Nokia Lumia 900 Review: Windows Phone's New Hero Device

By Dan Seifert on April 8, 2012, 9:04 PM

The Nokia Lumia 900 represents a number of firsts: it is the first high-end Windows Phone from Nokia to arrive in the U.S., it is the first 4G LTE smartphone from Nokia, and it is one of the first 4G LTE Windows Phones on the market.

Like the Lumia 800 that preceded it, the Lumia 900 features stunning industrial design, great build quality, and a fantastic ClearBlack AMOLED display. Add in great network performance, solid battery life, and a fast and fluid user interface thanks to Windows Phone 7.5, and you start to see that Nokia really might have a winner on their hands.

Unfortunately, it's not all peaches and roses with the Lumia 900, as its seemingly capable camera does not live up to expectations in real world performance. Additionally, the Windows Phone Marketplace still doesn't offer nearly as many apps as its iOS and Android counterparts, though it has grown tremendously in recent months.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 30

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Guest said:

Music Volume through the built-in speakers is EXTREMELY loud compared to other phones! Maybe TechSpot has only used some very rare phones with even better speakers, but the Lumia 900 is dang loud!

Guest said:

"the Windows Phone Marketplace still doesn't offer nearly as many apps as its iOS and Android counterparts".

Ummm, well of course not, look at the relative ages of the marketplaces.

Guest said:

Now that's a gorgeous phone. Just thinking which color to choose before buying.

Guest said:

I was going to say the exact same thing.

Guest said:

I got into the "number of apps" argument with an iPhone fanboy. This just angers me beyond belief. There are 80,000 apps for Windows Phone. So, you fools tell me how many apps you have on your device, why don't you? It's just stupid to whine about the number of apps. The important thing is NOT how many. The important thing is whether or not the platform has the specific apps you need. Don't aynone tell me there aren't enough apps for Windows Phone. And don't tell me it doesn't have apps you need unless you know for a FACT it doesn't. PERIOD.

RH00D RH00D said:

The number of apps available on the marketplaces should never be used as a selling point or be used as a "this platform is better" point. Most of the apps on iOS and Android are useless farting apps, etc. or apps that duplicate functionality of other apps. Lets not forget that many apps have two versions, the paid and free versions. When it comes down to it, all platforms are probably fairly even when it comes to the number of actual high quality, useful, non-duplicated apps.

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I agree to an extent what you are saying about the app stores comparison, absolute numbers tell us nothing, however Dan offered two good examples of high profile apps he likes to use but are unavailable on the Windows Phone platform: PayPal and Pandora.

Total app count is complete nonsense. You may install a few apps or several dozen apps in your phone, but never a thousand. The real difference is made by developers' focus on one platform or another. It's fairly evident Apple iOS maintains the upper hand in this regard. Most mainstream/popular services eventually land on two or three major mobile platforms (iOS, Android, WP/Blackberry/Other), and Microsoft seems to be taking all the right steps to become a big player here, but once again, developers more often than not come up with an iPhone app first.

Besides email and other basic smartphone functionality, two of my favorite third party apps (Chartbeat and Trillian) are still not available on WP. The former is iOS-only and the latter is also on Android and Blackberry. Because I rely on Chartbeat day in and day out to monitor website traffic, I decided against buying a Lumia 800 when I last upgraded my phone.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

+1 on number of apps comments, what good is having lots of rubbish anyway?

Every OS/its ecosystem has some trade offs, e.g. iPhone users give up freedom, Android users give up security/consistency/stability, and WP users have to be content with some missing features, but its an OS with a beautiful UI. So examining each with this in mind could be more fruitful.

Also I've seen some sites comparing L900 with 4S/SGS II etc. which is not logical at all, as this phone isn't competing in the same space IMO, with this Nokia seems to be aiming at creating a segment of 'reasonably priced smartphones', which can't be bad at all especially for users with limited budgets.

By the way Nokia recently filed for an WP8 phone with 41MP camera and S4 (i.e. 1.5 GHz dual core Krait, Adreno 320 GPU) hand set, with HD CB-AMOLED screen. Hopefully WP8 will close all those gaps, hence making it a more compelling alternative as well.

Edit:

Julio: I think MS needs take care of this and need to get all those important apps in market place, instead of just focusing on giving away money to developers to create new content for their ecosystem.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

I will be grabbing one of these next month. Awesome looking phone.

Jyrkz said:

i got my LG wireless phone and i got np but im really happy to see WP getting a good review cause it looks like a really solid phone first phone ill buy if nothing better comes out

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I am in need of a Phone, though I don't use one alot this one looks pretty good. Id get GS:2 or an iPhone but they are bit tad more expensive, so might have to get this one. I am still rolling with some motorola with little antenna on top haha xD

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Just looked at the price of the 900, £300 - £500 ... no thanks. Pretty much the price of GS2 or iPhones but the Nokia L 900 has single core CPU >.<

treeski treeski said:

In case anyone needs Pandora on their windows phone, you have 2 options.

1. Just visit the website.

2. Check out "metroradio", which is just a 3rd party Pandora app, and works quite well. It's fully functional, letting you like or dislike songs, skip them, etc.

