Nokia Lumia 800: A Stripped-down Nokia N9

Nokia N9 vs Lumia 800

As the Clothes Make the Man, the Operating System Software Makes the Smartphone!!!” Mark Twain and MeegoMan

How do you begin to grade a device that feels, superficially at least, like a cuckoo — a parasite occupying the shell that rightfully belongs to another?” Vlad Savov

Despite the many undeserved rave reviews of the Lumia 800 at it’s launch at Nokia World 2011 by the infamous Stephen Elop (ZDNet UK, expertreviews, noknok, channel5, skynews, telegraph, the inquirer, engadget, cnet, mashable), it is still nothing more than a stripped-down version of the paradigm changingIncredibleNokia N9 Meego Harmattan, the smartphone of the year of which Stephen Elop and Microsoft tried so hard to kill in it’s infancy.

The latest Lumia 800 review by Sandra Vogel from ZDNet UK shows how clueless, intentionally or otherwise, some of these “Reviewers” are. Sandra said that “Nokia set the tech world abuzz back in February with the announcement of its partnership with Microsoft“.

Actually, the “hostile-takeover” by Stephen Elop filled the world with HORROR and SHOCK. Stockholders of Nokia were aghast at the sheer madness and Nokia shares tanked to their lowest records in 13 years, leading to Nokia being kicked out of the European Bluechip Index in September 2011!

Since the plans to replace the Meego Harmattan OS with Windows Phone 7.5 were announced by Stephen Elop in February, the market have reacted in a most objective way. Cutting more than 40% off the price of Nokia’s stocks compared to the start of 2011.

This is because Stephen Elop have basically taken the state-of-the-art smartphone, the Nokia N9, rip out the equally state-of-the-art Operating System, Meego Harmattan 1.2 coupled with Webkit2 web-browsing/apps technology, and replaced it with an out-dated Windows Phone 7.5 software which do not even have the capability to transfer files via bluetooth or provide multi-core support or multi-tasking.

The truth is Nokia would have done much better on its own without having Mangos from Microsoft stuffed into THE Smartphone of the year 2011,Nokia N9 Meego Harmattan, and then having that Zombie handset renamed Lumia 800 and forced down the throats of comsumers in Prime markets like the United Kingdom and USA.

The reality is that at best, the Lumia 800 is underwhelming. At worst, it is Obsolete, Dead and Buried.

Unfortunately for Stephen Elop and Steve Ballmer, their equally infamous strategy of “Embrace, Extend and Extinguish” has failed as the N9 is not only born, but loved world-wide by the people it was meant to serve.

Furthermore, as Meego Harmattan is based on open-source software, Microsoft cannot do anything to stop or impede the continuous development of apps for the N9.

But I digress.

The N9 is that irrationally loved device, and no matter how hard the Lumia 800 tries, it simply isn’t as thrilling!” TheVerge

The Lumia 800 is indeed a sad case. It is and will always be the poor cousin of the Nokia N9 and we will explain why in detail.

For starters, it is already deprived from the hardware point of view despite grandiose claims that it is “first REAL Windows Phone“. This is because Stephen Elop has basically taken the body of the N9 and stuffed it with the inferior and out-dated Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system

Goes to show how much thought have gone into the design of the Lumia 800.

NONE.

The screen size is only a paltry 3.7″, simply because Windows Phone 7.5 cannot operate without 3 buttons at the bottom of the screen.

Unlike the N9 Meego Harmattan, the Lumia 800 does not have SWIPE user-interface, which is set to be the trend-setter for all future smart-phones, including for the iPhone.

Despite having full control of all the engineers and software programmers at Nokia, Stephen Elop is unable to make the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango software support the SWIPE user-interface. This just highlights how antiquated the Windows Phone software really is.

Secondly, the Windows Phone 7.5 DOES NOT support multi-tasking.

This is despite lofty claims that it does but is quiet easily proven to be not true. The Nokia N9 Meego Harmattan is a true multi-tasking smartphone and has been designed from the bottom-up to be such.

