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Hands on with the Nokia Lumia 900 running Windows Phone 7.5

Last week I asked Nokia if I could have a look at their drool-worthy Lumia 900. As a former Windows Phone user (I had not yet upgraded to the latest Mango 7.5), I was curious to know why the 900 series had won so many industry awards and, after finally getting to hold one in my hands I knew what all the praise was all about. In a nutshell, the Nokia Lumia 900 is the best Windows Phone to date. Not only is it top of its class, it readily competes with the top tier smartphones running Android and iOS in terms of speed and power.

Big 4.3″ screen and fast UI
Windows Phone 7.5 was never a lagger when it came to the user experience. If you’ve never used a Windows Phone before, you will come to appreciate how it handles your contacts and social networking especially Twitter and Facebook rather well compared to having to download apps. And now it’s on a Nokia, which makes the experience very elegant.

Translation
Windows Phone 7.5 adds a nifty translation tool which shines with the Lumia 900’s huge screen. All you need to do is take a photo with the 8MP camera and let Microsoft’s translate feature do the rest. It superimposes a new layer of text over the typography.

Nokia Drive
Apart from Bing, Nokia released their own application for driving and directions. Plotting out a course from point A to B, Nokia Drive does the rest telling you where to head.

Nokia Store and Windows Marketplace
One of the most exciting things about the proliferation of Windows Phone in the Philippines is that you have two big giants — Microsoft and Nokia working on making the Windows Marketplace work in the Philippines. As a corollary, does this mean a localization of Windows Live and XBOX Live as well? Only time will tell! As of this writing, a Nokia-based Windows Phone can download from both the Nokia and Microsoft app stores. Local purchasing of apps should happen sooner than later.

As for the solution to a deficit with “key apps” Microsoft is readily addressing this situation. Since 2011, the app store has grown to over 70,000 apps from developers around the world. Key apps like Instagram or even a Draw Something are, although still missing, should be coming soon which is a positive sign of growth for Microsoft’s platform.

It was announced that the Nokia Lumia 900 will be carried by SMART Communications alongside the Lumia 710. The latter will be launched this Thursday, April 18 2012.

P.S. This version shown to me was not the LTE version similar to the ones carried by AT&T. Please note that LTE bands differ from country to country in the same way that phones were dual-band and tri-band before. It’s the same thing with LTE.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast, EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

27 replies on “Hands on with the Nokia Lumia 900 running Windows Phone 7.5”

Is that for you to keep? or you will send it back to Nokia? Did you experienced any bugs?(i.e. auto restart, auto shutdown, hang, etc…)

With the release of Nokia’s flagship smartphone, hopefully, it will put Nokia back on the map. The Lumia 900 is selling like hotcakes in the States (although many scratched their heads for an Easter Sunday launch) and consistently tops Amazon’s list.

On the other note, I’m happy (and nervous) that Nokia actually picked-up Windows Phone to be OS of their Lumia line and even abandoning their own Symbian OS. Philippines is considered as heavy users of Android and iOs and with Nokia tying up with Windows Phone, I couldn’t be more excited for Windows Phone that people will finally experience the upgraded Windows Mobile, so fluid, simple, smooth and yet you get this elegant and classy look and feel.

And with the forthcoming release of the Lumia Series (with the low-end 610 intended for emerging market; 710, 800), I hope Nokia and Windows Phone will finally find a share from the Filipino market.

(Btw, Jayvee, I told this to Globe before to correct the info from their pre-order page of Lumia 800 where it says “Windows Mobile” when it should “Windows Phone” since the former has long been dead and superseded by Windows Phone back in 2010, and thankfully, they did corrected the page.

Smart on the other hand, stands by their claim. Can you please advise Smart too, to correct their Lumia 710 pre-order page where it says: Lumia 710 is Nokia’s first Windows Phone because it’s not! Nokia’s first Windows Phone is Lumia 800 (which was awarded to Globe). I hoped they verify the veracity of the information contained on their website because that’s misleading, and bad marketing. Thank you πŸ™‚

(Site) http://www1.smart.com.ph/campaigns/lumia/)

Lumias aren’t competitive enough, say European carriers.
The high price tags, mediocre marketing plans and some software issues are to blame.

Specs sucks… 16Gb internal and No card slot, not Super Amoled Plus screen. Sigurado mahal nga gaya sa Europe.

@Darryl following your logic, the iPhone would also not be competitive based on specs.

I will have to refute your argument about the high price tags. The 900, although a high end phone is being sold by Nokia via telcos at 100 USD in the USA. This is due to their strategy to corner markets that are not smartphone users.

