How to get started with your Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphone

So, you’ve got your brand new Nokia Lumia 920 or Nokia Lumia 820. It’s a gorgeous piece of kit, but it also features a stunning new operating system in Windows Phone 8.

Here are a few tips on how to get started once you’ve powered up your phone for the first time.

Sign in

The first major thing you need to do with your Nokia Lumia phone is sign in using a Microsoft account. Through this you access your Hotmail (if you happen to use that for your email), your Xbox account, Messenger, SkyDrive and more. 

It’s not a compulsory step, but if you don’t have a Microsoft account you really will be limiting the use of your phone, so you really should create one. Trust us – it’ll be more than worth it.

Navigate

Let’s look at those buttons below the screen, shall we? Your Start button – the central one with the Windows sign on it – is probably the main button you’ll use. Press it from any point in Windows Phone 8 and you’ll return to the main menu. Pressing and holding it, meanwhile, will enable you to initiate speech commands to your phone for hands-free searching, messaging and the like.

To the right of the Start key is the Search key. Pressing this lets you kick off a Bing search.

To the left of the Start key is the Back key, which skips back to the previous page in whatever you’re doing. Alternatively, press and hold to bring up a multitasking menu composed of the most recent five things you’ve been doing.

Customise

Now you’ve got your Nokia Lumia smartphone you probably want to personalise it, right? The simplest and most useful way to do this is to pin the live tiles that matter to you to the Start page. To do this, go into the Apps list by scrolling right from the Start page, then press and hold the app you want to feature more prominently. You can also pin web pages, albums and more to your start page for easy access.

Another way to personalise is to change the colour of the live tiles and the main background. To do this, go into Settings > Theme and tap Accent colour or Background.

One popular personalisation option is to change your ringtone. To do this, go into Settings > Ringtones + sounds, then select the specific tone you want. You can also assign different ringtones to specific contacts by tapping a contact within the People hub, then selecting Edit > Ringtone.

Add contacts

The fastest way to add contacts to your Nokia Lumia with Windows Phone 8 is to add your email account. If you use Hotmail, Outlook.com or Live.com for your emails it’ll already be sorted (provided you signed in at the start).

If not, it’s a simple matter of going into Settings > Email + accounts > Add an account, then selecting the appropriate service (Google, Yahoo etc) and signing in. You should then be presented with the ability to sync your contacts.

It works exactly the same when you want to add your Facebook or Twitter contacts, with the added benefit that you’ll be able to monitor your feeds directly from within the People hub.

For more tips on setting up your Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphone, head on over to the Microsoft Windows Phone 8 How To page.