Nokia Lumia 900 Review

In this review

This review of the Nokia Lumia 900 is based on the expert opinions of our sister site CNET.com’s Jessica Dolcourt, who gave the phone four stars. The 4.3-inch Lumia 900 is not yet available in Europe, and when it is, we’ll rewrite this review with our own tea-stained, rain-sodden British opinions — and possibly change the score.

we thought you’d be interested in a detailed hands-on take on this big new Windows Phone, so we’ve written a condensed version of Jessica’s review and highlighted where the finished Finnish phone will differ here in the UK. let us know what you think of this approach with a comment in the user reviews section.

Nokia’s first Windows Phone in the US arrives Stateside riding a wave of hope and hype, having won CNET.com’s coveted Best Smart Phone of CES award at the tech show this January. Windows Phone doesn’t yet support multi-core processors, so don’t expect it to challenge quad-core monsters like the HTC One X — this is a much more mainstream phone, relying on the simple charms of its colourful design and easy to use software rather than brute strength.

The main difference between the American Lumia 900 and the UK version we’ll see later this year is LTE. The next-gen data technology is years from arriving in Blighty, so the 900 loses one of its major selling points immediately.

Nokia Lumia 900 side It’s a slender sliver of smart phone joy.

It’s not all bad news however — a standard called DC-HSPA, a kind of halfway house between our 3G and LTE, is supported, using two ‘channels’ to send and receive mobile data over the current 3G network. (Apple’s new iPad uses it too.) We’ll have to see how fast it turns out to be in practice, but some UK networks are promising it’ll work by the end of 2012, and offer at least 21Mbps.

obviously the 4.3-inch Lumia 900 is significantly bigger than the 3.7-inch Lumia 800, but the 900 also has a flatter screen (it doesn’t bubble out of the chassis like the 800) and a front-facing camera for video calls. Otherwise you’re essentially looking at the same classy, unibody phone, which comes in eye-popping Smurf blue or more sedate black or white.

It’s heavy at 159g, but it feels solid too. The unit Jessica looked at had only a few barely noticeable gaps, but one around the SIM card slot was wide enough to fit a fingernail in.

The display itself is definitely one of the Lumia 900’s best features. The AMOLED screen features ClearBlack display tech and the ubiquitous toughened Gorilla Glass. Colours are rich and sharp and the picture is incredibly bright.

Nokia Lumia 900 screen comparison The 900’s screen is much brighter and more vivid than both the iPhone 4S (above) and the Samsung Focus S.

Photos look terrific too, with great contrast, wide spectrum variation and greens so bright they began to look unreal.

The 900’s ports, like other Lumias, are all about the micro — micro-USB for charging, and micro-SIM (like the iPhone, a paperclip or the included little key pop out the card slot).

Microsoft’s mobile operating system is slick but restrictive — it’s definitely not for Android-loving tinkerers, people who love being in control of every last setting and need to micro-manage battery life with a plethora of widgets.

Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone Windows Phone is all brightly coloured, animated tiles.

It’s also lacking as many apps as the iPhone and Android, with fewer than 100,000 at time of publication — Apple’s App Store has over half a million. again, smart phone beginners will find most of what they need, but Windows Phone has so few users compared to the two main platforms that developers are slow to port even the biggest apps across.

As an example, Angry Birds Space, the latest avian attack instalment, is yet to appear on the Marketplace. Apps are more expensive too — whereas 69p is the standard on iOS, £2.29 is the norm on the Marketplace, even for apps that are free elsewhere.

Nevertheless, Windows Phone is a pleasant place to hang out and if you love social networks like Facebook and Twitter, you’ll find their tight integration into your phone really handy. Nokia’s included apps such as Music and Maps are terrific too, and more importantly free. For more on what it’s like to use a Windows Phone, read that section of our Nokia Lumia 800 review.

Eight megapixels. Carl Zeiss optics. Dual-LED flash. Autofocus. These are Nokia’s armoury of camera buzzwords, but what do they mean in practice? Natasha was disappointed by the Lumia 800’s camera, feeling the iPhone 4S had the edge over it. Jessica compared the Lumia 900 to several current phones and found it or the 4S were always her favourites. You can see more of her shots in this photo gallery.

Nokia Lumia 900 camera test Close-ups are the 900’s strength, so you’re all set for puppy time.

With a wider depth of field than the 4S to give rich closeups, the 900 fared less well when focusing on subjects further away. it also gave many shots a yellowish tone. By comparison, the iPhone 4S photos are generally sharper and more vibrant, with more contrast and cooler colour temperature.

in terms of shutter lag, the Lumia takes some time to focus before capturing a photo, but it’s not much slower than average. The 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera was fine — shots were sharp enough to define features, but not so detailed that an early-morning video call would terrify the poor recipient.

Nokia claims the Lumia 900 can manage 7 hours over 3G, squeezing 12.5 days of standby time from its 1,830mAh battery. in Jessica’s battery drain tests, talk time on the Lumia 900 lasted 6.86 hours, and a full day without charging under moderate-to-heavy general use.

As with the Lumia 800, you’ll need to decide whether you want to commit to the new Windows Phone platform before you consider the phone itself. If its snazzy swooshing appeals more than other systems’ better app selection, then the 900 and 800 are definitely the best Windows Phones around. which we ultimately recommend will come down to price — and your own preference of screen size.

Nokia Lumia 900 Review


Related Websites

    Be Sociable, Share!