Nokia Lumia 800 to be sold at Microsoft Stores optimized for AT&T

Yesterday, it was revealed that the Nokia Lumia 800 will be sold here in the US through Microsoft's growing chain of stores as well as online. Since there are no plans for any US carriers to sell the 800, buying it unlocked through Microsoft is really the only way consumers here can grab that phone.

The big question everyone has was what GSM bands would this feature? We just met with Microsoft and Nokia and figured we'd ask. Turns out, it will be optimized for AT&T, which depending on your current carrier (and loyalty) is good or bad news. Here are the bands it will support:

  • WCDMA/HSPA+: 850/1900/2100
  • GSM/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900

No details on exact release dates but we're probably looking at just a few weeks at both Microsoft Stores and their online market. It should be a pretty good score though for those who want the smaller Lumia as the 900 can be quite large for small hands.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • How annoying for those of us on T-Mobile.  EDGE only.
    An AT&T Lumia 900 on contract will probably be cheaper (and definitely will be faster).  AT&T's prepaid plans aren't very good for smartphones, and if you're going to go for a postpaid contract plan, you might as well take the discount on the 900 rather than pay full retail for the 800.
    I suppose one could pop in a SIM from an AT&T MVNO, but that's a niche application.  I cannot imagine they'll sell many of these.
    Meanwhile, we T-Mo people only get the entry level handsets, despite having the best network to showcase WP on (America's largest 4G network).  Sigh.
  • I thought there was some controversy a while back about AT&T adding a data plan to your account automatically if you use a smartphone on their network. I.e., you'd be paying the same as contract as long as you use their network?
  • They were doing that at one point; but they now have Pay Go smartphone plans - so hopefully, those plans will be applicable here.  The benefit, even if you still have to pay contract prices, is that if after say, 1 year, you decide to change phones, you don't have to deal with waiting for your upgrade to kick in, or paying ETF's.
  • Wasn't 3G roaming part of the T-mobile / AT&T deal when they couldn't merge?  So in theory you should be able to get the Lumia 800, pop in a T-mobile SIM and roam on AT&Ts 3G network without any addional fees... again... in theory!  Which for me is great since T-mobile still doesn't 3G in my neck of the woods!
  • I know plenty people just love unlocked, but...if I'm planning to stay with AT&T anyways, I might as well get the 900 - probably cheaper with subsidy then an unlocked 800?
  • Having a hard time understanding the rationale for this.
    If WP7 wasn't already niche enough, here's a super-niche handset?
  • I think the L900 might be beyond by size range, but I will wait and see.  If this deal also applies to the online Microsoft Store, then I will get the L800!  At this point in time, we don't have a brick and mortar Microsoft store.
  • I think this is great news providing they come stocked in Cyan and Magenta too.   The only unlocked Lumia I could pick up in December was the Black model.. :/
  • Would this phone work on VZW?
  • Unfortunately for us, no. All the latest phones are GSM and the only expected announcement for CDMA networks (VZW & Sprint) is the Nokia Lumia 710 coming to Verizon.
  • I don't get this.  I thought Verizon supported WCDMA 1900/2100?
  • Why did you think that?
  • Love the 800 and will definitely pick one up. As I've said before a smaller phone paired with a larger pad and tethered together is the way I prefer to roll. The slabs are great but not for everyone. I also have no need for the FFC, but your mileage may vary. All around, great news the last 2 days. Keep it coming.
  • At least $50 more a month for the same plan on ATT vs Tmobile. Really sucks TMo is only getting cheapo phones now.
  • Come on son Plan prices arent that skewed!
  • It's not $50, but in general cheapo plan = cheapo phones. Riiiight?
  • Well that sucks... I guess Microsoft wants me to leave Windows Phone?  As there are no good devices on T-Mobile, or for that matter on Verizon or Sprint.  How hard would it be to add one more band (1700/2100) on the device?  The chipset supports quad bands.
    I am not happy.
  • Well, that's some real BS right there.
  • now it's time to open MS stores in canada damit!
  • Looks like what happened with the first iPhone.  Only on at&t.  Isnt that just dandy, just like good times....
  • is there any way to be outraged at microsoft.. at&t gets 3! exclusive phones... sprint and verizon get NOTHING......... what the fuck are they thinking.... if more people have access to a product, more people will buy it.. its that simple... im a plumber and i know more about marketing that these ass clowns... makes me want to buy an android on principle now... thanks for screwing so many people at&t and of course greedy microsoft that got a few million bucks payday to do this... 
  • I wouldn't assume that Microsoft holds the cards here. Typically in this situation, your carrier is to blame more than anything else (although not always). Nokia seems to be trying its best to spead its phones across as many carriers as possible, but AT&T does also have a known proficiency at phone exclusivity.
  • Microsoft is to blame due to their exclusive support of a chipset that doesn't support pentaband. 
    All of Nokia's recent high end phones (up to and including the N9) were pentaband. Obviously Nokia is perfectly willing to sell pentaband phones. Their big hurdle is the limited choice they have in the underlying hardware, speicifcally, the inability to use chipsets with pentaband support.
  • Why blame Microsoft? They don't make the phones and they want them on all carriers as much as we do. I guess it's getting to where only the higher priced carriers are taking the higher end phones.
  • Microsoft, nor the oems, can force these carriers to carry these phones.  Every carrier in the U.S. is aware of the WP OS at this point; there is no excuse for Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile to not have more than the number of devices they already carry; they don't want more!
