One of the problems we've seen with Windows Phone devices thus far is that if you've seen one Windows Phone, you've basically seen them all. After all, how much can you do when all the phones feature the same basic specifications and are dominated by a similar touchscreen. The answer usually is "not much."

Or so we thought... Nokia has proven to the industry that it can do Windows Phone better than the competition. Its Lumia 800 features one of the best hardware designs found on a smartphone today -- on any platform -- it also comes bundled with Nokia-developed software that makes the company look like they've been writing Windows Phone apps for years. In short, it's a fantastic smartphone that truly takes Windows Phone to the next level. Read on.

Hardware

While virtually every Windows Phone smartphone is the same on the software front, give or take an app or two, hardware is where manufacturers can build some differentiation. It shows that Nokia has taken that approach with the Lumia 800. The 800's body is carved out of a solid block of polycarbonate, just like the Nokia N9 that it shares most external traits with. There are no seams on the body, and its tapered design feels wonderful in the palm of your hand.

On top of that, it's flat out gorgeous, thanks in no small part to the 3.7-inch ClearBlack ~AMOLED touchscreen display that blends into it, with the deep blacks and bright, saturated colors that show off Windows Phone's Metro user interface so well. The curved Corning Gorilla glass on the 480 x 800 pixel screen makes the phone as much a pleasure to touch as it is to look upon. It is, without question, one of the best looking devices ever been made.

I don't normally go for covered micro-USB charging/data ports on a phone, but the magnetic latch on the Lumia 800's body is elegantly designed and looks as good as it operates. The micro-SIM card tray that sits next to it is also quite trick. The other features of the phone's body sit primarily on the rounded right edge. That's where you'll find the power button, volume control, and the camera shutter button.

A small speaker/microphone grill can be found on the flat bottom edge of the phone, and the 3.5mm headphone jack can be found up top. The rear of the phone is plain, except for the metal piece that adorns the camera's lens and the dual-LED flash that sits above it.

The phone features 16GB of internal storage, but lacks a microSD memory card slot, owing to the fact that Windows Phone doesn't support hot-swappable memory cards. There's also no user-swappable battery, but that's the price you pay for such a pretty body design.

The Nokia Lumia 800 measures a fairly compact 116.8mm x 61.2mm x 12.1mm (4.6in x 2.4in x .5in), but still has a decent amount of heft to it. Its 143.7g (5.1oz) weight makes it feel solid, without feeling burdensome. You can add the fitted, and included, color-matched cover for an additional 14g of weight and a fair amount of additional protection.