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Nokia's new phones: a Windows win?



After months of speculation they're finally here: Nokia's first Windows Phone smartphones will go on sale on the 16th of November. The Lumia 800 isn't just a smartphone, though. It's the first shot in a new technology battle. Fed up with Apple and Android getting all the attention, Nokia and Microsoft want to be the Phone Kings once again.


Mobile phones have changed dramatically in a very short space of time. Smartphones used to mean Windows Mobile devices, or possibly Blackberries; when Google initially designed its Android system, it looked awfully like a combination of Windows Mobile and the Blackberry OS. Then Apple came along. Its 2007 iPhone reinvented the smartphone, and most of today's devices have clearly been influenced by Apple's wonder gadget.


Microsoft didn't see it coming, but it soon realised that Windows Mobile's time was up. It dumped the ageing operating system and got its best people to design a new one. The result, Windows Phone, was brilliant, and its current version - 7.5, aka "Mango" - is a joy to use, with a drop-dead-gorgeous interface called "Metro" and great integration with entertainment services, social networks and even Xbox Live. Where other mobile OSes are essentially Apple-lite, Windows Phone thinks different.


There were just two problems. One, there weren't any Windows Phone devices with the all-important wow factor. And two, the firms who made Windows Phone devices also made Android ones, and they spent their marketing money on the latter. The Microsoft/Nokia partnership will change that by making must-have kit and making sure everybody knows about it.


So is the Lumia 800 any good? Early reviews say yes. The 3.7-inch screen is gently curved and its OLED display looks the business, delivering crisp colours and deep blacks even in bright sunlight, while the 8-megapixel camera, speedy processor and reasonable storage mean the Lumia's competitive with its rivals. Customers also get 25GB of free online storage courtesy of Microsoft's SkyDrive, Nokia Drive sat-nav software, the Nokia Music streaming audio service and, for sports fans, an ESPN application. The camera's the real selling point here, though: the combination of dual-LED flash and Carl Zeiss optics means you can leave your point and shoot camera at home.


It's good, then, but is it good enough? While Nokia and Microsoft tinkered away in their labs, Apple, Android and Blackberries were taking over the world. Android now has 50% of the UK smartphone market, with the majority of the remainder shared between Apple (18.5%) and RIM's BlackBerry (22.5%). If this were a race, Apple, Android and RIM would be nearing the finishing line while Microsoft and Nokia were still putting their running shoes on.


This isn't a sprint, though. It's a marathon. Microsoft is chucking enormous amounts of cash into the Nokia deal and associated marketing, and the Lumia 800 is just the first of many Windows Phone devices from the company. A more affordable Lumia is already on the horizon - the Lumia 710, which will arrive in early 2012 - and there will be stacks more over the coming year.


There will be new software too. Windows Phone's next version, Apollo, is expected to arrive when Windows 8 does - and Windows 8's new look, which is directly inspired by Windows Phone, will introduce millions to the joys of the Metro interface. That in turn could help drive sales of Windows Phones.


Rivals haven't stopped moving, though. Apple's just shipped iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S, and we'll no doubt see the iPhone 5 next year; Android's latest version, Ice Cream Sandwich, is starting to appear on phones as Android manufacturers become ever more competitive; and Blackberry's now shipping phones with its new Blackberry OS 7. The challenge for Microsoft and Nokia isn't just to match what rivals are doing today, but to anticipate and beat what they'll be doing this time next year, for now though we are happy there is finally another operating system backed with the hardware that really has the credentials to compete with Android and Apple.





Widows will have a lot of catching up to do, but in a fast changing industry, anything can happen. It really depends on how tied in people are with a particular OS. Once you have bought a few aps, it starts getting inconvenient to change, just like it is with hardware and software on a PC.

helping the masses
had a play with this nokia today in phones4u its ok the screen is nice but its not for me i will stick to android and settings to 2020 worked on my android phone samsung galaxy mini.

What would you say about galaxy s2? I am thinking about getting one but galaxy s3 will be out soon in 2012

The Galaxy S2 would be my phone of choice, but there will always be something better around the corner. It really depends on how long you wish to wait.

@ a71


When it comes to consumer electronics you can say 'a better one will be out soon' about pretty much everything. If you like the handset then get it: who's to say that the Galaxy 3 won't be awful anyway? (although the prospect of getting a heavily discounted Galaxy 2 will be better once the Galaxy 3 is out).


'A better one will be out soon' is a techy rule of thumb. As is 'it'll be cheaper the day after you bought it', 'the guarantee expired yesterday' & other such fun things.


There are plenty of other websites discussing new phones, and they don't all promote contracts on other phone networks.


Nokia have been on a downward spiral for a long long time since the issues with nseries phones. Changing the OS that the phones run on was something that was well overdue. Windows OS i believe was a move in the wrong direction if the aim is to restore brand confidence. Windows mobile OS was struggling also and merging two struggling pieces of technology is like putting 2 non swimmers in a pool and telling them to save eachother, I strongly feel this will fall on its face.


Windows mobile OS has a lot of potential, but its also the buggiest OS available


Just got the Nokia Lumia 800 - Thus far its quite good... I do still prefer my N8 as I could get on to the internet with that one - With the Lumia I can't even get the settings as if yet - I have emailed GiffGaff with regard to the settings but so far no answer... Seems like that giffgaff is only interested in getting your money!!


Nokia has def made the bestest windows phone yet with it's personalised Nokia Mango OS but many people have said the 2020 setting don't work with Android, Bare in mind this is also the number for 02 so unless it's something that 02 need to change then it'#s out of giffgaff's hands on that one and don't forget you can manually input the serting into the handset

Sorry, but I couldn't but notice this:

tyrbiter wrote: "Oh, and apparently in Portugal the Lumia name is a bit off as it means prostitute."

Immediately after that, arobba chimes in: "Had a quick play with a Lumia today & I'm very impressed tbh. Build quality seems very good" Smiley Very Happy