Nokia Presents Lumia 800 and Lumia 710: First 'Real' Windows Phones
Stephen Elop insisted that 'We are signalling our intent right now to be today's leaders in smartphone design and craftsmanship, no question about it'.
To do so, Nokia is hoping to stand out from the crowd with a set of new and exclusive services. The firm's smartphones are, for example, now being presented as veritable pocket GPS units, with a Nokia Drive application for free route navigation (online and offline) complete with voice guidance. The software is used with the phone in landscape mode and boasts type-ahead suggestions for over 69 million places. All of this could come as a bit of a blow to new partner Microsoft's Bing Maps (oops!) which is still trailing way behind Google Maps.
Similarly, the Nokia Music app is an online radio service, a bit like Pandora, but with new functions allowing users to listen to tracks offline and listen to mixes. Stephen Elop modestly declared that 'I think we have finally solved the mobile music problem'.
On top of that, these new phones will come with additional services, like a Nokia Public Transport app with travel info for 400 cities. Some augmented reality applications have also been hinted at.
Nokia Lumia 800
The Nokia Lumia 800 has a 3.7'' AMOLED screen with a resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, as well as an 8-Megapixel camera complete with Carl Zeiss lens with f/2.2 aperture. The Lumia 800 will be a slim 12.1 mm handset weighing 142 grammes and, like those rumours and pirate videos suggested, the Lumia 800 is basically a recycled N9 (Nokia's smartphone on the MeeGo OS). In other words, it's a candybar handset with a polycarbonate 'unibody' (to borrow a term from Apple) with a sleek and original design combining sharp, straight lines at the top and bottom and curvy, rounded edges on the sides.
One highly original thing about the Lumia 800 is that the screen is slightly convex along the longer edges. The effect is really quite subtle—the screen doesn't bulge out from the phone's main body and so it doesn't break the continuity of the single-piece moulded shell. The AMOLED screen is loaded with ClearBlack Panel technology to help boost contrast. We've already seen this in action in the N9, which definitely had nice, deep blacks.
The Lumia 800 uses a 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 processor. This is a single-core model but it's backed up by a separate Adreno 205 graphics processor for video playback up to 720p ... but not beyond. The Lumia 800 has 16 GB of internal memory that unfortunately can't be expanded!
As a flagship model for Nokia's new smartphone range and a phone that's billed as the 'first real Windows Phone', the Lumia 800's tech specs make it nothing more special than the HTC Titan, even if the handsets do have different sized screens. Apart from the exclusive new services then, this Windows Phone doesn't have much that's not already found in the latest Windows handsets from HTC or Samsung.
Nokia Lumia 710The Nokia Lumia 710 is a more affordable Windows Phone mobile. It too has a 3.7'' screen but AMOLED technology has been switched for a standard LCD (we'll have to test it for ourselves to find out exactly which kind of LCD technology is used). It has a 5-Megapixel camera, 8 GB of memory (which, again, can't be expanded) and the same 1.4 GHz Snapdragon processor as the Lumia 800. With its selection of different coloured interchangeable covers, this phone is clearly aimed at younger users. The SIM-free handset should sell for around £285.
Nokia will be accompanying its Lumia mobiles with a special accessories range, including these brightly coloured headphones and earphones (WH-930 and WH-920, see below) designed in partnership with Monster. Prices have been announced at €199 (approx. £175) and €99 (approx. £85).
We can't help thinking that Nokia could have come up with a better name for its new superstar handsets, as Lumia sounds rather too similar to Panasonic's Lumix compact camera range. Could it be a coincidence that Nokia is promising its new mobiles make great cameraphones?
We'll also be sparing a thought for Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony Ericsson, who could be feeling a bit left out since Google bought Motorola and since Nokia snuggled up with Microsoft—so much so, in fact, that the firm was only too happy to let Nokia present its handsets as the first 'real' Windows Phones. No hard feelings, right?