything other than MP3, that too without subtitle support. This barebones experience may have made sense back in 2007 when the iPhone was announced but not anymore. The fact that you don’t even have decent apps to make up for this functionality makes things worse.

The audio quality of the 720 is pretty good, both through the headphones as well as the loudspeaker. The single loudspeaker, despite its position is pretty loud even if you keep it on a surface. The headphone output can be altered as Nokia bundles an equalizer app within the main settings although it’s best to leave them disabled. Nokia also bundles a pair of earphones with the phone but they have to be perhaps the worse I’ve ever heard and don’t ever deserve to be taken out of the box.

Battery Life

The Lumia 720 has a non-removable 2,000mAh battery. The battery size is the same as the one in the Lumia 920 and even bigger than what HTC provides with the 8X. Considering the slower processor, this has a profound effect on battery life. With regular usage, the Lumia 720 could get about two days of battery life, which has become incredibly rare these days. Even with heavy usage you’d still get over a day of usage, which is still pretty awesome.


There is a lot to like in the Lumia 720. The design is absolutely gorgeous and good enough to make you want to buy the phone on that merit alone. The display is also pretty good, despite the lower resolution. The camera is impressive, both indoors and outdoors and the battery life is outstanding.

It’s not without its flaws, however. The first is Windows Phone 8, which is no longer a competitive operating system. It lags behind iOS and Android in both features as well as third party applications. Unless Microsoft gets its game together and releases some significant updates it is bound to fade into obscurity.

Secondly, at Rs. 17,999, the Lumia 720 is quite expensive. You are paying nearly twice over the Lumia 520 and not getting a lot in return. Priced below Rs. 15,000, the Lumia 720 would have been easier to recommend but not so much at the current price.

All things considered, if you’re someone who doesn’t use a lot of apps and manage to find a good deal, the Lumia 720 is a fine device and one of the best mid-range smartphones on the market today. Others are advised to look elsewhere. 

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Quad-band 3G with 21 Mbps HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps HSUPA support
  • 4.3″ 16M-color ClearBlack IPS LCD display of WVGA resolution
  • 6.1 megapixel autofocus camera with super-fast F/1.9 lens and LED flash, 720p@30fps video recording
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • Windows Phone 8 OS
  • 1 GHz dual-core Krait CPU, Adreno 305 GPU, Qualcomm MSM8227 chipset, 512MB of RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band
  • GPS receiver with A-GPS and GLONASS support
  • Free lifetime voice-guided navigation
  • 8GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via the microSD card slot
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • Built-in accelerometer, gyroscope and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • microUSB port
  • Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP and EDR, file transfers
  • SNS integration
  • Xbox Live integration and Xbox management
  • NFC support
  • Digital compass
  • Nokia Music

Main disadvantages

  • A few prominent apps still missing, some apps incompatible due to 512MB RAM
  • No FM radio
  • No system-wide file manager
  • No lockscreen shortcuts
  • Voice navigation is limited to only a single country






Also known as Nokia 720 RM-885.
GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
Announced 2013, February
Status Available. Released 2013, April
BODY Dimensions 127.9 x 67.5 x 9 mm, 78 cc (5.04 x 2.66 x 0.35 in)
Weight 128 g (4.52 oz)
DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches (~217 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 2
  – ClearBlack display
SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
  – Dolby headphone sound enhancement
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 64 GB
Internal 8 GB, 512 MB RAM
EDGE Up to 236.8 kbps
Speed HSDPA, 21.1 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band
Bluetooth Yes, v3.0 with A2DP
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERA Primary 6.1 MP, 2848 x 2144 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, LED flash, check quality
Features 1/3.6” sensor size, geo-tagging
Video Yes, 720p@30fps, check quality
Secondary Yes, 1.3 MP, 720p@30fps
FEATURES OS Microsoft Windows Phone 8, upgradeable to WP8 Amber
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8227
CPU Dual-core 1 GHz
GPU Adreno 305
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio FM radio
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Java No
Colors White, Red, Yellow, Cyan/Black
  – SNS integration
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player
– MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
– 7GB free SkyDrive storage
– Document viewer
– Video/photo editor
– Voice memo/dial/commands
– Predictive text input
BATTERY   Non-removable Li-Ion 2000 mAh battery (BP-4GW)
Stand-by (2G) / Up to 520 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 23 h 20 min (2G) / Up to 13 h 20 min (3G)
Music play Up to 79 h
MISC SAR US 1.24 W/kg (head)    
SAR EU 0.76 W/kg (head)    
Price group Rs./- 16,000 to 18,000
TESTS Display Contrast ratio: 1172:1 (nominal) / 2.512:1 (sunlight)
Loudspeaker Voice 72dB / Noise 66dB / Ring 75dB
Audio quality Noise -83.1dB / Crosstalk -80.9dB
Camera Photo / Video
Battery life Endurance rating 60h















Nokia Lumia Series 4: Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia and Microsoft introduce their flagship phone, but is it enough to get back in the game?

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The HSPA+ variant of Nokia’s Lumia 900 was made for Europe and the rest of the world in mind. The Lumia 900 includes a 1.4GHz CPU with 512MB RAM, an 8-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, and a 4.3-inch AMOLED display.

It occurred to me that the Lumia 900 review would be one of the more important critiques of a product that I write this year. For those of you who don’t know the backstory here, the new LTE-equipped, AT&T-bound smartphone represents what could be the beginning of a new era for both Microsoft and its partner Nokia in the mobile race — at least in the US. The 900 is a culmination of all of Microsoft’s work with Windows Phone 7 (now 7.5), and Nokia’s hardware design and execution, packaged in the hopes that the American consumer will suddenly notice that not only does Windows Phone exist, but it’s worth buying into.

Even AT&T has gotten into the spirit, claiming launch expectations that seem to far exceed the warranted excitement over this phone. But it is an attractive offering in many ways. Stylistically the Lumia 900 looks like nothing on the market. It offers LTE service that — where you can get it — is shockingly fast. And most importantly, the top-tier, flagship device is being offered at a wildly discounted price: just $99.99 for new subscribers.

So does the phone have what it takes to court buyers away from Android and iOS, and establish a beachhead for Microsoft and Nokia? I’ll unravel those questions in the review below.

Video Review

Hardware / design


The Lumia 900 is a gorgeous device. It’s beautiful. It may be the best looking phone on the market right now. It’s a monolithic device — a slab of high-test polycarbonate with little more than a display and a handful of slit-like, silver buttons. Its smooth, matte plastic is shaped to appear rather rectangular from the front, but has subtle curves around the edges which give it a satisfying feel in your hands. The design is nearly identical to the Meego-based N9, and its predecessor Lumia 800, so even though it will be new to many, it’s not the first of its kind. Still, in a world dominated by lookalike Android phones and a single iPhone, it’s definitely a breath of fresh air.


Not only is the physical design of the phone different, but so is its coloring. I tested a bright cyan version of the phone (it comes in white and black as well), and I found the stark color extremely pleasing. In fact, it reminded me of how stale and lacking in playfulness industrial design has become in this industry.

The Lumia measures 2.7 inches across by 5.03 inches up and down, and is 0.45 inches thick (comparatively, the iPhone 4S is 0.37 inches in thickness). It’s not the smallest or thinnest device on the market, but it never comes off as oversized or chubby. There’s a small speaker along the very flat bottom of the phone, and a headphone jack, Micro USB port, and SIM door at the top. Along the right side are the device’s volume, power / sleep, and camera buttons.

