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March 14, 2012

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Dan Thornton

Interesting post, and interesting timing - I've still been using my N900, but the time is coming to change, particularly with the loss of Ovi Sharing to allow me to find ways to use web services which weren't developed for the N900.

I've kindly been offered a Lumia 800 to check out for a couple of weeks which is due to arrive any day, and it's coincided with my ex trading up from a dumbphone to a Samsung Galaxy Ace, so I've just experienced the set-up and operation of a relatively cheap Android handset from scratch. Plus having led development of a launch app for the N9, I knew it pretty well...

I'd definitely agree on the specs side - one of the reasons I've held off upgrading to Android is that I wanted to see what the new Nokias would be like in terms of cameras, video, and being able to connect and export out images and video content. I'd definitely be one of the people tempted by the PureView or the N9 as a device which takes great photos, sends texts, connects to the internet and occasionally takes a phone call with decent reception..

Plus I've also relied on the FM Transmitter in the N900 to let me listen to podcasts in the car and in the kitchen at home via my DAB radio without having to get an aux input kit for the car and trail wires everywhere...

I've seen choosing Nokia as a bit of a compromise - you don't necessarily get all the latest, coolest apps that you'd find for Android/iOS, but you do get the best hardware. Having started looking at WinMo apps, there's decent coverage for most things, but there's nothing exclusive and compelling besides Xbox Live integration, and although that's a big draw, I'm not sure the functionality is going to make me commit...

Still, we'll see how I get on shortly...

TomiFan

Tomi, I'm sure you'll explain your contradicting statements here:
You blame Lumia's for not having HW QWERTY keyboard. Fair enough - your praised N9 does not have it either. And (according to you) it's selling like hell. In same approach, most of the competitors best selling models do not have that either.
Now don't get me wrong here: Having a HW QWERTY would be a very good point of differentiation, but it's not "if you don't have it you're doomed" feature.

Then your comparison: You claim that Lumia 800 is a fail of a flagship phone (who said it's flagship? Isn't Lumia 900 more flagship'ish?) So:
*Having only 8mpix camera -> So is N9 / N950. And N8 is "camera phone", shich means it HAS TO stand up by the camera.
*No Xenon flash -> not in N9 / N950 either. Read above. Plus LED flash doubles as flashlight, Xenon will not.
*No forward-facing camera -> N9 / N950 did not have any use for that prior to latest SW update and even after that it only supports Google talk video calls -> MADNESS from MeeGo. (and oh yes, Lumia 900 has it.)
*No microSD -> Not in N9 / N950 eiher. With Skydrive you'll never need it.
*No HDMI, FM transmitter, ... Read. Above. The MeeGo products were lacking the same things. It's pre-Elop madness from Nokia he was unable to fix before Lumia launch or something even more sinister.

Manish

I have a Lumia 800 and it has a very nasty bug. And I am not the only one to experience it. A cursory google search will reveal the extent of the problem.

The bug is that if I initiate a call and end it after some time, the calls ends but the display keeps on showing "Ending". No amount of button pressing will make this go away. And then, after 4-5 minutes, the handset reboots automatically and returns to normal. No fix has been offered for it till now.

https://www.google.co.in/search?aq=0&oq=lumia+800+call&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=lumia+800+call+ending+problem

King Solomon

@TomiFan:

Read properly, Tomi says that even after 4 different models, Nokia has not yet come up with a keyboard-equipped Lumia. It's about choice, not a "if you don't have it you're doomed" feature, and that's why Tomi stresses that Nokia should have launched the N950 into the consumer market -- this is practically the N9 with hardware keyboard. Also note that there's only a single commercial MeeGo phone from Nokia, that's the N9. If MeeGo lived on, Nokia may have come up with a PureView MeeGo device instead of the Symbian-powered Nokia 808 PureView. That's the device that _could have been_ if it weren't for Elop's "strategy". Which leads me to the next point: Elop interfered the development of the N9 during its critical stages, which led to the unused front-facing camera in the first place. Yes, PR1.2 came out only recently with Gtalk video calling and no support for Skype video calls, but let's be fair: Skype for Windows Phone beta was released just two weeks ago! Prior to that, Windows Phones with front-facing cameras were as useless as the N9 was before PR1.2 software update. Also, do your research properly, the Nokia N950 does support microSD cards. Also, HDMI and FM transmitter capabilities may well have come in a future MeeGo device, had Elop not introduced his strategy.

Have a nice day everyone. Sincerely, the King of Solomon.

Sander van der Wal

The Nokia Communicator was a Nokia flagship device, but only in it's Series 80/9500/9300(i) incarnation. Especially the 9300i. After it got replaced with the S60 based E90 (I believe) it was only big, but not a flagship anymore. I won't even talk about the E7 as that is one horrible device. E61 was good too, E71 a lot better (only this year I replaced it and the iPod touch with the iPhone 4S), E72 worse. N95 good, N97 worse.

