Review: Nokia Lumia 800 – surprisingly awesome.


As you know, SMNZ likes to get two viewpoints for each of their gadget reviews – one from a expert who can talk about new breakthroughs in techy stuff, and one from a person who can give a more mainstream user’s perspective. Our friends at Nokia NZ recently gave Keren Phillips a brand new Nokia Lumia 800 to play with for a week so she could share her impressions from a consumer’s point of view.


The first thing you should know about me is that I find any kind of change difficult when it comes to my phone. Over Christmas my little brother re-arranged the icons on my home screen and it took three days for me to stop trying to call people using the calculator app.

So I was slightly nervous to try Nokia’s new Lumia 800 – not only was it a new handset, I was going from Apple’s familiar iOS to the brand spanking new Windows7.  I haven’t worked on a machine running Windows for a few years now and my memories are not all that pleasant. I was really blown away by this phone though. From the hardware to the software, it’s beautifully designed and really, really easy to use.

From an overall standpoint, this phone is cool.

I intentionally didn’t read any reviews because I wanted to keep my user experience as genuine as possible but I’d had a sneak peek at the new Windows 8 tile UI last year and man, it makes for a pretty slick phone interface. It’s fairly intuitive to navigate around even if little details like the loooong list of similar coloured apps on page two take a bit of getting after the iPhone or Galaxy’s grid layout.

Functionally, the Lumia 800 does everything you’re likely to need it to do apart from tethering – a feature that has been promised for a software update in the not-too-far future. The camera and video quality is good – better than an iPhone 3GS, not quite as crisp as the iPhone 4S, but perfect for casual snaps of that roast chicken you so desperately need to post on Twitter.

Windows7’s app store equivalent, Marketplace, has a good selection of apps for download but it’s not the simplest place to navigate. And of course, given that Windows7 is a relative newcomer in the market, you won’t find all your favourites available just yet. Won’t be long though I predict.

Twitter and Facebook apps are designed in keeping with the rest of the Windows7 interface and, as a result, are beautifully simple to use. The only niggle I had with either one was that it’s frustratingly difficult to swap between multiple twitter profiles. But that’s it. Given the horrific mess that is the iPhone Facebook app, I’d say Lumia’s done pretty well with those key social media platforms.

If I was in the market for a new phone, I’d absolutely consider the Lumia 800. It’s not bad to look at, has some lovely little design features that make it wonderfully easy to use and frankly, is just more enjoyable than any of the Android devices I’ve played on.

Things I like:

  • It comes with a low profile bumper case – HANDY
  • Facebook and Twitter interfaces
  • 3D driving maps
  • Microsoft office – turns out it’s actually pretty handy having Word on your phone
  • Pinning favourite contacts to the home screen for super fast calling

Things I don’t like:

  • Zune (does anyone though?)
  • Same coloured navigation icons
  • Weird little naming choices – for example, meeting reminders ask if you’d like to “dismiss” or “snooze”. Snooze a meeting alarm?
  • Slightly-too-skinny keys that make typing a bit frustrating

The guys at Nokia NZ have said we can give away one of these phones to some lucky reader. It could be you! If you reckon this Nokia Lumia 800 has your name all over it, comment below with your Twitter handle and the answer to these questions:

Other than Black, what’s another colour that you can buy the Nokia Lumia 800 in from a Vodafone, Telecom or 2Degrees store? And why you should win the new Nokia Lumia 800. Remember you must answer the first question right which is the Lumia color options to be in the running for the phone.

We’ll pick a random winner from those who answered correctly, and announce it on Twitter on Monday at 5pm. Good luck!


UPDATE: A Winner has already been picked for this competition 

Editor in Chief at here SMNZ, I have a passion for social and digital media. When not writing and managing SMNZ I am the Head of Innovation at TAG The Agency, a digital ad agency and the Head of Sales and Marketing for End-Game, a software development agency. I'm also involved with a number of startups and I am always keen to support those that are bold enough to give things a go. Start something, better to try than to live wondering what if...


  1. Angus Grant Reply

    Colour – Cyan.
    I have been a huge fan of Nokia since my first ever cellphone – the legendary 3310! l I think it is great that Nokia have hung in there after what happened with Symbian and that Microsoft have brought their software to the table. It will take something big to challenge Apple and Google but maybe this phone can help break the shackles while the aforementioned are focused on their courtroom battles. 

    I am an Engineering and Commerce student and am going on exchange to Paris later this year, so this phone would be wonderful for keeping in touch with everybody back home and helping with my studies. Would certainly get a lot more use than the occasional Facebook status update!

  2. Ddiack07 Reply

    Black and cyan.

    My husband has always got my hand-me-down phones. He hasn’t had a new one for at least ten years. It would be nice for him to get a brand new shiny phone, his first smart phone!

    1. socialmedianz Reply

      If you can include your Twitter or Facebook handle. so we can enter you as that is one of the requirements 🙂

  3. Edytapalley Reply

    Other than Black, you can buy it in the colour Blue but only from Telecom stores at the moment. Otherwise just Black at Vodafone and 2Degrees.