I really like the design and materials on the 900, and for once I have very little to complain about. I will say that the door which needs to be popped open to insert a SIM does settle back into the top of the phone a little shakily at first, but it does eventually seem to go back to a flush line.

In all, it’s a fantastic piece of technology. It just looks and feels like nothing else on the market. It hits all the right notes for me. A little bit retro, a little bit futuristic, with just a touch of quirky humanity in its otherwise very machined design. This is the Nokia I grew up with, and it’s clear the company hasn’t lost its ability to enchant through hardware.

Internals and display


Inside, the Lumia 900 packs a single-core Snapdragon system-on-a-chip clocked to 1.4GHz, 512MB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage (which is not upgradable). The device has the requisite LTE and GSM radios onboard, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR.

The display on the front of the device is a 4.3-inch, 800 x 480 AMOLED “ClearBlack” screen, fronted by Corning’s now-famous Gorilla Glass. Unlike the Lumia 800 and N9, the display is slightly raised on the phone instead of flush with the surface. There’s also a 1-megapixel camera embedded above the display, as well as an 8-megapixel shooter with a dual LED flash and Carl Zeiss optics on the back of the phone.

The specs are unremarkable, but performance on the phone was not. Just as with other Windows Phones I’ve tested, the Lumia was snappy and responsive, with few (if any) hiccups or pauses — but more on that later.

On the other hand, I’m disappointed by the display on the Lumia. Besides being lower in resolution than competitive devices (new Android phones at 1280 x 720 and the iPhone at 960 x 640), I felt colors were far too saturated. This is a pretty common problem with AMOLED screens, but the issue seems pronounced on the Lumia 900 thanks to the starkness of the Windows Phone interface. Combined with the lower resolution display (which is particularly notable with white text against that black background), the effect is jarring.

I’m not saying that the Lumia 900 is underpowered, but a single-core processor, lower resolution display, and half the RAM of its nearest competition doesn’t exactly make this device future-proof.



Nokia has a long history of packing terrific optics into its devices, so you would expect that the Lumia would excel in this area. I’m sad to report that it does not.

On the device I tested, the rear camera was capable of producing fine photos, though generally the 900 shot somewhat grainy and very washed out images. It’s not that those images were particularly bad — they just weren’t particularly good. Though the company touts Carl Zeiss optics, I didn’t see anything in my results that belied fairly standard smartphone picture-taking capabilities. In fact, the camera software seemed to have real trouble in some settings, with white balance and exposure out of whack compared to my expectations.

Additionally, the Lumia 900 produces those dreaded, faint pink spots in the center of the display — particularly visible on bright white surfaces — that we’ve seen on countless phones. It’s not the kind of thing you’d notice in most photos, but you can definitely see a discoloration that shouldn’t be there.

Now keep in mind, my daily driver is a Galaxy Nexus, which has a relatively poor camera — so this is significant. I went into the Lumia 900 expecting an excellent photo experience, but it’s really simply mediocre. That’s too bad, because there aren’t many phones on the market that can snap great looking photos, and given Microsoft’s insistence that Windows Phone is a pro at quickly capturing important moments, this is a place where this phone could have shined.

Battery life, data, phone, and performance


I was very pleasantly surprised by the battery life of the Lumia. Going into an LTE phone review, I tend to have fairly low expectations for battery performance, but the 900 proved itself as a viable option for a full day’s work. According to Nokia, you can expect about 7 hours of talk time on the phone. Now, I don’t really spend that much time talking, but I was happy to report that getting through a typical day of calls, lots of email, Twitter, and web browsing was no problem — even on a fairly constant LTE connection. Furthermore, in our brute force rundown test (continuous YouTube while connected to both Wi-Fi and LTE, max screen brightness, and max volume) I got 4 hours and 43 minutes. Compared to the HSPA+ One X’s 4:22, I’d say that’s pretty good.

Data performance was pretty awesome on the Lumia 900 — when I was in range of LTE, of course. I’ve been over the moon about Verizon’s LTE service (see the ridiculous speeds I got while testing the iPad), and AT&T’s early showing suggests a match for its rival. In good coverage areas, I saw download speeds as high as 19Mbps, with upstream hovering around 3 or 4Mbps. Of course, those did fluctuate wildly, and AT&T’s network still has yet to be built out to full capacity. It probably also doesn’t hurt that almost no one is using the company’s “real” 4G network.

Phone calls were crisp and clear on the handset. I’m happy to say that during my testing, I didn’t have a single dropped call. That could be luck, but I’m hoping it’s not. The speakerphone worked well on the Lumia 900, though I thought it sounded a bit sharp for my ears, and not quite as loud as I would have liked. Compared to my annoyingly quiet Galaxy Nexus, however, it might as well have been a PA system.

As far as general performance is concerned, as I said in the hardware section, the Lumia is more than capable of handling anything you throw at it. Of course, what you throw at it is tightly bound by the Windows Phone way of doing things, which all but ensures that there’s never too much going on at once. If I had to speculate, I would say it’s the stringent methodology of this OS that allows it to seem smooth and stable during the majority of use. Quite simply, Microsoft isn’t letting these phones bite off more than they can chew.

That comes with a price, however, and it brings me to…



Let me just put this bluntly: I think it’s time to stop giving Windows Phone a pass. I think it’s time to stop talking about how beautifully designed it is, and what a departure it’s been for Microsoft, and how hard the company is working to add features. I am very aware of the hard work and dedication Microsoft has put into this platform, but at the end of the day, Windows Phone is just not as competitive with iOS and Android as it should be right now.

Before you cry foul, keep in mind that I went into this review wanting to fall madly in love with this phone. But like a book with a beautiful jacket and a plot full of holes, I found myself wanting more. A lot more.

The problems with Windows Phone are myriad, many small. But it’s a death by a thousand cuts. And all those little problems were once again immediately apparent to me the moment I started using the Lumia 900.


The most glaring issues also happen to be some of the oldest issues — things you think at this point would have been dealt with. Scrolling in third party apps, for instance, is still completely erratic. I would blame this on developers, but given that this platform has been around for nearly two years, I think that’s a cop out. In new Twitter apps like Carbon, lists of messages will sometimes disappear or skip weirdly when scrolling. I first complained about this in version 1 of Windows Phone, and I thought it had been squashed — it has not.

Elsewhere there are missteps. Though Microsoft has added some form of multitasking to the OS, there is nearly never a feeling that apps in the “background” are actually still waiting for you. In fact, many apps still deliver a splash screen to you when you reenter them — if this is a developer issue, then I guess most of the hardworking coders on this platform never got the memo. In short, it kind of sucks to use. Where iOS and Android at least feel responsive in packing and unpacking background apps, Windows Phone often comes across as broken and limp.

Other issues nag me. In the browser, webpages are often displayed incorrectly as IE seems incapable of rendering certain web elements properly. The Verge, for instance, lacks its colored panels in the top stories section, and TypeKit fonts aren’t properly displayed. Neither iOS nor the new Chrome browser for Android have this issue. Then there are menus to consider — in many applications, options to navigate are often hidden beneath long presses, meaning that most users will never know how to do simple things like delete a single text message from their inbox.

