Nokia really has something special with the Lumia 900, it is the perfect combination of size, weight and looks that just gives the device a really excellent feel. Although it does borrow from the same design language that the Lumia 800, and before it the N9 employed, Nokia’s made some improvements that are really welcome.
Gone is the curved 3.7″ display of the Lumia 800, and instead we now have a impressive 4.3″ AMOLED CBD display that’s flat. To power a larger display, also present is a bigger 1830 mAh battery, instead of the 1300 mAh version in the Lumia 800. A lot of people wanted a front facing camera in the Lumia 800, and the 900 fixes that as well. But that’s not all, Nokia’s also refined the top of the phone, which gets rid of the door/hinge that used to cover the micro USB port and instead the port is now directly accessible. The micro SIM port can be opened using a pin, much like the iPhone. All in all these few improvements have gone a long way in making the Lumia 900 a true master piece. The one niggle that I have is that the shiny plate on the back that proudly says Nokia and details the camera, is still prone to picking up a scratch or two if you are not careful. But that’s a small price to pay for owing such a beautiful device.
With the launch of Nokia’s Lumia devices in India, the Windows Phone ecosystem is just about setting started in India and there is some very good news already. The Windows Phone Marketplace has just hit 50,000 apps, but numbers don’t say much when apps you use daily aren’t available on the platform.
Thankfully, all of that is about to change. A bunch of free locally relevant apps for users in India has just hit the Marketplace and all of them are well designed and must haves.
NDTV: The app does what you would expect, news, live tiles, live streams from NDTV 24×7, NDTV India, NDTV Profit and NDTV GoodTimes. Also present are photo galleries, cricket scorecards and market watch sections. You can also choose to live stream just the audio.
NDTV Good Times: The app from India’s leading lifestyle channel. Lets you watch latest featured videos on varied topics like food, cuisine, travel, fashion. Also lets you catch up on previous episodes of your favorite shows like Highway on My Plate, Yogasutra, Bollywood Confidential, Chakhle India, Band Baja Barat and many more. Also present are sections on sections on travel, luxury, gadgets, fashion and wellness.
Times Of India: I had already demoed this app when it was in development and I’m glad to say its finally available. It brings breaking news and coverage of national, international, city, sports, entertainment, lifestyle, business, health, science and technology topics. Also present are live cricket scores and a complete scorecard; local news from more than 30 cities; latest movie reviews by critics as well as readers; photo galleries; and top videos from news, business, sports, entertainment and lifestyle categories.
Economic Times: The sister app for TOI, the business paper of the Times group.
IBN Live: News, streamed content, live tiles, playback of popular shows like Face The Nation, Devil’s Advocate and The Week That Wasn’t.
Book My Show: One app I was waiting for, makes looking up movie & cinema listings, synopsis & reviews a breeze. You can also carry out bookings from the phone using secure mobile payments options. Even lets you pick your seat and redeem offers.
timesPoynt: A free application powered by data from timescity.com, provides users with the unique ability to search their local area for events, movies, restaurants and nightlife. timesPoynt provides users with the ability to move beyond discovery of their local area to click-to-call businesses, get directions, browse listing websites, send details to a friend or add listings to their calendar or address book. timesPoynt also features a fully integrated weather homescreen and the ability to search for long-term forecasts.
yapf: It builds on the Google or Bing POI database to find places nearby by by searching a set of predefined categories or by manual search. Features augmented reality to view your results through your phone camera. You can also pin the search tile to the home screen for quick access, or pin a single place and the live tile will update with the distance to it.
India Today: The India Today application allows users to view up-to-date news articles, images, videos and live TV served through the India Today Network. The application is powered by India Today, a popular news magazine. The app consists of latest & breaking news, sports news, political news, cricket updates, entertainment news, Bollywood & Hollywood news, movie reviews, celebrity interviews, images and videos.
