Let’s take a look at the Nokia Lumia 900, a high-end smartphone with a 4.3-inch AMOLED screen, an 8 Mpixel camera, 4G connection, and is loaded with Windows Phone 7.5.
The Lumia is a family of smartphones from the traditional Finnish manufacturer. There are four models: Lumia 610, Lumia 710 (which we already reviewed), Lumia 800, and Lumia 900. All of them use the same basic hardware. The screen resolution is 800 x 480 on all models. The main differences between the models are shown in the table below.
|Model||Lumia 610||Lumia 710||Lumia 800||Lumia 900|
|Processor Clock||800 MHz||1.4 GHz||1.4 GHz||1.4 GHz|
|Screen||3.7” LCD||3.7” LCD||3.7” AMOLED||4.3” AMOLED|
|RAM||256 MB||512 MB||512 MB||512 MB|
|Storage||8 GB||8 GB||16 GB||16 GB|
|Main camera||5 Mpixel||5 Mpixel||8 Mpixel||8 Mpixel|
|Price||USD 230||USD 240||USD 380||USD 400|
Figure 1 shows the small box of the Nokia Lumia 900.
Inside the box, we found the smartphone itself, a wall charger, USB cable, earphones, a pin for removing the SIM chip, and user manual.
Figure 3 shows the Nokia Lumia 900 (at the left) side-by-side with the Nokia Lumia 710 (at the right).
Figure 3: Nokia Lumia 900 and Lumia 710
Figure 4 reveals the Nokia Lumia 900. The three Windows Phone 7.5 mandatory buttons at the front of the device (return, home, and search) are touch buttons.
[nextpage title=”The Hardware”]
The Nokia Lumia 900 uses a single-core, 1.4 GHz Snapdragon S2 APQ8055 processor from Qualcomm, a.k.a. “Scorpion,” which is almost the same chip found in the Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 models. The Windows Phone 7.5 operating system, and all the applications we tried, ran smoothly, with no lags or sluggishness. A single-core processor is used simply because Windows Phone 7.5 doesn’t support multi-core processors.
The Adreno 205 GPU, integrated with the main chip, proved to be effective and fast, even on the 3D games we installed.
As we previously mentioned, the 4.3-inch screen has a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. This resolution is actually mandatory for any device running Windows Phone 7.5.
Figure 5 shows the back side of the phone. There is no micro-SD slot for a memory card, which is actually a Windows Phone limitation. Here, you can also see the 8 Mpixel camera, Carl Zeiss Tessar lenses, and the dual LED flash.
Figure 6 unveils the top of the phone, where the earphone connector and mini-USB connector are located. There is also a hidden slot where the SIM chip is located. You must insert the pin that comes with the phone into a small hole located near the USB connector in order to open the slot.
At the right side of the phone, there are four buttons: the camera shutter, lock/power button, and the volume settings. There isn’t any connector or button at the left side of the phone.
At the bottom of the phone is the speaker.
[nextpage title=”Using the Nokia Lumia 900″]
Using the Lumia 900 is a very pleasant experience. The touchscreen responds quickly and precisely. All actions on the phone respond exactly the way you would expect. Booting takes less than 20 seconds. The AMOLED screen of the Lumia 900 is substantially brighter than the LCD screen we saw on the Lumia 710.
After some hours of experimentation, we found that the Windows Phone 7.5 is extremely friendly, easy to use, and powerful. It uses the tiles that are also found on Windows 8’s Modern UI (“Metro”) interface. Those tiles (squares and rectangles) are customizable (you can move or delete any of them from the main screen, as well as include any application on it) and dynamic, being capable of showing information from the applications. For example, the “People” square shows a slideshow with your contacts’ photos.
Speaking of contacts, the first step after powering up the phone for the first time is to log in (or create) a Microsoft Live account. If you log in by an existing account, your contacts are imported to the phone. There is no phonebook apart from your Internet contacts. This may sound strange at first, but after some use, you’ll realize that this device is actually a communications hub, not only a mobile phone where all you need to do is store the name and phone number of the people you know.
Just touch a tile to run the application, or scroll vertically to see more icons. You can also scroll the screen to the left to see all of the installed applications. The color of the icons can be changed as well as having the choice of a black or white background.
Figure 10 shows the list of installed applications, which is always in alphabetical order. Pressing and holding an application icon for a while, you can pin any application on the start screen, or uninstall it.
Figure 10: List of applications
Some features are the same as on the iOS, such as the app store, called Marketplace. You can install any of the apps and games available, many of them for free. Popular apps such as Facebook, YouTube, Skype, Tuneln, etc., are easily found, as well as numerous useful (well, some of them not so useful) applications. There are also some Nokia exclusive applications on the Nokia collection section.
