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.

UPDATE January 17: FYI Here’s a video from another user that illustrate the bad screen grounding even when the phone is not being charged:

  • Anonymous

    You think somebody from Nokia will read this post ?? LOL.

  • Glen

    Nokia should ask HTC to write their firmware. I wished I kept my bug free HTC HD7 phone now. Lumia 800 audio is the worst experience of any phone.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZSR4VOVCP4ZRSSYZSYVABRBBEM Irfaan

    Downloaded Nokia Care 5, where did you get the firmware from? thanks

  • MickyMax

    The battery performance is not better?

  • Benjamin Sanders

    From what I remember the camera update wasn’t promised to be part of the first two updates they released but simply acknowledged that one was being worked on.

    As for some of the other issues I think they may be hardware/faulty device problems. Certainly I don’t have the poor audio/bass that some have reported or the missing battery status. The screen is slightly too sensitive for my tastes when compared to my HD7 but I’ve become used to it.

    Nevertheless it’s a shame if this is the new firmware and it hasn’t addressed more of the reported problems even if they’re not universal.

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Yes on my second Lumia 800 Battery performance is improved compared to the previous firmware.

  • Anonymous

    is the firmware beta or a branch of the real firmware?

  • Dino

    “The battery can finally be charged to its max 1430Mha capacity”
    My friend has a new demo unit from Nokia and it has 1490mAh battery capacity. So I assume you meant 1500 mAh, right?

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Yes it was a Typo on my part. Thanks for the heads up

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    I personally don’t know but given that it’s available on Nokia’s Servers via DPM and Care Suite (which is used by Nokia Care centers to update/Refurbish handsets) it’s safe to assume that it’s the real deal. Unless another updated version shows up in the coming days.

  • Anonymous

    Even though all updates are welcome, I’ve noticed no bugs on my Lumia 800. Also the battery was fine when I got in november 2011. It’s a shame there are some devices with some issues. Every issue is one too many. However, considering the estimated sales and satisfaction ratings , the Lumia 800 is no bug ridden mess .

  • Glen

    Firmware 1600.2483.8107.11501

    Charged to full capacity for a few days. Now the maximum capacity is 1319 mAh.
    Audio system still has loud interference noises.

  • bAN01TgAZ

    btw: The image was from the homebrew app ‘Battery Status’ from Singularity @ XDA-Devs.

  • Anonymous

    Even though I know you’re not trashing Nokia for the fun of it, it is just not true that either the Nokia Lumia 800 firmware is totally busted or every device out there has a hardware defect related to the battery/power management circuit.

    Fact is some devices out there have battery issues that should be resolved ASAP! However, another fact is my Nokia Lumia 800 and others I have personally seen or read about have no battery issues.

    So, while it’s good to point out and share known issues, I don’t think you’re helping anyone by overreacting and trashing. Hopefully future Nokia updates improve the best smartphone experience I’ve ever had. Take care!

  • Hands0n

    “… the best smartphone experience I’ve ever had.”  

    Are you absolutely sure about that? Hardware issues aside, WP7.5 is a work in progress compared to the smartphone OS it is supposedly challenging. The Lumia 800 is just a lump of silicone, plastic, glass and metal without the OS, and I have found WP7.5 extremely wanting. Running three OS side by side, day by day, the WP7 experience is a bag of worms that the eye candy of the Metro UI does little to detract from. I could write a book about the litany of quirks and pain points that are WP7. 

    Now couple that OS to what appears to be very variable manufacturing quality of the hardware, as being reported on just about every blog and forum, it makes for rather bad reading. It is also making me feel lucky that I opted to evaluate WP7 on more stable and reliable hardware than the Lumia 800. 

    As things stand right now, Microsoft and Nokia are making it very hard to even begin to like WP7 the OS and Lumia 800 the hardware. 

  • Anonymous

    Yep, absolutely sure and absolutely love both the Lumia 800 and Windows Phone. For the first time I have a smartphone that is about me, my life and the people and stuff I care about. Out of the box.

    For what I need out of a smartphone, Windows Phone is much better than when my life was about caring for my smartphone, ROMs and apps.  

