TmoNews Reviews The Nokia Lumia 810, How Does It Stack up?

Windows Phone 8 is an interesting piece of technology for me as it is a system I want to love, try to love and end up just indifferent about. As I’ve had both the Windows Phone 8X and Lumia 810 hanging around my desk, I’ve come to appreciate both Nokia’s WP8 specific apps and the appearance of the Windows Phone 8X. The problem is I just couldn’t use either as a daily driver since the the market lacks any real depth. I wish I could say something otherwise as I’ve been preaching for months how I’d like to do a 30-day trial of the Windows Phone 8.  I want to do it but  the problem is I can already guess the result. I would love the apps that are available, but there wouldn’t be enough of them to make me switch full time. Therein lies the problem with the Lumia 810 and my upcoming review with the Windows Phone 8X. I’m trying so hard to like them that I’m being particular about their shortcomings.

Hardware:

I won’t pull any punches on the Lumia 810 body. It’s unattractive, bulky and it feels more like something I want to toss at a criminal trying to pickpocket me than a device I want to call my parents on. Phew! I’ve been waiting to say that. Still, ugly looks aside, there’s a powerful phone inside and one that is worthy of your attention — if you can get past the exterior and the heft of the phone.

On the flip side, that same heft makes the phone feel solid and sturdy and ready to take on the world. I wouldn’t qualify the Lumia 810 as rugged, but I feel a lot more comfortable dropping this device than I would the Nexus 4. The problem with the hardware appears to be wasted space and a whole lot of it. That’s especially true when you consider the amount of real estate between the very bottom of the display and the actual bottom of the device. There’s slightly less than an inch gap between the display and the edge of the phone with buttons that take up less than ¼ of that. It’s a design decision I’m certain, but what kind of decision and what kind of design I have no idea. I wish I did because I feel like there’s a lot that could have been done to streamline the look of the phone, at least in regards to this specific portion of the front of the device.

So here’s the problem. The Lumia 810 has a 4.3” display and is 2.69” wide, while the Nexus 4 has a 4.7” display and is 2.7” wide. Granted, it’s all about height and width and is the display taller or wider, etc, but it’s incredibly noticeable in the case of the Lumia 810. The bottom line? There’s far too much space around the bezel and again, especially toward the bottom of the device. However, the display itself is an OLED 800×480 which is fairly good overall and I didn’t have any complaints. Nokia’s Clearblack technology makes for slightly easier outdoor use.

Continuing with things I like about the Lumia 810, the hardware is paired with a 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor that never stuttered, lagged or otherwise made me feel the phone couldn’t handle anything I could throw at it. Granted, I don’t download nearly the same volume of apps I would if there were an Android or iOS device app store available, but I never felt like I was asking for trouble or pushing the phone too hard. WIth 8GB of built-in storage, there’s enough internal storage to cover your app needs, though I’d suggest keeping an eye on what you’re downloading.

Like all Windows Phone devices, there’s a dedicated camera button on the right-hand side of the device, along with a volume rocker and power button. The left-hand side of the Lumia 810 is empty. The rear features an 8 megapixel Carl Zeiss lens with built-in flash. The top features the 3.5mm headphone jack with the microUSB port for charging and connecting to a PC available at the bottom.

All in all, the hardware feels incredibly solid which may be my biggest issue with the 810. If Nokia had billed the Lumia 810 as military grade or indestructible, I’d have greater appreciation for its size, but in a day and age when “thin is in,” going thicker for what seems like wireless charging reasons doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Wireless charging is a fantastic future, but for now it’s just a novelty and I’m not sure I’m ready to sacrifice even a little extra heft for a half-baked technology.

General Usability:

Software -

It’s hard to talk about the Lumia 810 or my upcoming review of the Windows Phone 8X without really delving deep into the Windows Phone 8 experience and how that differs from that of Android and iOS. If you had asked me two months ago, I was a big, big fan of what I had hoped Windows Phone 8 could accomplish. Now, I’ve tapered my expectations and understanding of where Microsoft has been and where they are going. As I go back to this review after a few days, reports comes out that Google has no plans to make apps for Windows Phone 8 or Windows 8. Now, Windows 8 may be another story as adoption is forced upon just about everyone buying a new computer, but the same can’t be said for smartphones.

Overall, Windows Phone 8 is a smooth operating system that looks beautiful and functions as well it looks. The overall problem isn’t lag or hardware or even the overall software. It’s the apps or lack thereof.

I can’t emphasize enough that I want to love Windows Phone 8, I truly do. Which is why it pains me to say the lack of some major apps is not only noticeable, but it’s a deal breaker. Just look at the top free/paid apps on iOS or Android. It’s a venerable who’s who of the smartphone world. The top paid apps for Windows Phone 8 as of this writing include “Stop the Music,” “Human Japanese,” “Catholic’s Companion,” and “Cowlick.” Compare that to the top 5 Android paid apps which include Swiftkey 3, Titanium Pro Backup, Beautiful Widgets, FoxFi (Full Version) and Root Explorer. There’s such a gap in the app world between the top two operating systems and everyone else that it’s almost embarrassing to think that Microsoft would even want to promote “Cowlick”.

