Nokia Lumia 900 Review
Naturally, we like that the handset features a dedicated shutter key to instantly launch the camera app – even when it’s locked. Yet again, the interface is familiar, as it sports a relatively clean look with very few items cluttering it up. No doubt we like the wealth of shooting and manual options available with it, but even better, we find it ever so useful getting quick access to our photos by simply executing a left to right swiping motion in the interface.
For all the talk surrounding its 8-megapixel snapper with Carl Zeiss optics, we are underwhelmed by the results – mainly because we were expecting better quality. Being most effective with macro and outdoor shots with plenty of lighting, its results are average at best – though, it’s worth noting that it has a noticeable bluish tinge with its color production. Sadly, it fails to handle low lighting situations since its quality is heavily softened by the abundance of noise muddying up its results. Thankfully, its dual-LED flash is able to counteract most of its deficiencies, but as a whole, we’re not smitten by the results.
Nokia Lumia 900 Sample Video:
Surprise, surprise! We have the Zune experience for all our music listening needs, which, as we all know, is what’s expected with all Windows Phones. Even though we’ve seen it on other devices, we don’t tire of experiencing it because it’s so dynamic and engaging. Meanwhile, its internal speaker pumps out some powerful tones, but it exhibits some strain at the highest volume setting.
Seeing that it’s packing a 4.3” WVGA AMOLED display, we find it more than pleasing when it comes down to watching videos. Using our test video that’s encoded in DivX 1920 x 1080, it’s able to deliver that all too expected engaging experience thanks its smooth playback, rich colors, and good details. Honestly, it has the perfect set of ingredients to make the entire thing exhilarating.
Compared to some of the Android devices out there, we’re again faced with the realization that there is no quick and easy multimedia sharing function with the Lumia 900, or more importantly, with Windows Phone in general. Without a doubt, it would’ve been nice to have some kind of mirroring functionality with the handset, so we can view content on a high-def TV, but it’s still something that’s sorely lacking with the platform.
Strangely, we were somewhat caught off guard knowing that the handset didn’t have Nokia Drive preloaded out of the box – though, AT&T Navigator is on there from the start. Nevertheless, it simply made us wonder why, but in any event, a quick download in the Windows Phone Marketplace ensured that we got it. As for some of the other notable third party apps, they include ESPN, Tango, and YPmobile. Otherwise, AT&T’s presence is in full force with items like AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T myWireless, AT&T Radio, and AT&T U-verse Mobile.
Seeing that this is a Windows Phone, productivity focused users will surely enjoy using Microsoft Office, as it grants us the ability to edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. Rounding things out, the Games Hub provides us access to all of our gaming needs – while still integrating with XBOX LIVE so that we can view our profile and achievements.
1. ReturningToNokia (Posts: 130; Member since: 09 Jul 2011)
Appreciate the thorough review, John V :)
3. ReturningToNokia (Posts: 130; Member since: 09 Jul 2011)
And I like how John V. changes the tile color for each feature/aspect that he discusses. Nice touch!
80. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1009; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)
Yeah, great review! I went to an AT&T store here in St. Louis on saturday and one of the reps showed me the Lumia 900 that she was using. It looks like s good phone, but too small for me because of my stature (6'7" 235lbs)
If I wasnt so into the Galaxy Note, Id consider this phone or the Titan II as a good starter Windows Phone
4. Birds (Posts: 1027; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)
So glad that Ray S. dude didn't review this handset. It would have gotten a 4/10 then. Just saying. PhoneArena he is bringing the coop down. You have one two many pigeons in the nest...
6. stealthd (Posts: 980; Member since: 12 Jun 2011)
It's kind of amazing Windows Phone has been out this long and still only supports 800x480 screens. You can see the pixels in some of the screen shots (and they aren't even zoomed in).
82. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1054; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)
Everyone knows they're going to get HD screens with Wp8 coming this fall. Wp7 has only been around for a year and a half too. Slow and steady wins the race my friend.
7. JBz007 (Posts: 63; Member since: 02 Mar 2012)
This phone got a better review than the One X?
