Top critical review
64 people found this helpful
Former Android and iPhone user. One of the best phones you haven't tried
on May 7, 2012
I am a long time Android user and have had at least five Android phones including original Galaxy S, G2X and Galaxy S2. I would consider myself a power user having tried many custom roms including CyanogenMod, software mods, Voodoo Sound, and themes on my Android phones. Android is the best for those that love customizing their phones. You can customize pretty much anything on Android. My last phone was an iPhone 4S. I jailbroke it as soon as it was available to get themes, some quick settings, and third party apps from Cydia. The iPhone 4S is the most fluid phone I know. The camera on it, is probably the best 8MP camera in smartphones currently (12MP Nokia N8 and 41MP PureView 808 will beat it though). The integration within iOS is very good and UI is mostly consistent throughout. iOS has the most apps (600,000+ apps) and way more high quality apps than Android. Additionally, the Apple's App Store has the most music, videos, books, and podcasts as far as I know. After a while I just couldn't stand the 3.5" screen of the iPhone after having used to the 4.3" screen on Galaxy S2 before. The 3.5in LCD screen strains my eyes 10x faster than the 4.3 SAMOLED screen. I decided to get another screen with same size or bigger, but didn't want another Android because I was kind of tired of how unreliable and glitchy Android can be.
I took a chance on the beautiful looking cyan Lumia 900 since it has the same 4.3 screen. I was new to Windows Phone, wanted to try out the new OS and didn't expect much from it other than that I heard it's very fluid and stable. Now I am amazed by both the Lumia 900 and Windows Phone OS. Windows Phone OS is very easy to use and in my opinion, it gives you better user experience than both iOS and Android.
Like any OS, Windows Phone has some features that I would like to see. Three features missing from my Galaxy S2 are native divx/xvid support, Adobe Flash plug-in (1080p Flash works fine on SGS2 with Exynos chip) and a file manager. Built-in dictionary that works everywhere in the OS, like on iPhone with iOS 5, would be nice and Emoji for fun.
Setup is very easy on Windows Phone. A computer is not needed at all. Login or create your Windows Live account with the current email account you are using from another email provider. Use the Nokia's "Contacts Transfer" app from the Marketplace to transfer your contacts from another phone with bluetooth to the Lumia 900.
LTE 4G is super fast (4-5 bars = ~17-19Mpbs, even with 2 bars = ~4-8Mpbs, ping is 70-80ms with 3 bars in Dallas)
Superior call quality (Very clear audio and loud; 5/10 volume is enough for me in most situations)
Very good signal reception (Better than any smartphone I have used. I get two bars LTE while streaming video in places where everyone else can only text or get no signal)
Beautiful design with great build quality. Lumia 900 received gold award in the 2012 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA)
Small cuts and dents are harder to spot on this one piece polycarbonate body. Whatever color you see on the outside of this polycarbonate is the same color inside.
Feels good on your hands. I guess because it's round on the sides.
8MP camera is decent. It will be better with manual camera settings and some 3rd party camera apps. Be sure to install the Camera Extras app from Nokia to get more functionality out of the camera.
(iPhone 4S>Galaxy S2>Lumia 900)
There are two ways to take pictures.
1. Press the camera button half way and hold it to focus, then press it all the way in to take a picture.
2. Touch on the screen for auto focus and capture.
Update: Nokia released the firmware update on Zune. Camera is much better at low light now.
Front facing camera is top notch in quality with wide angle. You have to see it to believe.
Very good RGB (None Pentile) AMOLED screen with Nokia's ClearBlack technology rated as the best screen for outdoor viewing by DisplayMate labs and Pocket Lint.
4.3" in screen on this phone could be close to perfect size for now. No one hardly complains about it's being too big or too small after using the Lumia 900.
Loud speaker and good sound quality through headphones. The background noise from the headphone jack is very high to me. I am so used to the Cowon J3 with no background noise at all. Of course this will be depend on your headset also.
Built-in FM radio. It's inside the Music+Videos hub -> Radio.
Battery life is alright for me. It's not good nor bad. It's up to you sometimes. More live tiles and apps with background tasks will give you less battery. AMOLED screens save battery on black, however it will eat up battery very fast on white, which is something you should consider. I guess you could say Windows Phone OS is made for AMOLED and iOS is made for LCD. There is a Battery Saver option in the Settings that could give more battery life.
Windows OS is crazy fast, easy to use and reliable! No freezes or reboots that I have seen like on Android.
Visual Voicemail included for free! : Much faster and easier to use than traditional voicemail. It displays the caller and their voicemail messages in the Phone/Dialer hub in its own Voicemail section. To play voicemail message, you just tap on the caller's name. You'll never have to dial the voicemail number again.
