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Nokia Lumia 800 pricing live in the Buyers Guide   2 comments

The Vodacom contract pricing for the Nokia Lumia 800 is now live in the Buyers Guide. I am very curious how the sales of the Nokia Lumia 800 is going. I got mine as my contract was due for an upgrade, and while filling out the neccesary documentation I struck up a conversation with the Vodacom sales rep. He informed me that from their first Lumia 800 shipment of 20 phones, 14 had been sold by 17:00 on Tuesday, the 7th of February. I’ll be sure to speak to some Vodashop again in the near future to find out how sales have progressed. By the way, the cash price is  R7,199 if any of you have that much cash for a smartphone, or as one of our readers pointed out via twitter, you can get from for R5,999.


How to improve the battery life of the Nokia Lumia 800   2 comments

If you’re one of the first Nokia Lumia 800 owners in South Africa, you might have noticed that that the battery don’t last very long. The first full day, and I am not meaning “heavy usage” full day playing angry birds but just a normal full working day, the battery died by 15:30. Dissapointing then…

I then Google’d or should I say Bing’ed (sounds like something to do with alcohol) the subject. Apparantly there is quite a bit one can do to extend your device’s battery life without compromising its usability to much.

Update, update, update:

First things first, Nokia has already admitted that there’s a problem with the Nokia Lumia 800’s battery performance (another sign that the company is focussing more on customer service) on their support discussions website. Basically to know if your phone has a problem, open the “Phone” application, and dial ##634#. This will open the diagnostics tool. Accept the disclaimer and select “Battery Status” from the list of options. The Full Charge Capacity should read 1400 mAh or over. If it does, there is no problem and your phone is not affected.

Nokia promised a fix in their next software update, which has already arrived. If you want to see what update you have installed or what software version you currently have on your Lumia 800, just select Settings>System>About and then select the box for “More information”. If the “Firmware revision number” is 1600.2483.8106.11500, you already have the latest Nokia update for Lumia installed. To make sure that your Lumia 800 stays up to date go to Settings>Phone Update and select “Notify me when updates are found”. Then, as soon as a new update is available, your phone will automatically display a notification. Also worth noting is that Nokia  also confirmed customer’s concerns regarding audio and camera settings and are going to address those in a series of future updates. If an update’s available you can update your device by connecting it to Zune software (download link here) on your PC or even Mac.

Not all charges charge the same:

Nokia also had the following to say about which chargers to use: “Always use the original Nokia Fast USB Charger AC-16 or the Nokia Charging and Data Cable CA-185CD that came with your Lumia 800, as they are specifically designed to charge the Lumia 800 as efficiently as possible. Only a charger with an output of 1000mA will fully charge your Lumia 800 battery.” It is important to note that that excludes most Nokia chargers which shipped with older Nokia’s as well as most car charges. The only Nokia car charger I managed to find that fit’s the 1000 mAh bill is the Nokia Dual USB Car Charger DC-20. It’s available  from for R244.99 and is pictured below:

Software settings options:

Now that the permanent “fixes’ are well, fixed, we can move to the small things that have a huge impact.

First off Nokia advises us to Turn on Battery Saver. Select Settings > battery saver. Note when Battery Saver is on, your phone will no longer automatically receive email and calendar updates, update some Live Tiles and allow apps to run in the background. So basically only activate this when you want to be cut off from the world but still want to be able to play angry birds. Like for instance when your camping:)

Some of their other pointers are rather more usefull. The next part of their adivse basically revolves around managing your connections as you need them. Nokia advises you too:

  • Stop your phone scanning for available Wi-Fi networks if those are not available. Select Settings > WiFi > Off.
  • Switch Bluetooth on only when you need it. Select Settings > Bluetooth.
  • Use network connections selectively. For example, if the signal strength of the mobile network varies much in your area, your phone must scan for the available network repeatedly. This increases the demand on battery power. If the 3G connection is on in the mobile network settings, your phone searches for the 3G network. To switch off the 3G connection, select Settings > mobile network, and deactivate the 3G connection.
  • Use a Wi-Fi connection to connect to the internet, rather than a mobile data (GPRS or 3G) connection.
  • Switch off your phone or switch flight mode on whenever phone is not needed, for example, while you are sleeping. Note that the alarm clock is not active if the phone is off!