43. John.V (Posts: 92; Member since: 27 May 2011)
You really need to keep in mind pricing. It makes the phone even more desirable because it's not often we see top-tiered devices priced so low right from the get-go.
11. akita256 (Posts: 80; Member since: 26 Jan 2012)
I had thought that I might seriously think about purchasing the Lumina 900. Went to my AT&T store today where they had one out and allowed me to play with it a bit. I don't really know why, but I was not blown away by it. Just didn't feel like there was anything special about it. So I'll keep on looking at other brands.
Personally, I wish MS would change their use of those tiles. If the phone runs as smooth and as fast as what MS and reviewers have claimed......then there has to be some reason that Windows phones have not sold very well and I think it's those tiles and the fact that there is little customization allowed. I think subconsciously they remind me of those wooden blocks that babies play with and somehow it's a turn-off.
13. Sniggly (Posts: 7182; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
I know it's a shallow reason to dismiss an OS that, admittedly, works quite well, but I've been told by at least a couple of customers looking at Windows Phone that it's "ugly, just plain ugly." Seeing as how I'm not that interested in selling phones with incomplete OSes and am much more interested in Android, I didn't press the matter.
17. vvelez5 (Posts: 623; Member since: 29 Jan 2011)
Obviously that depends on the person. When I sell the phones and someone tells me it's ugly looking I do the same thing you do and move on to the next handset. No reason to push something they don't like. But with that point there are many people who think it looks very nice, myself included. I like the MetroUI and see it better looking than Android just because it is more simple than it but still hides Whatever you want hidden in its appmenu. I love the idea of the live tiles but again its definitely a personal preference.
40. andro. (Posts: 1971; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)
The main reason we sell very little windows phones is because everyone thinks they are completely ugly,who ever okayed the use of the square block ui in the early design stages should be shot as its one of the biggest reasons windows phones sales are such a disaster
62. akita256 (Posts: 80; Member since: 26 Jan 2012)
Yeh, I agree. What I totally can't understand is why we haven't heard about Microsoft conducting any surveys in an attempt to gather feedback about why people aren't buying their phones.
Seems like they would want to poll potential buyers and ask something like "If you were in the market to buy a new phone, would you consider buying a Windows phone......why or why not"?
And if not, "What would have to be changed with the Windows phones before you would consider buying it"?
But I haven't heard about them trying to find out what people don't like about their phones.
18. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
the thing about wp is that you have to actually use it for more than 10 minutes... i only got one because my iphone got dumped in water and it was the cheapest smartphone on craigslist... but after using it for a month i fell in love...
it flows from one thing to another and one cannot see that in the beginning... if apps are not the biggest issue, it really is a beautiful os.. the allure isnt on the cover
34. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Lucas, you ever used a proper Android?
Here's how beutiful a Metro UI can be..on Android!
(IMO the most interesting part is around 7:50, btw)
Sorry, but to me, Windows Phone is a pathetic excuse for an OS
50. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
yes i used a captivate for a good while.. but that was before wp7 and metro on android
ive tested launcher 7 on android phones and it is nowhere near the experience on a wp7... just a pathetic copy... same with the metro ui on ios... i tried my best but i just couldnt match wp7
its not pathetic btw... just cause u dont like it...
51. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Man, don't you se the simple truth behind this..WP 7 is a so heavily restricted OS that it's UI can be easily replicated within 1,4MB of free app for Google OS.
And not just that, the replication has such basic feature as a WALPAPER, even the live one.
Now please ask your self why on earth WP doesn't have the same basic option?
53. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
hahahahahhahahahahhahahahah u think launcher 7 is as good as wp7? this makes me think u havent even tried wp7... i bet anyone having them side by side can see the original and the rip-off... its not even comparable...
why the heck would i want wallpaper behind my icons? if i did, i would get an andoid... but dont shame wp7's sleek metro look with the suggestion of wallpaper... it diminishes the entire idea of elegance and minimalism
people who want wp7 dont want rampant customization and the troubles it brings... they want a clean stable os thats different from the iphone-- which is what many people want from android but dont have any other options for (until now..)
56. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Boy, are you dumb or what?
I'm not comparing Launcher 7 with WP7, just the interface options of the launcher.
It's about having a basic personal choice - the thing Microsoft decided to take away from users.
Why? Please, ask your self that.
Is it because a simple photo adding ability would slow the OS down?
Is that your concern?
Then what kind of OS are we talking about if an 1,4mb app designed for other OS can do that little basic thing?
Or is it because Microsoft thinks making things differently is to make them lack the basic option that feature phones have for 15 years?
To me, that equals an elementary insult to user's intelligence.
You want a single color "minimalism", user?
Go, set your color up!
You want to beautify it a bit, beyond that?
Tough break, user - you'll have to get another OS.
66. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
i think u r the one who is retarded... u tell me oh its replicating it in 1.4 megabites but then i try and say its not and suddenly we arent comparing?
did i not say exactly what u said... if u dont like the minimalism of wp7.. dont buy it.. u make it seems like microsft is forcing the os on people and nobody can change their background... anyways if its that big of an issue simply unlock and install some extra software...
57. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Here, what's wrong with this, for example?
58. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
59. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
geez, it just doesn't show it. wtf, and i can't even delete my comment..
64. kaikamba (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)
Just wait for the "Aero Live Tiles" to arrive in a few months on WP ... you will be blown by its stunning looks. Also sporting 3D Glass Tiles with live info. Then you can change the background of your choice. The wallpaper will be visible on Aero Tiles.
Also coming lot of customization for interface with "Aero Animations".
71. frydaexiii (Posts: 1239; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
Yeah, and the amount of RAM it'll use like on regular PC Windows will be so high it'll lag like hell
68. gtrxman (Posts: 122; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
I have to agree with akita256. To me, the tiles are just plain ugly. I like the ability to customize my home screen to see what I want to see. I don't like the idea of the tiles and the overall "sameness" of the display.
Also, and this is just my opinion, but I simply don't trust MS. After owning a Windows Mobile device and multiple desktop versions of Windows and MS Office, I have zero desire to have MS involved in my personal communications. Virtually every time I tried to install something on my Windows mobile device, it crashed or had some other hiccup. Does anyone remember windows ME? Oh, that Windows Vista really was an improvement. Not to mention how MS feels the need to totally reinvent/reorganize the software interface constantly while making little or no substantive improvement.
If they succeed with this, good for them and Nokia, but their success will not include any contribution from me.
83. Saamic (Posts: 119; Member since: 20 Feb 2012)
In my eyes WPs and iphones have a very simplistic OS when compared to android. It's more consumer friendly since the learning curve isn't as steep and people can catch on quickly. I've never been one to sacrifice efficiency for simplicity and ease so android is my favorite OS
19. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
great review! although i wish they had the blue or white one -- much more striking, but the black one still looks fantastic
23. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
oh and i was hoping this had that super cool nokia music app but sadly it doesnt... so no caching, free pandora...
20. lubba (Posts: 1311; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)
Dammit! I had a feeling the camera was gonna bad. f**k! Don't know if I should invest in Nokia's first top end US phone or wait for Apollo. But $99 is so tempting!
30. vishalvenky (Posts: 44; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)
excellent review for a excellent phone which is priced excellently.. indeed finally Nokia+WP=WIN
31. REYNER (Posts: 187; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
im impressed with the review.. one thing i like about windows is that it offers more about the quality. yah it doesn't have dual cores or quad-cores or stunning customization but it offers something as an alternative like live tiles, changing theme/color of tile and the best thing about windows is that its verry smooth and snappy if there is one thing i hate about nokia and windows that would be the camera for it offers only an average shot but at least not that bad. apple are good but the customization are damn boring but there are lots of apps. android are good but it tends to be laggy sometime as time goes by and as you put alot of apps i have tried android and apple they are both good but for me WP may not offer topnotch features but it offers consistent feel of contentment.. good review
35. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Now for you too, Metro UI(the homescreen and app drawer part) looks better and is way more customizable on Android than on Windows Phone itself!
