→ December with the Nokia Lumia 800

by Michael in

December with the Nokia Lumia 800

Found via Daring Fireball, this is a great review focusing on the experience of using the new Nokia flagship Windows Phone 7 phone rather than picking it apart point by point like normal reviews. (Microsoft still needs to work on that OS name. That's a mouthful.)

I soon realised that my geeky 11-year old self would have hated this phone.  There are almost no options to play with.  You can change the “accent colour” in the UI.  That’s about it.  Maybe this is a problem in that the techy early adopter crowd won’t really appreciate the phone and thus recommend it to their less geeky friends. However, the busy 27 year old me appreciates this.  This phone has good defaults.  It just worked, and I didn’t have to worry about messing around with it.

I've definitely followed this same path. When younger I only wanted devices I could tinker with. Now I enjoy tinkering, but only on the devices I don't require to be reliable and useful with minimal effort day in and day out.

The rest of the review is similar: simple language that gets across the point: This is a mobile OS to be used out of the box. It's not perfect, but then no OS is. (I may be an iOS user and fan, but there are plenty of things in it that can be improved--some dramatically so).

My only criticism of the OS is that sometimes the graphical style makes it hard to tell what is “click”able and what isn’t.  There’s some fancy UX term for this but I call it “you keep tapping and sometimes nothing happens”.  I don’t think they would have to lose much visual simplicity to have some kind of consistent visual cue that something is “click”able.

On the People app:

each person’s latest activity across Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, all their contact details from the above, my history of communication with that person, their photo, their job title, their address, their photos from Facebook and more.  Not in separate screens but a single, cohesive, contact record.  Like the ultimate CRM for all my friends, all presented in a very slick interface.  This feels like a great way of working.

This sounds awesome.

He concludes:

As something to build on, the new Windows Phone seems to be a pretty solid foundation.

Honestly, with the awesome software and great updates Microsoft has made for the Xbox 360 over the years, and now this, it's clear MS is trying to do the right things. This makes me optimistic for Windows 8 as long as they take the right influences from their consumer product branches.

I really hope it's not too late for them to turn Windows Phone 7 into a solid platform. Once we get the Lumia 900 over here in the states (sadly, it looks like only T-Mobile is going to carry the 800, if anyone at all will be) I won't hesitate to recommend it to people looking to get their first smartphone. The only people I would hesitate for would be people already invested in the Apple ecosystem or people who already know of specific critical apps they want which aren't available in the Windows Phone 7 store.