This all sounds like a lot of effort. and invloces accessing Settings > etc. > etc. There is a much easier way though with a free App called “Connectivity Shortcuts“:

As can be seen above, it summarizes all the above settings in one place. So for instance, I have a WiFi network at home, so when I am at home the WiFi on my Lumia is activated while the 3G data connection is not. When I leave home, I turn the WiFi off and the 3G data connection back on. It’s easy, quick and it makes a massive difference.

If that’s not enough to get the battery life you want out of your smartphone, there is more you can do:

  • Reduce the frequency of email synchronization. Select Settings > email+accounts > YourEmail > Download new content. The shortest time available is 15 minutes which is quite short but it has a large impact as your smartphone doesn’t have to have an active data connection all the time.
  • Use a dark theme. Select Settings > theme > Background > dark. Select also dark theme in applications that offer an option.
  • Disable unneeded background applications. Select Settings (swipe left to applications tab) > background task
  • Use wired headphones, rather than the loudspeaker.
  • Switch off “connect with Xbox LIVE” when not needed. Select Xbox LIVE > Settings > Connect with Xbox LIVE. You avatar won’t be visible, but for those of us mostly only accessing Xbox to kill some time with Angry Birds don’t need it to be on all the time.

Some not so good advise:

  • Reduce the screen brightness. Select Settings > brightness > Level. Disable the automatic feature first. The brightness level also affects the Automatically adjust functionality. I am of the oppinion that this won’t help all that much as your Lumia 800 isn’t on all the time, and robbing the excellent clear black display of some of its vibrancy will take a lot out of the overall experience. So in my oppinion the reward isn’t worth the saccrifice this time around.
  • Switch off location services if not needed – so the phone will not look up your location frequently in the background. Select Settings > location > Off. Locations based services plays a large part in everything you do on your Lumia. Not only does Nokia drive use it, but bing also uses your location to provide more locally relevant search results. So again, I don’t think it’s a wortwhile option, but that’s only my personal opinion.
  • Switch off unwanted sounds and functions, for example Vibrate. Select Settings > ringtones+sounds. With the loadspeaker not all that loud, turning off vibrating to me seems like a recipe for missing import calls.

At the end of the day I am convinced that one only needs a full day’s worth of battery life from your device, as it too deserves to recharge at night while most of us are sleeping 🙂

More Nokia Lumia 800 marketing and pricing info surfaces   4 comments

First of all my apologies for the lower number of posts recently, but my son was born yesterday (3rd of Feb) at 5:27am and I’ve been rather busy since then 🙂 Quite a pity that I don’t have my Nokia Lumia 800 yet, as it would have been perfect to share all the photo’s on Facebook & Twitter. Anyway…

Nokia Lumia 800 available form the 7th of February, no really:)

It is pretty well-known that the Nokia Lumia 800 will only be available from Vodashops in South Africa on the 7th of February. As I for one an’t wait to get my hands on that polycarbonate beauty, I took a small break from the hospital and walked into my local Vodashop with the hope that they might have stock of the Lumia 800 al ready… alas not. The salesperson did inform me that they have ordered stock wich should arrive on Tuesday (the 7th of Feb) if not, then Wednesday at the latest. So I gave my details and one of the Lumia’s in that first shipment is mine:) When I enquired about pricing, the sales person informed me that they will only be getting the new month’s pricing plans on Tuesday, which explains why they will only have stock come Tuesday.

I then enquired about the marketing details for the Lumia 800. The rep then correctly informed that Vodacom & Nokia are going all out to promote the Nokia Lumia 800. He then pointed to the marketing gimmicks in the store and promptly handed me a brochure. Previously most Nokia pamphlets were good quality, but did have a “standardized” feeling about them. Meaning that you’d find the same brochure in Vodacom, MTN, CellC and numerous other shops. This time it was a bit different with Vodacom branding visible throughout the very informative brochure, of which I have some pictures below:

The rep also informed me that the marketing people responsible for the Nokia Lumia 800 wanted to put up a huge sticker in the front facing display windows, but as this particular shop is quite small, they decided against it.

Nokia Lumia 800 pricing:

Further more reports that the cash price for the Lumia 800 will be in the region of R6,999 and also confirmed my earlier prediction that the Lumia 800 will be available from CellC, and most probably MTN, by the end of March. Interestingly the sales person also shared some rumours with me about the pricing of the Nokia N9, which of course has been available for quite some time. According the sales rep, the price of the N9 will be increased as of the 7th of February in order to make the Lumia 800 more attractive. I also enquired about sales figures for the N9 and he unsurprisingly informed me that the N9 had sold pretty badly.

