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Nokia Lumia 900 review

Nokia Lumia 900 review
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Retail Price: RM 909
AP Price: RM 930 - 960
Nokia has unveiled its first LTE smartphone, the Nokia Lumia 900 in CES 2012
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Review On : Nokia Lumia 900

by Nigel Chew

Summary and Introduction

+ Unique design

+ Great hardware

- Does not support Windows Phone 8.0

- Barren marketplace


The Nokia Lumia 900 carries the dream and hopes of the Finnish company who seek to regain its foothold in the industry once more. The shift towards Windows Phone was a humongous gamble on Nokia’s part, although the Lumia 800 was well-received enough for this redesign to be given birth to. More importantly however, is this endeavour enough to win over the hearts of consumers who have entrenched themselves in the Android and iOS camp?

 

Exterior and Design


 

The Lumia 900 is unlike anything we have seen on the market at the moment, and is a work of art that puts other manufacturers to shame. The polycarbonate body simple oozes class and despite being weighty at 160 grams, it just feels right in your hands. The bright cyan will certainly grab attention, as it is a far departure from the dull colours of most other smartphones out there.

The bottom of the phone houses a small speaker, whereas a headphone jack, Micro USB port, and microSIM hatch sits at the top. Along the right side are the Lumia 900’s volume, power / sleep, and camera buttons.

You get 4.3-inches of display estate with 800 x 480 of pixels in resolution on an AMOLED ‘ClearBlack’ screen. Given that other devices in this category are able to provide resolutions of up to 1280 x 720, we were a little disappointed. 

 

 

Internals


 

A single-core 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor and 512MB of RAM powers the Lumia 900. You’ll also find that the device features LTE and GSM radios onboard, as well as the usual Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 support.

Despite its single-core processor, there was no noticeable latency when gliding across the tile-based UI or other performance issues when running apps. There is 16GB of onboard storage which is non-upgradeable, so you will have to make do - Not that there are many apps to begin with anyway, but we’ll address that in a bit.

 

 

Software


 

Unfortunately this is where the Lumia 900’s Achilles’ heel begins to show. While a major improvement over its predecessors, Windows Phone has yet to manage leveling the playing field with what it has to offer. Sure the tiled-based interface is smooth and pretty to look at, but at the end of the day, it is still lacking a lot of the features that you would come to expect from a top of the range device. The marketplace is deserted and the third party apps that do work aren’t even as intuitive as their Android and iOS counterparts.

The desktop version of Internet Explorer is a joke and it’s no exception here either. A lot of websites that we tried weren’t properly loaded and had missing elements.

The only things that are half-decent are the device’s other core apps such as Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps and the Office suite. These worked satisfyingly and are proof that the platform can deliver when it wants to. 

 

Camera


 

One would come to expect with Nokia’s pedigree, the camera on this device would be amazing. All we are able to manage is a resounding “Eh.” Don’t get us wrong, it is by no means bad. In fact, it was far from it. The Lumia 900 delivered good pictures; they just weren’t great. 

The camera software was kind of iffy at times and had trouble with some of the settings, while the white balance and exposure were hardly satisfactory. 

 

 

Multimedia


 

Not exactly the highlight of the Lumia 900, but should you use this as a multimedia playback device, it gets the job done. Syncing files with Zune might be a turn off for some, but that’s the only real issue we have on the matter. Most audio formats are supported, and as for video, anything beyond 720p files is going to really struggle on the device.

 

 

Performance


 

The Lumia 900 take one back with its surprisingly good battery life. While there was no way for us to test out LTE yet, everything else worked better than expected. We were able to wring out about a full day’s worth of usage out of it, which included several minutes of call, texting, plenty of emails and Twitter.

As for the hardware, the Lumia 900 did however little it could to its best efforts. That is to say that it worked great. It was smooth and stable throughout, though this might be due to Microsoft and Nokia not pushing its baby harder than they could have.

 

Verdict


 

For a flagship device, the Nokia Lumia 900’s asking price is fairly reasonable, and getting one would certainly set you apart from the rest. Sure you might not be able to boast performance and features that are present in other phones, but you will know that you still own a very solid and beautiful device.

Still, there are the underlying flaws that are difficult to ignore that will be detrimental to your overall usage experience, due mostly to its dreadful selection of third party software. That said, it is an issue that can be improved over time, with examples of how great apps on the Windows Phone platform can get, given enough attention.

Until that time comes, the Nokia Lumia 900 is still far from being the perfect smartphone that will dethrone the Android and iOS overlords, but we will certainly recommend it to those looking for something that isn’t mainstream. 

 

 


Editor's rating:

Excellent


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