White Nokia Lumia 800

Color and material designer Tiina Aarras:

The story of the Nokia Lumia is one of reduction and purity. White is the ultimate colour of reduction. It’s also perfect for emphasising the black polished screen. If you stand a white Lumia 800 on a table the body almost disappears, and the black screen seems to lift up and float.

White nicely contrasts with the black display, but my preference is black; that way content seems to magically appear from nowhere on the OLED display. But I’m no fan of plastic.

After watching Plastic Planet I’m not too fond of plastics, including polycarbonate. Yes, it is a better radio transmitter, the main reason why Nokia chose the material, than metals like stainless steel, glass, or aluminum, but it is generally not recyclable or biodegradable.

I’m not attacking just Nokia for putting the performance of smartphone radio transmittance above using more earth-friendly materials; it just so happened that I watched Plastic Planet and today only a few days later I bumped into Nokia touting a new very difficult to perfect polycarbonate color for its Lumia 800.


Pure white is very, very difficult to achieve. We had to try hundreds of white pigments to achieve the right colour and opaqueness.

The hundreds of white polycarbonate chassis, all thrown out. And to think millions of Nokia Lumia 800s will eventually be littered all over the world, never to be biodegraded or recycled. Not so good.