By Mike Wheeler
Having recently reviewed, and been impressed by, Nokia’s Lumia 800, it was with keen interest I looked forward to test-driving the second phone to be released using the Windows Mobile operating system – the Lumia 900.
With a designation a full 100 points above the previous iteration, the expectation was that it has more to offer than the 800, but they are not so different from each other as you would think.
One obvious main difference is the size of the screen. As you would expect it is an AMOLED, but is 4.3-inches big as opposed to 3.7 inches of the 800. And you do notice this difference, especially when navigating through the web, playing games, or mucking around with other apps.
It’s 1.4GHz Qualcomm CPU certainly gets you around different apps quick smart, which brings me to navigating around the various screens. There is a lot to like about the Windows Mobile 7.5 operating system, and we found the interface that interacts with the very smooth and linear. In other words, you don’t have to have a PhD in software development to find you way around the various screens. This augers well for the lucrative mum and dad market, where they want a smartphone, but aren’t overwhelmed with technology under the hood.
It has many hubs including People, which allows you to aggregate or your social networking sites. You do this by setting up various accounts including those for Windows Live (of course!), Facebook Google, Twitter and a plethora of others. Like the 800, this means you can see all your feeds at once without having to log into each one individually.
It does have a built-in navigation with Nokia Drive whereby you have download maps, but it was a bit disconcerting to read in the terms and conditions that “using services or downloading content may involve transmitting large amounts of data through your service provider’s network”. If you have an unlimited plan, then this is not a problem, however if you don’t you need to be aware that this could possibly chew through your data.
There is also an Xbox Live hub, which as you would expect allows you to play games via an Xbox Live connection. Great idea, as the AMOLED screen is ideal for gaming and videos. However, once again, be aware of the amount of data you are using.
On the physical side, it is about 2cm taller than my current smartphone, which was noticeable when I put it in my back pocket. However, would this put me off buying one? Not really, and to use such a reason would be churlish. It has nice curves and is a reasonably comfortable fit in the hand.
The battery life is reasonable, but you’ll certainly go through it while gaming, while the 8MP camera takes decent shots, but is nothing spectacular.
Overall, Nokia is really fighting back hard after a couple of terrible years where it shed marketshare due to not only a poorly performing operating system, but its opposition – notably Samsung and Apple – having brought out some fantastic handsets. Now with the Windows Phone operating system and a much better user interface, Nokia could not only abate its sliding sales, but might slowly start gaining some lost ground.
Pros: Great design, easy to operate, fantastic screen, good processor
Cons: Has some data traps, Nokia needs to do a better job selling its features
4 Shacks Out Of 5