I will have to agree with you re: the marketing. They launched this product in the USA on Easter Sunday and all stores were closed!

RE: Price
Depends on how you define “competitive” I’m not a Nokia fanboy but I’m actually quite impressed with Lumia 900 and it can directly compete with HTC Titan II and others as the best smartphone right now.

There’s low-end Lumia 610 running Windows Phone 7.5 Refresh (Tango) intended for the emerging market.

RE: Software and Marketing
Nokia and AT&T was quick to admit and respond on the data connection issue. Affected users will be able to switch their device out for no charge instead if they prefer, and any new customer will get the device for free, since it retails in store for $99. The data connectivity issues (and hopefully the battery issue) has been live since April 16. And I think this is bold move for Nokia and AT&T and Apple could sure use to learn a few lessons from this!

AT&T is reportedly spending a $150 million to promote the Nokia Lumia 900 and While many scratched their heads at an Easter Sunday launch, the Lumia 900 was available for pre-order with many receiving the new Windows Phone on the Friday before the official launch date.

Reuters has talked to several European carriers and they are unanimous – Nokia Lumia phones aren’t good enough to be any sort of threat for the iPhone and Android smartphones. And there are several reasons why this is so.

Operators claim Lumia phones are too pricey and bring little innovation to justify that. The lack of proper marketing strategy and the various software bugs have also put some users off.

“No one comes into the store and asks for a Windows phone,” said an executive in charge of mobile devices at a European operator, where the Lumia 800 and 710 have been available since December last year. The executive also added that “…If the Lumia with the same hardware came with Android in it and not Windows, it would be much easier to sell.”-gsmarena

@Jayvee

I am a Mango user [Mozart] and played with Lumia 800 side by side with Mozart and one feature is not available in Nokia is the “internet sharing”. Is it available in Lumia 900?

@Hethler

I am planning to retire my Mozart for Lumia 900, what is worth waiting for Apollo?

Holy cow! I’ve finally experience the new Lumia 900! So smooth and fluid!

@Sonnie,
My first reason of not getting Lumia 900 right now is that it’s still unclear as to whether all the Windows Phone handsets (starting with Samsung Focus) will get the Apollo updates. News broke few days ago where a Windows Phone Evangelist said that all current Windows Phones will be upgradeable to Windows Phone 8 (aka Apollo. On the other hand, The Verge, reported that none of the current Windows Phones on the market will receive Windows Phone 8 upgrades while Microsoft refuses to answer this simple yet critical question.

Rumored features for Apollo:
– SkyDrive seamless sharing
– will be deeply integrated with the OS and perform VoIP calls
– Zune might be removed in favor of a new companion app
– Kinect might be coming too
– DataSmart: a built-in app keeping track of data consumption
– IE10
– Mobile payments
– Tap-to-share : data transfers between desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

On the hardware side, Apollo will also support Multi-core processors; new screen resolutions and removable microSD.

Apollo will also allow for more powerful apps and an easier means of porting code from apps developed for iOS or Android. There will be support for app-to-app communication.

Thanks @Hethler

I will wait for Apollo then. On Lumia 900, do it have the “internet sharing” feature? it’s not available in 800 (I am assuming it is not available too in lower Lumias).

Re: Internet Tethering feature

Yup, Lumia 610 (running Windows 7.5 Refresh aka Tango)and 900 came with Internet Sharing capability enabled right from the start, and Nokia is working on offering similar functionality inside its first Windows Phones too, namely Lumia 710 and Lumia 800, though there’s no definite date yet. Perhaps we’ll be seeing that on their next live update πŸ™‚

If I’m not mistaken, when Mango came out, Internet Thethering was part of its update and applies to all Windows Phone unit except for the 1st gen Samsung Focus. Too bad, I’m using an unlocked AT&T Samsung Focus πŸ™

@Hethler – The tethering feature did go with the Mango update for HTC Mozart too, it came after on the 2nd minor update after Mango. I will wait for Apollo na lang. Still satisfied pa rin naman with my phone, he he

Yeah, same here, I’m quite happy pa naman with my Samsung Focus though I have issue with data connectivity so I can’t internet without wifi and Globe still can’t resolve that problem. I was just tempted to get Lumia 900 because the buzz it generated and even made me more excited when I personally played around with it yesterday.

But yeah, if the rumored Apollo features are true then I guess it’s worth the wait. I’m excited with the integration of Skype (though BETA is out now on the Marketplace) and Kinect :

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