Microsoft offers Twitter integration, but it’s so clunky, it would almost be better to not include it at all. The phone will show you that you’ve been Tweeted at, but in order to view the actual Tweet you have to tap into your “Me” tile, swipe to your notification list, then tap on each individual message to see it. How anyone at Microsoft thought this would help you get “in, out, and back to life” is a mystery to me.

And all of this is to say nothing of the third party app offerings on the platform. Besides the fact that there is a serious dearth of good software for the OS, even in places where you would expect Windows Phone to excel, it lags. Gaming for instance.

At this point, one would think that the Xbox Live offerings would hold their own against game titles for Android or iOS, but even the most advanced games seem at least a generation behind other platforms in terms of complexity. Furthermore, there’s still slim pickings when it comes to titles, with launch offerings from October of 2010 still topping the charts in the Marketplace.

Elsewhere, software is largely a mishmash of fair-to-middling offerings. The design language of Windows Phone seems to present a real problem to developers on the platform, and most third party titles go off the rails badly. Additionally, there’s little in the way of familiar apps, though there are bright spots, like the Rdio app which now thankfully is capable of playing audio in the background (which wasn’t possible before the recent Mango update), and is actually quite a beautiful piece of software.

There’s also a new Twitter app called Rowi which is probably the best experience you can have on Windows Phone with the social networking service — it’s a really well thought out and well made application.

And it’s glimmers like that here which frustrate me. Because there is some really great DNA in this operating system, and it’s obviously possible to produce great software and great user experiences. It’s just too few and far between to have impact at this point.

Don’t misunderstand me, Windows Phone offers some very good experiences in its core apps, and it’s probably the most gorgeous and cohesive piece of software Microsoft has ever released. But after nearly two years on the market, I struggled to find a single thing this platform could do better than Android 4.0 or iOS 5.1.

The sheen has worn off of Windows Phone for me. When I put something in my pocket, it needs to be able to quickly and efficiently get things done. It needs to trump other devices in its class. It needs to be the best — and Windows Phone is far from it at this point.


I’ve already said this, but it bears repeating. I really wanted to love this phone. From a design standpoint, the Lumia 900 was immediately enticing. I’d already been salivating over Nokia’s N9 and Lumia 800, so knowing that a slightly larger (but more feature packed) version of that device was headed our way was fairly encouraging. But while the hardware — at least externally — delivers, the phone as a whole does not.

I think Nokia made a lot of the right decisions, but it’s almost impossible to move beyond some of Windows Phone’s shortcomings this late in the game. Try as I might to envision the Lumia 900 as my daily driver, the math never added up. There’s just too much missing, or too much that feels unfulfilling.

I used to get upset that Android didn’t have a cohesive design language, and iOS was lacking basic functionality like copy and paste or multitasking — but most of those complaints have been put to bed. Today I might complain about a lack of widgets or a skin I don’t like, but I’m not griping about fundamental pieces of an OS. And I think that’s what’s so trying about Windows Phone.

These aren’t minor gripes I have — they speak to the foundations of this OS. My annoyances aren’t just about the color choices in the calendar, they’re about whether or not scrolling in apps functions as it should, or if I’ll get important updates in the background. Can I use IRC without breaking my connection every time I leave the app? How many steps does it take to get to the information I need? Do webpages display properly? Will the apps I need or want to use make it to this platform, and will they be any good when they get there?

In some ways, I feel like I’m reviewing a webOS device again (but with much, much nicer hardware). There are all these wonderful ideas at play, but it’s impossible to look past the nagging bugs and missing features.

Of course, there are users out there that will embrace this phone. It is generally easy and pleasant to use, and the low price point, coupled with the beautiful hardware and solid LTE service could be persuasive. But for me and most of the people I know, there’s still something missing here, and until Microsoft and Nokia figure out what that is, Windows Phone will continue to struggle upstream.


  • Incredible hardware design
  • OS is snappy and responsive
  • LTE data is speedy
  • Great entry price


  • Windows Phone still has lots of issues
  • Third-party app offerings are weak
  • Specs feel last generation
  • Camera underwhelming


Also known as Nokia Lumia 900 RM-823

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
Announced 2012, February
Status Available. Released 2012, May
BODY Dimensions 127.8 x 68.5 x 11.5 mm, 90 cc (5.03 x 2.70 x 0.45 in)
Weight 160 g (5.64 oz)
DISPLAY Type AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches (~217 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass
– Nokia ClearBlack display
SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Card slot No
Internal 16GB storage, 512 MB RAM
DATA GPRS Class 33
EDGE Class 33
Speed HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERA Primary 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, dual-LED flash, check quality
Features Geo-tagging
Video Yes, 720p@30fps, video stabilization, check quality
Secondary Yes, 1 MP, VGA@15fps
FEATURES OS Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
Chipset Qualcomm APQ8055 Snapdragon
CPU 1.4 GHz Scorpion
GPU Adreno 205
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Java No
Colors Black, cyan, white, magenta
– SNS integration
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player
– MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
– Document viewer/editor
– Video/photo editor
– Voice memo/command/dial
– Predictive text input
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 1830 mAh (BP-6EW)
Stand-by Up to 300 h (2G) / Up to 300 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 7 h (2G) / Up to 7 h (3G)
Music play Up to 60 h
MISC SAR US 1.29 W/kg (head)     0.95 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 1.33 W/kg (head)
Price group About Rs. 31,000/-
TESTS Display Contrast ratio: Infinite (nominal) / 2.562:1 (sunlight)
Loudspeaker Voice 70dB / Noise 68dB / Ring 75dB
Camera Photo / Video
Battery life Endurance rating 38h

Nokia Lumia Series 3: Lumia 800 Nokia’s first flagship Windows Phone device

LUMIA 800:


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Reviewing the Lumia 800 is a hard and, dare I say, unprecedented task. Never before have we seen a phone like Nokia’s N9 — a benchmark setter in some design aspects, yet a complete dead end in terms of software ecosystem — and now the 800 arrives ensconced in a nearly identical physical body. How do you begin to grade a device that feels, superficially at least, like a cuckoo — a parasite occupying the shell that rightfully belongs to another? Well, you probably start by dispensing with such romantic notions and treating the Nokia Lumia 800 as what it is: a Windows Phone 7.5 handset with a competitive, if unremarkable, spec sheet and the full backing of Nokia’s engineering, development, and marketing might.

The similarities shared between Nokia’s Harmattan and Windows Phone devices aren’t actually the most pertinent topic of inquiry here. What will truly matter to end users of the Lumia 800 is how much of an upgrade this new flagship phone represents relative to previous, Symbian-powered generations of Nokia hardware and, potentially, the rest of the current Windows Phone crop. Whether you’re actively contemplating jumping aboard the good ship Microkia or just a curious onlooker, read on for all the answers.


Video review



Photographing the Lumia 800 is an exercise in deja vu. Except for the addition of a dedicated camera key, the relocation of the dual-LED flash, and the introduction of capacitive Windows Phone keys up front, this is the N9. I’d usually be first to protest if a company decides to recycle a design quite so flagrantly, but in this case, it’s more a matter of why wouldn’t you? My lasting impression of the N9′s case was that it was akin to Apple’s unibody MacBook Pro — so tantalizingly close to perfection as to make you wonder where future upgrades could possibly come from. Three years after its introduction, that MBP design is still going strong and Nokia should have to make no apologies for sticking with a similarly splendid piece of engineering.