All that said, let’s switch gears for a minute as I do want to say something great about Windows Phone 8 and that’s the lack of bloatware. I criticize T-Mobile and Android manufacturers in general for the incredulous amounts of bloatware they still place on smartphones at launch. It’s true that Nokia’s Lumia 810 comes with a bevy of Nokia specific apps, but they are actually useful where most Android bloatware is not so useul. Apps like Nokia City Lens, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps are fantastic and they add a certain flair to the Lumia experience, but if you don’t want them, deletion is just a two taps away. There’s a lesson here for Apple who won’t even allow you to delete its stock apps or Android bloatware that can’t be deleted without rooting.

I want to be clear that my frustration about the Windows Phone 8 experience doesn’t come from the apps themselves, but the lack of what’s available. Apps like Nokia City Lens are amazing, beautiful, functional, useful and something I wish I could put onto either Android or iOS in a mirrored capacity. Nokia knocked City Lens out of the park – it’s so awesome. Internet Explorer is a great browser and since alternative options are minimal, you’re going to love it even more. The photo gallery is beautiful and I could go on about everything that comes on the phone out of the box. So again, my concern about everyday WP8 use is what is available, it’s what isn’t.

To spread a little more joy I’ll say there’s a lot about Windows Phone 8 to love including its minimalist look, live tiles, resized tiles and the fact that it’s completely unlike anything else on the market.  Unfortunately, I could go on and on for hours about how the lack of apps really ruins the experience for someone like myself, a power user who cares about these things. Yes, there are unofficial variants of apps important to me like Dropbox, and Starbucks — but if neither of those companies are making any effort to release an app and you’ve got Google saying they aren’t bothering yet either, that is a serious issue. Microsoft needs to continue addressing this, even more-so than they already are if they want to get this system into the hands of a larger audience. Another problem I discovered after two weeks, if one can call it that is that even with all the live tiles, Windows Phone 8 ultimately is as boring as iOS. The lack of widgets and customization is something both companies will need to discuss if they want to stop the Android growth machine.

Battery -

Overall, the 1800mAh battery takes up a significant amount of space which I should add covers the microSD slot that you won’t find on the Windows Phone 8X. That may be reason alone to try the Lumia 810. Another reason is the average 12 hours worth of battery life I received. That 12 hours is a compilation of two Twitter accounts, one Evernote account, 4 email accounts and Facebook all working in the background to keep me up to date over the course of any given day. Moderate users can likely stretch their usage into a second day, but I’d recharge every night anyway. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test the wireless charging feature so I can’t say with any certainty if it charges faster or slower than standard wall charging. Still, battery life wasn’t a concern and I’d say the Lumia 810 was pretty well on par with the Windows Phone 8X.

Camera -

Note: Double click thumbnails for the original size. 

Nokia prides itself on having camera quality that is well above their competition. Especially during the launch announcement of the Lumia 920, Nokia made it a point to talk quality. I’ve often found that Nokia devices are a little finicky right out of the box and sometimes require messing around with feature settings to get that perfect shot. For Windows Phone reviews however, I tend to keep devices on auto, much to the chagrin of amateur and professional photographers everywhere because that’s what the average person does. The good news is that even in auto, the 810 does take some quality outdoor shots with very good color reproduction. There’s a definite lack of fine-tuning options compared to an Android device, but that’s really only something someone who delves into the optional features would recognize. If you really want to get the most out of your camera, you’ll have to tinker a little.

The Lumia 810 does lack the optical image stabilization of its older sibling, and therefore it doesn’t receive the PureView branding. It does still pack the same raw resolution at 8 megapixels and the same Carl Zeiss lens optics of the Lumia 920 and that’s a good thing. The camera is one instance in which the size of the Lumia 810 is actually an advantage and the “grippy” feel of the hardware helps to offer a stable grip. Bonus! Like all Windows Phone devices, there’s a dedicated camera button that jumps right into picture mode as soon as it’s held down. The swipe left function to enter the gallery is alive and well too and is a feature that is just so beautiful.

Overall, pictures indoors weren’t as detailed as those taken outside, but the LED assist flash comes to the rescue if the moment calls for it. The camera definitely isn’t the speediest and there’s no option for burst shots, something that I’ve become used to seeing on an assortment of Android devices. I wouldn’t rank the 810 as one of the better cameras I’ve tested lately and I’d give the edge to the 8X for overall quality, but the results are good enough to make sure you’ve caught the moments you care about.

Messaging -

If there’s one area where Windows Phone 8 or even its predecessor with Windows Phone 7 excels, it’s in the keyboard. Messaging on the Windows Phone platform is amazing and the keyboard plays a role in 95% of that success. I honestly love it and it may even be my favorite keyboard right behind Swiftkey. It doesn’t have the predictability of Swiftkey and like iOS, you’re stuck with whatever Microsoft allows you to use, but that doesn’t take away from it being excellent on its own merit.

I know this review has teetered between some praise and some frustration, but let messaging be one area where I’m crystal clear. It’s fantastic. That’s it, there’s nothing else I need to say about it.

