Nokia Lumia 900 WinPho 7 smartphone
Bigger and better?
Review So you’re trying to revive the fortunes of what was, until a few weeks ago, the biggest mobile phone manufacturer on the planet. You’ve launched a handset or two with a new operating system and they’ve gone down quite well. So what next? How about taking one of those handsets and releasing a near-identical one, different only in size and capabilities. Bigger and better, you know?
Big deal? Nokia's Lumia 900
This, of course, is what Nokia has done with its new Lumia phone, the 900, which builds on the strengths of last autumn’s Lumia 800. So it retains the chic matt finish, the industrial design language and the nifty Windows Phone operating system. But the screen is bigger, there’s a front-facing camera, and some other improvements.
At a glance, it looks very similar, and you could be fooled into thinking we’d zoomed in on the Lumia 800. Changes in the shape are mostly limited to a screen which is now flat, unlike the curved-edged display on the earlier handset. This screen is gorgeous: bright and colourful as you’d expect from an OLED screen – or Clear Black Display as Nokia calls it. It’s sharp and vivid, making the Windows Phone tiles look great.
Cover story: gone is the flimsy plastic connector protector
The most disappointing detail of last year’s model was the fiddly charging socket cover: a flip-up slice of plastic that was easy to break. This has been replaced with a neat open socket, centrally positioned on the top edge. Much better. The new phone feels different, too. Both old and new models favoured a matt polycarbonate finish but this one is smooth, though still pleasant to the touch. And being plastic, the phone is light, too.
The new model has the standard Windows Phone virtual buttons beneath the screen and the bigger real estate here makes them easier to activate. More importantly, the Lumia 900 comes with a bigger battery. This 1830mAh cell lasts significantly longer than the Lumia 800 did. This is just as well, because that model was beset by power management issues. Despite the juice needed to power the bigger screen, the Lumia 900 won’t run out during a day’s heavy use.
Next page: Core values
Letting Nokia off for Microsoft's imposed limitations
"...Still, Nokia’s not to blame here." They absolutely are to blame for any and all shortcomings of the phones they produce. It was Nokia's choice to employ an ex-Microsoftie. It was his (highly predictable) choice to decide to use Microsoft's phone OS for all future Nokia smart-phones. Being subject to Microsoft's demands are a consequence of these choices which they made themselves.
Tiles look tremendous until you realise you have exactly one set of tiles arranged in a long vertical list. The only customisation you have is to reorder them around. Some tiles offer feedback (e.g. saying you have 3 new messages) but you can't interact with them. If you have too many tiles you can look forward to throwing the list around to reach the ones at the bottom.
It's just primitive compared to an Android phone where you can have multiple screens and you can place buttons, shortcuts, folders and widgets in any way you please on them.
that's a lot of money
for a 4.3" 480 x 800 screen and 16GB when only a few quid more gets you a One X with a 4.7" 720p screen and 32GB.
No MicroSD support is mad, I'll grant you but not supporting multicore is like saying the Ferrari Enzo doesn't support HGV engines. It doesn't need multicore.
In order for more processing power to be necessary, you need a slow OS. You can call WP7 many things but "slow" isn't one of them.
no microSD - FAIL
16gb only - FAIL
no dual core - FAIL
no 1080p video - FAIL
no hardware home button - FAIL
Connector on the top, not the bottom - JURY STILL OUT
Bigger battery - SUCCESS
Bigger screen - SUCCESS
Front camera - SUCCESS
So that 5:3 to the fails. Though not all are Nokia's - MS's OS limitations are a bit bonkers (no multi-core? no microSD support?).