So in my mind it is a time-honored Nokia tradition to replace a flagship device with something worse, not something that Elop is to blame for. A pity it is to see he's keeping that tradition, though.

Afewgoodmen

A great post. And it is obvious that a Lumia phone at best is a half feature Nokia phone! No Bluetooth file transfer. No Mass USB mode when tethered to PC. I'm really sad to see the direction that Nokia is going. for them to be bringing out phones that are less powerful than previous Symbian phones!

I am even more perturbed to understand that CEO Elop is ignorant when it comes to mobile. I felt that Microsoft allowed Nokia some leverage to Tweak Windows phone OS so as to include specific Nokia features. I'm just wondering why Nokia isn't taking the opportunity to add those much needed and basic functions that we've come to expect in the most basic Nokia phones to their Lumia line-up.

The earlier Nokia develops a strategy change and adopt more OS platforms actively other than WP, then the better their chances of survival!

vladkr

Hello Tomi,

Couple of times I tried to describe what I see here in Canada. There is no big promotion for Lumia products here, like those one can see in W-Europe (France Belgium for instance...) where marketing budget seems to be massive (with what result ?)

So Lumia 710 and 800 are offered only at two Canadian providers... unfortunately not those which are owned by biggest Canadian medias.

But even at carriers' retail stores Lumias are not easy to find. Last week I went to such a store at the most visited place of Montreal (second largest city in Canada) and Lumia wasn't even offered. Isn't that strange ?

Anyway, I still found some retailers, Costco and only one carrier-shop (out of ten) in the city where I live where Lumia were sold; when I asked about the Lumia, comments were quite positive... cool... what surprised me is when I asked the second time at the other places (3), comments were word to word exactly the same, as if it was a replay of the same video.

I also found out that sellers get a $10 bonus for each sale (They usually earn $9.65 an hour).

When I ask about how many were sold, it's hard to get an answer but I know it's quite low, much lower than the iPhones 4S sold in the only Apple Store of the city.

Now, another interesting fact. I watch Russian TV quite often, and since December some department stores promote Symbian based Nokia (500, 603, 701) much more than WP ones and it seems there is a true demand. In MTS (carrier) commercial, the Lumia 800 is shown but not even named.

Then, I think everyone here, who has a bank account, who uses transports, shops, travel etc. noticed all the "iPhone App available", "Android app available" and even Blackberry stickers... where are WP ones ?

Even if apps are not the most important thing in mobile, I think however these stickers still print peoples' mind; even if they don't download apps, they tend to trust most widespread systems more.

vladkr

ah, and I'm sorry to make two posts instead of one (I just forgot one thing)

There is one reason (out of a few) I chose a N9 instead of a Lumia 800 :

I use a mac... no Zune for me.

Manish

I am not sure if it qualifies as file transfer capability but I transferred all my contacts from N950 over to Lumia 800 using Bluetooth.

vladkr

@Jay : are you yourself "most of people" or have you asked all of them?

elm70

Situation for Windows Phone is dramatical.

Fact is that Windows Phone 7 or 7.x is total JUNK !

Since more then 1 year of introduction, since almost 4 months sales from Nokia, Windows Phone is not visible in any mobile usage from the gs.statcounter.com ... only visible at 1.5% in Germany and Italy (not growing) ... but interesting, 4.5% in Finland and growing.

So, who is using Windows Phone ? Only Finns, only Nokia people ... yes, Ballmer did win 120k customers, the Nokia employees LOL

Nokia have to hope on Windows Phone 8, and Elop is the criminal that commit Nokia to the smallest Mobile OS, the less mature with market decline. The timing was terrible too, 2 years before having any real product. Nokia with Windows Phone 7.x is a JOKE it is not a product.

I'm too tired to discuss if Elop is a moron or a criminal. Either way he should not be a CEO.

Nokia is sinking in the stock market, it is losing market share.
Before Elop, like it or not, Nokia was still the #1, #1 eco-system with Symbain and Ovi, #1 Smartphone sales, #1 Dump-phone sales. Yes it was #2 on making profic, second to Apple .. and so what ?
Yes, market share was declining, but unit sale and revenues was increasing ... so who care of market share? ... What matter is sales number in euros or dollars

Tchuss

e_lm_70

King Solomon

@manish: "I am not sure if it qualifies as file transfer capability but I transferred all my contacts from N950 over to Lumia 800 using Bluetooth."

This is because Nokia ships Lumia devices with Nokia Contacts Transfer app, and is part of the exclusive Windows Phone apps for Lumia devices. This is only available on Nokia Lumia devices and is limited to contacts transfer only; no file transfer capability, no Bluetooth synchronization, not even Bluetooth modem (DUN) functionality.