Business Today: India Today’s sister app, the Business Today application allows users to view up-to-date news articles, images, videos and Stock updates served through the India Today Network. The application is powered by Business Today, India’s no. 1 business magazine. The app consists of business news & articles, stock updates, business analysis and videos.
Snapdeal: India’s Groupon equivalent, the website brings upto 90% discounts on dining, health and beauty services, branded products, travel and more.
Flipkart: Fairly basic, but a good start. Flipkart is India’s Amazon when it comes to online retail, includes movies, music, games, mobiles, cameras, computers and electronics.
So there you go, those are 13 excellent Windows Phone apps that are completely free. If we keep getting locally relevant apps at this pace for Windows phone, I dare say we’ll have a credible fight for marketshare come 2012.
The only thing the developers need to guard against is making apps and forgetting them, regular updates are just as important!
For a long time now, Nokia has been the company responsible for both the hardware and software on their devices but the Nokiasoft announcement in February changed all that. Nokia decided to concentrate on their strengths in hardware and design and let Microsoft take care of the software.
At the time when this decision was taken Windows Phone had just come out, was missing a ton of key features like multitasking, copy/paste and so on. However Nokia obviously was given a look at the long term plans for Windows Phone and they liked what they saw. Then Windows Phone Mango came out and for a lot of people, it marked a level of maturity where they could begin to start considering Windows Phone as a serious challenger and here we are a few months later with Nokia’s first Windows Phone.
Lets kick off the Lumia 800 review with a quick unboxing that will give you an idea of the box contents and a look at the silicon cover that Nokia ships with each Lumia 800. It offers great protection without adding to the profile of the device and if you are worried about being clumsy, Nokia has you covered. Also inside is a set of stereo headphones that come with a microphone to let you make calls, a micro USB cable, and a charging head that uses the micro USB cable as a lead, making it very portable and convenient.
HARDWARE & DESIGN
While the Lumia 800 is by no means a culmination of what that partnership can achieve, it marks a monumental step for both Nokia and Microsoft. It is the first device that will get attention purely because of its looks and draw a user in, letting Mango take it from there. Nokia’s created a top spec Windows Phone in what is my favourite design across all brands and platforms, nothing comes to the premium feel this device projects. Inside is a 1.4 Ghz Qualcomm processor, 512 MB of RAM, an 8 megapixel camera, a beautiful 3.7” AMOLED Clear Black Display.
The screen is a pentile based AMOLED and to the spec police that’s old technology. I personally haven’t felt any difference at all and text feels nice and sharp to my eyes and I have perfect vision. Infact, the whole pentile debate is a non issue for more than the vast majority of people. The colours are rich, the contrast deep and the blacks are truly black. You cannot tell if the screen is on or not if its just showing the a blank black screen.
The Lumia 800 comes in pink, blue and black, all of which look exceptional. The material used in the Lumia 800’s construction is polycarbonate, which is technically plastic, but feels far from it. The devil is in the details and Nokia has left no stone unturned to make the Lumia 800 feel special. The holes for the loudspeaker are all individually drilled into the unibody enclosure after it is made and the colour of the body isn’t paint that will flake off, its part of the material itself. If I were to really try and pick faults with the design, it’d be have to be with the shiny chrome strip that proudly says Nokia and Carl Zeiss at the back. If you are not careful it will pick up the odd scratch. Another thing which isn’t really a problem for anyone, but can scare people is the lid that covers the microUSB port. You need to open it everytime you need to charge the phone and in that position it feels a little flimsy. However, since you’ll have the charger plugged in that time, the obstruction from the cable being plugged in will act as a protector for it, preventing breakage.
The left of the device is completely plain, while the right houses the volume rocker and power button on the top and middle. The camera button is located on the bottom right hand side and is a very welcome addition. The curved display merges into the unibody casing seamlessly and there’s no edge that you can feel, adding to the great feel that the device projects. Since there are literally no moving parts, the build quality is the best you’ll have experienced yet on a Nokia, and that’s saying a lot.