  • Glen

    On your Lumia 800 can you hear any loud noises when you move between songs while playing? My Lumia 800 you can here the noises at zero volume & at 1-30.

    Windows Phone OS is amazing. WP7 & 7.5 worked amazingly well the less powerful HTC HD7.

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    It is a known issues. I have it on both my Lumia and the latest firmware doesn’t fix it.

  • roger

    Does anyone has issues where the screen just starts moving on its own or typing characters by itself? I have these issues and when I went back to my provider the device all of a sudden behaved fine. 30 mins back home and it started having a mind of its own again. I like the device and can see the potential of WP7 though there are still many things that need to be fixed…..

  • Anonymous

    Regardless of the volume level while playing, there’s a slight audible tick between songs, both when I skip manually and after a song ends. Did not notice it before you asked and I started listening for it.

  • http://martin.suchan.id.email.cz/ Martin Suchan

    I don’t think so, the notorious ‘changing MAC when rebooted’ is still there on HTC devices.

  • Glen

    Based on HTC HD7 experiences from OS WP7 – 7.5.

    My Lumia 800 (1600.2483.8107.11501) problems include:- 

    1. Moving tiles long distances on the home screen does not flow properly. You need to drop the tile first before continuing.
    2. Keyboard has intermittent delays causing the user to see the same character 2 or 3 times.
    3. Critical alarm goes off too early and minutes later the OS battery is no longer critical.
    4. Moving between songs there is a loud noise at zero volume and 1-30 levels. While playing a song, lock the phone and wait 5 seconds. Then unlock your phone and quickly move between songs, there is no noise for a few seconds and then it starts again.
    5. Sound quality is poor from the loud speaker, Bluetooth and audio jack.
    6. Nokia feedback within the settings tab has been limited to once only now. Nokia does not seem interested in customers providing ongoing feedback.
    7. The Nokia drive direction voice occasionally stutters, taking about a minute to complete one command.
    8. Video play back frames are missed on some videos. Audio keeps working.
    9. Battery does not charge to manufactures specification.
    10. Battery saver function is not working properly. On HTC HD7, Battery Saver (low) makes a big different.
    11. Camera quality is poor for a Nokia phone.
    12. Camera is set to macro by default.
    13. Video auto focus still needs more improvements.
    14. Low volume level is too high from audio jack. High volume level from the speaker is too low. Poor bass levels.

    OS UI now flows smoother on the new firmware.

    Nokia will push new consumers back to other phone operating system if these issues are not fixed urgently. Don’t give up on Window Phone, Nokia firmware is the bug ridden mess.

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Good summery of what I’ve experienced so far. I will just add: FW 11414 making the battery magically disappear from my second Lumia 800.
    To be perfectly ethical; the HTC Titan I had for a month also had some nasty bugs too (which are also now fixed or in the course of being fixed).
    The Video playback issues (skipped frames) are, on the other hand, OS (Mango) related as far I can can see  and are affecting all 2nd Gen/ MSM8255 powered devices that I have played with regardless of manufacturer and model.

  • Anonymous

    My Lumia 800 (1600.2483.8106.11500):-

    1. Don’t have that problem
    2. Used have the problem prior to this update. Don’t have that problem anymore
    3. Havent noticed this at all
    4. I have noticed this, its not a loud noise, a little crackle, but still annoying.
    5. Sound quality is poor from the loud speaker only here.
    6. Yup
    7. Don’t have that problem
    8. This is a WP Mango/2nd gen QUALCOMM driver issue
    9. Don’t have that problem
    10. Slightly bogus claim.
    11. Agreed, it has improved but there’s room for improvement. Still, its better than every other Windows Phone (Atleast during the day)
    12. Don’t have that problem
    13. Completely fixed on mine.
    14. Don’t have that problem, all sounds fine.

  • Anonymous

    I’m curious. Wherever did you find update 1600.2483.8107.11501, when the official seems to be 1600.2483.8107.11500? 

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    11501 and 11500 are the same. The only difference is that one is located on Nokia’s servers and available through Nokia Care Suite/DPM since last week and dedicated to Nokia Care support centers while the other (11500) is on MS’s server and pushed to end-users via Zune starting today. Nokia always does this to differentiate devices update by users and those update by Nokia themselves.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, wasn’t aware of that. What if the version let out by Nokia themselves was bugged?