    I believe I should win this phone because in a few months time I will be entering the Communications industry where having a smartphone is an essential part of one’s toolkit! My Masters thesis focuses on social media so when I finally enter the industry (where I hope to work specifically with social media) I will need to constantly access social media to monitor trends, what is being said about the organisation I work for and of course most importantly to engage in social media!

    Alas I currently have a prehistoric Nokia that is lacking the ‘smartphone gene’. Being a tertiary student I sadly lack the budget to purchase a decent smartphone. I would be over-the-moon and ecstatic to say the least if I won the Nokia Lumia 800!! @EdytaPalley:twitter

    1. socialmedianz Reply

      Hi Edyta, thanks for your answer. Definitely would make a good interview accessory when you are out there 🙂 You are in the draw. Good luck 

  4. Julz Reply

    Other colour – Cyan.

    I need this phone because I was recently self-diagnosed with social anxiety disorder & I read somewhere on the internet, in a foreign language, which I skillfully translated, that only this phone could alleviate the symptoms.


  5. Nathanael Gray Reply

    Cyan is the other colour available in NZ which to most people is just blue. I would love a Lumia 800 as I like Windows Phone but currently have a Samsung Focus with a broken screen! @nzgray

  6. Stephen Lyons Reply

    After hours of deliberation I have come to the conclusion that the answer is cyan.

    No sob story here, lost my phone partying hard on Friday. Wake up today and see on the twittersphere that you guys are giving away a phone.

    We shall see.PS. It would make sending tweets a bit easier to do on the go, instead of having to carry my laptop around with me everywhere. #twitteraddict

    1. socialmedianz Reply

      Haha nice timing. Before we put you in the running for the phone. Please reply to this with your Twitter or Facebook Handle, so we can contact if you do win 🙂

  7. George Browne Reply

    Alternative color available – Cyan

    I sold my HTC HD7 to upgrade to a Nokia windowsphone. I believe in the Windows-centric ecosystem that Microsoft is pushing. Before the Lumia 900 comes out, i want to get the Lumia 800.


  8. Tania Marshall Reply

    Answer: Cyan

    Would love a new phone as my current IDEOS is not really responsive, think its the fact that my then 2 year old daughter slept with it while toilet training. And Im sure you can figure out what happened. So can’t afford a replacement as its hard enough coping with university finances.

    1. socialmedianz Reply

      Well you’ll be happy to hear you are in the draw. Will be posting a video doing a draw at 5pm. So make sure to tuned into our Twitter feed to see who we draw 🙂 Good luck

  9. Ivan Zivkovic Reply

    Cyan is the only other colour and only available on Telecom.

    I need something to replace my HTC Trophy, which has been dropped more by my children then it was dropped by my wife. She got the Cyan one as reward for her efforts 🙂

  10. Eugene Hawkins Reply

    Cyan – I would love to get this phone but 3.7″ is slightly on the small side. My Nokia E7 has a 4″ screen. So waiting for Lumia 900. Go nokia… I love the free maps 🙂

  11. Samantha Reply

    Cyan is another one of the colour options. I’d give this to my sister – she seems to be going through a bit of a hipster phase. Can’t get the iPhone – *everybody* has one of those. Old school Nokia brand + awesome smartphone capabilities = should be acceptable ;D


  12. selwyn dsouza Reply

    the other color option is CyanWhy should i win this phone as everybody should knowA great phone does make a personality glowthis phone has everthing beside the kitchen sinklooking at it my current phone stinksReally love the new nokia rangeMy iphone 3g now feels just strangewindows just gives its the extra edgeandroid and ios thrown over the hedgeYou are the best fone out thereyou seem so so finehow do i desperately waitfor the day you will be mineI’ll treat you well lumia you shall seeOh nokia lumia just come to me

  13. parul mathur Reply

    Cyan is the other color .Would love to gift it to my husband was saving to buy him a phone but had to spend the money for some treatment 🙁 .This will def make a good surprise 🙂

  14. Peter Zawodny Reply

    Blue (or if you like Cyan) is the other colour option available. I would love to win one because it is just totally hip and cool and it would be a great way to connect with friends and family.

  15. SteffenRusten Reply

    Can also get it in Cyan. I should win this phone because the best way to prove it’s good, is to convert an Apple fan boy like myself to the Nokia/Windows world. Hit me @steffenrusten:twitter 

  16. Richard Walker Reply

    Blue/Cyan is the other colour available. I would like to try this phone to give the Windows 7 OS a whirl and see how the User interface works (or doesn’t) for myself. Looks like a sleek phone for sure.

  17. Aaron Morrell Reply

    Gonna take a stab in the dark and suggest the other colour is Cyan. 