Tomorrow_Rains said:

LAST.FM is free to windows phone users, just create an account.

its better than last.fm and has a better GUI.

It also doesnt limit how many times you can skip a song

Guest said:

I pray that Verizon gets this phone so that I can get it. :-) My HTC Trophy has been great, but I would love a larger screen and better camera which the Nokia Lumia 900 offers.

Guest said:

Hunh^^??

But with a WP7 phone u can just view such things without an app... just using the internet & the actual data you need. I understand an applet condences it nice & neat for you, but are you trying to suggest you didn't buy a phone because of a non-namebrand $0.99 app..?

When u could have all that website traffic info, as a real full blown web-page tiled into your start screen with live updates...?

(lol... the thought of a name brand .99 cent applet)

emmzo said:

Thinking at the HTC One X quad, this comes pretty late at the market and it's kind of pricey, at least here in Europe.

Guest said:

Just go buy one if you are so in love with it. Have fun.

Chazz said:

Now, while you guys do mention that Android doesn't have as many apps in this article pay attention to the tone of that article. Celebrating Android's swift growth in it's first year and a half.

Now windows have not even reached it's year and a half mark and is at 80k apps. But the outlook is always doom and gloom, instead of taking things at face value. Not saying you guys(read: the whole of tech sites) are intentionally being biased but why such a contrast between views?

Guest said:

Sorry, but the none replaceable battery and lack of a micro sd card slot are real deal breakers for me. I am a heavy user for both business and leisure, and I don't want to carry around one of those bulky portable chargers.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I'm probably the only one here that thinks the phone is ugly. I don't like the "corners", and I can't stand that the top and bottom are flat, with a weak speaker.

I like Windows Phone 7.5 very much, but I despise that blank area to the right of the tiles on the home screen.

Guest said:

Something with sharp, pointy corners is just what I want to put in my pants pocket.

Guest said:

I bought one for my wife and liked it so much I went back and replaced my iPhone 4 with it. However, we have had two issues in a row with her battery. Mine worked as advertised but I'm going back a second time to replace her phone again! Anyone else getting bad battery performance?

Guest said:

I would like to note that while Pandora does not have a specific app for the Windows platform, you can still log into your Pandora account using Radio Controlled and listen to your stations that way. The app runs incredibly smoothly, works similarly to the iPhone and Android Pandora apps. It's just not -called- Pandora. Just log in and all your stations made on Pandora are there.

Also a friendly reminder that streaming music while not in wifi and only on your respective carrier's network will make your data usage skyrocket and you'll be paying for overage charges probably after an hour of streaming. USE WIFI.

That is all.

Guest said:

I took advantage of the $100 credit nokia offered and upgraded my iphone 3gs to this phone. Wow what a difference it made. It kicks my old phone arse..lol. 4g is awesome and the phone performed without effort. I was worried about the app market since the salesman said it doesnt compare to the iphones. But I was able to download the same apps i used anyway only some were alternatives. I think only app hoarders would really dis it based on apps available vs iphones. Great phone. Glad to get out of apples eye.

alen9331 said:

i believe in the quality of nokia ,the only problem is the quantity of apps.

Guest said:

Agreed, the Nokia Lumia speakerphone is comparable to a desktop speakerphone. Outstanding for a small device. Best cell speakerphone I have ever had.

I also disagree with the review of the camara. In my opinion Lumia 900 takes fantastic pictures. I am on vacation at Disneyland and have used it as my tourist camera. Very good quality for a small camera.

The Lumia 900 wifi hotspot is also outstanding. I am using it with my iPad to write this review.

Kudos for this phone. I have owned an iPhone 3GS, a Google Nexus S and this device by far surpasses those two phones both in hardware, calles, and general Internet related tasks. It's also competitively priced.

Guest said:

Windows Phone Marketplace still doesn't offer nearly as many apps as its iOS and Android counterparts

Why oh why is this a measure of a good mobile OS? Quality vs quantity

iTunes has a million apps, the Android Market has a million more - but you know what? Most of those apps are garbage. I've burned through so many apps only to delete them a day or so later because they are just not that useful, they are riddled with ads, they are clearly not designed well... the list goes on. And these are the apps that I actually downloaded. When Google or Apple pull numbers of how many apps they have, they are including the "101 Sex Positions app" or the "6000 mixed drinks app" you get the idea...

Guest said:

The Windows platform is fantastically smooth, visual, and to the point! The way things are laid out, and the way they function is brilliant. This OS does not need as big a processor as Android because Microsoft has written such clean code, it's not bloated, just smooth. Just try one of these phones, YOU WILL LOVE IT!!! I'm staying with Windows.

Guest said:

Same. I have used my phone for a month now and absolutely love it. I have never ran out of battery even during heavy usage, but I do keep some of my notifications on manual. I prefer to check my email vs it checking for me. Reducing some of the background tasks makes a solid battery turn into superman.

The more I use the lumia 900 the sillier iphone and android look to me. I will say parts of the experience I love are the nokia apps, so I cant say that windows in and of itself > android/iphone, but with the nokia experience on the nokia phones I think its a solid winner.

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