Network Performance:

As far as performance on the T-Mobile network, the Lumia 810 generally performed slightly below where I usually see T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network perform. In my house I often see HSPA+ speeds upwards of 25, 26Mbps and that’s pretty standard for me. With the Lumia 810, I mostly saw half that and while that drop could be attributed to weather or various other factors, the bottom line is that it didn’t perform nearly as well as other devices I’ve tested.

On the call side, earpiece volume was adequate and callers said I sounded clear and they too sounded the same. Even if the speeds were a little slow, the 810 never wanted for a signal and held true to calls even if I dropped to one bar.

Over the course of the last two weeks I’ve never had any complaints about using the 810 as a phone and that’s very positive.

Wrap-Up:

So here-in lies my dilemma as I want to love the Lumia 810 and I want to love Windows Phone 8 and I expect plenty of you to shrug off my concerns over the lack of apps e and continue right along with picking up Microsoft’s newest devices. You’d be right to do exactly that. There’s plenty to love, but in my eyes and in my opinion, the pitfalls are large enough and wide enough to prevent me from using the platform full-time.

My angst over the size of the phone provides me with mixed feelings as I get the argument that the size is a differentiator and there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the thickness. Still, it seems like in Nokia’s haste to differentiate with wireless charging, they went against the grain of “thin is in.” Samsung seems to be setting the pattern with larger options and their competition save for Apple is following suit. Nokia seems to be going down its own path and it seems to be a risk they shouldn’t bother with now. Wireless charging is still a novelty and they should work on mind and market share before trying something brave.

I’d love to do a test where I put the Galaxy S III and the Lumia 810 in the hands of customers without telling them which operating system each phone runs and see which hardware people would rather use. Call me crazy, but I’m guessing the majority choose the Galaxy S III.

The good news is that the clean design of the Lumia 810 doesn’t take any chances. What you see is what you get. I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but I’m having a hard time because I’m being pulled into two directions, wanting to love this phone and finding myself unable to do so. At the end of the day, if you can overlook the Nokia specific apps, some of which can be found on all WP8 devices, and wireless charging, the better camera and sleeker form factor of the Windows Phone 8X make it a better option.

The Lumia 810 is currently selling for $99 after a $50 mail-in rebate on T-Mobile.com.

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  • http://twitter.com/tallshmo Joe Fedewa

    This just goes to show how design is in the eye of the beholder. I happen to think the 810 is a very minimal and attractive device.

    • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

      I agree! even with all the Sleek sexy devices I own, I really also still very much love this type of style as well. Plus I’ve heard the Optics on here are pretty terrific and very favorable to the 920 actually, not much difference in quality.

    • http://www.facebook.com/stormcityusa Storm Millenium

      Sorry but the 810 is ugly as hell! Im very curious about WP8, but unfortunately T-Mobile gets the shittier device again.

      • http://about.me/daylondeon Deacon

        agreed . the 810 is a bulk of an ugly Lumia.

        • Wyn6

          It actually isn’t bulky at all and is deceptively thin. That’s not to say it is thin, just thinner than you think until you hold it.

        • http://about.me/daylondeon Deacon

          i have held it :) it’s bulky to me .. well not bulky just not made properly i guess when you think of the aesthetics of a phone .. but then the Lumia line isn’t about lightweight etc.

      • http://twitter.com/tallshmo Joe Fedewa

        Good for you, I still like it.

  • MELCALI

    I don’t think there is one review that has anything positive to say about the 810′s looks.
    Do these reviewers like phones that look like clowns?
    Honestly I think this device is sexy. Minimal and professional. I’d take the 810 bulk over the One S thinness any day. That phone was so thin it was cumbersome to hold.

    • ratnok

      Wow. Based on what you just wrote, I would love to take a peek at your wardrobe. That would be good for a laugh.

      • nick kemp

        I disagree with you rat. I think Melcali’s wardrobe wouldn’t warrant any reaction at all.

    • GBGamer

      I disagree. The only reason there should be this much bulk is a physical keyboard. If not, make it look like a GSII. Simple, sleek, very minimal, but also light, thin but not too thin.

  • riopato

    any fandroid shouldn’t be reviewing any windows phone. Their codependency with apps is getting so boring and god forbid that they actually know how to use their smartphone without a crappy app! Keep blaming Microsoft for lazy developers like google who can’t write code outside of their own ecosystem, Microsoft will keep benefitting developing apps for android and ios while improving their own oses.

    • Joey Nickel

      “Their codependency with apps is getting so boring and god forbid that they actually know how to use their smartphone without a crappy app!”

      “Codependency” is perfectly used here, and I’m speaking from experience. It’s actually refreshing to see it described that way, and I agree with you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kerry.vick Robert Kerry Vick

      That is a very ignorant statement. Why would I EVER want to use a smartphone without apps? If I didn’t need/want apps I would stick with a $19 flip phone.