The Lumia 800 / N9 design ethos is all about effortless simplicity for the user, but it’s backed by a stupefying amount of calculation, modeling, and testing behind the scenes. What you see and feel in your hand is a seamless piece of soft-touch plastic, curved on all sides and gently tapering toward flattened-out top and bottom surfaces, fronted by a curved screen. It’s natural and pleasant to the touch, with great ergonomics and weight balance — the diametric opposite of the cold and impersonal appearance of most modern technology. Being able to meld that aggressively minimalist monobody design with a fully functional smartphone is where Nokia’s manufacturing chops really shine through.


Perfection does elude the Lumia 800, however, and it’s almost entirely down to the few physical keys this phone is adorned with. Its right side plays host to a volume rocker, a power / lock button, and a dedicated camera key, neither of which does a great job of what are typically routine tasks. The volume rocker and lock button sit too close to one another and are almost flush with the phone’s side, making for difficult tactile recognition. They’re also a bit loose and generate an innocuous, though irritating, rattle when you move the 800 around. The shutter release button is better: it’s firmer and more pronounced, has more travel, and reacts to pressure without a definite click at the bottom (something that can introduce motion blur in the resulting photos). The latter is a good thing for camera results, but it’s less intuitive from a user perspective. While I’m bemoaning buttons, it’s arguable that the Windows Phone capacitive trifecta under the screen is a little too close to the touchscreen, leading to some unintentional taps.

Nokia is sticking to the three color options introduced with the N9 — black, cyan and magenta, all featuring a soft matte finish — with each of those being the hue of the actual polymer the phone is built out of. That means no matter how deeply you may scratch the Lumia 800, it’ll maintain the same consistent color. It’d actually be quite the challenge to force any nicks or scuffs to appear on this handset as that polycarbonate stuff it’s made of is deceptively strong and resistant to abrasions. The same can’t be said of the elliptical metal plate built into the center of its back — finished to a mirror sheen, that surface seems a magnet for little scrapes. Nokia bundles in a very good silicon case with the Lumia 800, however it has a cutout specifically designed to expose the reflective metal on the back, rather offsetting its protective qualities.

Minor issues aside, the Lumia 800 is exactly the sort of delight for the senses that you will have expected an N9 clone to be.


Sticking with the N9 lineage and a recent preference for AMOLED in its flagship phones, Nokia has installed an 800 x 480 AMOLED display inside the Lumia 800. What was a 3.9-inch panel on the N9 has shrunken to 3.7 inches (and lost 54 horizontal lines of pixels in the process) in order to accommodate the Windows Phone keys. Yes, the Pentile Matrix RGBG subpixel arrangement is present here too, though as with the N9, I have to stress that it has almost no distinguishable impact on the display’s quality. If you put your eye right up to the screen, you may notice some color fringing on white text in front of a black background, but that’s it. Pixel density at this 3.7-inch size and WVGA res feels just about right for Windows Phone and the Lumia 800 does it justice with very clear, richly saturated imagery. As usual with AMOLED, some users will find the colors rendered a little too rich, though there’s sadly no option to tone down saturation as there is on Samsung’s Galaxy S II.

One thing nobody can complain about, however, is the way the Lumia 800 renders — or doesn’t render, to be precise — blacks. It features the anti-glare polarizer that earns it Nokia’s ClearBlack Display designation, which to us simple humans just means that its screen is less reflective than most and dark shades appear truly dark. Most of the time, you’ll struggle to distinguish where the display panel ends, creating the wonderful illusion that onscreen imagery is simply suspended atop the surface of the phone — it’s a very organic appearance that lends Microsoft’s Metro tiles an extra air of sophistication.

Nokia’s spec sheets don’t list it, but a visit to Corning’s website confirmed that the Lumia 800 does indeed have a Gorilla Glass front, much like the N9, N8 and E7 before it. That should provide you with an extra sense of security when using this phone since Gorilla Glass has shown itself to be a reliably rugged screen for mobile phones.



From my brief time with the Lumia 800, I’d say its battery life has been marginally less impressive than the N9, though that’s not unreasonable given it’s having to power a 1.4GHz processor. Anyone coming from Nokia’s previous Symbian family — which typically sacrificed brute firepower for longer endurance — will have to adapt his or her expectations to a new reality. I got to 23 hours while subjecting the 800 to my usual routine of push email updates, web browsing, music playback, photo and video capture, and lots of idling. It’s an effort to simulate real world use, but the only thing constant about the real world is that it’s different for everyone, so take it as nothing more than an indicator. Nokia lists the Lumia 800 as offering longer talk time (13 hours on GSM / 9.5 hours over 3G) than the N9 (11 and 6.5 hours, respectively) but shorter standby time. When it comes to the Windows Phone competition, HTC’s 1.5GHz Titan lasts just about as long as the 800, though the 1GHz Radar offers a little more stamina than both.

Reception on the Lumia 800 has been consistently good, allowing for clear calls and generally speedy web connectivity. While on the subject of wireless connections, I do have to express disappointment at Nokia’s decision to disable Windows Phone’s Internet Sharing feature. That’s the facility that allows you to share your Lumia’s 3G connection with nearby Wi-Fi-capable devices, turning it into a mobile hotspot. Nokia may look to enable it in a future update, however it wasn’t deemed a top priority for launch and the company chose to focus on improving other areas of the phone experience. Also missing from the Lumia 800 is the NFC connection included on the N9. NFC is still a rarely used sideshow for the smartphones that have it, so I can definitely see why Nokia nixed it, but almost everyone is pushing for its wider adoption and its absence from the 800 casts a bit of a shadow over its long-term prospects.

What the Lumia 800 does have is Bluetooth, which is harnessed nicely by a Bluetooth Contacts Transfer app. It does what its name suggests and helps to bridge the software incompatibility that arises between Nokia’s new Windows Phone and its line of legacy devices — provided they too have Bluetooth on board, of course.

The loudspeaker at the bottom of the Lumia 800 may look identical to the one on the N9, but it’s subtly different. Whereas the N9′s speaker was impossible to muffle, the 800′s is much more susceptible to being muted by pressing something against it — that basically rules out listening to music on the phone while standing it in an upright position. Aside from such an eclectic concern, the sound produced by the Lumia 800 is very good indeed. The usual size limitations imposed by the smartphone form factor do apply, but it’s good enough that you will actually want to listen to music through it. Nokia’s bundled ear buds, on the other hand, are not. They’re quite terrible, sit loosely in the ear, and your best course of action may be to never unpack them so as to keep up the phone’s resale value.



Yet another hand-me-down from the N9 production line, the Lumia 800′s camera is composed of the same 8-megapixel sensor and f/2.2 Carl Zeiss lens as on the MeeGo Harmattan phone. That’s generally a good thing, as the Lumia 800 is capable of filling those eight million pixels with tons of detail and Nokia’s been very frugal with its noise reduction. Nonetheless, issues of color fidelity do arise, ostensibly caused by Nokia’s post-processing which occasionally introduces an artificial green hue to pictures. This probably has to do with the camera’s automatic white balance misreading the scene; whatever the reason, it takes away from the ease of use and reliability of the Lumia 800′s camera, which are the two most paramount considerations when you’re building imaging equipment for phones.

