The Nokia Lumia 800 launched yesterday – a phone that Nokia is hoping will see a boost in its fortunes after seeing Samsung, HTC and Apple eating into its market share over the last few years.
If you are one of the many Nokia fans taking your first plunge into Windows Phone with the Lumia 800, you’ll be faced with a new interface – totally different to Symbian or (for that matter) anything Nokia has produced before. Windows Phone however is a very intuitive operating system, very and with a bit of time it’s very easy to become familiar with.
Here are our top 10 tips to get the most from your Nokia Lumia 800.
Microsoft Find My Phone
One of the first thing we’d suggest is activating ‘Find My Phone.’ This useful service is totally free and helps you locate your Lumia if you should lose it.
You’ll need to first activate it by logging in to windowsphone.com and select. ‘Find My Phone.’ In future should you lose the handset, the on-board GPS will display its location on the world map (right), you’ll be able to ring, lock or erase remotely.
One of the great things about Windows Phone 7 is that it lets you sync multiple accounts, from email to social networking, including Windows Live, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, in the same feed. However viewing them in the same place get a little unwieldy, in which case you can view them separately. Open the People tile and click ‘What’s new’ and select an individual account to view.
The Nokia Lumia 700 lets you sync multiple email accounts, including Nokia Mail, Windows Live, Google, Yahoo and of course Outlook. By default these are displayed as individual live tiles on the homepage, but you can choose to have one synchronised inbox. Click the menu(three dots) on the right and select ‘link inboxes,’ from here you can choose which accounts to merge. When you return to the interface, individual email tiles will automatically merge to create a unified inbox.
By linking Facebook, Outlook and Google accounts, you will have multiple lists of contacts, which you can organise into groups, such as friends, relatives and work colleagues. Groups can be pinned to the start and (like the People Live tile) updates will be on display including: new messages and missed calls from all the members in the group.
You can also send messages to the entire group at once. Although you need to make sure you use the same method of contact for each person – a person with email information, you won’t be able to get a text message. When you go to send a message in a group it informs you of the method of communication you can use.
Hold down the Windows button and you can perform actions using voice commands. There are specific commands you can get used too – for example: ‘Launch Browser’ doesn’t work, but ‘Open Internet’ does, so it take time to get used to its idiosyncrasies. You can use it to send text messages ‘Text XX’ by dictating and it can also launch apps.
If you have Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts along with Gmail and Hotmail, it’s likely that you’ll have duplicate contacts. Windows Mobile does a pretty good of linking them together automatically, but occasionally needs a little help.
Tap the circular link icon under the contact and it will show you the ‘linked profiles’ already and ‘suggested links’ those which are similar and you can tap to sync.
It doesn’t recognise every similar contact, it seems to be fooled if the surname appears first. If this occurs tap ‘choose a contact’ and select it manually from your contact list.
Like other smartphones, with the Nokia Lumia 800, if you use push email and browse the internet a lot, you’ll be reaching for the charger fairly often.
There are some simple things you can do such as reducing the screen brightness, via Settings – System – Brightness – Low. However, the Lumia 800 has a built-in Battery saver located in the System menu. You can either choose to switch into Battery Saver when it starts to get low or straight away.
When Battery Saver is activated it automatically shuts down applications that drain the battery: including push email and apps that run in the background. Of course you can still make calls, send texts and get your email manually.
The Battery Saver screen also has some useful information underneath, including an estimation of the number of hours remaining.
Instead of having to download a QR code reader, the Lumia 800 has one built in, accessible Bing. Tap the eye icon and it says ‘Scan QR Codes and Microsoft Tags’ but you can use it to translate text. Tap scan text and little boxes appear around each word detected, select the language and it will translate for you. We found it’s more effective with shorter phrases rather than paragraphs
If you’ve got a Facebook account you can chat using the messaging application. Tap the person icon at the bottom and set the status too available (right). Type the name of the person you want to chat to and it will display all their contact information including phone number and Facebook status, including whether they are online.
On the top of the Nokia Lumia 800 are two doors concealing the micro Sim card and microUSB, it’s worth treating these delicately.
Tap the corner of the door concealing the microUSB port and it swings open, however it’s not designed to swing completely back, bend it too far and it will not return to its original position. Thinking it was tactile and moveable we pulled it back to try and use our Idapt charger and now it has a dent and won’t close (see right). It’s also worth being careful of the microSIM slot, the moment you slide it open it restarts the phone.
Let us know below if you’ve got any tips or things you have found to make the Nokia Lumia 800 easier to use.