Nokia Lumia 800 hands-on. Launch musings, Nokia Drive & Nokia Music apps demo

It’s finally here. The first Nokia Windows Phone – Nokia Lumia 800. And it is pretty much what we expected. Not much more and not much less.

It is the same Nokia N9, with Meego  OS replaced by Windows Phone Mango. And this is a bit of a problem for Nokia now. We already had  3 months to admire that uni-body design with curved glass. And we have been seeing Windows Phone Mango demos even longer.  For us, writing about this stuff every day, it is a  bit hard to get excited about and “old” phone with an “old” OS, even if they now make a completely new product.

Media fatigue aside, Nokia Lumia 800 is indeed the best Windows Phone I had a chance to play with. And I played with quite a few of them. The hardware of Lumia 800 is fast, solid and well designed. It really stands out among WIndows Phone competition

But Nokia didn’t have enough time to make its own imprint on the software inside Lumia 800. It is still mainly the same Windows Phone Mango. Lumia even uses the same Bing Maps for mapping and pedestrian navigation for now. The only apps to differentiate Nokia 800 from the rest of Windows Phone pack are Nokia Music and Nokia Drive applications. Also Nokia Sports, but that seems to be only a Nokia branded ESPN Sports Windows Phone app.

Nokia Music app brings the same music services and library we were used to on our Symbian devices to Windows Phone. It’s a huge library customized for each country the service is available. You can download and buy any mp3 track you want and get billed through the operator. Nokia Music also comes with MixRadio feature – a preselected music track collections of various genres, that you can stream,  or download and play for free.

Nokia Drive – is a drive navigation app based on Nokia Maps&Navigation services. Unfortunately, it is just a drive navigation appplication, wich is pretty inconvenient for pedestrian use, or as a stand alone maps app. But Nokia rep assured me that this is just a start. Full Nokia Maps and on foot navigation apps are coming in the nearest future.

Overall – Nokia Lumia 800 is a really cool Windows Phone and a good start of a new Nokia strategy. If not for the launch of N9 in  June, it could have been a great start.

However, apart from a small minority here, very few people even heard about Nokia N9. So a combination of a still rather strong Nokia brand, distribution muscle,  operator support and a marketing budget which is 3x bigger then Nokia ever had for a single product launch, are almost guarantied to make  Nokia Lumia 800 into a big hit.

Here’s a short video demo of Nokia Lumia 800, Nokia Music and Nokia Drive apps:

Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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  • guest

    not N800, just 800.

  • Staska

    Oops. That N Series marketing really is stuck in my head. Even after all those years

    Thanks, corrected

  • Anonymous

    Are you sure you tried this phone?
    I’ve seen hands-on videos of this phone, showing how Nokia Drive switches from driving to pedestrian use.

  • Staska

    Check the video in the post (the second half). The maps guy from Nokia demoing Lumia is very clear about this.

    There might be some videos of Nokia Maps app and pedestrian navigation app – their are both in the works, and they were installed on some demo units in Nokia Maps demo area But, as you can see in the video – they are beta versions of these apps, and will not be shipping with the commercial version of the device at first