I (along with 15-20 other Australian tech journalists from Herald Sun, MacWorld, and others) was invited to today’s event in Melbourne by Nokia for a media preview of Nokia’s first Windows Phone – the Nokia Lumia 800. The event took place in Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne and was well organised by Fuel Communications.
You may have already seen the videos and reviews on Nokia Lumia 800 from tech sites and video reviews around the globe, so this news may not be that exciting anymore. Nevertheless, holding and playing around with the actual Nokia Lumia 800 for about 10-15 minutes still left me with plenty of excitement.
Steve Lewis, Sales Director from Nokia ANZ opened up the session mentioning the availability of Nokia Lumia 800 (on most Australian network + retailers) and Nokia Lumia 710 (on Optus, Virgin, and retailers) in March 2012. Steve himself likes the People Hub (Windows Phone feature) on the Nokia Lumia 800 the most as he can be connected and keep up with his contacts’ updates using the live window tiles.
David McLean, Director, Consumer Channels Group from Microsoft Australia took the second presentation explaining a little bit about the facts and figures of the OS powering the device. According to him, there is a 93% satisfaction rate from Windows Phone users on the OS. David also said that there are already over 60,000 applications on the Windows Marketplace with 300 new apps coming in every day.
One of his favorite apps is the taxi finder app (I couldn’t catch what the app was) that allows you to see all the free taxis around you, pick one to make a booking, and monitor it real time while the driver tries to find his/her way to you. Another is the Pizza Hut app because he can customise his order with the app and order the pizza straight from the comfort of his phone (if you are like David who likes eating jalapenos, you can add the extra topping in easily within the app :)).
Stephen Baxter, Nokia’s Product Manager in Australia closed up the sessions with a more in-depth overview of the Nokia Lumia 800. Nokia Lumia 800 is made with a unibody seamless polycarbonate material and a ClearBlack display which reduces reflection (for up to 30%). It has a wonderful 8 Megapixels camera with Carl Zeiss Optics (like the Nokia N8 that I reviewed) and 2.2 Aperture. It’s available in Black, Cyan, Magenta, and White – though I have to admit, I really like the Cyan (even when I’ve always been a fan of Black-colored phones).
The Nokia Lumia 800 comes with:
- Nokia Music
Giving Nokia Lumia users about 15,000,000 songs to access with online mix radio stations. You can stream the music for free or pick the “make available offline” option to download the music to your Nokia Lumia phone. There is also a Gig finder using your location, so you can scroll through the current gigs, buy a ticket, and check the map.
- Nokia Drive
A free turn-by-turn navigation, so you don’t have to pay for a standalone GPS app.
- Nokia Maps
Designed mainly for pedestrians which can also show points of interest around you.
- Xbox Live
You can connect to your account, grab your avatar, check messages, see friends, games that you’ve downloaded, see your friends’ recommendations, scores, and more.
- Internet Explorer 9 with hardware acceleration
- Microsoft Office available preloaded which also allows you to sync to your documents in your SkyDrive
Nokia Lumia 800 definitely brings the award winning design to consumers and the Windows Phone works seamlessly with the phone. Everything was smooth when I tried it myself during the event. Live tiles integration with the apps make everything centralised on the home screen so you’ll never miss any important updates. Stephen also showed us how he could pin an eBay item he’s watching easily into a tile on the home screen. For more coverage on Windows Phone, check my meet-up with Brett Murray from Microsoft. Oh, you can also switch to the camera while the device is locked by pressing and holding the Camera button in under 3 seconds (thanks to Aulia Masna on the comment section)(Image courtesy of Windows Phone Down Under)
I have been a user of Android and iOS devices but never really try a Windows Phone before (apart from Windows Mobile 6.5 back in the old days). The seamless integration among the apps and OS is really cool and the Nokia Lumia 800 is super sexy too. It has a bit of a weight, like the Nokia N8 but the sexy sleek design, wonderful camera lens quality, and the better-than-Symbian Windows Phone OS, I would totally recommend grabbing the sexy Lumia 800 if you are not into Android or iOS.
For more “yummy” photos on the Nokia Lumia 800 and the event, check out Long Zheng’s photo gallery on Flickr