He was of the opinion that the Lumia 800 would fare a lot better as his first comments were that it is really, really fast and snappy. He continued by saying that the user interface was a lot better that of the N9’s and that it al ready had more apps available. Here’s to hoping his predictions are correct and that Nokia sells truckloads full of the Lumia 800.

As always, be sure to check out the Nokia Lumia 800 section in the buyers guide, as I’ll update the contract pricing details as soon as I am able to.

Amazing Lumia launch party in Cape Town!   Leave a comment

What an amazing experience! Look, all in all the launch party wasn’t much different to the launch event in Jo’burg last week. That’s not to say it is a bad thing –  not at all. The effort put in by Nokia and their media partners was clear for all to see.

Most of the launch details were already revealed at last week’s party, for a summary of that event see my related post.

There was however one or two other interesting points:

  • Vodacom has exclusivity for 6 weeks. That means that if you start counting from the 7th of February, which is when the Lumia 800 will be widely available through Vodacom, the other service providers should have the Lumia 800 by the end of March.
  • The partnership between Nokia/Microsoft and Vodacom is a really strong one. Vodacom was again the only service provider present. Steve Kerrigan, the head of sales at Vodacom in the Western Cape described it as a partnership of great brands, which is quite a strong statement.
  • Nokia really has a lot of locally relevant content already lined up. While having som hands-on time with the Lumia 800 I had a look at both the News24 app as well as the local content in Mix Radio and I must tell you both are really impressive. especially Mix Radio, as in each selectable genre, you have a “local artists” section. Everything from Kurt to Kwaito.
  • After spending some time with the Lumia 800, I must tell you that it really is an AMAZING device. Everything from the polycarbonate body, curved screen, to the lightning fast interface  translates into a truly exceptional package. One truly cannot form your final opinion about the Lumia 800 without spending some time with it.

Now for more of the very impressive marketing at the Lumia launch event. While waiting for the event to start laser beams located at the front of the room were shining on the wall at the back of the room.

The event then started in ernest with a string of speakers:

  • First of all Mark Strathmore, Head of Ecosystem Alliances SA took the stage basically punting Nokia’s reach.
  • Afterwards Patric Henchie, Head of products SA, officially introduced the Nokia Lumia range of smartphones. In short he went through most of the selling points of the Lumia range as well as mentioning some of Nokia’s built-in software, like Nokia drive and Mix Radio.
  • Next up was Anthony Doherty, operator channels director at Microsoft SA. He claimed that after tonight the impact the Nokia Lumia will have locally will be clear to see.
  • Steve Kerrigan, Head of sales at Vodacom in the Western Cape, the describes the partnership between Microsoft, Nokia and Vodacom as a partnership of great brands. He also mentioned that there would be a huge marketing campaign starting from the 7th of February.
  • Patri Henchie, who to a large extent played MC for the evening, then finished off the speeches with an invite to play with the Lumia 800 at the back of the stage.

All through the evening there was enough to drink should anyone need to after the breath-taking events

Again there were numerous dance events to keep everyone entertained. First was the Neon dancers seen @ Vodaworld:

To get the party started tap dancers joined one another on the dance floor untill there were quite a large number of dancers tapping away. They tapped untill fire works revealed no less than 3x DJ’s who took over the music playing responsibilities.

Just as the dancing on the stage stopped, the dancing on the floor began, with streamers falling out of the roof and other special effects on stage to ensure everybody is in the party mood.

All in all it was a very successful evening in my opinion. Throughout the evening there was a palpable feeling of excitement in the air. You got the sense that all the role players were convinced that they nailed it. They honestly believe that they have great hardware, with amazing software backed by the country’s largest service provider – and I would agree that they have a winning formula!

Again I would just like to thank Nokia and their marketing partners for my invite to a great event. Hopefully it was the first of many…

Lumia 800 available exclusively through Vodacom for the first month or two? UPDATED (Again)   6 comments

Let me start off by admitting that I’ve just watched two episodes of Columbo, so it might just be my inner detective taking over:) That said, I might have a point.