With the N9, you can perform a system back-up in less than 2 minutes, while at the same time stream music wirelessly via Bluetooth, download files using the original webkit web-browser, continue to surf the net and change music tracks, all at the same time.

Because the Lumia 800 runs on Windows Phone 7.5 Mango, apps not being used will just be suspended in the background. This is NOT true multi-tasking. Windows Phone was never designed to be a multi-tasking device.

Third, Lumia 800 does not support Internet Tethering, or to put it simply, the ability of the Lumia 800 to act as a WiFi Hotspot so that you can use your laptop, etc to access the net via the handset without having to pay for an additional data service or 3G dongle. This comes with the Nokia N9, straight out of the box. There is even a pre-installed app for this in the Nokia N9.

Of course, Stephen Elop realise that this will be another nail in the coffin for the Lumia 800 so he has promised to fix this in another update, somewhere in the future…

Fourth, even the Nokia Drive App is at risk of being stripped to bare-bone functions. Gizmodo review has discovered that the Nokia Drive App on the Lumia 800 will ship WITHOUT features like “Live Traffic”, ability to store “Favourite Locations” and perhaps even “Off-line Caching of Maps”. All features supported out of the box by the Nokia N9.

Fifth, the Webkit2 Browser built-in the Meego Harmattan OS for the N9 is one of the fastest at rendering HTML5, the future web-browsing standard. In fact, the N9 web-browser is only second to the Safari web-browser that comes with iOS5, and even then, only with a small margin (HTML5 Test 296 vs 272 points).

Compare this to the 140 points scored by the IE 9 web-browser in Windows Phone 7.5 in the HTML5 Test and you know how backward the Mango OS is (Results are as of 13th November 2011).

Of course, not surprisingly, this means that the IE9 mobile web-browser ranks last, at the bottom of the heap for the HTML5 Test bechmarking!

The N9 also have a super-fast Javascript engine with the Webkit2 based browser. It is of no surprise as Webkits2 is the current Web-browser rendering technology and is used at the core of all the fastest browsers in the world like Safari, Opera and Chrome. You can benchmark your smartphone browser at the Sunspider website.

Even worst, Stephen Elop has decided to REMOVE hardware features that was originally part of the body of the N9.

He removed the front camera and the Near Field Communications chip from the Lumia 800. Although it is not well known, the N9 Meego Harmattan handset also has the FM radio transmitter chip and Bluetooth 4.0 built-in and is expected to be activated with the next firmware update to be release shortly. These have also been removed.

Some say that the front camera of the N9 is non-functional. This is just nonsense. Just download the “Simple Mirror” app from Ovi store for the N9 and you will see a “reflection” of yourself in all your glory via the FRONT Camera.

Despite being situated in the right bottom corner, your face will appear perfectly centred. That’s Finnish engineering for you.

Simply peerless!

Without the Front Facing Camera, the Lumia 800 cannot support video-phone calls or Skype. This is an irony considering that Microsoft has bought over Skype and should have made the service fully available to Windows Phone 7.5 users.

It is quite clear that Microsoft and Stephen Elop do not think that Windows Phone users deserve to have leading-edge and useful technology in the handsets that they buy with their hard-earned money.

The Pentaband and WiFi “a-band” capabilities of the original Nokia N9 handset have also been removed. If all that wasn’t bad enough, Lumia 800 somehow also has a lower resolution than the N9.

Yet, inspite of all these “trimmings”, Stephen Elop has somehow managed to make the Lumia 800 HEAVIER than the Nokia N9. More steps backwards. You can check out the specs of the N9 vs Lumia 800 here.

Even worst than that, Stephen Elop has also reduced the amount of RAM memory in the Lumia 800 from 1GB to 512MB, and restricted the built-in storage memory to 16GB, down from the 64GB available with the N9 handset.

The sane reason for this?

Nothing more than an attempt to tie-in owners of the Lumia 800 to their “Sky-drive”, where Microsoft 0wns all your data and files and decides when, where and how you can access them.

Sheer madness, even if it is free for now.