      • riopato

        The ignorance is unfortunately based on the introduction of the iPhone and it’s affect of simpletons’ exposure to an ecosystem that is dependent on apps. There use to be a niche set of users that had real smartphones that actually ran programs that were specific to perform certain needs while basic functions was handled by said smartphone’s os. The current ideology of an app based os takes certain “features” away from the os in the hopes that basic features can be “added” in “upgrades” as a means to “promote” itself by offering something “new”.

        If you don’t understand what I’m referring to, Google “pda phones”. A few of these basic features that you can also look up “graffiti”,” voice command”, “ftp via ie”, “pptp vpns”… I can go on but I wanted to point out what true ignorance is. The irony behind windows phone, ios and android is how advanced it is considering how simple it is to use yet the truly most advance features were already integrated within the smartphone oses 15 years ago. At least windows phone tries to hold on to those roots, very poorly, but it has yet to attempt to try to sell itself as something that it’s not.

        • http://tmonews.com David

          That may have been true prior to the introduction of the iPhone, but nowadays are smartphone experience is emphasized through apps and their ability to enhance our creativity, work-flow and entertainment, etc. To say that we are codependent wouldn’t be fair, but to ignore them as unnecessary or irrelevant in the scope of any overall review of a smartphone these days would be readers a disservice.

        • riopato

          it’s also a disservice to readers to neglect the integrated features such as Facebook and twitter via the people hub only because it isn’t an app. I’m not ignoring the fact that the app based os has taken over the market but Microsoft is at least offering an integrated experience while offering the ability to use apps.

  • iliketuddles

    WP8 as boring as IOS?!?! no way, jose. you might be the only person i’ve heard say that.

    after using both the 810 and the 8x, i’d have to say that i prefer the 810.

    here’s why:

    AMOLED. the screen on the 810 produces inky blacks and super saturated/vibrant colors. using them side by side, the 8x looks white washed.

    DESIGN. this is obviously completely subjective, but even coming from a One S, i can say that the boxy, thicker body feels better in the hand.

    POWER BUTTON. seems dumb, but i hit the power button 6 billion times a day just to check the time/notifications. its so nice not to have shuffle the phone in my hand or stretch my finger to the top of the phone.

    CALL QUALITY. easily the best call quality of any phone i’ve owned

    MUSIC QUALITY. i am surprised how unimpressive beats audio is on the 8x. even worse than the One S. the 810 sounds great IMO

    NOKIA APPS. obvious.

    REMOVABLE BATTERY/WIRELESS CHARGING

    SD CARD SLOT.

    the only really big difference between the two is the resolution. it hasn’t bothered me one bit.

    as far as apps go, MOST of the major apps are there. instagram is not, spotify is not. there’s definitely more and thats a bummer, but i dont use tons of apps.

  • kkostec

    You took the words right out of my brain. I really enjoy the Windows OS, but the ability to grab a new, exciting app is not there. I am smitten with how smooth and well thought out the OS is, but I miss the ability to reinvent my phone like you can with Android or buy sexy hardware with Apple. Two weeks, sadly, is my breaking point as well.

    • Anthony Domanico

      Yep. This is the problem. Developers will develop for iOS first, Android second, and Windows Phone… when (if) they feel like it.

      • tegz

        exactly. the number one thing windows phone haters always chime in about is the lack of apps. who’s fault is it? the lazy devs! but of course since it’s a microsoft product let’s just blame microsoft for that problem. i love how these same people spin positive news such as ms helping devs create apps into “lol ms paying devs to make apps!!!!” hilarious.

        • riopato

          I love all the positive news that google maps is now back on the iphone. It really does pay to have your product to be the first one in tech. Everyone is so familiar with google, no one is willing to learn any other mapping service. It’s shame that Microsoft gave up on the mobile version of bing maps though. It has a built in feature that allowed users to submit map data to help improve the maps itself.

  • bob

    I used Android for 2 and half years and left because I found customer support lacking. I had no trouble finding replacement apps when I switched. Didn’t need Doggcather replacement since podcast support is really good on WP. Nextgen Reader is a better Google Reader app than Google’s. Marking a post as unread is a 1 button press unlike the 2 for Google’s(a small complaint I know but 1 that bugged me) and I can save posts to Pocket in NextGen Reader too which is a nice plus. The irony there is that there is no Pocket app but I prefer the web interface anyway and just bookmarked the page(I know, how old school of me……. bookmarks). I use Skydrive instead of Dropbox.

    I point this out because I don’t understand statements like “the market lacks any real depth”. I’ve never had a problem finding apps to suit my needs and I’ve actually spent more on WP apps than I’ve ever spent on Android apps. The ability to try most of them before hand helps in the decision. That’s how I found Rowi 1 of the best Twitter apps I’ve ever used.
    As far as design sure it’s not pretty but the thickness and larger bezel actually give me room to hold the phone. My wife’s biggest complaint about her S3 is that she is constantly accidentally tapping stuff on the screen or the back button because there is no good place to hold the phone.
    Look to each their own. My wife stuck with Android because her company uses Google Apps and she didn’t want to learn a new platform because she really doesn’t care and just wants to check her email and surf the web on her phone. So I’m not saying people should switch to WP but do find the lack of apps argument thin and is just a sentiment echoed thru the tech blogs.

