Nokia fans have been waiting for the first Windows powered Nokia phone since the company announced its deal with Microsoft at the start of the year. The initial reaction for a lot of people was “Why Windows? Why did Nokia not go with Android?” Fearing that by pairing up with the fledgling Microsoft OS Nokia would be hammering the final nail in their own coffin.

The only problem here is that Windows Phone 7 is actually a fantastic operating system – just one that has yet to meet with large scale popular appeal. It has great entertainment features with Zune and Xbox LIVE, and is more ‘social’ than Android and iOS put together. Aside from a few Samsung and HTC phones Windows Phone 7 has not had the opportunity to show off its true potential.

So several months on from the agreement between Nokia and Microsoft and finally we are greeted by the Nokia Lumia 800 deals. This not only has a great OS but it is one of the first Nokia phones for a long time to have a lot of aesthetic appeal. One thing that can’t be ignored though is how much the Lumia resembles the MeeGo powered N9. The N9 has been hugely successful across the globe so will the Lumia be able to emulate its success?

Although the Lumia has exactly the same dimensions as the N9 it is a little bit heavier – about 7 grams heavier at 142g. Part of this extra weight comes from the improved hardware found in the Lumia – it has a faster processor at 1.4GHz. However, some other hardware specs are a bit of a step down from the N9 – the RAM is reduced to just 512MB and the maximum internal storage is set at 16GB rather than 32GB.

This latter point seems to a restriction placed by Windows Phone 7 and is particularly annoying as the phone does not come with expandable memory – another limitation of WP7. However, this lack of SD card slot is something that the Lumia holds in common with the N9 – which did not come with expandable memory either.

Even though the two phones are the same size overall they have different sized screens. The Lumia 800’s 3.7 inch screen is ever so slightly smaller than the 3.9 inch display of the Nokia N9. This is because the N9 features a touchscreen only interface, but the Lumia uses a set of standard Windows Phone soft keys beneath its display. Most other features of the screens remain equal – both screens are AMOLED with WVGA resolution, although the Lumia has a slightly better pixel density due to the smaller screen and also uses ClearBlack technology.

Camera wise both phones are pretty evenly matched – an 8 megapixel camera with dual LED flash and Carl Zeiss optics and 720p video recording. The one difference here is that the Lumia does not have a front facing camera. This used to be a limitation of Windows Phone 7, much like the memory issues, but since the Mango update Windows Phone 7 has been able to support front facing cameras and video calling.

While the Lumia does indeed come with Mango, it is missing the front facing camera. In all honesty though, this is not likely to be a major issue for most people as video calling seems to be a feature that phone companies like to trumpet but which does not actually see much use in the real world.

Apart from these differences the two phones are fairly similar physically – most of their differences lie with the software. MeeGo is an excellent operating system but it has one major flaw. With Nokia having already abandoned it, it is not going to have much of a shelf life – with a lack of support and lack of any serious amount of apps being released.

Windows Phone 7 is already well established, even if it is struggling to take a big chunk of the market. There are plenty of developers making apps for Windows Phone 7 and Microsoft will most likely be supporting the operating system with new updates for quite a few years to come. Ironically, Windows Phone 7 may just be the biggest selling point of the Lumia 800, as in terms of hardware it falls a little short of the N9 in some areas.

To wrap it up, N9 is my preferred device. MeeGo is a unique, nothing like before, hardcore device. The design goes perfect with the swipe UI. Windows Phone 7 is just a gimmick. But it has a lot to offer for the normal users. Power users will pick nothing but the classic N9.

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