Nokia is back, but not out of the woods yet

By on January 29, 2012
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The Lumia 800 puts Nokia back on the map.

I think we can all agree that Nokia has not been doing too great the last few years. Sure, the Finnish telecom giant has released some interesting smartphones, like the N8 with its amazing camera. But it has not been able to grab headlines, like its competitors, at least not for the right reasons. When Nokia announced its partnership with Microsoft about a year ago, I was actually very excited because I felt going with Windows Phone for its smartphones would allow Nokia the stability and functionality it so badly needed.

Let’s take one step further back, to Mobile World Congress in 2010. There, in Barcelona, I witnessed when Microsoft unveiled the new Windows Phone 7 operating systems for mobile devices. I wasn’t exactly blown away but what I saw, but I was convinced it could compete with iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and all the rest. Microsoft had thought in new ways in terms of the interface as well as functionality, which is not something that can be said about Microsoft very often.

Then we waited. First we waited for any Windows Phone smartphone to appear, and what first came out didn’t exactly impress too much. Then we waited for Nokia to introduce its first Windows Phone device and while we waited we got the N9.

Finally, in October 2011, Stephen Elop stood on stage at Nokia World in London, declaring that the Lumia 800 was “the first real Windows Phone device.” As it turns out, the Lumia 800 is basically the N9 but running the Windows Phone OS. I’ve had a Lumia 800 for a few days now, and I can say it’s a very, very nice smartphone.

But I’m not going to review the Lumia 800 in this article, for that you’ll have to wait for the Tbreak tech labs team to sink their teeth into it. What I can tell you is that Nokia seems to be on the right track again, and that’s good news for you as a consumer as well as the industry as a whole.

With the Lumia 800, and presumably also with the Lumia 900, which I’ve not tried, Nokia has beautifully designed, high-quality smartphones, which run a cutting-edge mobile OS. Sure, the Marketplace for Windows Phone may only have 50,000 apps compared to the 500,000 you can find for iOS, and that is a problem, but it’s a problem that can be made to go away. Nokia and Microsoft have to push hard to get great apps, and a lot of them, developed for the Windows Phone OS. One such app, which many of us are waiting for right now, is Carbon for Windows Phone by UAE-based dots & lines.

By adopting Windows Phone as the OS for its smartphones, Nokia remedied the one big problem it has had over the last few years: Symbian. Now, Nokia can focus on its industrial and product design, something it has always been good at, and spend less time developing an OS. And I, for one, think that is a good thing.

Nokia is in the game again, baby, and I, for one, wish them all the luck in the world.

Picture by Olga Berrios.


About

I write and talk too much about tech. You can find my personal blog at Nystedt.org, my radio shows at dxbtech.com, and me on Twitter as mnystedt.

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