I’ve had the Nokia Lumia 900 for a few days now and so far I must say it’s been more than a pleasant experience. With its Windows-powered OS, its great build quality and gorgeous design, the Lumia 900 is one of the best smartphones out there and a strong contender to Apple’s iPhone 4/4s, Samsung’s S2 and S3. Its release date was a few months back but the Lumia 900, 800 and 710 models will be available for sale in Lebanon this week. The Lumia 900 will be priced around 600$ from what I’ve heard.
There are a lot of technical and detailed reviews of the Nokia Lumia 900 online that you can check on [CNET], [TechRadar], [Engadget] and [T3]. So, not wanting to come about this review in the same way I will pinpoint the key features, advantages and disadvantages that I noticed and are relevant to me.
Operating system & Performance
The Windows Phone OS is quite intriguing and very different from the iOS and Android systems. It provides easy e-mail access, social network integration, task-switching, office tools, and voice and Bing searches among other things and organizes the key functionalities in big shiny and colorful tiles. What surprised me the most is how quick and smooth the phone is despite the fact that itâ€™s running on a single-core 1.4GHz processor clocked with a mere 512MB of SDRAM. I thought the tiles were a bit too big and thereâ€™s a lot of wasted space around them, but that ought to be fixed with the 7.8 version. Nevertheless, the two big advantages of the tiles are that you can pin not just apps but specific features and even groups of people as well, and the personalization is very easy to do. I downloaded and used Wiztiles to configure the Batman theme and organize its tiles as shown below.
Last but not least, if you are worried about piling up more than 50 apps on the main screen, Microsoft has figured that out and displays letters of the alphabet (Once you reach 45 apps) to separate the lists. [7.8 version]
Note that you need a valid Windows Live account to be able to log in to the â€œPeopleâ€ tile and setup your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Outlook, and Google) and other email accounts. You also get 25 GB of free cloud storage (SkyDrive).
Design & Hardware
Almost all the reviews mentioned how beautifully designed is the Lumia 900 and I canâ€™t agree more. It feels wonderful when held in your hand and is tougher, yet heavier, than the iPhone and Samsungs. The 4.3-inch screen is protected by a Corning Gorilla Glass which has passed the Hammer test. [YouTube]
One thing I did not feel comfortable with at first was the arrangement of buttons. In fact, there are only buttons on the right side, two for controlling the volume, the power/lock button in the middle and below it the camera button. When you hold the phone with the right hand, you need to twist the phone in your hand a bit to hit the power/lock or the camera key which is a bit annoying.
In terms of size, it matches the Samsung S2, is smaller than the S3 and bigger than the iPhone 4/4s. [Iphone 4s vs. Lumia 900] [Samsung S3 vs. Lumia 900]
The Lumia comes in three colors, black, white and blue.
Apps & Maps
Since the Lumia 900 is a Windows phone, you get the Bing-powered Nokia maps instead of Google maps, however thereâ€™s an additional free of charge navigation app provided, the Nokia Drive which could come in very handy and offers a wide variety of languages and worldwide maps in 2D and 3D. The good thing about Nokia Drive is that it doesnâ€™t require a data connection to render maps, and could save you some time and precious Mbytes especially with the lousy mobile connection and low cellular data quotas in Lebanon.
I downloaded the English navigation voice and tried the turn-by-turn navigation system between Jounieh and Beirut and it wasnâ€™t bad at all considering that we donâ€™t have proper road maps. I will try uploading a video later on showing how it works maybe with the Arabic navigation voice.
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