Sincerely, the King of Solomon.

Tomi T Ahonen

Wow 12 comments already. Cool..

I'll do replies in small sets

Hi Dan, TomiFan and Manish

Dan - thanks, let us know how you like it.

TomiFan - QWERTY? N9 has sister phone N950 with QWERTY designed exactly for that purpose. That N9 manages to outsell both Lumias 3 to 1 in Q4 of 2011 with only one model tells not how great MeeGo and N9 is, but how bad the Lumia Windows Phone pair are.

Lumia 800 is NOT a flagship, I make the clear point in this blog and before, that it is PERCEIVED as one. 8mp - N8 had 12mp. No Xenon, the N82 four years ago had Xenon. forward-facing camera, Nokia has had since 2005. Etc.

Manish - thanks. I hope an update with the bug-fix is soon to arrive. That sounds very annoying.

Thanks all, keep the comments coming

Tomi Ahonen :-)

F.OO

@Tomi "Disappointed Buyer = Returned Lumia = Salespeople Avoid = Growing Nokia Retail Problem"

This is just another mistake in a series that resulted in the biggest mismanagement case in modern history.

Considering that there was a possibility -- a small, remote possibility -- that plan A would not work, he *should have* a plan B. Even a "disaster recovery plan". But, what's Elop's plan B? "Plan B is that plan A must work".

Considering that Windows Phone had a small market share, and was shrinking; that Elop didn't have a product to show; and Windows 8 is a incognita; the possibility of failure was not small. Elop should have plans B, C, D, E...

But that's not Elop's style. No!!! He actively worked to destroy all alternatives to Windows Phone, all backup plans, anything that could stay in front of his amazing^Wdelusional vision.

anobserver

A thoroughly instructive post. It confirms what I already knew. Actually, it shows how much worse things are presently with WP than I thought.

In one aspect the analysis should be fine-tuned however. The lack of support for microSD cards, Bluetooth transfers, USB, HDMI, FM are probably the result of a deliberate policy from Microsoft, not a newcomer failure. The goal being that WP devices only talk to Microsoft infrastructure (Zune, Skydrive, whatever), never in a peer-to-peer fashion, and thus lock customers in a Microsoft world. Notice that Apple is doing exactly the same -- no microSD cards, no USB, crippled Bluetooth, no HDMI, no FM, and for the same reasons (lock people to talk exclusively through Apple products and networking/cloud infrastructure).

King Solomon

@anobserver: Actually, Apple is more lax than Microsoft when it comes to vendor lock-in. For example, the iPad Camera Connection Kit allows the use of regular SD cards for photo transfers and it also comes with an adapter for connecting to your digital camera with a standard USB cable. Apple also has a full portfolio of TV output solutions, not just HDMI: the Digital AV adapter with HDMI output, the VGA adapter as well as Composite AV and Component AV adapters for analogue video output. All aforementioned adapters are first party products (made by Apple) and work with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. I don't see how standard connections such as VGA and HDMI "lock people to talk exclusively through Apple products." Also, there is partial USB Mass Storage support in the iPhone for photo transfers.

Also, as Apple and Microsoft are moving towards cloud infrastructures, it should be noted that Apple currently has both a Mac and PC client for iCloud syncing. Microsoft does not yet have a Mac client app for SkyDrive, even though it has the Windows Phone 7 Connector app for Mac. Yes, there's an iPhone app for SkyDrive, but it doesn't let me sync my SkyDrive with my Mac, whereas iCloud supports both Mac and PC. To me, it looks like Microsoft is more brutally locking people to use its own systems than Apple.

Sincerely, the King of Solomon.

cycnus

@anobserver

Microsoft is not apple. Apple target market is the rich who don't really care about their surrounding, they just care that they look great with iphone, and if you want to connect with them, you got to have email or facebook, or twitter. they won't send file over bluetooth.

Whereas, as Steve Jobs said about Microsoft product, that Microsoft product lack of art, lack of cool stuff. and the one who already have iphone don't care about MS product because they believe apple = artistic = creative = cool. Whereas Microsoft = commoner = boring (the Metro UI is boring).

So, as it said many times in this blog, it would be wrong to create an iphone killer, as iphone did a great job in defining their phone for their user. and this is where android doing right. it didn't try to fight apple at their own game, but they create an alternative to iphone walled garden with open field.... actually this is an irony. because android and symbian has the same root of culture (Bluetooth file transfer, external memory, side loading apps, etc). This is also a reason that symbian user would feel at home with android, and the one that want iphone and their walled garden will not buy WP devices.

F.OO

Guys,

I propose one test.

I live in Amsterdam, and will walk from work to centrall station tonight, and ask for Nokia devices.

I'm curious to see if they will drive me to other cellphones; I will come back later and report the results.

