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white Lumia

GLOBAL – Since launching the Nokia Lumia 800 late last year, we’ve been focused on delivering continuous enhancements to the phone through software updates. Today, we’re happy to announce the third software update in only four months.

This software version for the Lumia 800 (1600.2487.8107.12070) brings significant improvements in battery performance and power management. Originally scheduled for 18 April, we’ve now managed to bring the schedule forward.

But before you get all excited and reach out for that cable to connect your Lumia 800 to your Mac or PC, there’s just one more thing to know: the update will not span the globe all at once. It will be queued up over 4 weeks, beginning today (28 March) for the first batch. Subsequent phased updates will be on 4, 11 and 18 April. Click here to see if the update is available for your country or your operator. 

Why updates are like herding sheep

If you don’t see your country or operator listed in the first batch, or even the second one, you may feel like you’ve been passed over, but there is a reason for this. Firstly, every software update for Windows Phone has to go through Zune (or its alter ego, Windows Phone 7 Connector, on the Mac).

The real-life analogy that I can think about to describe this is herding sheep through a gate. For a Windows Phone partner, developing a smartphone is like that: there’s always a balance to be struck between what you can do and what you’d like to do, between what you can offer now and later. But due to the urgent need to get this update in the hands of people, we were able to bring the schedule forward, although not all at the same time.

And since the new software needs to go through the mandatory testing and approval from each and every operator, the variant for your network will be slotted into a batch as soon as it’s ready.

A trio of Lumia 800s

Now that we’ve established the software update schedule and the reasons for the phased rollout, let’s get into the juicier stuff – what the software update brings you.

We’ve heard your feedback and comments: better battery performance is what you really want. And that’s exactly what you’ll get. We put the software through rigorous tests, and what came out was an update that shows significant improvements in battery life, whether it’s for talk time in 3G networks, browsing over WiFi, music playback, or simply, the overall usage time. Our internal testing also showed that for smartphones with similar battery capacities (the Lumia 800 sports a 1450mAh battery), the Lumia 800 was now among the top performers in battery life for the key measures that we concentrated on.

Full power ahead

Since I updated my phone, my personal experience – on average these last two weeks – has been between 25 to 30 hours of battery life with my daily usage pattern: numerous phone calls and text messages, browsing, push email on three mail accounts, some music to and from work, some GPS (Drive and Maps) – and with the phone in flight mode for about 5 hours when I sleep. I must admit, though, I can’t claim to be a power user in any area, but I’m no lightweight either.

Along with battery, we’ve brought enhancements to the bass in the audio so that you get better voice quality and even more enjoyment out of Nokia Music. We’ve also ensured that the soft keys illuminate at all brightness levels settings.

I know some of you are keen to know when features like WiFi tethering will be available.  We can’t confirm at this stage exactly when it will be delivered, but rest assured it is on its way.  I hope you will agree that we’ve prioritized those enhancements that will give everyone the most enjoyment out of their Lumia 800.

In case it’s your first time, here’s a video explaining the update process:

In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy the new software update, and as always, we’d be happy to know what you think.