A first encounter with the new Nokia Windows smartphone got Henry Osadzinski wondering whether Microsoft could outstrip RIM in the business mobile market.
Last week, with sales dropping and profits looking bleak, BlackBerry giant RIM announced that co-CEOs Jim Ballisille and Mike Laziridis were stepping down to make room for former COO Thorsten Heins.
It’s a sad and yet familiar tale; and one that has echoes of Nokia’s near-meltdown last year following the cancellation of its Symbian and MeeGo project. Then a memo leaked from new CEO Stephen Elop admitting the company was “sinking”.
Several months on, however, the Scandinavian firm’s gamble on adopting Windows Phone 7 as its primary smartphone operating system appears to have paid off. Gadget Zone got the opportunity to put the new Lumia 800 through its paces and see how Microsoft’s efforts compare to other leading handsets in a business environment.
Like Apple, Nokia has a strong reputation for hardware design. The Lumia is nondescript, but elegant and sits well in the hand. Its Gorilla Glass touchscreen and scratch-proof polycarbonate body mean it’s also surprisingly rugged for such an attractive device. The screen is one of the best I’ve ever seen, with deep clear blacks and a high enough resolution to render everything in sharp, stark contrast.
Although Windows Phone 7 has been around for more than a year, the operating system has taken some time to attract app developers. Being a Microsoft product, the biggest draw is easy integration with the Office suite. Mobile editions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook are all included as standard and sync neatly with the phone via Cloud services such as Office365 and SkyDrive.
But, typically for a Microsoft product, every application beyond simple phone calls and text messages relies upon at least one other service or feature to run.
This review was conducted using a trial Vodafone UK Business package. The Nokia Lumia 800 is available free with Vodafone plans starting from £30 a month.