I first noticed something fishy on the press invite to the Nokia Lumia launch party on the 25th of February. Below is exhibit one:

As can be seen above, the launch party will take place at the Vodacom Dome. At first I didn’t think to much of it. I then had a chat to some of the sales staff at a Vodashop. One of the staff informed me that Nokia’s sales reps were already busy with giving training on the Lumia 800 device. That too didn’t ring any alarm bells. Then one of all about Nokia SA’s readers named Edrich, placed the following comment on the last post:,

I just got an email back from MTN after posting a query (1) on their Customer Information Portal last year about Lumia 800 availability and got this (2):
(1) Hi, I didn’t see an option for querying handset availability. I would like to check with you when the Nokia Lumia 800 will become available on contract seeing as I am due for an upgrade in the new year and would like to know whether I should hold on for the Lumia’s, or choose another handset
(2) Good Day,
Thank you for your posting. We should be getting the handset during the second or third quarter. Please check on our website during the second quarter of this year.

Kind Regards,
The CIP Team

This is disappointing to me, and unbelievable that we’d have to wait until 2nd or 3rd quarter if thew “launch date” is in February

Edrich / January 19, 2012 at 15:04″

Then, like they say, everything fell in place. The launch party is at the Vodacom dome, Sales training at Vodacom stores confirmed, and only 2nd or 3rd quarter launch dates for MTN. Why would Nokia launch the device at Vodacom’s headquarters? Would a move like that not heighten tensions between Nokia and the other service providers? It hasn’t happened in the past, that I’m aware of, that one carrier got exclusive rights to a Nokia device.

Let’s, for now, assume I’m right. Let’s say Vodacom does get exclusive access to the Lumia 800. What would the benefit be to Nokia? Well we know Nokia has gone HUGE internationally with marketing. I am convinced that in our local market a campaign targeting consumers directly only won’t work. They will have to work via the service providers too. Yes all the Vodacom/MTN (haven’t checked CellC) brochures and shops all show the N9. MTN has even had Nokia N9 advertisements on TV. But I’m sure Nokia wants more and the only way to get that would be for Nokia to promise exclusivity to Vodacom, who remains by the way the largest local service provider. They also did something similar with AT&T in the US with the Lumia 900.

Exclusivity of a much-anticipated device like the Lumia 800 would be something service providers would give a lot for. Maybe even a larger than life marketing campaign…..


The plot thickens… Once again Edrich makes a good point by focussing my attention the fact that MTN featured at Nokia World back in October 2011:

Why would Karel Pienaar, Managing Director and CEO, MTN South Africa have been a key figure at Nokia World end October? See below link and check Day 2 at 13:00. I doubt Nokia would shun MTN for Vodacom completely, just for Feb and March exclusivity. – Edrich

So one wouldn’t expect Nokia to shun MTN. So to try and get more clarity I did a bit more digging. In the comments section on someone named bladzok (joined their forums in 2005 so seems to be a tech follower) states the following:

So initially (the Lumia 800) will only be available on Vodacom and only through Vodacom Direct. That’s from Nokia. – Bladzok”

I know it’s only the comments section, and anyone could write what they want, but still…it’s quite interesting.

Also on another related article on, titled Nokia Windows Phone coming to most operators,author Jan Vermeulen revealed that The Lumia 800 will be available through most service providers, but also couldn’t clearly define launch dates:

Vodacom and 8ta have revealed that they plan to sell the Nokia Lumia 800, while MTN said that “planning for the supply of the Nokia Lumia 800 and 710 is at an advanced stage.” 8ta added that subject to device certification, they plan to offer the Nokia Lumia 800 on its Enterprise deals in Q1 2012. Vodacom and MTN didn’t have specific launch dates or pricing information to share, and Cell C and Virgin Mobile did not respond to our queries by the time of publication.

This is getting more & more intriguing, at least we only have to wait two more days to find out 🙂


One of the readers of All About Nokia SA (Edrich – again), has spoken to the sales people at a MTN store who confirmed that the Lumia 800 will launch at the beginning of February. Looks like I’ll have a lot to learn from my Hero 🙂

Nokia Lumia 800 lists as coming soon on Windows Phone South Africa website   Leave a comment

In order to learn more about the South African version of the Windows Phone  Marketplace I have been keeping an eye on what’s available. Up untill earlier today the only smartphones which were available locally were the HTC Trophy & the HTC Mozart. When checking again today, guess who joined the party…The Nokia Lumia 800 is now listed as “coming soon”.

After Nokia’s announcement that the exact release date and pricing will be announced before the end of the month (and the subsequent leak of the press invite for the launch event), this is just another sign that we do not have to wait much longer for the Lumia 800 to land at our shores. If you’ve still got questions about the Lumia 800 like reviews, specs & contract pricing (as soon as its available), be sure to check out the buyer’s guide.

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