  • Enzowned

    We need a real 710 replacement, colors and all =p

    • riopato

      That’s funny.

      • Enzowned

        What’s funny about wanting a white phone, face and body, or the colorful interchangeable battery covers. It’s not unlike some of the newer ones, but these just lack the white face.

  • Philosoraptor

    I respect your opinion but when you complained about apps for the good part of the review and then mention Android apps that make up for Android’s shortcomings rather than listing “deal breaker apps” I just shook my head. SwiftKey, Beautiful Widgets, etc are not deal breaker apps because a good keyboard, good looking live tiles, and other functionality pieces are already built into the phone. Another thing to remember is WP doesn’t require you to constantly manage it like you would Android (file explorers or task killers).
    The only thing missing for me is Flipboard and Instagram, but these are not deal breakers since I have a replacement for Flipboard (Weave) and I checked on Instagram like once a week when I had it so I don’t miss it. Are they for you? Maybe. Are there other apps missing definitely.

    • http://tmonews.com David

      I think the greater point is that every week there are new and exciting apps on iOS and Android, something that doesn’t seem to be the case with Windows Phone. I’m saying the top five Android apps are better in the sense that they serve a greater purpose and are the kind of names you expect to see people buying. You don’t expect an app like “Cowlick” to be in the top 5 of any app list, unless it’s being gamed by Reddit. I love the way Windows Phone 8 looks and while I ultimately find that live tiles, as beautiful as they are and as creative as they are, ultimately infuse the same sense of stale boredom as iOS. There’s no personalization and perhaps I come from a day when I could hack my Motorola V551/Razr on Motox, but I’m used to personalization. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll continue to keep an eye on Windows Phone 8 and see where it progresses, but apps make up a big part of my day so I notice when something I use is missing.

      • http://about.me/daylondeon Deacon

        don’t justify the glaring issues with WP8 David .. most WP fans refuse to acknowledge that developers and consumers alike are knocking it for its lack of apps … the phone OS is amazing IMO .. i love WP .. but i’m not so in love with it that i can’t call it on its shortcomings … until it gets apps that are comparable, the consumer reaction will continue to be what it is which is “sure it’s cool, but it doesn’t have the apps i need”.

        • theking_13

          If you want a phone for just the phone functionality, why bother getting a smartphone? You’d be good with a Nokia feature phone, or even a Blackberry.

          When I buy a product, I want to get the most out of it.

          Case in point, my car gets a good 23 MPG and has a Honda engine, great usability and durability.

          If Android and iOS can offer more, for basically the same price, why would anyone make the switch? Now if they were giving WP8 away for free, then that would warrant a switch, especially from the low-end Android users.

      • Guy

        If you’re finding the live tiles boring I would have to ask how are you using them. I set up a friends and family group and pinned a double wide tile to my home screen and any time someone either posts to facebook, twitter, sends me an im, email, or txt the tile updates with that info giving me not only a personal look on the homescreen but a personal data at the same time. Is there anyway to do that on Android or iOS? And are saying that you’re judging apps by name alone? I guess I don’t understand your problem with Cowlick, it’s name? It’s a pretty good twitter client 1 of the many good ones that WP has. And what exciting new apps are you talking about that come out each week for iOS and Android? Once again it’s an argument made with out details.

      • Porkistanis_suck

        BS there are more apps on WP8 every day than you are giving them credit for

        • Anthony Domanico

          But good luck finding them.

      • http://twitter.com/tallshmo Joe Fedewa

        Yeah, I have to agree with Pork below me. I’ve been writing about new apps (and apps being updated for WP8) a lot more the last couple weeks. It is definitely picking up. They just don’t get the publicity of iOS and Android apps. You aren’t going to see The Verge or Engadget cover a cool new app for Windows Phone.

      • Philosoraptor

        Here is the thing with Cowlick – it is a 3rd party Twitter app. You are going off on WP for having a Twitter app ranked high up. I don’t know if you’re being insincere about it or you simply didn’t take the time to look into it. You also did not mention Baconit, an awesome reddit app, out of the top apps because it didn’t fit the narrative. I figure you just skimmed over the apps and then wrote a review. To me, that is a shame. I love your site, love the news, but you are off base on this. Maybe you need someone to recommend apps for you, or you needed to download App Flow.

        Also, your home screen and live tiles can be as exciting or boring as you make it. I’ll post a few screen shots later of mine, but it’s far from boring. I’m disappointed, that’s all. Please don’t take offense.

        • http://tmonews.com David

          I honestly should have clarified my boring statement and I’ll do that in my 8X review, I don’t think it’s boring in the same sense I feel iOS is static. It just lacks personalization, there’s only so much you can do with resizing tiles, but you have infinite possibilities with Android which I agree is both a blessing and a curse. Don’t get me wrong, I love Windows Phone 8 and I want to love it more, but there are so many niggles that drive me crazy about it that I can’t find myself going a few days without finding something that makes me want to put it down.

  • 8xx series is a waste of time

    Biggest problem with 810 is the sharp edges. It’s just not a phone that’s comfortable to hold.