Pay attention, the review of a free Launcher 7 app for android:
Microsoft, hundreds of billions of software company, that charges a hefty license fee for it's mobile OS, gets a lesson of how it should be done properly from a small free app developer for android( a free to use OS for all manufacturers).
Do i need to say more?
46. REYNER (Posts: 187; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
what? i think your just an avid android fanboy i was able to use both os and im currently using WP try reading my post again.. for better understanding yah it looks good but thats the only advantage that android has the customization aside from that it has bugs tend to be more laggy sometime when you put a lot of apps in it. unlike WP or IOS. im nothing against android i just hate people who are mind are so closed to try other os. do you know the disadvantage of being a free os? MALWARE bugs and alot of useless apps try to use WP and be fair enough.
try to watch it single how your dual cores put into shame by a single core of a WP
before judging an OS try using it first.. you dont have to say more for i bet your mind are not that open to try other os mr. android fanatic..
52. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
You are way off.
I would love windows phone had it supported an elementary option such as the freaking wallpaper.
Such omission just screams into my face as an offence to user's intelligence and knowledge.
And that's what my point with the video was.
There's just no excuse for Microsoft's way of doing things.
54. Veigald (Posts: 240; Member since: 13 Jan 2012)
Wow, that is just beyond belief idiotic. You would love WP if it had a wallpaper?
The idea behind WP isn't to create yet another icons-on-a-picture-background UI, it is to offer something new and different. With live tiles you wouldn't even see much of your so highly desired wallpaper.
WP is the most fluid OS out there and it's only going to get better.
75. gtrxman (Posts: 122; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
The idea is that it's HIS phone and he wants it the way HE wants it, not the way MS tells him he must have it. It's called freedom. You might want to investigate the concept before flaming someone.
55. Veigald (Posts: 240; Member since: 13 Jan 2012)
The only thing this app says is that there are android users who wish they had a WP phone. Why else would there be an android app to make their phone mimic WP?
And btw, go try a WP phone to see how much smoother it is than this bad rip-off.
60. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
What's beyond idiotic is how brainwashed you are..that you will settle with something so artificially forced to user without excuse whatsoever.
Would a little static background addition feature slow the WP down?
Is it impossible to incorporate?
So what then?
Does MS think that WP user is obviously so idiotic, that he wouldn't ever want to put something besides a single blank color in his background?
Obviously you fit into the category.
And you obviously need to be shown how beautiful minimalism can be beyond what Microsoft gives you.
Oh and, no i don't want a WP UI - it lacks everything i need from a phone.
It's just a fun toy to take out for a spin, to realize just how infinitely better android UI is.
I can put everything on a single screen, without even needing to swipe, if i want to.
63. REYNER (Posts: 187; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
yah if thats what you think.. we respect that but respect are our point of choosing WP over your android you know what dude when i was using an android i also thinking the same that android is the best and unified os are sucks but after 2 yrs my android became laggy honestly the WP experience is like using an iOS and android in one try using its simple and minimalist..
but if your not interested why are you here? envious and jealous people tends to look on others and give baseless criticism just sayin..
65. snowgator (Posts: 3289; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)
Well said. In the last couple weeks, PA has had so many people blasting WP, I find it mystifying. Most all have the same complaint: They do not like Metro UI, and it is all from Android fans. Either WP has these people scared and their entire self-worth is caught up in their phones OS, or they own stock in Google. I will happily accept the second option, but got the funny feeling it ain't just money related. Metro UI is what makes it WP. It is not designed to be an Android rip off, but a new OS option. Why all the hate??
73. gtrxman (Posts: 122; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
As an Android user, I can tell you why I (and maybe we) don't like the Metro UI. It's too simple. With Android, the customization of home screens is almost limitless. With WP, it's always the same, It's not because we're Android fanboys, it's because WP (at least for now) is limited compared to Android.
Plus, and this is a matter of opinion for which I'm sure to be flamed, but its damn ugly too.
