Nokia Lumia 900

After attending a recent Nokia analyst event, the marketing folks at the company kindly allowed me to trial its new Nokia Lumia 900. The smartphone attracted significant attention at its unveiling at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 and it won the Best Smartphone award. Nokia's latest smartphone, Lumia 900, was released in the United States and Canada in April, 2012, and costs approximately $450.

The smartphone's design is pretty sleek and smart. The device is available in black, white, or cyan (mine is black and I must admit it looks good). The Lumia 900 has a uni-polycarbonate body and this simply means the handset is a single piece casing (no removable back cover). This means you can't get at the phone's battery and you access the SIM card by pressing a special Nokia key into the top of the smartphone.

The device's dimensions are 128mm (5 inches) in length, 69mm (2.7 inches) across, and 12mm (0.45 inches) deep, and weighs approximately 160 grams. The smartphone has a 4.3 inch touchscreen display with 217 pixels per inch (PPI). The Lumia 900 runs Windows Phone 7.5 Mango as its operating system. Unfortunately, the smartphone will not be able to be updated to Microsoft's soon to be released Windows Phone 8. The device has an 8 megapixel main-camera and 1 megapixel front-facing camera. Finally, the smartphone uses a 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 processor and 16 GB memory.

Conclusions from different mobile operating system users:

An Android user's perspective:

  • As a proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy SII (Android) smartphone, I was initially reluctant to swap to the Nokia Lumia 900 as my primary phone. I found the main menu format unfulfilling as I had probably gotten used to swiping left/right rather than scrolling down for my phone's functions. Nevertheless, after some quick modifications and application re-adjustment, I began to like the smartphone. The design is very sleek and there is a solid feel to the smartphone compared to my SII. Additionally, the graphics are very impressive and the smartphone easily handles multiple applications at once. This was a real bugbear for me with my old smartphone, particularly when I was browsing the Internet and listening to music simultaneously. There are some neat typing functions on the Lumia compared to my Android. Pretty simple stuff, such as a comma button on the same screen as the alphabet. Also, it automatically switches back to the alphabet screen after a symbol is pressed. Simple but time-efficient. Additionally, the battery life seems to be a lot better than my SII's and the device can easily last over a day of making calls, texting, web-browsing, and listening to music without needing a charge. My main complaint about the device is its inability to do "contact transfers" functions with my old Android smartphone. Furthermore, the Nokia marketplace is missing some seriously important apps: BBC iPlayer, Strava (cycling), The Times, and National Rail. Sorry for the strong UK bias here.

An iPhone user's perspective:

  • I found the device to be quite difficult to hold and it is heavy. I still prefer the iPhones compact size which is ideal for a device that at the end of the day is a phone, not a tablet. Nevertheless, I understand the advantage of a larger screen for typing and it is easier to do so than on my iPhone. Concerning the overall shape and design of the smartphone: I think it looks good, although I would prefer an on/off button on the bottom or top of the device like the iPhone. The side button makes it more likely to mistakenly switch the device on and call someone while in my pocket. Examining the user interface, I think older people will find it harder to use the Windows Phone operating system (OS) compared to Apple and Android. iOS is a lot simpler to use. Additionally, it's easier to switch between applications on my iPhone 4S than the Lumia 900, making multi-tasking a breeze. Two more annoyances I have with the Nokia Lumia 900: the Windows app store is too crowded. Apple's app store is more orderly and the layout is neat. Also, why is the font size on the top of the Windows Phone app store so BIG! The Internet Explorer browser is eons behind Safari or the new Chrome IOS. Tabs are difficult to get to and opening a new tab is tedious. Also, I hate the fact that Bing is the default search engine. Overall, I feel the Nokia Lumia 900 is trying too hard to be a smartphone. I don't particularly like the tiles that keep swiping in and out. I prefer the simplicity of Apple iPhone's interface, which lets me do what I want quickly and efficiently, and leaves out fancy UI gibberish.