    One thing you should clarify is that to actually use wireless charging, a new back cover is needed at the cost of $40 from TMo retail stores. I’ve only seen a the wireless charging shell in blue as well, but there may be other Qi case colors available.

    Oh well. Maybe TMo will bring over the Nokia 620 for the Monthly 4G brand.

  • The Architect

    I never been much of a windows phone user, granted I did own a tmo htc touch pro 2 a few years ago. I agree, there isn’t much in the way for apps on any windows phones, but what few apps that are out there work great with all windows phones. My reason for ditching my windows 6 phone was that I hated to manually download apps with a usb cable! Fixed that with a root and dual boot froyo before moving on with a vibrant and now a note 2!

    • Porkistanis_suck

      Touch Pro 2?

      That was Windows Mobile – get an idea of what you are tlking about #%$#%@ IDIOT!

      • The Architect

        I was showing my dislike for the windows platform as a whole with the name “windows” branded on ANY phone you % $#@& idiot!

      • guest

        GET A F***ING CLUE on what this person is talking about by reading his/her comment BEFORE you bust in with an outburst like that you DUMB@$$ TROLL!!!

  • http://www.thegadgetgurus.net Vic

    I’m not surprised that an Android “power-user” disliked Windows Phone 8. Someone who loves tinkering with their phone, wants advanced level of customization, and need their smartphone to have a wide variety of apps to keep themselves “productive” or entertained would ultimately be disappointed with WP8. I left WP8 and went back to iOS for the latter.

    • Wilma Flintstone

      Did you seriously just consider David an Android Power User? LOOOLLLL!!!!!

  • Sanjay

    I agree with many reviewers. One of many things I like about the Lumia is that for me it goes all day without charging. I could not say that of the HD7. I always wished the manufacturers would ADD a milimiter or two and increase battery life instead of focusing on making them so thin with poor battery life. Anyway I love the Windows Phone operating system for its simplicity and ease of use, with yet a lot of features.

    My big gripe David is that it seems you poo poohed the phone because of lack of Apps. Quantity over quality. I was not impressed by your APP list comparison. Microsoft can’t help if people are buying “Cowlick” (I don’t know what that is). What about the variety of Windows Phones available versus the one iPhone that everyone has, etc… I know several people including my sister’s new friend that just got the iPhone 5 and wants to switch to a Windows Phone 8. The ONLY think iPhone does have over Windows Phone 8 of significant use is Siri. I have not tried it but he likes it.

    I really don’t get the review. You compared APPs not phones. I have so many apps I already don’t use very much. And they are cool ones. Puzzled…
    Maybe you should use it for 30 days and then post a review….

    • http://tmonews.com David

      I believe that I’m going to do exactly that.

      • archerian

        David, I’m curious – did you test Skype calls on the Lumia 810?

        • http://tmonews.com David

          Unfortunately, no, I’m not a huge Skype person so I don’t generally use it. I already sent the phone back as well and the Windows Phone 8X is all boxed up too. Sorry!

        • JJ

          works fine.

    • archerian

      I use an Android for personal use, and I have a WP7.5 device from work (we actually migrated from BB to WP7.5 due to Office 365). I appreciate the smooth and well designed UI of WP7, it has never (I mean NEVER) frozen or rebooted on me, and integration with Office Live/Lync is amazing. I would have used it as my only daily driver if it has a few more common apps and more featured common apps. By common, I mean apps like Google Maps – Bing Maps or Nokia Drive just doesn’t compare to Google Maps in searches. Another app I miss is Google Voice, along with some bank apps. These are not the apps that around 10 people buy, they genuinely add value to the platform and overall device experience. By more featured apps, what I mean is the app exists for WP, but its not as functional or well tested/maintained as the ones on iOS or Android. More often than not, the WP version is added in the past few months and is pretty much a beta. Additionally, Bing Search (default on WP) isn’t as good as Google Search in the quality of results returned.

      WP has the potential to be a really great OS, the problem now is not that the number of apps on Windows Marketplace doesn’t compare with Apple Store or Google Play, its that there are some of the more commonly used ones that are missing, and some of the existing ones have reduced utility.

      • http://www.facebook.com/conchstar Conchstar Geoffries

        I agree that Nokia Maps on WP7 is not as good as Symbian 3 or the latest GMaps. However, for searching and Directions, Nokia Drive is far better in my experience. Including GMaps. People tend to rate Google’s mapping better because of satellite view. But that is immaterial. Also Nokia’s mapping is far better. If you have or used A Garmin, you are using Nokia Mapping.

        • archerian

          yes, Nokia uses the Navteq maps, from my experience (at least in Central Florida) Nokia Drive is missing a few towns and roads, which Google Maps has. I’m not sure if Google Maps is rated better due to Satellite View (doesn’t Nokia have it too?) but I find Street View to be of good help. I also find the accuracy and relevance of search results to be better via Google Maps.

  • http://benpike.net/ Ben Pike

    I see what you did there…

    Stack up… because it’s looks & feels like a brick…

  • http://about.me/daylondeon Deacon

    i’ve often said the same thing about WP .. i do enjoy it but it just can’t function as an everyday device for me .. i’ve tried with the HD7 . i’d like to try with WP8 though to see if that’s changed.