In terms of thickness, the Lumia 800 is 12.1 mm but the rounded design created the illusion that it’s thinner. Even using the super slim Galaxy S2 (8.5 mm) side by side doesn’t make you say that the Lumia 800 is fat at all.
This is where it’s over to Windows Phone Mango and time for Nokia to take a back seat. For a while I have maintained that Windows Phone is not an OS you can play with for a few minutes and then take a call on whether you like it or not. Infact, for a little more perspective, here are my detailed impressions of the Lumia 800 when I first started using it.
The first thing you’ll notice with Mango is how incredibly smooth it is, we’re talking about zero stutter territory here. The dual core 1.2 Ghz processor, 1 GB RAM packing Galaxy S2 isn’t that smooth. If you are used to Symbian devices, you’ll feel as if everything is literally flying with no lag whatsoever. Come over from iOS and you’ll feel the same way.
Once you are done flicking around, you’ll notice the tiled Windows Phone UI that makes WP very distinct. The first page is a set of live tiles that can serve as shortcuts to frequently used apps and also inform you about those apps’ current status. For example, you could have a live tile showing you the current weather, the Inbox tile showing the number of unread emails, the foursquare tile showing you your current position on the leaderboard and so on.
Flick to the right you’ll see a list of alphabetically ordered apps. You can choose to scroll to get to the app you are looking for, or jump by alphabet. This approach does take a little getting used to, especially if you’ve been using a grid-based layout for ages. Overtime you get used to it, and the jump to alphabet option does make getting to the app you want much quicker.
The core strength of Windows Phone is its inbuilt social integration with Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Windows Live. All you need to do is sign into these respective services and the phone populates your phonebook, links your friends’ Twitter and Facebook accounts, pulls your Facebook photos in, and populates each contact with their latest social network activity. No other operating system even comes close. Microsoft’s philosophy is to make the OS more than just about apps.
Seeing your Facebook photos on your phone’s gallery, waiting to be accessed is great. The phone won’t download all pictures in advance, so you’ll need a fast data connection/WIFI, but it does make everything a lot easier. Want to look at photos your friend uploaded? No going into Facebook and searching for him/her and then loading the photos. Just goto the People hub, and search for your friend and all their uploads will be a flick away, waiting there. There you can also write on their wall, or mention them on Twitter making the whole experience very seamless indeed.
If you are a Google user, you’ll be glad to know that both contact and calendar sync works well. Again it’s only a matter of signing in and the phone does everything else. The only thing is that Windows phone will only pull one number associated with the field ‘Mobile’, so if you have two number with the same ‘Mobile’ field, you’re out of luck.
In addition to the People’s Hub that pulls in all your contacts’ Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin activity into one list is the ‘Me’ tile. The ‘Me’ tile lets you update your status across all these services and also set your chat status. A flick away is the notifications section that tells you of all Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter activity about you, mentions, wall posts, likes etc. This is where Windows Phone finally misses a trick or two. The ‘Me’ tile won’t tell you about Facebook messages or Twitter DM’s, otherwise its almost perfect. You can reply to the activity from the ‘Me’ tile itself and there’s no need to jump into another app. The ‘Me’ tile notifications also aren’t instant, but the phone periodically checks for updates and there’s no option to change that.
The web browser on Windows Phone is based on the IE engine and performs well. It’s smooth, scrolls fast and you’ll never seen those check boxes while zooming in or out. There’s no flash support, and that’s no longer a big deal at all. There is HTML5 support and that’s enough on most occasions. The one gripe I have is that the touch.facebook.com website hasn’t been optimised for it yet, its more to do with Facebook’s inaction than a ‘problem’ with the browser. Their website it seems is still only optimised for webkit and not the IE9 engine. The Windows Phone browser can also surprisingly handle a bunch of tabs easily without losing the loaded information.