Less critical, though still important, is the speed of operation and this is where the Lumia 800 shines. Microsoft has emphasized quick camera operation with Windows Phone from its start, and the Lumia 800 keeps up that standard beautifully. A long press of the side-mounted camera button sends you right into the camera app and tapping anywhere on the screen instructs the camera to focus and auto-expose the image based on the information in that spot. You can also half-press the physical camera key to get the camera to do the same in the center of the picture. Focusing speed isn’t sublime and there are none of the N9′s special software optimizations for speeding things up — the Lumia 800′s camera software is stock Windows Phone — but relying on Microsoft’s already strong platform isn’t a bad choice here, performance is still satisfyingly quick.


The dual-LED flash works very well on nearby objects and avoids washing out scenes when it’s called into action. It’s intelligent enough to recognize how much light it needs to provide, so if you focus on your hand in a dark room, it’ll light it accurately, but if you focus on the black phone in your hand, it’ll readjust for the phone and over-expose your hand. That may not sound ideal, but the good aspect of it is that it works predictably and reliably.

Video recording, much like stills, benefits from some really nice detail, however motion blur is exhibited a bit too readily for my liking. If the Galaxy S II was capable of handling motion perfectly at 1080p resolution back in April, your new flagship phone should be able to do the same at 720p without bother. Nokia doesn’t live up to that standard with the Lumia 800, unfortunately. Another way in which this phone falls short on the imaging front is in its omission of a front-facing camera. Sure, most people consider them gimmicky and video conversations aren’t exactly threatening to overtake regular voice calls, but front-facing cameras have become essentially standard equipment nowadays and it’s odd to see Nokia skimping on one here.


Nokia’s historic move to a new mobile operating system is finally complete. Gone are the days of trudging through outdated Symbian menu systems, no longer will you be laughed at by your trendy app-loving peers. Nokia’s latest handset runs Windows Phone, a truly up-to-date OS with a future bright enough to justify the Lumia branding.

So why does it feel so underwhelming?


The first issue is one of familiarity. We’ve seen both Windows Phone 7.5 and the Lumia 800′s chiseled physique already, so combining the two is like making yourself a banana sandwich, new and potentially tasty, but not an altogether unpredictable combination. The Lumia 800 is a device embodying all of Nokia’s phone manufacturing nous and relies on Microsoft’s best mobile software to date, but what it doesn’t do is create something new and altogether better out of those components. The two parts are welded together, whereas what the world really wanted to see was for them to melt into one spectacular new juggernaut that would do battle with iOS and Android. Windows Phone isn’t there yet and if any one phone will push it into that stratosphere, the Lumia 800 won’t be it. The Lumia 800 equipped with all of the N9′s software bells and whistles might have been that hero device, but alas, time constraints have forced Nokia to serve up a very ordinary helping of Mango with almost no improvements of its own.

Nokia has been consistent in saying that it’ll endeavor to bring the swipe gestures, the double-tap-to-wake, and everything else that was good about the N9′s UI over to Windows Phone, but the fact remains that those goodies are not present in the Lumia 800 today. What you get are sadly superficial tweaks: Nokia alerts, ringtones, wallpapers, and a “Nokia blue” theme are scattered around the phone, while the Metro tiles, email client, calendar, and all other native apps are left untouched. There aren’t obvious ways to improve on them, mind you, as Microsoft has done a really stellar job of refining the basic Windows Phone user experience. Still, it would have been nice to see Nokia implement the awesome onscreen keyboard of the N9, along with its terrific haptic feedback, in the Lumia phone that’s probably being built on the exact same manufacturing line.

Nokia Drive and Nokia Music are the two big additions on launch day. Drive provides offline navigation with voice turn-by-turn instructions and Music includes a Mix Radio streaming service that’s loaded up with genre-based playlists of free music. Both are actually very good at what they do and are sure to figure in your long-term use of the Lumia 800. The Mix Radio library is being built out continually, so there’ll be more and more content for you to access in the future, while the Music app also pulls in the venues for upcoming gigs near you. I still would’ve liked to see Nokia do more than just throw in some added apps, although unlike HTC’s underwhelming Hub for WP7, Nokia’s additions offer real added value for the user. Moreover, Nokia Maps — the new name for Ovi Maps — will be available for the Lumia 800 and all Windows Phones within the next couple of weeks, so we can at least say that the Microsoft-Nokia partnership is headed in the right direction.


Perhaps the main reason for Nokia’s abandonment of MeeGo and embrace of Microsoft was the need to have a thriving software ecosystem to empower its handsets with. The Windows Phone Marketplace isn’t quite up to that standard yet, however Microsoft is putting good tools in developers’ hands and Nokia’s presence adds extra clout and credibility to the platform. Stephen Elop’s vision of Windows Phone as “the third ecosystem” behind Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android looks set to indeed materialize, meaning that prospective Lumia 800 owners should have plenty to look forward to. Skype’s absence from the Marketplace, for example, will soon be rectified by the folks working in Microsoft’s freshly inaugurated Skype Division.

The gravitational pull of Microsoft and Nokia’s collective determination can reasonably be expected to produce the critical mass of good apps for Windows Phone to truly compete with the best — it’s just that at this particular moment in time, it continues to lag. While closing the gap on Android and iOS, Windows Phone doesn’t improve on them in any dramatic way. Its multitasking overview is good, the live tiles offer information more quickly and easily, and its calendar is arguably the best of the bunch, but those are small advantages. iOS still wins when I want to browse the web or check out a new app and Android is still the best platform for users of Google services.


I’ve been using the Lumia 800 alongside an Android handset and an iPhone 4S recently and one thing’s abundantly clear: all three platforms are getting the basics right. Push email is arriving at more or less the same time, calendar alerts are going off simultaneously, notifications are mostly unobtrusive, pinch-to-zoom is smooth, web browsers are rendering pages correctly, and email conversations are threaded. What will make the difference going forward are things like the extra layer of polish that iOS can offer, and Windows Phone, as the new entrant to this competition, will need to beat the others to such new features and improvements if it wants to attract defectors to its cause.

An honorable mention is earned by Microsoft’s windowsphone.com website. As the name suggests, it’s the web portal unto your ownership of a Windows Phone, and allows you to browse the Marketplace and send apps directly to your device. There are also guides for novices as well as a pretty comprehensive My Windows Phone menu. The latter allows you to find your phone (with disturbing accuracy), ring it, lock it up with a password and a message for its lock screen, or even wipe it completely. In a classy little touch, Microsoft has also made the color theme of the website match the theme of your phone, which can actually be useful if you’re managing multiple Windows Phones and need a visual way to distinguish between them online. Everything on the site worked exactly as advertised, and though the functionality it offers isn’t unique, it’s a great extra to have and a wonderful base from which to build and expand the WP web ecosystem.



The Lumia 800 is exactly what it looked like when it was first announced at Nokia World: it is an N9 running Windows Phone. Ironically, in moving from the wildly imaginative Harmattan to the more straight-laced Windows Phone OS, this smartphone has undergone the reverse of the transition Stephen Elop wants to see Nokia make. He wants the company to stop being known for unexciting reliability and to start inspiring greater emotional attachment in its users. The N9 was that irrationally loved device, and no matter how hard the Lumia 800 tries, it simply isn’t as thrilling. For anyone still stuck on one of Nokia’s Symbian devices, the 800 is an obvious upgrade. It lacks the N8′s superb camera, but otherwise it easily trumps anything and everything in the company’s recent portfolio. Windows Phone provides a modern and attractive user interface and the Lumia 800′s hardware maintains Nokia’s reputation for attention to detail and insistence on high build quality. The picture is less clear for those considering alternative Windows Phones, as the Lumia 800 actually falls behind by not including a front-facing camera or mobile hotspot capabilities. Choosing your favorite there will depend on how much you love the Lumia 800′s sterling physical design and how much faith you place in Nokia’s ability to execute on its ambitious plans for software differentiation. The Lumia 800 has the potential to be great, but today it’s merely good.


