Nokia Lumia 900 Assessment


nokia lumia 900

Steve Kovach, Enterprise Insider

I am losing interest. 

Each time the FedEx man stops by my workplace, it is to ship one other cookie cutter smartphone stamped out of low-cost plastic for me to evaluate. The variations between every telephone are so refined, it is almost unimaginable to inform all of them aside now.

So it was refreshing to lastly get my palms on the Nokia Lumia 900, the brand new flagship telephone for Microsoft’s Home windows Telephone 7 platform.

From a design standpoint, the Lumia 900 is definitely essentially the most unique-looking smartphone on the market. Its physique is constituted of a single piece of sturdy polycarbonate plastic (out there in blue, black, or shiny white), giving the telephone a strong really feel that is a welcome departure from all these flimsy Android telephones flooding the market these days.

Sadly for Nokia, a reasonably face cannot clear up every little thing.

Briefly, the Lumia 900 is a jumbo-sized model of the Lumia 800, a Home windows Telephone Nokia launched abroad late final 12 months. The Lumia 900, with its bigger 4.3-inch display, will solely be out there in North America.

And it is the smartphone that is in all probability Microsoft’s final hope to avoid wasting its flailing Home windows Telephone platform, which has had lots of hassle gaining traction with customers since its debut in late 2010.

The smartphone conflict nonetheless appears like a two-man race proper now, with the iPhone and Android gadgets dominating the market. Is there nonetheless room for a 3rd contender? And if that’s the case, is Nokia’s Lumia 900 ok to make Home windows Telephone 7 the subsequent huge factor? 

Preserve studying for my full evaluate.

It’s also possible to click on right here for a bunch of pictures of the Nokia Lumia 900 >


Earlier than it is even turned on, you possibly can inform the lots of thought was put into the Lumia 900’s aesthetics. I used to be comfortable to see Nokia go along with a strong unibody design, and the polycarbonate plastic materials feels nice to grip on to. (There will even be a white model of the Lumia 900 that has a shiny end.)

On the aspect, there is a quantity rocker, energy button, and devoted digicam shutter button, which additionally launches the digicam app. Nokia positioned the digicam bit too low for my grip although, and it took awhile to coach myself to not unintentionally press it whereas holding the telephone throughout a name.

The Lumia 900 is lots skinny and lightweight too. It is not as svelte because the iPhone or different slim gadgets like Motorola’s Droid Razr, but it surely’s positively not too cumbersome both. Plus, every finish tapers off properly, making the Lumia 900 a delight to carry.

nokia lumia 900

You’ll be able to see the lip across the display right here.

Steve Kovach, Enterprise Insider

Regardless of the Lumia 900’s placing magnificence, it is not completely excellent although.

There’s an annoying raised lip that borders the display, making it really feel just like the show was sunken into the gadget as a substitute of positioned flush with the physique. It acts like a barrier between the telephone’s display and the remainder of the gadget. What makes this much more irritating is Nokia did not maintain the attractive curved show it used on the Lumia 800. Bummer. I used to be wanting ahead to that.

The buttons on my evaluate unit felt a bit of unfastened too, wiggling and jiggling round every time I picked up the telephone. 

{Hardware} and Efficiency

Issues get dangerous as soon as you turn the on the Lumia 900. The display is simply plain terrible. We’re in an period the place clients count on dazzling high-res shows. In the meantime, Nokia is utilizing a display that may’ve appeared mediocre two years in the past. 

Wanting on the Lumia 900’s spec sheet, it is fairly obvious Nokia did not put a lot effort into the display: 

The Lumia 900’s 4.3-inch display has a 800×480 pixel decision. For comparability, the iPhone’s 3.5-inch display has a whopping 960×640 decision. Meaning the Lumia 900 has so much fewer pixels unfold over a bigger space, leading to blurry photos and grainy textual content. Ugly. You will not see screens that poor on an iPhone or Samsung telephone. 

nokia lumia 900

The display is simply plain ugly.

Steve Kovach, Enterprise Insider

However the display is absolutely the one main flaw with the Lumia 900’s efficiency. The telephone runs on AT&T’s insanely quick 4G LTE community, which suggests you may get obtain speeds that may rival your cable modem’s. It is superior. Sadly, AT&T solely provides LTE service in about 30 U.S. cities proper now, so be sure you ask should you’re lined before you purchase. Everybody else can be caught on AT&T’s slower HSPA+ or 3G networks.

Battery life was fairly good too. I used to be simply in a position to get greater than a day’s use out of the Lumia 900, even with the power-hungry LTE turned on. Nonetheless, the stand-by battery life wasn’t so nice. The battery appeared to empty so much sooner than regular, although the display was powered off. Maybe the LTE is in charge for that.

Regardless of all of the speak surrounding the Lumia 900 digicam’s Carl Zeiss lens, I discovered its efficiency to be simply so-so. It solely shoots 720p HD video. That is fairly disappointing, contemplating most premium smartphones can shoot full 1080p HD video. The 8 MP digicam does take respectable pictures although. Here is one I lately snapped close to my workplace:

union square subway station taken with Lumia 900

This photograph was taken with the Lumia 900.

