Review,Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 900 – Great Device but Too Late For Indian Market

20 Mar , 2013  

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Quite late, but better late than never, Lumia 900 knocked on my door 2 weeks ago. I had the opportunity to try the Nokia Lumia 900 and I was curious, as I’ve been a user of Lumia 800 in the past. It was time to check out the big brother of Lumia 800 and see where it stands.

Lumia 900 was announced and launched in most of the countries, except the India (I never understood why!).  Anyway, it was finally launched in India when everybody was waiting for Lumia 820/920.

Box and Package

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Sales Package contains following items with Lumia 900:

  • Nokia Lumia 900
  • Nokia Fast USB Charger (AC-16U)
  • Nokia Charging and Data Cable (CA-190CD)
  • Quick Guide and Product Information Bulletin
  • SIM Door Key

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Sadly, you’ll have to buy an adapter to plug of charger in our Indian sockets. The package also includes a SIM Door Key to open the SIM Door and pull out the microSIM tray.

KEY FEATURES & SPECIFICATION

  • 4.3″ AMOLED ClearBlack display with WVGA 800×480 resolution
  • 1.4 GHz Qualcomm S2 APQ8055 CPU with 512MB RAM
  • Adreno 205 GPU
  • 16 GB internal user memory
  • Windows Phone 7.8
  • Integrated GPS, A-GPS receiversAccelerometer for correct orientation of displayNokia Drive with free drive and walk navigation
  • 8 MP camera with Carl Zeiss Lense and Dual LED Flash

 Design

Lumia 900 is similar in design with it’s smaller brother, the Lumia 800. Still, it differs in many aspects. Let’s have a look at the comparison of the design on Lumia 900 with a black Lumia 800.

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On the top of the Lumia 900, you will find a 3.5mm audio jack, a microUSB port and microSIM door. Unlike Lumia 800, microUSB port is open and you cannot open SIM Door by sliding it. You are supplied with a Door key and you push in the needle type part of Door key to open the door and pull SIM tray out. I found it to be less convenient to use a SIM Door Key to take out the SIM tray. Every time you need to change SIM, you’ll need Door key or something pointy or a long needle like thing. We don’t change SIMs often but many people in India keep several SIMs  (because SIMs are cheap or free). So in case of emergency, it will be hassle to find something to open the SIM door, unless you are willing to carry the SIM door key in your wallet, which is, of course, not a big trouble. But, I would still prefer Lumia 800 kind of SIM door/tray.

On the botom of the Lumia 900, you’ll find the speaker grids. They are very well placed and sound quality is quite good.

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On the left side of Lumia 900 is plain, just like Lumia 800. On right side, we have a camera key, a lock/power key and two volume keys.

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On front side, there is no big  difference. In Lumia 900, you have a front facing camera which can be used to make video calls. Lumia 800 has got curved glass display while the Lumia 900 has a flat display with a metallic bezel around it.

The back side of Lumia 900 also differs from Lumia 800. The placing of LED flash is changed. It flows along the camera strip, just like on the Nokia N9.  Another difference was, Lumia 800 has matte finishing while Lumia 900 has a glossy/shiny body. In short, Lumia 900’s design is head turner. My Lumia 900 was white and as I tweeted, it looks sexy! Whenever I was holding the phone in public, it kept attracting too many eyes.

Display

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Lumia 900 sports 4.3″ display with same resolution as of the Lumia 800. That means lower PPI. But Lumia 900’s screen uses full RGB pixels display while Lumia 800’s display is a PenTile one. You can view the above images in higher resolution and you’ll notice a sharp texts in Lumia 900.

Lumia 900 also has ClearBlack polarization, just like the 800. This makes your viewing experience good too. Because of the CBD, you have no problem using the phone in bright sunlight. You get the best brightness level whether it is dark or sunny outside.

The bigger screen of the Lumia 900 adds one more joys when you’re watching movies/videos. 🙂

Operating System

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As mentioned earlier, Lumia 900 (now) runs Windows Phone 7.8 . When I received the phone, it was running WP7.5 but WP7.8 was available and I was notified about the update. The update went smoothly. It downloaded about 3 updates, installed them and I was awarded with new Windows Phone 7.8.

I have already reviewed Windows Phone 7.5 in my review of Lumia 800. You can go to this link to read it: http://nokiatips.in/2012/04/28/nokia-lumia-800-its-new-its-great-its-amazing/ I am going to tell some features that came with WP7.8 .

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Windows Phone 7.8 brought resizable live tiles. In WP7.5 , you are fixed with just a square tile of a single size. But with WP7.8 , you can choose between small, medium and large (if supported) tiles just like WP8 OS. The resizable tiles really give a great look to your home screen. Now you can choose Bing image as the lock screen image too.