The email client on Windows phone is also excellent. Emails arrive instantly and generally faster than Gmail arrives on Android devices. Setting up accounts is a breeze, including Google Apps accounts. The approach Mango takes to having a all-in-one inbox is the best implementation across platforms. You can choose which inboxes to join selectively, or have all merged into one. You can have as many linked inboxes as you like and even name them, great if you want to keep work and personal emails separate, yet combine the odd accounts.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER
Windows Phone has a bunch of things going for it, the core social experience, a great email client, a full-fledged office app, speed, the Metro UI and a capable web browser. That said there are a few things Windows phone needs to improve.
First is notifications. Currently we have Toast and Tile notifications. The former is a pop up on the top of the screen that stays for a couple of seconds giving you a snippet of the text message etc that you have received. The second and permanent mode is the tile count. The live tile shows the number of unread notifications and it disappears once you have seen them. The problem with this method, and the lack of a centralised approach in general, is that you need all your important apps on the homscreen as otherwise you’ll be missing notifications. It’s the same problem iOS had before the iOS 5 update, it’s not a deal breaker but something that can be improved. The lockscreen also shows unread notifications about emails, calls and texts, but third party apps don’t get plugged in, so a unread Whats App message will only show up on the live tile and nowhere else, forcing you to give that live tile a prominent position.
I’d also like Windows Phone to give third party apps a little more ability to run in the background. For example I’d like the twitter apps to keep loading tweets in the background so that they are waiting for me when I open the app. Although, this may be due to how developers have coded their apps, and not just the platform’s limitation. The whole experience is therefore better with a faster connection (3G/WIFI) as you don’t see the phone waiting for the network to load tweets and so on. Inbuilt apps like the web browser can load in the background so that’s not a worry.
The next ‘feature’ of Windows phone is that it resizes the images taken from the camera before uploading, doesn’t matter if you’re uploading to Facebook, Skydrive or Twitter. On most occasions this is great, because uploads are faster and loading times low, but sometimes you just want access to full resolution pictures and Windows Phone gives you no way to do that. I hope that a future update will fix this.
Like iOS, Windows Phone too has taken the closed approach. You cannot sideload apps, send files via Bluetooth, access the file system or use the device in the ‘Mass Storage’ mode. However, the restrictions aren’t as strict as Apple’s. You can sync your Windows phone with multiple computers, copying images and music. With the ChevronWP7 unlock, you can also side load apps after paying a small fee and bluetooth transfers aren’t there not because Microsoft is against them, but because they weren’t a priority. Given the influence Nokia has on Windows Phone development in the future, I expect that some of these restrictions might not survive.
But as things stand, you can use the Zune client on a PC and the Windows Phone connector on the Mac to manage your files. On the Mac, it uses iPhoto and your iTunes library, so if you’ve become used to these apps, you won’t mind this one bit.
All in all, I found Windows Phone to be a fresh platform that gets a lot of things right, while taking a different approach from what iOS, Android or even Symbian look and feel like. With just a few more tweaks, it’ll be truly impressive. As it stands today, I have had no problems using it as my daily driver and for a mainstream user it presents a very compelling argument.
Nokia promises a 9.5 hr talk time on 3G networks, with a 335 hr standby time. The Lumia 800 according to Nokia also capable of an impressive 55 hrs of music playback and 6.5 hrs of video. In the real world, all of this translates to about one day of power user usage. This includes 3-4 email accounts syncing, Facebook and Twitter apps checking for notifications, in addition to the phone’s own ‘Me’ Tile. Add to that a healthy amount of web browsing and general fiddling. The odd weather app checking for the latest updates every 30 minutes doesn’t really tax the battery. With moderate usage, you can expect it to last more than a day.
Now Nokia did have some trouble with an early batch of the Lumia 800 with the presence of a bug that prevented full utilisation of the battery, that issue has now been fixed and Nokia is going the extra mile to ensure that the small amount of users who are affected can get replacements. So if I were buying a Lumia 800 today, I’d be pretty certain that I would enjoy great battery life.