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    It is unfortunately not. I garbed the 11500 one a few hours ago just in case and they are exactly the same (same binaries, same files, exactly same size..and same outcome/bugs..).

  • Anonymous

    Sounds worryingly much to be hardware defects then, if there are many working devices as well. I’m quite sure Compal might be sweating right now. 

  • http://www.mobiletechworld.com MobileTechWorld

    Problem is that Nokia isn’t open at all about all the issues (some may
    or may not be hardware related) and even the 2 lines change log for the
    new FW is ridiculous given that it includes more changes than just
    Battery and Wifi perfs improvements. Many devices are affected according to what I have experienced first hand and what I’ve seen reported in the support forums worldwide.

  • glencross

    Remember the Microsoft employee who got sacked? Maybe Nokia and Microsoft should have taken constructive criticism on board. 8/10 was very generous !

     “I just got a chance to try out one of the slickest looking Nokia phones I have ever seen. Soon, you will too! ”

     “Overall I would say an 8. Solid feel, good camera, responsive UI, and nice little touches on the body construction.”

  • roger

    Considering the amount of marketing funding Nokia is spending, them openly acknowledging all these issues would definitely have a negative impact. Nonetheless it leaves users like us very frustrated about the bugs we encounter….regardless whether they are HW or SW related.

    I can tell you that the video on screen behavior is nothing compared to the behavior ive seen on my phone. It sucks though that I can not reproduce is, making such bugs difficult to prove.

  • Stephen T.

    “The camera software is unchanged and still defaults to Marco mode when first launched.” I don’t have this issue – never have. Currently on 7740.

    “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).” Can’t comment on that but honestly haven’t had an issue with either stand out.

    “… the sound quality out of the headphones still has a drastic lack of base and exhibits static noise/ Clicking when jumping from one track to another.” I have read about this on other forums and can honestly say I do not experience these issues. Sound is rich through both my Bose in-ear headphones and Sennheiser sports headphones. Was a studio sound engineer in a previous career and if I was experiencing the same issues as others have been reporting I would very unimpressed and it would stand out like a sore thumb. I also listen to a lot of drum and bass

    “Finally the weird screen corruption issue (whole screen is shifted to the left for a few seconds or less) is still here.” Never had that issue either.

    I do, however, have the 998mah battery issue. The differences in handset performance is almost unbelievable and Nokia have a lot to answer for. Where is the quality control that Nokia pride themselves on? Are these handsets made in different factories? I’m in Australia but bought it unlocked from Hong Kong. My 2 cents.

  • Anonymous

    Actually my LG Optimus 7 does that too, so it’s not only on Lumia devices. Qualcomm driver issue?

  • Anonymous

    Compal made devices, I’m afraid. Not in Nokia’s own factories.

  • Xtreme

    “The camera software is unchanged and still defaults to Marco mode when
    first launched.”
    I have this issue also.

    “It also still shoots crappy greenish shots in low light.”
    Same issues here.

    the weird screen corruption issue (whole screen is shifted to the left
    for a few seconds or less) is still here.”
    I have that issue constantly. Usually appears when I’m writing to Messenger. I remember it happening on other places also.

    do, however, have the 998mah battery issue.”
    Mine is 980mAh. That sucks.

    “Are these
    handsets made in different factories?”
    Afaik these phones have different brand batteries. That’s the reason I believe.

    This WP is supposed to be Microsoft Windows OS, right? ..So where is the confirmation questions then?
    I have accidentally deleted many of my emails. I hate that. It should ask if I really want to delete.

    And bw, I have the firmware *.*.7740.*

  • Glen

    HTC firmware update received today. Solves MAC address problem.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks. Could be a Qualcomm driver issue.

  • Anonymous

    There are many working devices as well, in my experience. Probably far more working than not.

    But that doesn’t matter. Let’s hope Nokia pinpoints the source and either fix or replace those with issues.

  • Anonymous

    It’s funny how people tolerate all Microsoft-related problems and are willing to torture themselves no matter what.

  • earl

    Capacitive hardware buttons of my phone no longer light up after the update.. are there any solutions other than restoring it back??