Which Nokia is Right for You? Part 2

Many of Nokia’s Symbian-powered devices were viewed as leading handsets at the time of their release. Touchscreens were introduced to the range a few years ago and a slew of compact and versatile handsets were created that paved the way forward for the Finnish manufacturer.

However, many of these devices have since been surpassed by newer handsets and users of older Nokia phones may be considering an upgrade. If you own a 5800 or X6, the Lumia 800 could offer a more modern equivalent that suits your needs. We take a look at how the two older phones compare to the recent Windows Phone device.


The 5800 XpressMusic was Nokia’s first touchscreen device. Released in 2008, it was marketed as a mobile music platform and came with an 8GB microSD card and stylus in the box. The responsiveness of its touchscreen was questioned by some reviewers at the time, but the device performed well overall and was commended for the quality of its audio performance.

Nokia’s X6 was introduced into the range with the aim of bettering the performance of the 5800. The device featured 32GB of internal memory, a spec detail that is impressive now and was staggering upon its 2009 release. As well as the outstanding storage the X6’s 5MP camera received praise and users were given access to Nokia’s Comes With Music free audio streaming service.

Released in 2011, the Lumia 800 was the first handset to emerge from Nokia’s collaboration with Microsoft and its Windows Phone platform. When the software giant redesigned its older Windows Mobile operating system it created an excellent new platform laden with impressive aesthetics. Based around the Live Tile interface at the vheart of its UI, the innovative design is incredibly detailed and relays plentiful  information without looking cluttered.

The handset itself features a 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip and an 8 megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens. Charged with displaying the Windows Phone OS is a bright, 3.7-inch screen with Nokia ClearBlack technology which makes the colourful interface of the operating system look great.

Nokia’s Symbian OS was originally released in 1997 as EPOC32 and was based on an operating system developed by British software firm Psion in the late 1980s. Having previously been maintained as an open source platform, Nokia moved the OS over to a proprietary model in 2011. Over 385 million Symbian-powered devices are said to have sold across the world.

Windows Phone is Microsoft’s most recent mobile platform, a complete re-build of its earlier Windows Mobile OS. Nokia signed a lucrative deal with the software firm, the result of which has been the Finnish manufacturer’s leading Lumia range of devices.

Both the Nokia 5800 and X6 come with Symbian OS 9.4 out of the box, with an upgrade to the latest version of the operating system available at the time of writing. That upgrade sees the Symbian name being dropped in favour of the Nokia Belle iteration of the Finnish firm’s platform.

Nokia Belle borrows several features from Android including multiple homescreens and widgets, and also has support for NFC functionality. Despite having some quite up-to-date features, Nokia has announced that it has cancelled all planned updates for the OS, instead focussing its attentions on Windows Phone.

Windows Phone 7 is a very impressive operating system and now offers a very real alternative to the more popular iOS and Android. The platform is based on the innovative system of Live Tiles which finds a half way point between icons and widgets, with the homescreen providing a wide array of information along with giving access to the phone’s functions.

A major selling point of the 5800 was its music functionality, as the XpressMusic name suggests. Tracks could be downloaded straight from the Nokia Music Store and a microSD card slot provides plenty of space to store them. The device also comes with a pair of headphones which have an in-built controller, allowing tracks to be easily skipped while the phone is concealed within a pocket.

A greater amount of storage was introduced with the X6, giving the user that whopping 32GB of space. Also included in the package is access to Nokia’s Comes With Music, which gives the user a year of free music downloads, although the tracks are locked into the device and can’t be played elsewhere.

As far as special music features go on the Lumia 800, Nokia Mix Radio is on hand to provide a free streaming service with a wide range of tracks. Through Nokia Music users can also purchase and download tracks and the service also provides information about gigs happening in the vicinity.

With Microsoft being the company behind Windows Phone, the platform naturally offers full integration with the Xbox gaming system through the Xbox Live app. This gives provides the option of interacting with games being played on the console and allows content to be streamed from an Xbox to the phone.

This close relationship between devices is an early step in what is likely to become a much larger, more integrated ecosystem as Microsoft and Nokia develops its technology.

Nokia Drive and Maps are excellent features specifically configured by the manufacturer for its Lumia phones. Using Nokia’s own NavTec data, these services are an update of the older Ovi Maps system and offer turn-by-turn navigation and voice prompts. Maps can also be downloaded to the device rather than being stored online, handy for when lost somewhere with very little network coverage.

Microsoft has announced that it will be upgrading the current version of Windows Phone to WP 7.8 before the year is out, offering new features that aren’t currently included. The most noticeable change will be that Live Tiles will become even more customisable, allowing the user to change the size of the tiles and customise the information displayed by them.

Symbian was a more than useful operating system and has featured on many leading handsets in its time. However, the OS has been surpassed by other platforms sinces its inception, with the latest version of Windows Phone providing a stark contrast to the older OS. Whereas Microsoft’s mobile platform has, in the past, been seen as a minor player compared to iOS and Android it now offers a genuine alternative to the more popular operating systems with a unique identity that could appeal to a wide range of mobile consumers.

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