Ease of Learning: 3.5 / 5
Ease of Use: 4 / 5
Enjoyment: 3 / 5
Design: 2.5 / 5
Value for Money: 3 / 5
There are many other Windows Phone smartphones available on the market, but none as popular as the Nokia Lumia series. With a line-up already consisting of the Lumia 610, Lumia 610 NFC, Lumia 710, Lumia 800, and 800c, all packed with Windows Phone 7.5, is there space for another Windows Phone smartphone? Nokia would like to think that there is. Introducing the Nokia Lumia 900. Nokia’s new flagship smartphone was unveiled in South Africa at an event on the 19th June 2012. The obvious question that arises, therefore, is whether the new Nokia Flagship Smartphone is much better than the previous Nokia Lumia 800.
The first notable difference when unboxing the Lumia 900 is the lack of curved Gorilla Glass we’ve come to expect on previous flagship devices, as seen on the Lumia 800 and N9. When those aforementioned devices were launched, special mention was made to this feature and how much it adds to the overall design. Why then remove a feature synonymous with the Nokia flagship devices for the standard flat glass display? The Nokia Lumia 900 packs an additional 0.6”of display, now measuring in at 4.3”. With the increase in screen size, it became unfeasible to retain the curved glass, more from a build perspective as opposed to user interaction, although swiping across a curved glass of this size could pose some issues to users with smaller palms.
Although removing the curved glass removes some of the flair of the Lumia 800, it is understandable why Nokia had to revert back to the flat glass display. A feature of the new 4.3” display I don’t understand, though, is the 480x800px resolution. The Nokia N9 packed a 3.9” display with a 480x854px resolution, while the Lumia 710 and 800 both had a 3.7” display with a resolution of 480x800px. Having a larger screen size is usually not a bad upgrade on most devices, but then you would expect a natural increase in the resolution. The Nokia Lumia 900, then, increases the size of the display at the expense of pixels per inch.
There were many rumours at the time of the Nokia Lumia 800, with the hot topic being the device’s lack of Windows Phone 8 upgrade. The Nokia Lumia 900 has the same Windows Phone 7.5 OS, although it has seen a few minor firmware updates, which is also available to Lumia 800 users. Although Windows Phone 8 has not been launched, the news around the update to the latest firmware in November, when it is due to be released, is not good for the Lumia 900 either. The biggest challenge in bringing the new OS to any Lumia smartphones is the lack of hardware capabilities, as there are numerous new features added to Windows Phone 8 that cannot be supported on the current specifications. With the release date for new Windows Phone so close over the horizon, the big question is why release a new flagship device if it won’t support the upgrade.
Despite these downfalls of the Nokia Lumia 900, there are a few additions over the Lumia 800. The first of these is the inclusion of a 1MP, [email protected], front-facing camera. This allows you to make video calls via 3rd party apps such as Skype, but not via the generic phone dialler, as with many other smartphones. Another addition on the Lumia 900 is the gyroscope, which makes using gestured functionality slightly more accurate. The last of the notable upgrades is the Li-Ion 1830mAh battery. This upgrade is mainly to offset the additional power consumption of the increased screen size, as it yields a similar standby time, but reduced overall talk-time.
The Nokia Lumia 900 was not only launched as the flagship smartphone for Nokia, but also that of the then upcoming Dark Knight Rises. Nokia released a few limited edition Dark Knight Rises Nokia Lumia 900 smartphones that came standard with The Dark Knight Rises theme and an engraved Bat-symbol on the rear. This launch was clearly a marketing campaign for Nokia to increase sales, associated alongside a movie of such high standard and expectation. Despite this partnership, there wasn’t any product placement within The Dark Knight Rises movie that would have cemented the affiliation. Irrespective of the specifications of the Lumia 900, owning one of the 900 special edition smartphones will still be a prize possession for any fan.
If you already own a Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone, I can’t see why you’d want to upgrade to the Lumia 900, especially being so close to the release of Windows Phone 8, which will no doubt mean a few more Nokia devices. Again I end up in a situation on whether or not I can recommend this device, especially if you consider the other smartphones available. One really great positive about the Lumia 900 is its sound quality when connecting to peripheral sound devices (including headphones and car audio), something that has been lacking on a number of other smartphones. With the lack of Windows Phone 8 update, if it were up to me, I’d stick it out until November (or even Xmas); or else you’ll find yourself with an outdated Windows Phone flagship smartphone in just 4 months.
You can find the full specifications here.