Another great feature of Windows Phone 7.8 is support for file transfer via Bluetooth. People coming from other devices (except iPhones 😛 ) found it hard to live without file sharing on Lumia devices. But as Nokia promised, Windows Phone 7.8 came with a support for file transfer. The irony is, you have to use a separate app to send or receive files. Other thing that I didn’t like was, it renames the file to some fixed phrase with a random string. You won’t have the same experience as you may find on common devices. Still, you can share the files. 😉 You can see how Bluetooth sharing works in the above video.

With WP7.8 update, you have few more colour themes for your tiles. You now have around 20 colours to choose from. The WP7.8 update also enables you to download some new and cool apps. One of the nice app that comes with WP7.8 is Ringtone Maker. You can now crop your favorite song and use it as your ringtone. Though, it only allows 30 sec window.

Overall, WP7.8 is a nice update with some really needed improvements but it is still not Windows Phone 8.

Camera

Being a Nokia N8 user, camera didn’t impress me. Lumia 800 also didn’t meet my expectation. Lumia 800 and 900 apparently features similar camera module so I doubt there will be any differences in Camera experience with Lumia 900 and 800.

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For normal usage, Lumia 900’s camera will suffice. But when you seeing a brand which is known for Camera Smartphones, you are surely going to expect more. Also, Carl Zeiss label will raise your expectations more.

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In sufficient lighting condition, camera is good. But low light performance is bit disappointing. You may notice noise in above pictures.

Newer Lumia devices seems to do better as far as the camera is concerned. Lumia 920 is surely great. Even newly announced Lumia 720 has very good sample pictures. It could be great if Nokia can release a camera update for older device which can improve image camera quality.

You can also create Panorama images with your Lumia 900. It works quite great but problem is, when you are capturing frames for panorama image and some frame contains drastic change in lighting, it will not properly track movement of camera because of improper exposure changes. It will mess up the picture. But otherwise, it works seamlessly and stitches the pictures quite well without issue of misalignment or overlapping.

I would judge camera as average compared to what we usually expect from Nokia.

Battery Life

Lumia 900 has 1,830 mAh battery, while Lumia 800 has 1,450 mAh only. That means more juice for the phone. 😉

I had no microSIM so most of the time it was connected to WiFi only.  It used to have moderate usage and Lumia 900 lasted around 2 days. With very low usage, it kept going for around 3 days and 6 hours. I was amazed with the battery life. In this whole trial of Lumia 900 for 2+ weeks , I don’t remember charging phone for more than 5 or 6 times.

With mobile network, battery life will considerably get low. But Lumia 900 will still stand quite long. For me, there is no problem if a smartphone can at least last till I get into bed at night.

Overall, battery life on Lumia 900 is quite nice.

Conclusion

2013-02-20-521 If we judge the phone absolutely, I must say, it is one of the greatest phones. Design and feel in the hand is awesome. I loved the phone just like the teddy loved. Just a look at the phone is enough to attract any eyes around you. But when it comes to current scenario and consider all the factors, I won’t recommend the phone.

Lumia 900 was a hit and a really good upgrade over Lumia 800, but it was too late for Indian market. People were expecting Lumia 820 and Lumia 920 and then Lumia 900 was finally launched in India at that too at hefty amount of around Rs. 32,999. It was really not convincing to buy a phone at Rs. 32k which was soon going to be outdated!

Lumia 900 is running WP7.8 now and we know, it is never going to get Windows Phone 8. You will never be able to use apps that are only compatible with Windows Phone 8. My opinion will be to go for newer Lumia devices running WP8, rather than spending  money on Lumia 900. I will rather go for Lumia 820 or Lumia 920 instead of investing in Lumia 900. Lumia 900 is still being sold at Rs 32k and this thing doesn’t make any sense to me! Lumia 920 is available for Rs 35.5k now. Rather raise your budget by 3k and you will get a Lumia device which is a lot better in all the aspects. Moreover, it has PureView. 🙂

Some online stores are selling it at Rs 21k but still I will recommend going for a WP8 device. Go for Lumia 820 instead. Lumia 820 is much better in most aspects, and it’s not outdated. 😉

I was quite disappointed by the delay in the launch of Lumia 900 in India. But I think it was for greater good of upcoming Lumia devices. 😉

If it was September 2012, I would have highly recommended this phone but now the phone is outdated and you should surely choose a Windows Device from the new generation, Windows Phone 8 , Lumia devices.

So what do you think about Lumia 900?

Kishan Gor is a Co-Founder of NokiaTips. He is Software Developer by profession and have a great passion for Programming and Gadgets.

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