Nokia’s Lumia 800 is the company’s first Windows Phone powered smartphone, and the device looks to have it all in its toolbox. With Nokia’s famed build quality, Microsoft’s up and coming OS and some Carl Zeiss optics thrown in for good measure there’s no doubt the Lumia 800 can hold its own in today’s market.
Its adversary in this comparison is no chump though. Motorola’s Razr XT910 takes all of the company’s mobile nous, which has now been expanded through Google’s acquisition, and adds a touch of dual-core magic, to create a device which has been generating plenty of positive press.
Which of these contenders will come out on top though?
Motorola’s Razr comes with some pretty impressive screen technology, in the form of a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen that operates at a resolution of 540 x 960 and offers-up a pixel density of 256PPI.
Nokia’s Lumia 800 isn’t terribly far behind though, with a 3.7-inch AMOLED screen, running at 480 x 800 and boasting a pixel density of 252PPI.
By now we should all be well aware of the virtues of AMOLED displays, and these two devices are all the better for their inclusion. Power demands are low, blacks are pitch, colours are vivid and your media will look brilliant.
Motorola’s Razr takes the tape in this round though, simply because its Super AMOLED is brighter, offers better sunlight legibility and demands less power than its AMOLED cousin.
Winner – Motorola Razr
Nokia has imbued the Lumia 800 with more power than it’s ever given a device before and the performance given by the single-core 1.4GHz Scorpion CPU is, as always, impressive and dependable.
The Snapdragon chipset also features a reliable performer in the Adreno 205 GPU, which will have your games and eye-candy running perfectly.
The device features a Windows Phone standard 512MB RAM, which is by no means a hindrance, but could hamstring the device’s future development.
Motorola’s Razr weighs-in heavy in the running-gear stakes though, and its 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU is more than a match for the Lumia 800’s single-core processor.
On top of its dual-core CPU, the Razr offers PowerVR SGX540 graphics and 1GB RAM, making it the choice du jour if you’re all about the power.
Winner – Motorola Razr
Nokia’s long and productive relationship with Carl Zeiss continues with the Lumia 800 and the device’s 8-megapixel camera, which also benefits from auto-focus, dual-LED flash, 720P movie capture and geo-tagging, takes impressive photographs in ideal conditions.
Unfortunately the Lumia 800 falls flat when you’re trying to snap impromptu shots though. It can be slow to focus and is pernickety about what it considers to be ‘ideal’ conditions, meaning your subject may have popped off for a brew by the time your Lumia 800 snaps your picture
Motorola’s Razr has an 8-megapixel camera too, and it’s performance is solid overall. The camera features an LED-flash, touch-focus, geo-tagging, face detection, image stabilisation and 1080P video capture, and the end product greatly benefits from these additions.
On top of a decent primary camera, the Razr also offers a 1.3-megapixel secondary, so you can video chat on the go, a feature that is noticeably absent in the Lumia 800.
Winner – Motorola Razr
The Nokia Lumia runs on Microsoft’s newly updated Windows Phone 7.5 platform, and the OS has gone from strength to strength.
In addition to the solid foundation, users now have the benefit of multitasking, Internet Explorer 9, threaded message support and a universal inbox which brings all of your email accounts into one.
The tile system has been improved too, and they now contain more live information and keep you up to date better than before.
On top of these improvements you get access to the Windows Phone Marketplace for all your app needs, and it has to be acknowledged that Microsoft has done a sterling job growing the platform in this respect.
Motorola’s Razr runs on Google’s erstwhile Gingerbread platform, and features all of the positive elements that made version 2.3 of Android so popular.
The OS runs smoothly, offers the user plenty of scope for customisation and improvement and, of course, allows you to access the hundreds of thousands of apps available in the Android Market.
On top of the solid Android base, you have a few unique customisations from Motorola too, such as custom screen switching and transitions, neat on-screen QWERTY and tweaked media player, not to mention a few decent widgets.
Judging either of these devices purely on their OS is an impossible task, because what pleases us may not please you, and vice-versa. But what we can say, with a good degree of certainty, is that both of these devices are fast, reliable and very easy to use.
Winner – Draw
Form & Build
Nokia Lumia 800 – 116.5 x 61.2 x 12.1 mm, 142 g
Motorola Razr – 130.7 x 68.9 x 7.1 mm, 127 g
Both of our contenders come from manufacturers that know how to assemble a robust, long-lasting device.
The Nokia Lumia 800 is a fine example of Nokia’s handiwork. It feels balanced and comfortable in the hand, and the polycarbonate chassis looks good and will protect the device if it’s dropped or whacked.
The Razr is similarly durable and, we were also pleased to note, shared the Nokia’s premium feel. The device feels comfortable in the hand, and at 7.1mm thick isn’t going to be a burden in anyone’s pocket, making it a great choice for any lover of high-end smartphones.
Both device’s feature Corning’s stellar Gorilla Glass™ too, so you won’t have to worry about the odd bit of key or coin damage!
Winner – Draw
As good as Nokia’s Lumia 800 is (and that is pretty damn good), it isn’t quite on a par with Motorola’s Razr, and the XT910 has taken the win today.
Motorola’s device is slim, light and performs at lightening pace thanks to its dual-core running gear, and the dependable performance of Google’s OS is a huge selling point.
In fact we couldn’t find much to dislike about the XT910 at all, if truth be told, especially considering it now comes with an unlocked bootloader!
Nokia has upped its game with the Lumia 800 though and the phone is a worthy entry into the esteemed list of Windows Phone 7 devices.
If you’re a devotee of Microsoft’s OS, or a fan of the Finnish manufacturer then you could do far worse than choosing the device as your day-to-day smartphone, and its appeal gives us confidence that Nokia is now moving in the right direction.