The gaming menu on the Nokia Lumia 900 is connected to the Xbox LIVE network, so you have to use your account (or create one). When we configured it, the phone imported the animated avatar we created at an Xbox 360 console.
Most of the games available are Xbox LIVE games, besides classical Windows games (Solitaire and Minesweeper are there), but there are also lots of third-party games available.
The way to access the phone’s storage may not please all users. We particularly like to connect a phone to the PC and access its storage space as an external drive, but on the Nokia Lumia 900, it is impossible. The only way to exchange data between the phone and your PC is by using a software called Zune, which is somewhat similar to Apple’s iTunes.
You can also transfer data using Skydrive, a virtual drive from Microsoft that resembles Apple’s iCloud.
The battery lasted around two days under moderate use. It can last three days with very light use, with a few calls and no app usage. However, when we used it for hours to surf the web or play games, the battery was drained by the next morning, which means a charge will not last for two days under heavy usage.
[nextpage title=”Other Features”]
The Nokia Lumia 900 comes with Microsoft Office installed, where you can create, open, and edit Excel, Word, and P
owerPoint documents. You can open from and save to your SkyDrive space.
The email client that comes with the phone is excellent. You configure your email account, and for some providers (such as Outlook, Yahoo, or Google mail), the email tile gets the name of your email service. We configured and used a Gmail account, and the mail client proved to be simple and useful. It places the email synchronization in the background, so every time you unlock the phone, you see how many new emails you have, easily reading them if you so desire.
Figure 14: Email client configuration
The phone comes with the Nokia Drive application installed. It is a powerful and simple-to-use GPS navigator that you can see in Figure 15.
The 8 Mpixel camera is easy to use for both photos and movies. The quality of photos and movies is very good. Unlike the simpler Lumia models, the Lumia 900 has a frontal 1.0 Mpixel camera, which can be used for video chat. The phone comes with an application named Tango for face-to-face conversation.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
The main specifications for the Nokia Lumia 900 include:
- Dimensions: 2.7 x 5.0 x 0.45 inches (68.5 x 127.8 x 11.5 mm)
- Weight: 5.6 ounces (160 grams)
- Display: AMOLED capacitive touchscreen (16 M colors), Corning Gorilla glass
- Screen: 4.3 inch; 480 x 800
- Operating system: Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango)
- Processor: Qualcomm Scorpion (Snapdragon), 1.4 GHz, single core
- GPU: Adreno 205
- RAM: 512 MB
- Storage: 16 GB
- Memory card slot: No
- GPS: Yes
- FM Radio: Yes
- Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, compass
- SIM slots: One micro-SIM
- Networks: WCDMA 900/1900/2100, GSM 850/900/1800/1900, GPRS/EDGE/EGPRS (class 33), HSUPA (5.76 Mbps), GSM, HSDPA (10.2 Mbps), WCDMA, LTE (4G, 50 Mbps)
- Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11b/g/n
- Bluetooth: Version 2.1 with A2DP, EDR
- Rear camera: 8-megapixel, 3x digital zoom
- Front camera: 1-megapixel
- Flash: Dual LED
- Video capture rate: 1280 x 720, 30 fps
- Music formats: AAC, H.263, H.264, MP3, MPEG-4, WAV, eAAC+, WMA
- Continuous talk time: Up to 420 minutes
- Standby time: Up to 300 hours
- Battery: 3.7 V, 1,830 mAh Li Ion
- Carrier in the U.S.: AT&T
- More information: https://www.nokia.com
- MSRP in the U.S.: USD 400 or USD 50 with a two-year contract (minimum of USD 40/month, USD 325 early termination fee)
The Nokia Lumia 900 is a beautiful and powerful smartphone. It has excellent hardware, is tough and reliable. Windows Phone 7.5 didn’t disappoint us. Several features are obviously “inspired” by the iOS present on Apple’s iPhone, which is not a problem for the user. Usage is easy and intuitive, and installing (and uninstalling) applications and games is also quite easy.
Compared to the Nokia Lumia 710, the Lumia 900 has a few improvements. The screen is bigger and brighter, the mass memory has 16 GB, the main camera has higher resolution, there is a frontal camera, and 4G support. If you will not really need those features, the simpler model has a better cost/benefit ratio.
The biggest problem with the Lumia 900 is about timing. Right now, Microsoft is just about to release Windows Phone 8, and the existing Windows Phone 7.5 smartphones will not be able to upgrade the operating system to this version. However, Microsoft will release a 7.8 version, which will include some of the Windows Phone 8 features on the existing Windows Phone 7 smartphones.
- Easy to use
- Bright and big screen
- Solid and tough
- Many apps
- Excellent as a social network hub
- Great gaming capabilities
- Excellent main camera
- Frontal camera
- 4G support
- No memory card slot
- Will not be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8
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