Upcoming Nokia Lumia 800 firmware update doesn’t fix most issues

UPDATE February 5: Please click here for the latest on this situation.
I think that we all want to see Nokia succeed as a Windows Phone OEM but as for right now, the Nokia Lumia 800 is, to put it simply, a bug ridden mess. The company has already promised a relatively big software update that should fix the dreadful battery issues, poor camera quality in low light conditions and many other quirks that users have encountered since the devices launch in November. Unfortunately I’m sad to announce that the upcoming Firmware version 1600.2483.8107.11501 (1600.2483.8106.11500 and 1600.2483.8107.11500 via Zune) which is soon to be rolled out barely changes anything (It’s available on Nokia’s servers and can be flash on any handsets with some trickery in Nokia Care Suite 5). There are only three notable changes:

- The OS is updated to Build 7.10.8107.79
- The battery can finally be charged to its max 1490/1510Mah capacity.

UPDATE January 14: Full battery capacity is now steadily going down (~1300Mah) after several recharges. So we are back to square one..not good…but this may or may not have any effect on the overall battery life
UPDATE January 15: The OS isn’t getting a correct reading of the Battery and shuts down the phone when there’s supposedly over 20% of battery left (even though the battery is flat). Here’s a photographic proof from another user who sent it tome via Twitter (thanks @bAN01TgAZ). This happened with 11451 and just restarted to happen to me last night with 11501 (UPDATE Jan 20: Never happened again since then):

As you can see and contrary to what some people/fanboys may think, I’m not trashing Nokia for the fun of it. Fact is that the Lumia 800 has either a totally busted firmware or every device out there has a hardware defect related to the battery/power management circuit.

- The Capacitive hardware buttons no longer light up unless the screen is set to auto-brightness or low (why not do like everybody else and implement a simple 5secs timer in all modes? No big deal though.)

So what does it really mean to us? Well, the HORRIBLE missing battery status issue which is affecting one of my handsets and many more in the world is still not fixed. The camera software is unchanged and still defaults to Marco mode when first launched. It also still shoots crappy greenish shots in low light.
- The digitizer sensitivity is still too high (or it’s simply badly grounded which means that it’s a hardware defect that can’t totally be fixed but only worked around via a firmware update like HTC did on the HTC Incredible and EVO 4G in 2010 and both had the same ATMEL mXT224 controler).
- The sound quality out of the headphones still has a drastic lack of bass and exhibits static noise/ Clicking when jumping from one track to another and finally the weird screen corruption issue (whole screen is shifted to the left for a few seconds or less) is still here.
Remember that I have 2 Nokia Lumia 800 handsets build at different dates, from different countries and both exhibit the same issues (but only one has the missing battery status problem and one still has the badly grounded screen issue).

Small update: I flashed back to the original 11414 firmware on my second Lumia 800 and the battery status is back but is totally bogus: It never reports the same status and the Diagnostics application doesn’t even detect it at all. What this means is that the firmware 11451 has definitely messed something up on the phone because it wasn’t like that when I first got the handset. Everything went south when the first official update was installed. Can somebody from Nokia please contact me ASAP? UPDATE Jan 21: Nokia contacted today about these issues and I will let you know how things pan out next week.

UPDATE 2: In case people think that I’m constantly bitching… here’s some more: my second Lumia 800′s battery is functional/visible by the OS but all the other issues still remain and that’s really the whole point of this post: Nokia apparently only “fixed” one single major issue (max battery charge) alongside 2 camera tweaks in this much anticipated update and simply doesn’t want to acknowledge if some of the other problems are hardware or software related.

UPDATE January 15: Photos shot with firmware 11501 have warmer colors than with previous builds (white balance is still busted indoors though) and the continuous auto-focus no longer gets stuck in video mode.

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