  • Excellent design
  • Attractive display
  • Brightest future of any recent Nokia phone


  • No Internet Sharing
  • Fiddly volume rocker and lock key
  • No front-facing camera


  • On-screen keyboard is disappearing during typing. Nokia has addressed the problem with a software fix in the update 8107.
  • Nokia Lumia 800 is claimed to have “sound quality problems” when using low impedance headphones like the supplied ones. Nokia has acknowledged the issue and is working on a fix.
  • Battery life. In December 2011, Nokia confirmed that some Lumia 800 devices do not use the full capacity of their battery. They also state that “only a charger with an output of 1000mA will fully charge your Lumia 800 battery.” During 19–20 January 2012, two updates were made available—battery related software update and another of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango build 8107. Nokia has stated that reported issues are fixed with the update and it triples the battery life.
  • Problems with camera focus in certain conditions. Nokia has confirmed this and is working on a fix.
  • Daily Mobile reports an issue with screen flickering.
  • Multiple reports of trouble turning device on.


Also known as Nokia Sea Ray

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 – RM-819
HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 – For Canada
HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100 – RM-801 CV
Announced 2011, October
Status Available. Released 2011, November
BODY Dimensions 116.5 x 61.2 x 12.1 mm, 76.1 cc (4.59 x 2.41 x 0.48 in)
Weight 142 g (5.01 oz)
– Touch-sensitive controls
DISPLAY Type AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 480 x 800 pixels, 3.7 inches (~252 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass
– Nokia ClearBlack display
SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Card slot No
Internal 16 GB storage, 512 MB RAM
DATA GPRS Class 33
EDGE Class 33
Speed HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERA Primary 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, dual-LED flash, check quality
Features Geo-tagging
Video Yes, 720p@30fps, check quality
Secondary No
FEATURES OS Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon
CPU 1.4 GHz Scorpion
GPU Adreno 205
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML5, RSS feeds
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Java No
Colors Black, Cyan, Magenta, White
– SNS integration
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player
– MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
– Document viewer/editor
– Video/photo editor
– Voice memo/command/dial
– Predictive text input
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 1450 mAh (BV-5JW)
Stand-by Up to 265 h (2G) / Up to 335 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 13 h (2G) / Up to 9 h 30 min (3G)
Music play Up to 55 h
MISC SAR US 1.27 W/kg (head)     1.08 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 0.94 W/kg (head)
Price group  Rs. 22,000/-
TESTS Display Contrast ratio: Infinite (nominal)
Loudspeaker Voice 60dB / Noise 59dB / Ring 61dB
Audio quality Noise -87.3dB / Crosstalk -87.8dB
Camera Photo / Video
Battery life Endurance rating 35h

Nokia Lumia Series 2: Lumia 610: Windows Smartphone @Rs.12,999/-

Nokia Lumia 610: Windows Smartphone @Rs.12,999/-

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The new Nokia Lumia 610  is a 3.7-inch touchscreen smartphone running the latest Windows Phone Mango OS . It is a budget Windows phones from Nokia and sport 5MP camera at the back . The new Nokia Lumia 610 is targeted at the youth with its affordable price (cheapest price Nokia Windows Smartphone) and availability in stylish design and variety of bright colors . It sports high speed connectivity options like 3G and Wi-Fi and also supports Wi-Fi hotspot (its big sibling Lumia 710 lacks it) .


Also known as Nokia RM-835.

General 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
Announced 2012, February
Status Available. Released 2012, April
Body Dimensions 119 x 62 x 12 mm, 77.6 cc (4.69 x 2.44 x 0.47 in)
Weight 131.5 g (4.62 oz)
Display Type TFT capacitive touchscreen, 65K colors
Size 480 x 800 pixels, 3.7 inches (~252 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Sound Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
Memory Card slot No
Internal 8 GB storage, 256 MB RAM
Data GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 – 48 kbps
EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps
Speed HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
Camera Primary 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash
Features Geo-tagging, face detection
Video Yes, VGA@30fps
Secondary No
Features OS Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
Chipset Qualcomm MSM7227A Snapdragon
CPU 800 MHz ARM Cortex-A5
GPU Adreno 200
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Java No
Colors White, Cyan, Magenta, Black
– SNS integration
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player
– MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
– Document viewer
– Video/photo editor
– Voice memo/dial
– Predictive text input
Battery Standard battery, Li-Ion 1300 mAh (BP-3L)
Stand-by Up to 670 h (2G) / Up to 720 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 10 h 30 min (2G) / Up to 9 h 30 min (3G)
Music play Up to 35 h
Misc SAR US 1.32 W/kg (head)     0.97 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 0.83 W/kg (head)
Price group Rs. 12,999/-
Tests Display Contrast ratio: 746:1 (nominal) / 1.432:1 (sunlight)
Loudspeaker Voice 70dB / Noise 65dB / Ring 75dB
Audio quality Noise -84.6dB / Crosstalk -85.7dB
Camera Photo
Battery life Endurance rating 43h






Nokia Lumia Series: 1, Nokia Lumia 510

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Nokia Lumia 510: Coming Soon to India

Nokia premiers Lumia 510 in India, coming soon at “less than Rs. 11,000”

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Nokia has announced the launch of the Lumia 510 in India. The country is the first market in the world to receive the “cheapest Lumia device in the world”, a mantle that the Lumia 510 inherits from the Lumia 610.

The Nokia Lumia 510 sports a 4-inch WVGA (800×480) display with a 5-megapixel rear camera. The phone is powered by a 800MHz Qualcomm processor and ships with just 256MB RAM and 4GB internal storage (2.88GB available to the user). Since the phone runs Windows Phone 7.5, it has no support for MicroSD cards, or any other kind of expandable storage.

Nokia did not reveal the exact price of device, only suggesting that the retail price will be “less than Rs. 11,000”. Similarly, the exact availability date wasn’t mentioned either, with the device expected to be available in the “coming weeks”. With Nokia intending the Lumia 510 to be its “Diwali gift to India”, one certainly hopes the phone will become available before the festival (13th November).

While the device looks a decent option at the price on paper, the limited storage and RAM will likely prove to be problematic in day-to-day usage. Sure, Nokia points to the various cloud storage options in its defence of the paltry on-board storage, but poor connectivity across the country makes the cloud-option a non-starter for day to day usage. Nokia could have solved this problem by using Windows Phone 8 (which supports expandable storage) in the Lumia 510, but perhaps it is not ready to undercut its flagship device the Lumia 920, and its sibling the Lumia 820, just yet.

Nokia Lumia 510 replaces the Lumia 610 as the “cheapest Lumia device” in the world. Nokia Lumia 610 was introduced in the country in July this year carrying a price tag of Rs. 12,999. It comes with a 3.7-inch display, 5MP camera and a 800MHz processor with 8GB of internal storage. Today, the smartphone is available online for an estimated price of Rs. 12,000.