    I would love a nice new Nokia phone, as my current Nokia phone is just a pile of old Symbian rubbish, and really isn’t good for anything (apart from swearing at when it tells me to close some apps as I have too many open. I wouldn’t have thought having just one web page open is excessive, but apparently so).

    Thanks 🙂

  18. Shoel Palli Reply

    The other colour option is Cyan (Telecom calls it the Nokia Lumia 800 Blue)

    I’ve always been a faithful Nokia and Microsoft acolyte – resisting the temptations of iDevices and Androids. Having started with the good ol’ 3315 and then moved to a Nokia 5800XM, the Lumia 800 would be a worthy upgrade and best of all its made by my fave mobile maker and powered by my fave software maker.

  19. Rohit Bawa Reply

    another colour option is Cyan

    My first phone was Nokia and i cant wait to check this one out! Phone i got atm is 2 years old and i need a new phone for work.

  20. Laura Lock Reply

    Answer: Cyan.
    I am in need of a new phone, as I when recently moving house, my last phone got crushed under our chest of drawers!Thanks for the opportunity to win!(@LozaLock:twitter )

  21. Kirsten McConchie Reply

    The Lumia is also available in blue/cyan. Desperately in need of a new phone as my iPhone is falling apart (literally – the metal has pulled apart on the side and bobby pins slip inside it when it’s in my bag!) Needless to say the poor phone now does things with a mind of it’s own – a wonderful new Lumia would be fantastic!

  22. matthewmarsh Reply

    Blue is the other colour.  I’ve had a tiny play with one of these phones, really like it! Takes fantastic photos/videos.

    They say that iPhone owners get the most girls (proven study), well, I’m tired of all the women constantly asking for my number, so changing my iphone to one of these might give me a bit of rest.

  23. Kirsty Ley Reply

    Answer: Blue. I think I should win it as I’m sick of dealing with two phones – one work smart phone and one personal boring phone. I just want one phone which I can do everything from! @kirstyley:twitter 

  24. Henry Rowe Reply

    Well, black would be nice but if the other colour you can get is cyan I guess I have to go for that.

    Looks like a mint phone, sure it will be competitive at the top end.

  25. Tom Tremewan Reply

    The alternative colour option available for the Lumia is cyan (or blue if you’re browsing the Telecom online store). I would like to win the Lumia because I’ve traditionally been a fan of Apple products (fanboy) in the past, but my 3G iPhone has become nearly useless in the vain of Apple’s terminal lifespan on all their latest products. I would be very happy to give the ‘other’ side a go, and Nokia have made some of the most reliable products in the telecom world! Twitter handle @tomtremewan thanks 🙂

  26. Alice Manhire Reply

    @alicemanhire:twitter  The pretty blue colour. I need the Lumia because the work-issue phone I currently have is an HTC(!), and it’s not even smart. How am I meant to be be a savvy up to date marketer in this day and age without a smartphone.

  27. Eloquentsonia Reply

    Cyan (blue) … And my uber-geeky but un-smartphoned teenage daughter would graduate to a real phone if i won it! Sometimes good things need 2 b shared & her third-hand ‘text only’ device would get donated to Starship. Share the love! @eloquentsonia

  28. Parth Reply

    The other colour is Cyan. Why should I win? Well ever Since I had a phone of my own, it has only been nokia. My first phone was the iconic 3310 then 1100, then 3250. I must say it had the best cam back in da days and was for show off reasons :P.. Then the N85 n now currently i have the n8..  N I think Lumia 800 will be the best to live up to my expectations 😀

  29. Steve Reply

    Cyan is the other color. I should win because my fiancée is always using my phone to play games on, if I won I’d give it to her 🙂 – @stevengapo

  30. Ross McDougall Reply

    Blue. I would enjoy this phone cause no one in the office has it yet and I would love to show off a new toy! 

  31. Ross McDougall Reply

    Blue. I would enjoy this phone cause no one in the office has it yet and I would love to show off a new toy! One of the few android users in a sea of Iphones unsuppored by the company, haha. A windows phone would make my job MUCH easier! Plus would be great to show off!Twitter handle is Ross_McDougall

  32. Brendon Henshaw Reply

    Cyan (Blue) which is the other color this phone comes in.This phone would be a surprise gift to my incredible wife, a dedicated mother to her three children.
    who does well to get by with what she has. Her current phone is a failing five year old Telecom R6 (just a small phone with a numbers keypad)
    The Lumia 800 would greatly assist her in receiving and answering her Lecturer’s email’s on the run (having still two years to go in her Degree). Be able to be up to date with her changing employment schedule (works part time at a day care) as well as keeping to the busy routines of her children (Parent Teacher Interviews, Sports Events, etc) She would find many other advantages to of course, not having to carry a calculator and dictionary around, or unwinding on her lazyboy at the end of the day while surfing her facebook in one hand with a cup of tea in the other.
    Apparently the Lumia 800 is one of the easier smart phones to get used to, I would find it fairly easy to set it up and in next to no time she would have assistance going with her in her busy and successful life.

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