Steve Kovach, Enterprise Insider

I often gloss over name high quality after I evaluate telephones, however I needed to write about it right here. The Lumia 900 audio high quality is simply unbelievable. Even individuals on the opposite finish seen how a lot better I sounded. The telephone did an incredible job at blocking out all of the extraneous noise from the streets of New York.

The draw back: I really feel like I am yelling right into a tin can after I speak on my iPhone now.

Utilizing Home windows Telephone 7

At present, {hardware} and specs on a smartphone can solely get you up to now. The actual story behind the Lumia 900, moreso than the bodily gadget, is the working system. 

The Lumia 900 is powered by Home windows Telephone 7, the OS Microsoft launched a couple of 12 months and a half in the past. Since then, Microsoft has launched one new main model of Home windows Telephone 7 known as “Mango,” which is what the Lumia 900 runs on right now.

Home windows Telephone 7 is radically totally different from iOS on the iPhone and Google’s Android. As a substitute of a house display plagued by apps, your display is now a grid of what Microsoft calls “Stay Tiles.” These Stay Tiles are little squares and rectangles that replace in actual time with information, climate, sports activities scores, unread emails, calendar occasions, and so on. The thought is to allow you to soak up all of your on-line updates in a fast look. Tapping a type of tiles will launch the complete app.

Just like the Lumia’s design, Home windows Telephone 7 is a refreshing departure from different smartphones. The general design is attractive and straightforward to navigate. Microsoft calls this its “Metro” interface, and it will be used within the new Home windows 8 desktop and pill working system that launches this fall.

One among my favourite components is how properly Home windows Telephone 7 integrates with all of the social networks and on-line providers you already use. For instance, when you log into your Fb, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn account, all of your social exercise is instantly sucked into Home windows Telephone’s interface.

Need to see you probably have any new replies on Twitter? Simply faucet the “Me” tile to get a fast snapshot of what is going on on. You’ll see Fb and LinkedIn exercise there too, multi functional useful checklist. Your Fb photograph albums get pulled into the telephone’s photograph app as properly.

I am a giant fan of the care some builders took when bringing their apps to Home windows Telephone 7. Foursquare, for instance, has been redesigned from the bottom up. Frankly, I feel it is prettier and extra helpful than it’s on iPhone or Android. Similar goes for Spotify, Fb, and Evernote. Sadly, the app choice on Home windows Telephone 7 is fairly lame. (Extra on that in a bit.)

It is Not All Good

Now do I feel Home windows Telephone 7 is the most effective smartphone platform on the market? No. That title nonetheless goes to iOS on the iPhone. There are a handful of obtrusive issues with Home windows Telephone 7 that can in all probability be a dealbreaker for some individuals.

Probably the most notable downside is the poor app choice. 

Proper now, you may discover a handful of big-name apps within the Home windows Telephone Market: Evernote, Twitter, Netflix, Foursquare, Spotify, and Fb are all there. Aside from that, it is principally junk. For instance, lots of smutty apps like “HD Babes Free” and knockoff video games like “Tetris7” comprise the Market’s most-downloaded lists.

nokia lumia 900

The Spotify app on Home windows Telephone.

Steve Kovach, Enterprise Insider

And on the subject of scorching new apps, builders nonetheless are likely to make them for iPhone and Android first, usually ignoring Home windows Telephone 7 as a result of it has such a tiny person base. Instagram, which solely lately got here to Android, is certainly one of them. I might be shocked to see a Home windows Telephone 7 model of Instagram any time quickly.

Home windows Telephone 7 can also be lacking just a few useful options that ought to come customary in smartphones right now. Notifications are just about nonexistent. Meaning you probably have an app open, you will not know what is going on on till you shut it and take one other take a look at your Stay Tiles.

Multitasking is a ache too. With the intention to view apps which can be working within the background, it’s a must to maintain down the again arrow key. This brings up a slideshow of tiles along with your most up-to-date apps. So far as I can inform, there isn’t any option to get these apps to shut for good.

Throughout my time with the Lumia 900, I did not have a single downside with Home windows Telephone 7’s performance. The whole lot labored completely. Apps opened immediately. Graphics and animations had been clean. It was enjoyable to make use of.

Then, as if on cue, the OS began bugging out on me as I sat down to put in writing my evaluate. The complete apps checklist would not load immediately after I swiped over from the house display. As a substitute, every particular person app would pop into view after just a few seconds. I additionally skilled a very good quantity of app crashes. Home windows Telephone 7 is due for an additional replace quickly, so hopefully these points can be mounted. Within the meantime, it is only a ache.

Ought to You Purchase It?

The Lumia 900 boils down to 2 obtrusive issues: the display decision is horrible by right now’s requirements and the Home windows Telephone 7 software program suffers from a handful of deadly flaws, most notably the poor number of apps.

However at simply $100 with a two-year contract from AT&T, you are getting an honest deal, particularly contemplating the Lumia 900 is a 4G LTE telephone. (Verizon tends to cost its LTE telephones at an unreal $300.)

The Lumia 900 does its greatest to offer a premium smartphone expertise at a fraction of the value. It does not fully succeed, but it surely’s not a nasty buy should you’re on a price range. However should you do not thoughts spending an additional $100, you are actually higher off with an iPhone or high-end Android telephone like Samsung’s Galaxy S II.


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