The Lumia 800 packs an 8 megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and a dual LED flash. The module is similar to the one found on the N9, and as such capable of some excellent shots. However, it seems that the software on the Lumia 800 isn’t able to utilize the full potential of the unit as yet. The N9 with the same module gets better shots.
Nokia has already stated than future firmware updates would improve camera performance and going by Nokia’s camera history, I have no doubt in their ability. The device can also shoot 720P HD video at 30 frames per second. It uses continuous auto focus during video capture, which means there may be some focus hunting but that guarantees that everything will be focus despite the fact that you are panning around or shooting closeups and also in the distance. Here are some camera samples from the Lumia 800 camera, both pictures and video.
DIFFERENTIATING THE LUMIA 800
Android manufactures skin their devices, Samsung has Touch Wiz, HTC has Sense and so on. On Windows Phone that isn’t a possibility and the only real way you can distinguish yourself is via apps, design and camera performance.
The Lumia 800 in addition to coming in an incredible design comes with trademark Nokia services that I have really come to enjoy in the last few years, Nokia Maps and Music.
The Maps section is actually divided into two, first there is the Nokia Maps app that will eventually become available for all Windows Phone devices, and the Nokia Drive App that’s exclusive to the Lumia series. On the maps app you cannot pre-load maps so you will need a data connection to search for information, routes etc. But Nokia’s tie-ups with Lonely Planet etc mean that they have a very strong POI database and for popular tourist places you will find a ton of information, more than what Bing or even Google Maps provides.
Nokia Drive on the other hand lets you pre load as many countries as you like for free and then navigate them in any language that you choose. The app alone is reason enough to justify buying a Nokia Windows Phone, over any other.
But there’s more, Nokia Music. Alongside the Zune app is the Nokia Music application that lets you buy music from the wide range of tracks that it offers. But what really differentiates this service is the Mix radio client. It lets you stream music based on a genre you like for free, and you can even download it for offline listening. You can save upto 4 such stations, each of which is good for about 2 hours of playback.
In India, we’ll see Nokia Music launch in a big way next year and all indications point to a DRM free all you can eat subscription model. If that becomes a reality, then along with Mapping, Music will become a killer app for Nokia.
The thing about the Lumia 800 is that it is a great fit for a lot of different sets of people. For those looking for a great work phone, the free office functionality on the Lumia 800 is huge draw, not to mention the excellent email client and the Microsoft integration that comes with it. On iOS or Android, you’d easily be paying 10$ plus for ability to edit documents and spread sheets on the go.
For youngsters it has a fantastic auto correct keyboard that is unparalleled across all platforms. Then there is also the tightly integrated social experience, right from tagging photos before you upload them, to not having to jump between apps to keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter. If you are a professional, then there is Linkedin support as well.
For those in their middle ages it has a sneaky clean UI that is easy grasp, along with all the polish and flare of a great looking OS. For somebody looking for a high end premium device that gets the job done, the Lumia 800 is a huge box of eye candy.
The Marketplace has matured over the last few months and now boasts of about 45,000 apps. This means that almost all of your essential/big brand apps are already available for Windows phone. But both Microsoft and Nokia are only stepping up their developer engagement and we are sure to see the numbers pick up quickly. Next, a lot of local apps are also coming, for example official Times of India and Book My Show apps are already underdevelopment, so you probably won’t be missing much.
The Lumia 800 is priced at 29,999 INR in India, while Nokia would like to blame the rising Dollar for this, the customer doesn’t care. At about 26-27,000 the Lumia 800 would have been far easier sell for Nokia. So the question we need to ask ourselves is whether the Lumia 800 worth the extra 3-4 thousand? After all the Galaxy S2 sells for around that price too.
Apple has effectively priced itself out of the competition, so for anyone who was looking to pick up a iPhone, the Lumia 800 is a great buy, after all he was already willing to live within Apple’s walled garden and Windows phone is a lot less restrictive and the Lumia 800 has the same premium feel to it, not to mention the extra value.