The Nokia Lumia 510, like other Windows Phone 7.5 devices, will not be upgradable to Windows Phone 8, but will receive the Windows Phone 7.8 update instead.

Nokia Lumia 510 specs

  • Display: 4-inch WVGA 800×480, TFT, capacitive touch screen
  • Memory: 256MB RAM (4GB internal storage)
  • Camera: 5-megapixel auto-focus; video recording in VGA resolution @30fps
  • Size: 120.7 x 64.9 x 11.5mm
  • Weight: 129g
  • Connectivity: GPRS/EDGE, WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, GPS/A-GPS, micro-USB, 3.5mm audio connector (AHJ + WP Controls), Dual Transfer Mode, HSDPA/WCDMA
  • Processor: Snapdragon S1
  • Talk time: (GSM/WCDMA) Up to 8.4 h/ 6.2 h; Standby time: (GSM/WCDMA) Up to 653 h/ 738 h


General 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
Announced 2012, October
Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2012, November
Body Dimensions 120.7 x 64.9 x 11.5 mm, 81 cc (4.75 x 2.56 x 0.45 in)
Weight 129 g (4.55 oz)
Display Type TFT capacitive touchscreen, 65K colors
Size 480 x 800 pixels, 4.0 inches (~233 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Sound Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
Memory Card slot No
Internal 4 GB storage, 256 MB RAM
Data GPRS Up to 85.6 kbps
EDGE Up to 236.8 kbps
Speed HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
Camera Primary 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus
Features Geo-tagging, face detection
Video Yes, VGA@30fps
Secondary No
Features OS Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio Stereo FM radio
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Java No
Colors White, Cyan, Black, Red, Yellow
– SNS integration
– 7GB free SkyDrive storage
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player
– MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
– Document viewer
– Video/photo editor
– Voice memo/dial
– Predictive text input
Battery Standard battery, Li-Ion 1300 mAh (BP-3L)
Stand-by Up to 739 h (2G) / Up to 653 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 6 h 15 min (2G) / Up to 8 h 25 min (3G)
Music play Up to 38 h








The secret behind Nokia’s 41-megapixel camera phone

Saying a smartphone has an excellent 5-megapixel camera doesn’t make for good headlines, but that’s what Nokia’s promising with its 41-megapixel 808 PureView. Well, that, and a usable digital zoom.

When Nokia announced the 41-megapixel 808 PureView smartphone at MWC 2012, CNET’s associate editor Lynn La said “it is a phone that has so many megapixels, its megapixels have megapixels.” That, it turns out, was a pretty accurate statement.

But, before I get into what that all means, judging by comments I’ve read there seems to be some confusion about the largeness of the sensor. The 808’s image sensor is not only larger in resolution, but physical size. It’s larger than the ones in most–if not all–current smartphones as well as the majority of point-and-shoots.

Nokia conquers the camera phone with the 808 PureView (photos)


The 8-megapixel iPhone 4S, for example, has a 1/3.2-inch type sensor while most compact cameras use a 1/2.3-inch type sensor. The 808’s in comparison is a 1/1.2-inch type, which is quite a large sensor for a mobile device. (Do the division and you get the approximate diagonal measurement of the sensor.) That’s 2.5 times larger than the one Nokia used in its 12-megapixel N8.

Of course, packing a larger sensor with more than three times the number of pixels doesn’t translate into better photos: smaller pixels collect less light, which worsens image quality. The thing is, Nokia doesn’t really want you to use the full resolution of its sensor. Not for giant photos, anyway.

Instead, the 808 defaults to a 5-megapixel resolution. Through a process called pixel oversampling (though some might call it pixel binning), Nokia combines seven pixels into one superpixel. Doing that helps eliminate image noise in low-light conditions and, according to Nokia, makes noise virtually nonexistent when shooting in good lighting. So while the 808 can be set to take 38- or 34-megapixel images depending on the aspect ratio used–4:3 or 16:9, respectively–it’s not why Nokia used such a high-resolution sensor.

The pixel oversampling also allowed Nokia to develop a lossless digital zoom, which is probably the most important part for a lot of people. Basically, as you zoom out the amount of oversampling reduces until you’ve reached the limit of the actual resolution. In other words, if you have it set for 5 megapixels you can continue to zoom until it’s no longer oversampling and simply using a 5-megapixel area of the sensor. There is no upscaling or interpolation, it’s just a 5-megapixel photo. At that resolution, it will give you about a 3x lossless zoom for photos and a 4x zoom for movies shot in full HD. Reduce the resolution, and you get more lossless zoom.

For controlling the zoom, Nokia’s added a new slide zoom feature that lets you slide your finger up and down anywhere on the display to smoothly move in and out. And with no moving optics, you won’t hear the zoom while recording.

Speaking of optics, Nokia’s lens choice makes things even more interesting. The Carl Zeiss 5-element lens has one high-index, low-dispersion glass lens instead of being all plastic like other smartphones. It has a large f2.4 aperture with a 26mm focal length for 16:9 and 28mm for 4:3. Nokia claims the combination along with the large sensor size will give you some nice background blur for close-ups; the 808 can focus as close as 6 inches from a subject. (Add in the lossless zoom and you can get very close to what you’re shooting and presumably still get great fine detail.)

Also, with no optical zoom, the camera uses the f2.4 aperture through the range of the zoom. Optical zooms on compact cameras use increasingly smaller apertures as you extend the lens, which means you have to use higher ISO sensitivities and slower shutter speeds to avoid blur. The 808’s f2.4 lens and digital zoom won’t have that issue, so it can keep ISO low for less noise and still use faster shutter speeds.

If you’re interested in more details on all that the sensor, lens, and processing combination of the Nokia 808 PureView has to offer, read Nokia’s white paper on the subject.

Lastly, I’ve seen some mentions that this is comparable to Lytro’s sensor technology, but it’s really not. Lytro’s sensor design is unique, while the 808’s sensor is pretty much a traditional design just with a super-high resolution, which Nokia takes full advantage of to produce better photos.

At least, that’s what Nokia’s saying. We’ll have to wait till we get our hands on one to know for sure.

Why You Can’t Dismiss Nokia’s 41-Megapixel Phone

My first reaction upon hearing about Nokia’s 41-megapixel 808 Pureview was that it was an absurdity, a perfect example of the very worst of consumer electronics, and a total miss. But the more I read, the better I understood that this phone isn’t just some freak of nature with a ridiculously high number attached to it. It’s just the slightly awkward first steps of a serious move by Nokia to differentiate itself.

If you’ve only skimmed the news, there are some things you should probably know about this strange beast of a camera.

First, the 41 megapixel figure is really misrepresentative, not to say untrue. It doesn’t take 41-megapixel photos in any way, shape, or form. Even in the special high-res creative mode, it “only” produces 38 megapixels. Mostly it will be taking normal-size shots, between 3 and 8 megapixels. So what the hell does this 41 megapixel figure even mean?

It means Nokia is being smart about the way cameras at this size actually work. I wrote a while back about how HD does not always mean high definition, and cameraphones were an excellent example of this. Their tiny sensors and bad lenses meant that while they may produce pictures of a certain size, the quality was sorely lacking. This was because they insisted on wringing every possible pixel out of an incredibly small sensor.