    Even though Samsung and HTC don't have any CDMA variants of their 2nd gen devices, why haven't they made any?  I will bet that if you asked Samsung and HTC, they will tell you that neither Verizon or Sprint has lust for WP devices; and T-Mobile doesn't seem to be financially equipped to carry high end WP devices (they barely made an effort with the HD7, and that was in  2010!).  Come to think of it, Samsung has NEVER made a CDMA device for WP! 
    All in all, AT&T is the only carrier in the U.S. that has faith in the WP platform, and for that, I will be signing up with AT&T.
  • But they manufacturers themeselves are still incapable of creating a proper pentaband phone due to WP7 hardware restrictions. Whether or not T-Mobile wanted to carry the N9 had no relevance to Nokia, they simply wanted to make a high end phone and to them that means pentaband. Google similarly decided that pentaband belongs in a high end phone.
    Nokia obviously has a recent pre-disposition to pentaband phones. The fact that none of their recent WP7 phones have a pentaband radio is just another slight against WP7's extremely slow chasis spec evolution. We have no NFC, no pentaband and no high res screens.  
    I feel bad for Nokia. 
  • any US carrier can get WP devices if they commit resources to the OEM and carrier for orders sufficient to get a contract for the device.  If a carrier does not have it they havent secujred their talk with the right amounts of investment.  So dont blame anyone for the phones your carrier does not have except your carrier.  Its nobodies fault but theirs. Money talks and hot air walks (on mid to low level devices.)
  • Mate, if you want to be pissed off at anyone it should be your own Telco! Don't bother MS or ATnT for verison/tmobile/sprints lack of interest in your ecosystem. You obviously care for WP right? So dies MS and ATnT right? Then vote with your wallet and jump ship. If something is "worth it" then you would pay for it right? If you don't then your Telco will know that they made the right decision.
  • So basically you should support which ever carrier has the deepest pockets in the bidding war (which usually translates directly to how overpriced their services are)?
  • I was a bit surprised to find out you can buy the Lumia 800 at your local Fry's Electronics store. They are selling the unlocked version for $799 both online and in store. My local Fry's has it in stock today according to their web site.
  • Theorically this phone could be brought to Mexico, because it's unlocked and is compatible with the bands, that's a good thing for those like me who want this phone.
  • Well I am switching from Sprint to At&t for the Lumia 900. I was looking for an alternative for my wife and saw this article. She loves the design of the 900 but prefers a smaller phone. The 800 would be perfect for her, even if it'll cost me more.
  • I may go this route if the price is right. Though I'm with AT&T not elegible for an upgrade for quite a while.
    Not making any assumptions yet. I want to feel and see these phones (800 and 900) in my hand before I do anything.
  • Tmo, Sprint and Verizon dont seem to be pushing hard enough to get (Premium)windows phone devices on their networks at all. Sucks for their customers.......
  • I would say it sucks for MS. Their customers will be just fine going with a Galaxy Nexus or iPhone instead.
  • Does the lumia 800 support 1700Mhz? I would actually sell my titan to get it (at&t is so greedy with that device that they wont even give me an unlock code for it, I've been able to carrier unlock all other devices except the titan) I've been holding onto the titan just in case i do jump ship, but like other commenters have said the price is rediculous. I currently have unlimited talk,data, and text for 100 buck for 2 lines on tmo
  • With the Lumia 900 being an AT&T exclusive, the least they could do was make this Lumia 800 work on T-Mobile's 3g/4g network. Alas, we can't get everything we want in this world.
  • This is kind of annoying that the 800 wouldn't be available subsidized by AT&T.  I plan to move my wife an I from verizon to get Nokia WP7 phones when our contract runs out in april and though i love the 900 my wife doesn't want such a big phone.  the 800 would be perfect for her.  But i'll have to pay full price for her 800 and still pay the bloated prepaid prices even though her phone won't be subsidized.  Thats pretty much a deal breaker for me. 
    I'm surprised the 800 isn't being subsidized by any carriers. 
    and i really hate verizon for basically giving microsoft and nokia the finger.
  • listening to what microsoft and nokia said this week during CES it's pretty clear that the 800 never was meant for the us and them offering it now is probably do to how popular the phone has become tons of them on ebay the bigger 900 was made for us thanks to all you people who need to carry a phone hafe the size of my touchpad around so stop complaining lol we the consumers scoff at any phone that dosent have 4.0 or higher screen so i dont blame nokia/microsoft for only pushing the 800 in the uk and other countries but they have given us an option im guessing it will be 499.00 but thats pretty close to the prices on ebay so maybe they should have sweet talk verizon when they were doing all the 4g LTE testing on the 800 (but we all know which os verizon is in love with) ...i keep given up hope on getting this phone yet it keeps calling to me it's the perfect size for me but i'll just get the 900 cause im not willing to pay 500 on a phone right now 
  • I am chomping at the bit to switch to Windows Phone, but the lack of visual voicemail on ATT is a deal breaker for me.  I bought an HTC Titan and returned it the same day when ATT informed me that they don't support visual voicemail on windows phone.  I'm hoping with the Nokia Lumia 900 ATT will get their act together and activate the visual voicemail feature.  It's the best thing about the iPhone and I can't imagine going back to regular voicemail.