Nokia has rolled out several updates to its Lumia 800 Windows Phone. The latest is version 1600.2487.8107.12070, which for many users has greatly improved battery life, probably the biggest problem with the phone.
Whether you have this update pushed to you automatically depends on operators, region and who knows what. I followed the unofficial instructions here in order to get the update early and it worked fine for me; but try this at your own risk.
In my case battery life improved from needing to charge daily to running for several days with light use. Results do vary though. You can see how you are doing by running the Nokia diagnostics app and checking battery status.
Check the figure for Discharging. If it is 70 mA or less you are doing well. If it is up at 140 mA or higher your phone will not last long on a full charge. Note that for some reason the screen capture utility I use bumped up the battery drain, which on my Lumia hovers around 74 mA since the update.
Some have found that disabling 3G in the “Highest connection speed” setting, under Mobile network substantially extends battery life. Worth a try if you care more about battery life than getting the highest data speeds.
Of course users should not be having these kinds of problems; but despite some hassles – the will not turn on issue is the worst for me but I hope is now fixed – I like the phone increasingly. The feel of the device in your hands is excellent, it is responsive, email works well with Exchange, and the Nokia Drive turn-by-turn directions are proving useful, to mention a few things.
There are still a few annoying bugs. The camera is not as good as it should be, bearing in mind Nokia’s boasting about the Carl Zeiss lens, and a future update may improve the colour balance. There is a volume bug introduced in the latest update, that blasts your ears if a call comes in and your volume is set below 14.
App availability is still limited on Windows Phone. I would like to see a Dropbox client, for example.
Nevertheless, Nokia has created an excellent smartphone and seems to be serious about maintaining and improving it.
The meta-story here is that Microsoft’s success depends on the commitment of its hardware partners. Although Windows Phone was available from others such as HTC and Samsung, who no doubt made a substantial investment, those companies are more committed to Android and that shows in the quality of the devices and the way they are marketed.
Will this story repeat when it comes to Windows 8 tablets, particularly on ARM, which to my mind is the critical platform here?