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11/16/2011
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Nokia Happy With Early Response To Lumia 800

Record number of pre-orders for the Lumia 800 smartphone buoys Nokia's chances of a comeback.

Nokia claims that the number of pre-orders for the Lumia 800 smartphone in the U.K. are higher than for any previous Nokia smartphone.

"The level of pre-orders, as well as reaction in shops today, lead us to be very positive about the launch of the Nokia Lumia 800," said U.K.-based Nokia spokesperson Ray Haddow. "The public have had hands on in many retail stores over the past week and were in store in abundance today, not only trying out this amazing device, but signing up for some of the great deals available."

The Lumia 800 is the first of Nokia's new Windows Phone 7 Mango smartphones to reach the market. It is vital that Nokia's Windows Phone devices succeed--lest the company's future in the smartphone business become imperiled.

"We've had lots of people saying that they intend to switch to the Nokia Lumia 800 at their next upgrade," concluded Harrow. The Lumia 800 reached U.K. stores today and went on sale in Germany on Tuesday. It reaches France on Thursday, where pre-orders have also been high.

The Lumia looks nearly identical to the equally-attractive N9. It is minimalist in its design and manages to look simple yet modern. It includes a number of must-have features, but still manages to miss a few steps here and there.

[ Nokia and Microsoft will face challenges in the mobile market. Read Android Dominates Smartphone Market, Says Gartner. ]

The Lumia 800 has a 3.7-inch AMOLED ClearBlack display with 800 x 480 pixels. It is powered by a single-core 1.4-GHz Qualcomm S2 SnapDragon processor, but is limited to 512 MB of RAM. It comes with 16 GB of internal storage, but no ability to expand via microSD cards. It has an 8-megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture--but no user-facing camera and no video chatting.

It will initially run on the 3G networks in Europe and Asia, but not in the U.S. It includes the typical set of Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS receivers. Nokia hasn't yet announced plans to bring this device to the U.S.

It runs Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. Since Mango is Mango, you could say the Lumia 800 is running a "stock version" of Windows Phone. In other words, the user interface has not been customized by Nokia in any way.

In terms of software innovations, Nokia spent time working on two applications and a new "Hub" for Windows Phone. The first app is called Nokia Drive, which provides free, voice-guided navigation. Nokia Music offers track downloads as well as access to streamed playlists. The Sports Hub is being developed in conjunction with ESPN, and will provide users of the 800 with access to just about every type of sporting content they might wish for.

The Lumia is definitely a competitive entry in the small field of Windows Phone 7 smartphones.

The reaction from the developer community has been strong, too. Appcelerator recently polled some 2,100 developers and found that the increase in interest in Microsoft's Windows Phone platform--and Nokia in particular--has risen dramatically in recent months and weeks.

Though this initial interest in the new hardware from Nokia in key European markets is a good sign, Nokia still has a hard road ahead to recover what it has lost to competitors Apple and Google.

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