Before reading, let it be noted that I am not an expert in mobile phones, nor am I an expert in any form of technology; this review is purely to demonstrate my own personal experience with this handset as a consumer and I will give my completely true and honest opinion on this handset, flaws and all.
To make this digestible I will provide you with three positive and negative points for the handset before quickly adding any extra features in the reviews conclusion.
- My favorite aspect of this phone is the screen; unlike competing brands and models, the curved 3.7″ AMOLED screen is not the largest, yet in terms of strength and durability is is certainly one of the best. I have dropped this phone on many occasions and have picked it up expecting it to be in pieces, yet it remains perfectly intact, even without the screen protector on. This is a major selling point in itself for me as screen replacements for smart phones are usually well over £60 and if your on a small budget, that sort of money will be sorely missed. The screen is also visually stunning and vibrant, and is barely affected by any extra light on the screen.
- What also impresses me is the internet features on the handset, having Windows Explorer 9 combined with the Bing Search feature allows fast internet browsing, which I have found to be especially useful in all sorts of situations, allowing me to find the right information in seconds. The flaw with this however is that Bing is still not quite competing with Google, yet by downloading the free app you can have the choice between more than one search engine (problem solved).
- With many handsets in the past, the trouble that most have had is the user interface, the ability to make the handset your own. With the Lumia, it is in the same boat as other smart phones out there that allow a generous amount of app shifting and organizing. Yet it does it with a much more smart and clean look, it actually appears attractive with the ability to move “tiles” onto the start menu. Personally this has allowed me to pin my most used website URL’s, apps and functions to the forefront of the phone, making its everyday use fast and simple.
- The biggest issue I have with the Lumia 800 is not the handset itself but the app marketplace. Compared with competitors the Windows Marketplace is severely lacking in both content and quality of Applications and Games, this may be an issue if you are a keen mobile gamer. However there are some games and apps that are available if you look long enough, or if you are willing to pay upwards of £4 for top quality games by recognized developers. One of the main reasons Apple have achieved such popularity is the App store, the high volume of addictive games have suckered many people into investing in their own Iphones, which if Windows want to compete, they need to invest in their Marketplace.
- Although an update in early 2012 fixed the issue with short battery life plaguing their handsets, the update has not completely rid the issue. Yes, if you have become accustomed to charging every night, you should be fine, but heavy mobile users like myself may spend all too much time checking the battery life and monitoring usage.
- This final issue is one that is apparently being fixed in an upcoming update so I won’t drum on about it too long as that issue will surely become obsolete. As bugs go, its always frustrating when something doesn’t quite work the way its supposed to, so when the volume fluctuates on its own accord when receiving a message whilst watching a video, or noise spikes when being called it is something that can bug the best of us. A quick fix would be to start the video again with the volume returned to normal but the issue with that is that there is no scroller on the video player, you can only skip every 30 seconds to move forward which can be extremely annoying if you are watching something that surpasses 10 minutes in length.
So from what I have said you may think you have a phone here that is not quite up to scratch, that struggles to live up to the high bar set by competing companies, yet you’d be mistaken. As well as there being the slight niggles that come with any phone, the phone itself is a gem; after several months of constant use, it has failed to let me down and has still got that “new phone” feel to it. There are other outstanding features such as the 8mp camera and the ability to record video in HD that make it a phone suitable for different kinds of mobile users.
So the verdict;
Features- 8.5 out of 10
Although the Marketplace is not the best, the phone offers so many features that make many things in life so much easier, such as the Nokia Drive, Maps and the Social Hub.
Ease of use- 9 out of 10
Very satisfied with the immense ease that a completely new Windows Phone user can come to grips with the interface, the Start bar and Live Tiles are easy to understand and the Windows have even been kind enough to include a Tile with a very helpful tutorial for those less tech savvy.
Battery Life- 7.5 out of 10
Although the update bolstered its original poor battery life, this phone should not suit anyone expecting to be using their phone constantly throughout the day without the means to charge it.
Overall Rating- 25/30
Thank you for reading and feel free to comment with any of your own thoughts and/or opinions.