I suggest that you do the same. :)

King Solomon

@F.OO: Actually... here's the sad news (you all expected it):

Nokia's flagship store in Helsinki carries only three N9 units, but more than 20 Lumia 800s... I've been there multiple times and once I asked the salesperson about the availability of the Nokia 808 PureView just after it was announced and he pretty much said: "who cares about PureView, it's Symbian, it's old, Lumia has a good camera already so why do you want PureView?"

Also, the salesmen at Musta Porssi in Kauppakeskus Sello (a big and very popular mall in Espoo) pretty much advised me to buy Samsung Galaxy S II instead of N9 or Lumia 800. Heck, the salesman also said that if I really wanted a Windows Phone, I should go for HTC Radar instead and save money.. True story. :/

Don't have proof of course so don't take my words as fact, try it yourself and see what happens. What I know from personal experience however is that Tomi is 100% correct about retailers' stance on Lumia.

Sincerely, the King of Solomon.

TomiFan

I actually don't give a crap about press reviews of Finnish media, but I take this as a solid proof that SOMEWHERE the thing sells:
https://mrwpf.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/hat-trick-nokia-lumia-800-windows-phone-is-the-best-selling-phone-in-all-finnish-networks-in-february/

F.OO

Ok!

I just finished my mini-survey: I went to three different stores, asking for the Lumia 800.

I have good and bad news for Nokia.

The good news is that nobody tried to push another cell phone. The responses were generally positive, although not enthusiastically so ("it's a good phone").

The bad news is that, when I explicitly asked for a comparison, all the vendors pointed me to the Samsung Galaxy S II, saying that it is "better".

So: if you are determined to buy a Lumia 800, nobody will try to stop you. If you ask their opinion, they'll probably suggest a better alternative.

Disclaimer:

I don't have any practice doing this kind of survey; I didn't go through the buying process, when the seller could try to sell something else; the stores were in the center of Amsterdam and I don't speak Dutch -- all these factors could have some impact in the result of the survey.

It would be nice if you could try to repeat this experiment in your cities. :)

cycnus

First, disclaimer, I own 1 Nokia N9.

But.... Actually.... for general user....
Samsung Galaxy SII is a better phone than Nokia N9.
Because Nokia decide to pull plug on N9, (so for example.... if need what's app, you're not gonna get it).

jo

Here in panama all major mobile operators picked the n9 and its selling under contract. same for claro (provider) under all latin america right now they promoting pink c3,n8 and magenta n9.

all have refused to pick de lumia range due it inferior feature set, most people here dont care about ecosystems they pirate everything.
Nokia is really hitting themself new smartphone user are grtting iphones thy finally dropping the blackberry

ASdf

Great post Tomi!
I broke the screen from my Galaxy S2 a few weeks back, and the repair would cost me 290€, so I decided to by a Lumia800 instead.
Just as you said, I was all "wow this is pretty cool" for a day or two, but pretty soon I realized that it's pretty much worthless as a smartphone.

I mean really, I felt like I was offline all the time. No proper IM, no facebook messenger (integrated fb chat is useless - no push), crappy sms, barely mms.. It's 2012 after all.

Then there's the apps. Or furthermore - the lack of apps. Coming from android, the app situation in WP is just awful.
Also, the lumia has no multitasking whatsoever. I was navigating (that feature was ok btw), and had to make a quick call, so I pressed the WIN key, made the call, and then returned to the navigation app, and TADAA: I had to start searching for the destination all over again. Really, Nokia? Really??

After a week, I started carrying my macbook everywhere and used the Lumia only for calling.
After another week, it was my payday, and I bought a Galaxy Nexus.

Never again Nokia. Never again.

anobserver

@King Solomon:

"iPad Camera Connection Kit..."
"adapter for connecting..."
"Digital AV adapter..."
"VGA adapter..."
"Composite AV and Component AV adapters..."
"partial USB Mass Storage..."

Partial solutions, cumbersome, non-standard, missing full capabilities, entailing additional expenses for special Apple adapters and peripherals. Can't Apple just provide at least _one_ standard connectivity for digital TV out, for instance? Or implement USB once and for all? And this without going into the lack of full Bluetooth.

"To me, it looks like Microsoft is more brutally locking people to use its own systems than Apple."

I agree totally.

@cycnus:

"Apple target market is the rich"

Apple is getting big in the corporate environment -- of course, you might put corporate accounts in the "has purchasing power" category.

Otherwise, I also agree with your point about Symbian/Android openness vs. Apple/Microsoft.

This brings us back to the current strategy of Nokia: for Symbian users, WP7 (we'll see about WP8 in time) is a no-go -- Android provides a platform much closer to their way of working, expected connectivity features, and need to integrate the phone in an heterogeneous environment (all sorts of PC with Window/linux/MacOS for instance).

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