67. kaikamba (Posts: 2; Member since: 05 Apr 2012)
Just wait for the "Aero Live Tiles" to arrive in a few months on WP ... you will be blown by its stunning looks. Also sporting 3D Glass Tiles with live info. Then you can change the background of your choice. The wallpaper will be visible on Aero Tiles. Also coming lot of customization for interface with "Aero Animations".
74. gtrxman (Posts: 122; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
The reason why they don't allow customization is that it is still a V1.0 OS. If you mess with it, it will likely crash. The reason why it does not support dual core is because it was designed for single core. MS likes to say that you don't need it, but the march of technology is unending. Future versions of the OS will need to support dual core at minimum.
Do you really believe that a single core processor can multitask as well as a dual or quad core?
79. REYNER (Posts: 187; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
hmm.. at some point yes but do you really believe that your dual core is that fast compare to our single core in terms of browsing the web and fluidity? go buy some WP and try it! you'll ended up laughing for the performance are almost the same search the youtube!
84. gtrxman (Posts: 122; Member since: 10 Sep 2011)
Understand that I'm not bashing, but simply stating that the OS is not yet optimized for dual core processors. This will come in a future version (it has to since all the chip makers are now on to quad core).
With respect to your question on speed, I can absolutely say that it is faster. I was running a Droid 2 Global at 1.2ghz, and now a Droid Razr. Razr is blazing compared to the D2, which was pretty fast itself (Razr also has 1GB RAM which is also a factor). It's not just a matter of speed, but of efficiency. Dual core processors running at a lower clock speeds use less power than a single core running high.
Everyone focuses on processor speed, which is only part of the mix. RAM, GPU, network, OS, etc. all affect the performance. I don't care how fast your processor is. If you're not running on WiFi or LTE, it's a waste, because the network cant deliver signal fast enough.
85. REYNER (Posts: 187; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
dual core less power? i dont think so.. yep i agree with the fact that the os is not yet optimized for dual cores but that doesn't mean that it runs sluggish or consume more power (FYI my htc sensation consumes more battery than my lumia 800) for you can never judge a phone unless you have tried it. i tried using dual core just like my sensation you cant take the fact that it became more sluggish as you installed apps and as the mos. passed by, the update of ICS isn't that convincing also 512 of RAM are just enough for most people and in WP you cant barely feel that 512 is not enough well im not bashing you im just telling you the truth..
im nothing against android or ios but i was able to use the 3 platforms and so far., WP minimalistic design and convincing performance makes me stick with the os..
36. FoneAddict (Posts: 209; Member since: 05 Jul 2011)
This joke of a phone got a better score than HTC One X? WTF PhoneArena!!!
37. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)
nice review john V. certainly better than ray s
38. Mobile-X-Pert (Posts: 565; Member since: 20 Dec 2010)
Why did he chage the theme to white? i woud've looked better in black cause it's got an AMOLED display. White does not look good on AMOLED displays so obviously somebody wanted to spoil the experience.
39. Mobile-X-Pert (Posts: 565; Member since: 20 Dec 2010)
Edit: Why did he change the theme to white? It would've looked better in black, cause it's got a ClearBaclck AMOLED display which means that ''back'' is the best theme for this phone. White does not look good on AMOLED displays so obviously somebody wanted to spoil the experience.
41. -box- (Posts: 3876; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
I'm starting to wonder if PhoneArena's 900 is defective. I'm reading other sites where its camera is highly regarded (excepting the lack of 1080p video recording), and the only complaints are about the screen, with resolution and typical discussions regarding AMOLED versus other technologies.
44. John.V (Posts: 92; Member since: 27 May 2011)
As a whole, it still produces some pleasant visuals, but in low lighting, it exhibits a lot more noise than some other top-notch camera centric devices out there. I was expecting better results actually, especially considering it boasts an F2.2 lens.
|Display||4.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (217 ppi) AMOLED|
Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 APQ8055, Single core, 1400 MHz, Scorpion processor
512 MB RAM
|Size||5.03 x 2.70 x 0.45 inches|
(127.8 x 68.5 x 11.5 mm)
5.64 oz (160 g)
|Battery||1830 mAh, 7 hours talk time|