The Opening Screen
The Opening Screen
Windows Phone 8 starts with an opening screen that tells basic information even before you start using the phone, including the type and strength of wireless connections, the state of the battery charge, and the time, date and the number of emails you have waiting. An upward flick of the finger slides this screen out of the way so you can see the start screen.
T-Mobile's Default Opening Screen
This is what you get when you first use the T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 810. Yes, they really did color the tiles that awful color called “T-Mobile Magenta." But you can change it.
The Opening Screen Modified
Once I found the settings icon, the first thing I did was change the color of the opening screen. Changing the shape, size and position of the tiles happens by pressing and holding a tile until the arrows appear, then either sliding it to a new location, changing its size or shape, or removing it from the opening screen. On the bottom border, you can see the arrow, which backs up to the previous screen, the search icon, which invokes Bing, and the Windows Start button, which always takes you back to this screen.
Scrolling Down the Tiles
You can scroll vertically through several screens of tiles. Exactly how far depends on how many tiles you add to the start screen. If you scroll sideways, you'll get a list of all of the apps currently installed on the phone.
Finding a List of Apps
Slide the Start Screen to the left, and you get this list of apps. Note that they're divided by the beginning letter, and there's a search function to make them easy to find.
Apps Listed by Initial Letters
The list of apps is divided into lists according to the initial letter of the app name. The letter tiles stay at the top of the screen as you scroll until you get to the next letter. If you press and hold any of the icons on the app entries, you'll get a menu that will let you show the app on the Start Screen, uninstall it or share it.
Search by Bing
Pressing the search button (the magnifying glass icon) on the phone opens up Bing, which will let you search the Web. You already know how the search bar works. The eyeball icon lets you scan barcodes, quick-response codes and the like. The musical-note icon will listen to music and tell you what you're hearing. The icon that looks like houses will search near you for points of interest.
Search for a Restaurant
Tapping on any of these entries will bring up basic information about the restaurant as well as related reviews, rating sites and recommendations.
Maps That Work
The Lumia's version of Bing includes mapping. You can get information about your surroundings through several means, including Bing Maps, Nokia Drive and Local Scout. There's also City Lens, which is an augmented-reality app that's included on the phone and shows what's in front as you swing the phone from one direction to another.
Accurate Aerial Photos
The mapping feature on the Nokia phone shows the Washington Monument (it's the tag marked 2) where it actually is, unlike Apple Maps, which showed it down by the shores of the Potomac.
Examining the Phone's Exterior
The bottom edge of the phone reveals a micro-USB plug and a pair of speakers.
Left Side View
The left side of the Nokia Lumia 810 is arranged as has been the practice for earlier Lumia models. On the top side edge is the volume control. Below that, is the button that puts the Lumia to sleep or wakes it up again. Moving toward the bottom of the phone is the button for operating the camera.
Top Edge View
The earphone connector is on the top of the device.
Carl Zeiss Optical System
Nokia uses a Carl Zeiss lens system and an 8-megapixel sensor on the built-in camera. There's also an LED flash. Unlike its predecessor, the Lumia 900, the camera system has eliminated problems with blooming and color accuracy. Unfortunately, it has not eliminated lens glare, but it's not as bad as it was on the 900.
Finally the End
The right side of the phone is unadorned. You can hold it here without worrying that you're unintentionally pressing any buttons.