Nokia's "iPhone" for People Who Do Not Want the iPhone

As if you aren't already confused whether to get an iPhone 4S or the Galaxy Nexus, Nokia announced their entry into the holiday smartphone fray with the Lumia 800 this morning. Earlier this year, Nokia partnered up with Microsoft and adopted Windows Phone 7 as their de facto mobile OS. Now months later, they've revealed the fruits of their partnership with the Nokia Lumia 800. Read on to find out if your next phone should actually be a Mango!
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Hardware At first glance, besides the bright case colors, the hardware design of the Lumia 800 presents itself a fairly reserved design flagship model. Skipping the "everything but the kitchen sink" philosophy of Android and the "one size fits all" offering from Apple, the Lumia presents itself as fashionably late to the party wearing a slinky, but simple outfit. However, it's refreshing to see a device focused more on what's inside instead of what's outside. For those of you acquainted with Nokia past offerings, this shares more than a passing resemblance to the recently released Nokia N9, running the now-defunct MeeGo OS. And the truth is, it essentially is the same hardware on the outside (making this an off-the-rack design).
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The Lumia 800 rocks a 3.7", 800x480 AMOLED curved glass display. Unlike the recent announced Galaxy Nexus, the curved display is convex, with the top and bottom end of the glass blending into the body. The device itself is made of machined polycarbonate unibody shell, a manufacturing processing becoming the standard with premium model devices. Although not the largest display or the thinnest phone, the quality and fit seem befitting of a phone aiming to expand WP7 marketshare.

Just check out This Is My Next and Engagdet's review on Lumia 800's twin the N9 to get a sense of how the device is put together.

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Inside, the Lumia 800 is powered by a 1.4GHz Qualcomm chip, partnered with 512MB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage. Given the relatively resource efficient WP7 OS, this is plenty of processing power and should give the Lumia smooth and snappy performance, but we would have liked both specs doubled for future-proofing (alongside appeasing the general public, which often puts worth in spec figures). An interesting note here is that the phone uses a micro-sim for GSM connectivity, same as the iPhone 4/4S.

On the camera front, the Lumia 800 is equipped with an 8 megapixel camera with the standard setting Carl Zeiss optics; two LED flashes aid in improving photo quality in low light conditions. The phone itself also has a dedicated camera button, which we personally have always preferred, for quick access to the camera. We can't wait to see how the Lumia's camera fares against the iPhone 4S, as the optics of each are heralded as the "best".

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Software On the software front, the Lumia 800 is a Windows Phone 7 device through and through, with some added Nokia software to distinguish itself from Samsung and HTC offerings. Windows Phone 7 has been recently updated to the Mango OS, and Nokia has taken advantage of all the feature OS upgrades, alongside throwing in unique apps like their own, Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps.
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Nokia Drive is a built-in navigation app, utilizing Nokia's own technology to provide free navigation experience similar to Google Navigations on Android. Nokia's navigation global coverage is impressive, providing support for over 90 countries, with a multitude of language available. On feature we love is the ability to pin locations to the home screen allowing quick access to your favorite places.

The Lumia 800 will also come preloaded with Nokia Music and Mix radio, their own music app, if the Zune app isn't cutting it for you. And for sports fans, it will come with the Nokia exclusive ESPN app as well.

The Nokia Lumia is set to debut in Europe early next month. Strangely, Nokia appears to be in no rush to catch the holiday shopping season over on our side of the ocean. Expect to see the Lumia 800 and a number of other newly announced Nokia Windows Phone 7 device in the US in "early 2012".

So what will your have for your smartphone course? iOS 5, Ice Cream Sandwich, or the different flavors of Mango? Let us know in the comments below!

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