Interesting 8-minute video from Nokia on the design of the Lumia 800, their first flagship Windows Phone.
I got to spend a few minutes playing with a Lumia last night, and speaking of nothing other than the hardware, how it feels in your hand, it’s an exquisite device. The only other phones that I’ve used that feel as nice in hand are the original iPhone and iPhone 4(S). Nokia seems to be shying from calling the material it’s made out of “plastic”, because plastic so often feels cheap. They’re calling it polycarbonate, and they probably should, because it has the opposite of a cheap feel — it feels like a premium product. Good texture and a palpable sturdiness. (The plastic of the iPhone 3G(S), in contrast, always felt a little cheap.) The curves of the Lumia’s sides and back are an interesting contrast to the iPhone 4, too — the Lumia is curved where the iPhone is angular, and the iPhone is curved where the Lumia is angular. (See Edward Tufte’s aforelinked criticism of the iPhone 4’s “aggressive edges”.)
I saw at least a half dozen new Windows Phone devices, but the Lumia stood apart, in my mind. The other thing that struck me, looking at so many devices at once, is that Apple has only shipped three iPhone hardware designs, total. Three.
★ Thursday, 17 November 2011