  • Porkistanis_suck

    You are an idiot you go from claiming you are testing as a pwoer user in one paragraph to claiming you are testing as an average user in another – remain consistent and test as an avg user – power users and pundits are outliers period thats why they aren’t avg users

    Also, with 46 of the top 50 apps from iOS and Android on Windows Phone 8 I think you need to calm down on the doesn’t have apps – it does and I’ve never run across a situation where I didn’t have an app for what I wanted to do.

    CLOWN!

    • http://tmonews.com David

      Look at top 50 apps and tell me how many of them have DIRECT counterparts on Android and iOS? Not RSS reader for RSS reader, but direct ports of the very same app, same developer etc. I think failing to point out some of the marketplace shortcomings would be doing a disservice to readers at large. I’m not saying it’s awful, I’m saying it needs more.

      http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/top-paid-apps

      As for your other point I claimed to be a power user for battery, because I am and an average user for a camera because leaving it on auto is what most people will do. I push the battery because non-power users recognize the expectation that if I get 12 hours, they can get more.

    • http://twitter.com/tallshmo Joe Fedewa

      David is right. There aren’t as many direct counterparts on Windows Phone. He has to point that out. Whether that matters to the user or not is up to them. Some people don’t mind using a 3rd party Pandora app, other people do.

      • tegz

        if those lazy devs would get off their asses and make official apps there wouldn’t be a need for third-party apps

      • Porkistanis_suck

        Right, cause users go looking for apps based on developers and not functionality *pull your head out your ass*

  • KYLE

    I really like the look and feel of the device, the inch below the screen is actually really handy when using the camera. you’ll notice the buttons are close to the screen leaving a nice area to hold the phone and stabilize it while snapping pics, without accidentally hitting home back or search!! Its so much easier to snap pics like that with a physical camera button, I usually reach for my 810 before my note2 or s3 bc it is just more comfortable.

  • moises1204

    that is one ugly looking phone in person, my god.

  • oryan_dunn

    WP8… WiFi Calling? Wah waaaaaah

    • srr79

      WiFi calling is coming to the 8S in the form of a software update in January.

      • oryan_dunn

        Via an update…. Fail. I went through that with the Amaze, it shipped without it, and once it got it, hasn’t ever worked right.

      • http://about.me/daylondeon Deacon

        too bad the 8S isn’t coming to the states.

  • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

    I got the 810 and the 8X, and they are both nice. however, the 8X is superior. It has better build quality than the 810, but the 810 is still nice. Free is always nice, that is what I got the 810 for, and the 8X was only $75. In the end, it comes down to the user, and you will be very happy with the 810 if purchased. Very nice phone…

    • http://tmonews.com David

      I agree, and my review will reflect that. I’m typing it up and aside from my concerns over app selection, the hardware itself seems much, much better.

  • timo

    I like the bulky feel.

  • timmyjoe42

    It’s weird that the 910 is their best design which they abandoned for this thing, and HTC copied for their Windows Phone 8X which is much nicer to hold.

  • Mr Perspective

    Missing from your review (and quite a few of the reviews I’ve read) are three major areas of functionality: live tile functionality, professional productivity tools, and Xbox integration. So let’s talk about these here.

    Live Tile Functionality: You do point this out, but you don’t really say anything about it. It is the “live” part that is interesting. The tiles are like miniature Windows that display important information right on top without having to open the apps to

    look at it. Information displayed on the tiles might include the amount of data you’ve used so far on your carrier plan or an upcoming appointment, not just that you have one, but when and what it is. This is all at a glance on the home screen.

    And you can position the tiles however you want to showcase whatever information happens to be most important to you.

    Professional Productivity Tools: Windows Phone provides Microsoft Office365 (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) enabling users to view, edit, and create office documents. Unlike the faux office suites currently available on iOS and Android,

    Windows Phone users have a much stronger set of tools for business productivity. Microsoft is also working on a Office Mobile suite for iPhone and Android, but the level integration won’t be the same. Windows Phone stands apart with

    capabilities such as SharePoint Online access to documents via Office hub and the ability to use Lync 2010 in conjunction with Office 365′s Lync Online service. You can’t do either of these things on iOS or Android. If you or anyone else don’t

    think this is a huge deal, then you are clearly oblivious to the major tech trend for enterprise social networking. Add to this, Windows Phone also provides Outlook. And let’s be honest here, Gmail may popular with consumers, but Outlook

    dominates the business world. And there is a reason for that. Gmail functionality is simply pathetic in comparison. This is not to say gmail or other tools don’t have their usefulness, but the Microsoft Office applications are hands down the very

    best on the market. Period.

    Xbox Integreation: Xbox isn’t just about games, it is also a great entertainment platform. And Xbox functionality is integrated exclusively on the Windows Phone. Plus apps like Smartglass add some really cool functionality. You can also stay in

    touch with all your friends on the Xbox network or use the phone itself as a make shift remote control or even as a game controller for your home entertainment. And of course for real gamers, iOS and Android don’t have an answer for the Xbox.

