Nokia and Microsoft’s partnership has finally started to show some results with the release of the Nokia Lumia 800 and Lumia 710, but the sales of the two handsets were nowhere near the predictions of both companies or the various research companies for that matter, and more in line with the predictions of ordinary users, who don’t really see the point in getting a Windows Phone 7 smartphone over the iPhone or an Android smartphone, especially when the latter are more powerful and have more features.
Still, things can still change, and Nokia has entered the New Year with a new phone – the Lumia 900, which is basically an updated version of the Lumia 800, kind of like the iPhone 4S was to the iPhone 4, only with less new features under the hood.
The new smartphone has the same overall design and shape as its predecessor, with the same unique unibody polycarbonate housing, which is very sturdy (surprisingly so for plastic, actually) and doesn’t interfere with any signals at all, leading to a better cell tower, Wifi, Bluetooth and NFC reception compared to other metal-frame phones on the market like the iPhone 4S or Droid RAZR.
The front is adorned by a single sheet of Corning Gorilla glass (still the old iteration – not the newer, more durable version demonstrated at CES), under which you can find the display and three touch navigation buttons for Windows Phone 7. The screen has been upgraded, as well – it is now a large 4.3 inch unit, but the resolution still remains at the good old 800×480 pixels. Thanks to the ClearBlack AMOLED manufacturing technology, however, the picture quality is still at a very high level, especially compared to all the LCD displays out there – the black levels really stand out, as well.
Not a lot has changed on the inside of the device, which is kind of a bad thing, since all the other manufacturer’s flagship phones are now touting HD displays, ultra-fast dual core processors, gigabytes of RAM and more. Nope, the Lumia 900 plays the game just like most of Nokia’s Symbian phones did – using the old hardware until it’s almost obsolete – this may not pan out so well for them this time.
The processor in the Lumia 900 is the same 1.4 GHz single core that powered the Lumia 800, and it’s still aided by 512 MB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage space with no option for expansion. The Adreno 205 graphics adapter is also getting a bit slow for all the new games that come out – an upgrade to the newer Adreno 220 would’ve been great, but alas.
The phone’s 8 megapixels main camera with Carl Zeiss optics is still as good as ever, and it can take beautiful shots, as well as 720p HD videos. The front facing 1.3 megapixels unit is useful only for video calls, although it can be used for self-snapshots if you’re in a hurry. All the other features remain the same, with the notable addition of a 4G LTE radio – the main change from the Lumia 800. The new radio is meant to power the phone’s data connection on AT&T’s new fast network, and I’m sure it will do that well.
The Windows Phone 7.5 Mango that the phone comes with pre-installed has had no changes to speak of – it’s the same old Windows Phone, and sadly, it doesn’t look like it will be getting an update when the new version rolls around since the hardware may not be up to task anymore. But if you like the interface, it’s a great OS with enough apps on the market to satisfy most people.
Overall, the Nokia Lumia 900 is a minor improvement over the Lumia 800, and it’s probably going to sell even worse than it – after all, why would you get it instead of a 4G LTE Android phone, for example, unless you really like the design and the Metro user interface.