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For $100 or Less, Nokia's Lumia 900 is Hard to Beat
on April 8, 2012
Let me preface this by saying that I received my Lumia 900 from AT&T two days ago, and what a phone it is! First off, I received the phone for free with an AT&T service plan. That is hard to beat. But even for the price of the new iPhone, which I understand is a couple of hundred dollars, I think this phone is worth it.
The connectivity and ease of use are so apparent that within five minutes of turning on the phone, I was on Facebook, chatting with friends, had downloaded all my contacts online, setup my email, and was calling my best friend to test the call quality. I didn't pull anything over from my previous phone, just let Windows Mobile do its thing. It's difficult for me to imagine that other operating systems can compete with the ease and breadth of use this system offers. Every single piece of software seems integrated. One can easily jump from Facebook, to Twitter, to email, to a phone call, etc. In fact, the phone notified me when people so much as "liked" a comment of mine on Facebook, and mind you I wasn't in Facebook when this was happening. That brings me to my second point, the phone is fast. I downloaded ten or so free applications in less than ten minutes. Even via WiFi, I was impressed with the phone's response time, as I was able to download maps for the entire United States on Nokia Drive (~2 GB) in ~15 minutes. Third, with all the complaints I've read about applications, I feel that it's important to touch on this aspect of the experience. Like I was hinting at before, the phone comes loaded with a bunch of applications so that right off the bat, you are texting, calling, pulling up Facebook, etc. On top of that, there are a ton of free applications for many of the sites I use most: Yelp, IMDB, Ebay, Amazon, YouTube, Evernote the list goes on... With Nokia, you also get a ton of free applications including ESPN (which is really awesome if you like sports), USA Today, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, Nokia Radio, etc. In fact, I would argue that most of the important apps are there. That said, there are some applications that you won't find including Pandora. Finally, one thing that I always hated about my iPhone was it seemed like I had to sign in for every darn little thing. With this phone, I downloaded everything, including paid applications, without signing in. That's right, I signed into my hotmail account when I first turned on the phone, and after that...nada.
Simply put, the hardware is stunning! The phone has quickly become one of the proudest items I own, as the cyan blue catches my attention every time I look at it. It really is something that you have to see to appreciate. Additionally, the single cut, polycarbonate body feels amazing in the hand. Be forewarned that the polycarbonate isn't metal and will scratch if it contacts a rough surface, but the body does achieve a sturdiness that is welcome in a device susceptible to dropping. Moreover, the display while fingerprint prone is stunning. Even with what I understand to be lower graphics than the new iPhone, the brightness, size, and definition are quite impressive. Turning to the camera, while I didn't compare the quality to other phones myself, I have seen some comparisons online that show mixed reviews depending on lighting, focus, etc. This probably isn't the phone to buy if the camera is the most important feature for you, but for the average user it will be more than enough. Separately, the storage space cannot be upgraded, so bear that in mind if you intend on downloading a lot of content. Turning to battery life, I used the phone pretty much non-stop for the first couple of days and it lasted about 7-8 hours - decent given that I was streaming videos as well as surfing the web. I recently spoke with a representative who indicated that an update is imminent and will likely contain power saving features. Given that I've heard some good things about the Lumia 800's update as it relates to extending battery life, I'm hoping the same applies here. Lastly, the phone has excellent call quality. I've long wondered how other phones with poor call quality receive so much praise. Isn't a phone (even a "smart" one) centered around the ability to make calls? Well, for me, call quality is clutch. And Nokia delivers in 1990's fashion, which is to say the call quality lives up to Nokia's past reputation. I found that the sound was crisp, the volume range was impressive, and the signal didn't fade a bit.
In short, Nokia and Microsoft have teamed up to create a user experience that really blows me away. At $100 or less with a service plan, it would be hard to compete with the Lumia 900. Good work Nokia & Microsoft and looking forward to future devices!