No high end Android comes close to the feel of the Lumia 800. If you look at the raw Galaxy S2 specs, it wins. But when it comes to performance, the Lumia 800 is just as fast, and at times smoother. The advantages that the S2 does have are apps, a bigger screen and an open approach which allows for side loading apps, mass storage etc. Having used both devices, it again comes down to apps. Its good to know that your phone has mass storage and side loading, but the number is times I’ve used those options is very low indeed.
In the end, the Lumia 800 is an excellent device from Nokia, one I have thoroughly enjoyed using. The out of box Windows phone experience is great and the OS definitely grows on you. The device gets a solid 8.5/10 from me, putting the Lumia 800 squarely in the recommended category. The third eco-system that Stephen Elop talked about in February, is well and truly here to stay.
The battery life reports on the Lumia 800 have been mixed right from the start, with some people getting great longevity while others finding out first hand what poor battery life really means. Turns out its all down to software and Nokia is promising an easy fix via a firmware update in ‘early 2012’. The Lumia 710, thankfully for Nokia, is immune to this problem.
The problem seems to be caused by the phone not being able to access the entire capacity of its battery, similar to what Nokia had said three weeks ago:
We understand that some people have expressed concerns about battery life on the Nokia Lumia 800. Early investigations show that most people are enjoying the full Nokia Lumia experience without any problems and we have not been able to identify a single root cause that would lead to erratic battery behavior at this stage. A software update in early December will make some improvements to power efficiency, while a second update in early January introduces high voltage charging, increasing the Nokia Lumia 800’s battery power from 1300mAh to 1450mAh. These are scheduled improvements and will enhance the overall experience, but are not designed to address any issues that may be occurring with individual products. We recommend that anyone who has concerns contact local Nokia care representatives at their earliest convenience.
It seems they’ve now done some additional testing and released the following statement:
On Monday 12th December some of our customers started to comment in various social media that the preloaded diagnostics tool in some of the Nokia Lumia 800 phones was showing lower battery capacity than expected. We immediately started to investigate these reports and can now confirm that while the battery itself is fine, a software problem on certain variants is limiting the phone’s ability to access the full battery capacity. We want to stress that this issue has not been found to affect the recently introduced Nokia Lumia 710.
The good news is that as this is a software problem it can be easily resolved. The planned software update in early 2012, as well as including many performance enhancements, will also include a fix that will enable the affected phones to access the total battery capacity. For anyone who does not want to wait for the software update, Nokia can arrange for a replacement phone. Anyone who requires any further clarification should contact Nokia Care (Care contact details and locations can be found at www.Nokia.com/support).
Anyone who wants to know if their phone is affected can run the battery status test from the diagnostics tool already installed on their phone. (The tool is designed for service use and only displays approximate values.) Dialling ##634# opens the diagnostics tool. By accepting the disclaimer and then selecting ‘Battery Status’ from the list of options, anyone will be able to see their available battery charge capacity. If your full charge capacity reads less than 1000 mAh then your phone is affected with this specific issue and you may find it is necessary to charge your phone more frequently than normal. Once the software update has been applied, you should experience much better battery life. In the meantime here are some tips on how to increase your battery performanceand you should also make sure you are using the charger that came with the phone, as older chargers may not be as effective at charging the new Nokia Lumia 800.
Meanwhile Nokia India also got in touch with us and have released the following statement.
India impact will be minimal since we just started shipping. Therefore, If a consumer buys a Nokia Lumia 800 today, there is absolutely no impact. Nokia will go the extra mile to delight their consumers especially with a flagship product like Lumia 800.
Following GLOBAL reports of examples where the preloaded Diagnostics tool in the Nokia Lumia 800 was showing lower than expected levels of full battery charge capacity we immediately conducted extensive testing on the devices at a global level.
Following the tests, we can now confirm that while the battery in the devices is fine, in some variants a software problem is preventing the phone from accessing the full battery capacity.
