When it comes to the internet, the Nokia Lumia 800 is one of the fastest mobile internet experiences we have encountered, with lightning response loading pages in less than a second and the weight of the TechRadar website in less than 3 seconds when connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot only capable of c.1.5Mbps (on its best run).
It's not faster than the Safari browser or the option on the Samsung Galaxy S2, but it's easily good enough to be a decent experience for web browsing on the go.
We tested all three devices side by side over a 3G and Wi-Fi connection, and out of three tests, only once did the Lumia 800 manage to load a site faster than both devices, which was the mobile version of the BBC site.
For heavier web browsing, we'd still recommend something from the iOS or Android stables (with a comparable processor, that is. Dual core technology seems to be a big boon here).
That problem we mentioned earlier with the touchscreen being erratic is most problematic here - you're trying to scroll through text and it will start to zoom in and out, even though no taps are registered. Nokia needs to sort this, and FAST.
Although there is an Internet Explorer icon most people start the internet session with a search which is where the bottom right search button (magnifying glass) and the Local Scout app come into their own.
One tap on the Search button and up pops the Bing search app, but when you look closer this is so much more than the standard Bing website. At the bottom of the screen in the soft bar, are three or four icons, depending on if you have permitted the search app to use your location information, which are, from left to right:
- Local Scout: Tap the buildings icon and the separate Location Scout app will start, displaying local places of interested based on food, entertainment and shops, and generally comes up with good and relevant results, even in the UK.
- Music Recognition: Tap the musical note icon and the phone listens for music in the background, identifies and provides a link to an album containing it on the Marketplace. Again, the implementation is excellent and probably will have the likes of Shazam worried.
- Text Translator and QR Code/ Microsoft Tag scanner: Tap the eye icon and the camera turns on, and if you position a section of text in front of it, it provides automatic over-the-air translation between a selection of languages. If you have a QR code or Microsoft Tag instead, it will read it and respond.
- Audio Search: Tap the microphone icon and the microphone turns on and anything you say will be entered in the search field and the results of a web search will be displayed as if you had typed it in and pressed enter. It's nothing compared to Apple's Siri - but it's still OK if you want to eschew tapping words into the phone.
All this said, the one big limitation is that Adobe flash player does not support the Nokia Lumia 800, providing the message "Sorry Adobe Flash Player is not available from Adobe for your device's operating system or browser."
We were informed by Nokia, during the initial testing and review period, that this is a result of Adobe playing catch up with Internet Explorer 9, and that support is soon to be provided. But sadly as time has progressed, this issue continues to annoy and limit the usability at times.
The debate over Flash video on mobile devices is still raging, and now Adobe has announced it's scrapping the system in favour for HTML 5, we're excited at the prospect of it being over.
However, the fact remains that the Lumia 800 still can't render internet content properly - we've marked down the iPhone for this consistently, as the Galaxy S2 shows mobile Flash video can look fantastic without impacting system resources.
We can't guarantee that the issue is related, but we haven't been able to access a single Nokia competition page on Facebook within Internet Explorer on either of the Nokia Lumia devices, either.