    How you could have missed the above three areas of Windows Phone functionality is a bit puzzling. Fair enough, you were reviewing just the Nokia Lumia model 810, but if you are going to make the case about the lack of apps, then you just

    missed the boat on probably what are the Windows Phone’s strongest differentiators. Windows Phone is not some immitation version of iPhone of Android, but an innovative OS that offers something unique and different.

    I recall when Android first entered the market. There were many reviewers who panned it on the basis of its lack of apps. But look where Android is today. Arguments about the lack of apps for Windows Phone today are just chasing a red herring.

    What makes Windows Phone truly unique goes far beyond what is can do as a standalone device. It is part of an integrated ecosystem that brings together apps, Office 365, Xbox, and even desktop Windows 8 systems. I could say more, but I’ve already written a fairly lengthy commentary here. I think Windows Phone has a bright future ahead.

  • Ali

    There is no app that I am missing on my Windows Phone 8. So I have to disagree with you on that big time.
    There are so many official apps on Windows Phone which works better and looks better than iOs or Andriod apps.
    There are some apps missing but there are other apps there that does the job.
    I truly love my Windows Phone 8 and I am telling you no way I go back to that laggy Android that crashed and freeze several times during a day (+ horrible battery) or that out dated looking iOs.

  • Gigglebits

    I like how your list of top paid apps for Android are all apps designed to overcome shortcomings of the OS itself:
    Swiftkey 3 – because the stock keyboard is awful (with the possible exception of the JB 4.2+ that adds swiping functionality and lag-free prediction FINALLY)

    Titanium Pro Backup – because there is no external backup functionality for the phone. Let’s not mention that this app requires root access to work, and contributes directly to app piracy.

    Beautiful Widgets – because the default widgets in Android are ugly and plain, and don’t contain enough at-a-glance information

    FoxFi (Full Version) – because the OS ships from carriers with controls to lock down WiFi tethering (WP8 also does this, and it bothers me to no end)

    Root Explorer – so you can easily install those pirated apps from your SD card, and go in and tweak settings in your build.prop file because Android is so often poorly tuned for the devices it ships on

  • hal j

    the phone and the components might be great. but the fact that the Market place is a hundred thousand apps short. Microsoft and its apps are about a decade behind Google and Apple.

  • jrubin0122

    My Nokia lumia 810 does not have caller id blocking/restriction on outgoing calls. Do you other people have this problem as well. If you click “Settings” “Show my Caller ID” is supposed to appear and it does not on my phone. Does anyone else have the same problem?

  • George Raezer

    I love my Lumia 810, upgraded from the Nokia N8, loved it too.. I LOVE Nokia’s Quality. Reviewer is lame.

  • JayMoney88

    Let’s just face it, the problem is while Windows Phone IS IN FACT function its so BORING no one can stand to use it for a long period of time. Every device is the same with little room for customization, no beautiful layouts, widgets or anything that can really be brought in to make the device TRULY unique to you and your daily practices.

  • lordsunil

    I’m a little late to the discussion.

    I wanted to clarify that Microsoft claimed that it had 46 of the top 50 apps on iOS/Android. Some details here: http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/10/fact-check-does-windows-phone-really-have-46-out-of-50-of-the-top-apps/

    Furthermore, it seems plausible that most apps are garbage and mostly go unnoticed. So the quantity of apps is only somewhat meaningful. More details here: http://gigaom.com/europe/app-store-infested-with-zombie-software-claims-analytics-startup-adeven/

    In a way, WP8 is the phone market what any Mac OS is to the computer market; a different approach. Both are plagued by lower 3rd-party app(lication)s and it’s really up to the consumer to decide what’s most important to them.

    Having said that, David, I think you should keep reviews of hardware and OS separate, unless there is a specific feature that utilizes both in a unique way. This review should have been about the Lumia 810 only, not WP8. And because you were trying to cover both, you didn’t touch on a lot of important WP8 differentiators that many folks pointed out in their comments (Skype integration, Live Tiles, Office integration, FB/Twitter integration, Customizable Lock Screen, etc.).

  • steve

    How about including comments on the phone.
    Good reception? Dropped calls? Quality of the audio?
    This is a phone review isn’t it? LOL!

  • ronald

    nokia is all ways better on run battery , y just get lumia 810 , y left my N8 , my new phone lumia 810 it is soooookcss .. this lumia n810 was made for kids to love face,twet, all social net. i cant do nothing , my phone contact are mixed with all social network , to me this phone is for kids ill go back to my nokia N8 im so pistoff

  • Tori San

    I don’t feel this review to be about the Nokia Lumia 810 as much as it should have. I feel like you focused more on the “lack of apps” in the app store. It isn’t the phone’s fault itself for not having apps that you use for Android and iOS is it? Also, my dad and younger brother both have a Samsung Galaxy S3 and they both prefer my Nokia Lumia 810. And my mom, who isn’t tech savvy in the least, was able to use my phone with no problems. Before this post gets too long: My point is that you place too much emphasis on apps, focus on the phone. How easy is it to use versus Android and iOS phones? Does it get the job done? etc. Definitely disappointed with this review.