The good news is that as it is a software problem it can be easily resolved and the planned early 2012 software update, as well as including some performance enhancements, will also include a fix that will enable the affected phones to access the total battery capacity. Once this update is applied customers should experience much better battery life.
Anyone customer who needs further clarification is being asked to contact Nokia Care (Care contact details and locations can be found at www.Nokia.com/support)
If you’ve just got your Lumia 800, I suggest you hit ##634# to check if you’re affected. Incase you are, a quick trip to the Nokia Service Center should sort you out.
All in all, since the new units that Nokia ships will have this issue fixed, you can be sure it’ll be problem free if you go buy a Lumia 800 starting today.
We were promised a mid December launch for the Lumia 800, and everything seems to be on track for that timeline. Today Nokia India has started taking pre-orders for the device across the country via its Nokia Priority Dealers and partners. You can pre-book the Lumia 800 with an upfront payment of Rs. 2000 3000 and can expect to receive the device between the 15th and 20th of this month. However reports suggest that dealers are taking pre-orders with upfront payments of even Rs. 1000, so its best to check locally.
The India price of the Lumia 800 has still not been revealed and I’m told that it is because of the currency fluctuations in the market. Your local Nokia stores will also have the new look that the Lumia marketing campaign brings and there should be enough live units of the device to play with, considering this is the largest amount of seeding devices Nokia has put out in the market, ever.
Here is a little more about Nokia’s new retail strategy that promises to offer consumers a premium shopping experience. I recommend you head over to your local stores and give the device a play, it is quite catching. Alternatively, you can also register your interest on this official Nokia India page and they’ll have a dealer call you with the details. Expect my review later this week, but if you are itching to pull the trigger, here are my detailed initial impressions.
Nokia India yesterday held the official India launch event for its Lumia branded Windows Phones, outlining the strategy and philosophy with which the devices will go on sale. Both the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710 are expected to be available mid December in India, making it one of the first few countries in the world to get the latest and greatest from Nokia.
There was no official word on pricing in India but it expected to follow global cues, the Lumia 800 is priced at 420 Euros before taxes, while the Lumia 710 is priced at 270 Euros. Correspondingly, I expect the Lumia 800 to launch around the 30,000 INR mark, while the Lumia 710 will retail at around 19,000 INR. The reason for the lack of an official price was pegged on the prevailing fluctuations in the global currencies, we can expect a official quote when pre-orders go live in early December.
We have extensively covered the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710 before, so this post is focussed on the maketing strategy that Nokia India will adopt to market these devices. The first step in this direction will be an all new retail experience, with 5000 top Nokia retail outlets getting a makeover. This includes 2D and 3D branding and a flood of live demo units in the new Nokia arc, the number of live units so placed will be the largest ever for Nokia. The idea behind all of this is to bring the Nokia retail experience in India to a premium level, something which according to Nokia India MD D. Shivakumar has been missing so far. Infact, to ensure that the consumers experience the Lumia devices in the best possible way, sales will be limited to only those Nokia stores that will have received a facelift, so not every store across the street from you will be selling these devices.
Next a significant focus will be also be to train employees across these stores so that they can help the consumer with everything from questions before purchase to setting up devices after sale. So much so, that on the day the Lumia devices first go on sale across the country, each and every Nokia employee will be at one of these Nokia stores showing off the latest devices. Additionally, Nokia India will also be leveraging its Nokia Care centers to get the word out, all of which will feature what Nokia likes to call the ‘Lumia Experience’.
Finally, a few notes on the devices and services. Needless to say they will ship with Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive for free navigation across the India and the world. The India centric coverage has really improved in the last few months and a lot of cities also support 3D landmarks. Second, Mix Radio, Nokia’s genre based streaming service will also be available in India. Next, unlimited music downloads (similar to Comes With Music/ Ovi Music unlimited) are also coming to Lumia devices next year, and there is reason to hope that Nokia will try and go down the DRM free path this time, just like it distributes music in China.
Finally, here is a short video showcasing Nokia’s retail strategy and how it plans to attract consumers to its stores.