The question is this. Would you not be forced to pay for the “Sky-drive” in the near future when ALL your multi-media, data and important document files are stored on the proprietary “Sky-drive”, and the only way you can access them is through Microsoft and Windows software?….

What a horrific thought!

Coming to the Operating system proper, the Lumia 800 has been impregnated with the outdated Windows Phone 7.5 Mango software. Unlike the Meego Harmattan software of the N9, Mango was not designed to be a game-changer.

Worst than that, you can not access any files, data or multi-media without going through Microsoft servers in the cloud. Hence, no network connection = no files. Imagine explaining to your boss that you couldn’t carry out the presentation nor close that important deal because “my files were locked in the clouds“…

Sweet…

Last but not least, it all boils down to how the designers of the operating system view the future-users of the device. Nokia and their engineers have always taken the position that they will make devices which make the life of their owners better and easier, even if the end product is not “sexy” or takes time to develop. User’s freedom to access their files is paramount and use of the device in whichever way is best left to the user, not dictated by the manufacturer or OS, and there are no tie-ins.

In fact, the Corporate Social Responsibility of the original Nokia company before the Microsoft covert take-over via Stephen Elop went as far as publicly stating that they will push the technology envelope and incorporate all these leading edge technology downstream into each succeeding low-cost handsets sold in many many poor nations so that the ever widening digital-divide can be narrowed.

Microsoft and Windows Phone software however takes the other approach making all software and apps proprietary, restricting access to even your own files. Do we need to even talk about CSR?

I think not.

In short, there is nothing to gain as an user from the purchase of the Lumia 800.

To add salt to the wound, after stripping the N9 of essential hardware and replacing the ground-breaking Meego Harmattan OS with yesterday’s Mango, the Lumia 800 will costs more than an equivalent 16GB Nokia N9 in some markets (mobile88).

Madness upon madness!!!

However, this is clearly a suicidal marketing approach and the Lumia 800 is now poised to sell at a lower price point than the N9 in the UK and US. However, as they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch and you will not get what you didn’t pay for, and that’s a lot of difference between the Lumia 800 and the N9 in terms of both hardware, operating software and Nokia Drive App functionality wise.

Don’t let the Lumia 800 sales rep pull the wool over your eyes and tell you otherwise!

If you really love the Mango user-interface despite all its shortcomings, and having seen how slick the Meego Harmattan user-interface really is (engadget video), then you will be better served by handsets like the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which has a 4.65″ super-AMOLED screen with true High-Def resolution of 1280 X 720, dual core 1.2 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM memory, 1080p video recording, facial recognition to unlock the handset, front facing camera, Near File Communications via Android Beam, Voice Typing, built-in Panorama capability camera.

The review is here.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is due to be released in the UK on November the 17th 2011 and in the US markets by December and it will be running on the latest Android OS 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.

With Samsung now being the largest exporter of smart-phones in the world in Q3 2011, overtaking Apple iPhone, you know you will be in good hands.

If however you crave for a truly innovative, sexy, state-of-the-art and user-focused freedom-loving smartphone, then the only phone for you is the Nokia N9 Meego Harmattan with SWIPE.

Note that for the Nokia N9 Meego Harmattan Smartphone, there are NO BUTTONS in the front of the handset!!! Hence you get a bigger screen and a better user experience!!!

You can find the latest and the best reviews for the Nokia N9 here (theverge, neowin, engadget, knowyourcell).

I would give the Lumia 800 a wide berth. It is not only dead and obsolete at launch.

Much worst.

When compared to handsets like the iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nokia N9 Meego Harmattan, it may as well be buried 6 feet underground already before even reaching the shops…

Buying the Lumia 800 means that you’ll only be paying good money for the “Empty-Shell” of the Nokia N9 with Meego Harmattan OS…

Sad!

For US readers, you can get it NOW from Expansys USA.

It is also in stock at Expansys UK and Expansys Germany now!!!

You can also order it from Expansys France.

Remember, MEEGO makes all the difference!!!

“As the Clothes Make the Man, the Operating System Software Makes the Smartphone!!!” Mark Twain and MeegoMan

Buy Meego Leaves Elop,

MeegoMan

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