The 808′s sensor (supposedly manufactured by Toshiba) is not small. At 1/1.2″, it’s four or five times the size of most cameraphone sensors, including the one in the iPhone 4S. Bigger in fact than the sensors in most point-and-shoots. Now, when you make your sensor bigger, you can either keep the same resolution but have bigger wells or photosites (which detect light and make up pixels), which usually improves sensitivity. Or you can keep the same photosite size and just put more of them on the sensor, which improves resolution. In this case Nokia has done the second thing.

But they’ve done it almost to an absurd amount, and they know that their lens, good as it is (and fairly fast — F/2.4 is solid, though there’s lots of distortion right now), can’t really resolve detail well enough that 41 megapixels would be necessary. Even on full-frame cameras that many pixels is questionable.

So instead of just bumping this one spec and expecting it to sell itself, they built a whole photo system around the idea. The 808 camera doesn’t take 41-megapixel photos; it collects 41 megapixels of data and uses all that data to create a very nice photo of a much smaller size. Imagine a photo around 8000×5000 pixels that isn’t particularly sharp; now shrink it down to something significantly smaller — maybe around 3000×2500 pixels (~8MP), just as an estimate. You do it intelligently, sharpening and de-aliasing and doing noise removal.

Here’s a rough estimate of the sizes (DPReview lists more specs):

They’re using 41 megapixels of raw material to give you 8 megapixels of product. And that 8 megapixel product is going to be significantly better than a “real” 8-megapixel image captured by a sensor a quarter the size of your pinky fingernail. Their camera really is better.

Of course, this comes with the standard caveat that independent testing must be done and what really matters is how it performs in everyday situations like dimly lit kitchens, restaurants, and out of the windows of cars. We’ll try it out ourselves, and will be sure to let you know if any more photographically-inclined authorities find out anything interesting.

The other shoe

And then there’s the handset itself. It’s chunky, it’s a weird shape, the camera sticks out the back. And it runs Symbian. Symbian! Why would Nokia do such a thing?

Because this project has been going on for five years, and five years ago the idea that Nokia and Symbian would be fighting for dear life wouldn’t quite have been believed. Nokia was still king of the world, iOS was just being born, and everyone was looking forward to Limo instead of Android.

They’re running it on Symbian because it was designed for Symbian, and it was too late to port the software and adapt the hardware to Windows Phone 7, which came along at the 11th hour, and at any rate the design spec for their Lumia phones would never have admitted a lens bump like the 808′s.

But they’re promising to bring the whole package to WP7 — which means Microsoft just got five years of Nokia R&D for free. It also means that if these guys play their cards right (a big “if”), WP7 could be the de facto gold standard for mobile photography in a year or two. When you consider how point and shoots are giving way to camera phones, and WP7 is aiming at the exact population that loves point and shoots, the pieces start looking very complementary indeed.

Nobody will buy the 808. It’s an evolutionary dead end. But the camera is a desirable trait that will be introduced to the Nokia-Microsoft hybrid soon — if either of these companies has any sense. Again, that’s a big if.

But this camera has restored some of my faith in Nokia and in mobile photography, something I trulydidn’t expect to happen any time soon, and not by them of all.

41MP Nokia 808 smartphone hints at pixel-binning future for small sensor cameras

Nokia has made the startling announcement that it has created a 41MP smartphone, the Nokia 808 PureView. Interestingly, in most shooting modes the camera will output 3, 5MP or 8MP stills, rather than offering its full resolution – promising greater quality and offering some clever features. And this isn’t a trade-show concept model, this is a product that will be offered to the public, though details of when and in which countries haven’t been announced. What’s interesting isn’t so much the pixel count as how it’s used, so we took a closer look.

The first thing to realize is that this isn’t a standard 1/3.2″ mobile phone sensor, it’s an unusual and remarkably large 1/1.2″ type (five times larger). In fact, it’s almost three times the size of the sensors in most compact cameras. As a result, its photosites are the same size as those in most 8.2MP cameraphone but the 808 doesn’t try to create an image of the same quality, 5 times bigger. Instead it oversamples the image and then pixel-bins down to a smaller size (though there is a special ‘creative’ shooting mode if you want the full resolution – 38MP at 4:3 aspect ratio, 36MP at 16:9).

Diagram showing the size of the Nokia 808 PureView’s 1/1.2″ sensor in comparison to those used in various compact cameras and mobile phones. A Four Thirds sensor is included for scale.

This pixel-binning means that noise (which occurs randomly) is averaged-out across multiple pixels (around 7-to-1 in the 5MP mode). The high native pixel count also means that it’s possible to effectively ‘zoom’ by cropping into the center of the image and reducing the number of pixels you average together. Consequently the 808 can offer a roughly 2.8x ‘zoom,’ while maintaining 5MP output, despite having a fixed lens. The image quality will drop (since the noise is no longer being averaged out), but it does mean you get a roughly 28-78mm equivalent zoom, without the need to have moving lens elements, making the process fast and silent. It also means the lens’ 15cm minimum focusing distance is maintained.

And, although the benefits of pixel-binning are lost as you magnify-in, because its photosites are the same size as contemporary 8MP phones, the resulting 5MP should offer the same pixel-level quality even at full magnification.

The same process allows 1080p video to be shot with a 4x cropping zoom.

Much like the Panasonic LX and GH cameras, the Nokia 808 uses an over-sized sensor to maximize the area used to offer different aspect-ratio images.

Despite the large sensor and comparatively large f/2.4 aperture, you won’t get much control over depth of field (it’ll be equivalent to setting an APS-C DSLR’s kit lens to 18mm f/5.6). The depth-of-field control is reduced still further when magnified-in, because it doesn’t gain the shallower depth of field that longer physical focal lengths usually bring. So, while it’s an improvement over most phones, we wouldn’t put much faith in the Nokia white paper’s talk of bokeh.

The interesting thing for us, though, is not the Panasonic-esque multi-aspect-ratio use of the sensor, nor the astonishing pixel count, it’s the idea of using that high pixel count to offer lower noise or non-interpolated digital zooming, while maintaining a constant image size. As Nokia’s blog points out:

‘5Mpix-6Mpix is more than enough for viewing images on PC, TV, online or smartphones. After all, how often do we print images bigger than even A4? [It] isn’t about shooting pictures the size of billboards! Instead, it’s about creating amazing pictures at normal, manageable sizes.’

And that’s something that might be interesting to see in future compact cameras – models that will concentrate on output of a sensible size so that the user can easily get the benefit of them oversampling the scene.

Click here to read Nokia’s blog post about the 808 PureView, which includes more detail about the phone’s other features.

And click here to read the company’s white-paper on the technology underpinning it.

Nokia 808 PureView lens and sensor specifications

  • Carl Zeiss Optics
  • Focal length: 8.02mm
  • 35mm equivalent focal length: 26mm, 16:9 | 28mm, 4:3
  • F-number: f/2.4
  • Focus range: 15cm – Infinity (throughout the zoom range)
  • Construction:
    • 5 elements, 1 group. All lens surfaces are aspherical
    • One high-index, low-dispersion glass mould lens
    • Mechanical shutter with neutral density filter
  • Optical format: 1/1.2”
  • Total number of pixels: 7728 x 5368
  • Pixel Size: 1.4um

Nokia’s sample images:

Nokia's sample images:

Nokia's sample images:

Nokia's sample images:

Nokia's sample images:

Nokia's sample images:

Nokia's sample images:

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