Bing Search (Access it with the hardware search button):
- Local Scout: List all your nearby restaurants, shops, attractions and events. Very useful.
- Bing Vision: Search with the camera for things like albums, books, movies, CDs, DVDs, barcodes, ect...and translate texts with the camera to many different languages.
- Bing Music: It listens to music and gives the name of the song/artist currently playing.
- Voice Search: With Microsoft TellMe
People Hub: Combine all your social networks into one place (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Windows Live)
Facebook Intergration in WP: After you logged in Facebook, Windows Phone will grab your FB friends and put them in the People Hub together with their profile pictures, phone numbers, e-mails, and birthdays. Their birthdays will show up in the Calendar app too for easy peak and reminder of the upcoming birthdays. Since Facebook Chat is built into the Messaging app, you won't need a Facebook app to do live chat 24/7.
Me Hub: Let you check in to Facebook Places, post messages, set your Facebook online status, see your notifications, and replies from other people about on your posts. Type once and post everywhere to all your social networks at the same time.
Email (with Conversation Views): Support for Exchange, Office 365, LinkedIn, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Windows Live (Hotmail, Xbox LIVE, messenger), AT&T address book, and other providers with manual POP and IMAP settings.
Pin (Create Shortcut) to homescreen with just about anything: albums, songs, books, pictures, groups, contacts, Facebook contacts, navigation locations, any radio station in 3rd party apps (TuneIn Radio, iHeartRadio, Metro Radio), movie theaters, movies, websites, places, restaurants, shops, attractions, etc...
Windows Phone OS can read incoming text messages with the name of the sender through Bluetooth. It'll allow you to reply back with voice-to-text. All hands-free experience while driving.
Real-time or Live Lyrics: You need apps like realLyrics and Lyrics Show. They work great with Zune Pass and mp3 files. It works like closed captions on TV.
Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote. Access to Office 365, Sharepoint and Skydrive.
Xbox Live: Windows Phone games with Xbox Live enabled have achievements just like on the Xbox 360 and points will be added to your Gamertag. You'll be able to send messages to your Xbox friends, edit your Avatar (Xbox LIVE Extras app), buy Avatar gears, view and compare game achievements with friends, receive Xbox Live game request, and control your Xbox all with your phone (Xbox Companion app).
Onscreen keyboard is pretty good. Predictions are accurate. I haven't missed Swiftkey and Swype from Android. It allows you change the word by tapping on the word to highlight it and it'll give you the suggestion words to overwrite it or type in new letters to replace the original word completely.
Find my Phone feature: You can make your mobile ring, lock, erase, and find your phone.
Internet Tethering\Sharing: Available for use with a 5GB data plan from AT&T
You can Automatically put a Call on Speaker using Voice Command: Press and hold the Home button to access Voice Command, and say something like "Call John on speaker".
Nokia Collection apps (in the Marketplace):
- Nokia Drive: Many people could buy Lumia phones for this app alone. It's a free turn-by-turn GPS navigation. You could download any map you want anywhere in the world to use for offline and data-free. It includes more than 50 different voice languages.
- The Dark knight Rises: Get exclusive trailers, wallpapers and ringtones. Play the location-based challenge "Claim Gothan City" choose a side - Batman or Ban- and check in using Foursquare at nearby locations to get points and unlock rewards.
- Nokia Trailers: Watch movie trailers by streaming or downloading for later use.
- Contacts Transfer: Transfers contacts from other devices to the Lumia using bluetooth.
- Nokia Transit: Details for local public transport with realtime routes that include departure and arrival times.
- Nokia Maps: Alternative for Bing Maps
- App Highlights: Helps you find latest and hottest WP apps.
- Creative Studio: Supports for panorama and many other special effects.
- 100th Day of School: Sesame Street Elmo interactive read-aloud experience.
- ESPN: Follow the latest match results, breaking news, commentary, and videos from your favorite sports.
- CNN: Get your latest headlines and top videos. Receive breaking news alert. View, record and submit video and photo to iReports in real time.
- Univision: Entertainment, news and sports coverage.
- Caddie +: Golf app with many features like augmented reality of other golfers, live scoring, tournament scoring, aerial map views, detailed score and stat tracking, GPS rangefinder and more.
- ACC Sports: Atlantic Coast Conference sports
More Nokia Exclusive apps: Nokia Music, Nokia Reading, Nokia SmartStart, Nokia Camera Extra, Nokia City Lens, Nokia Play To(DLNA), Nokia Data Counter, Words with Friends, Draw Something, Goal.com 2012 Finals, Six Flags, The Dark Knight Rises, AOL Entertainment Hub, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Box, Groupon, Tripods, Paypal, Angry Birds Space, FIFA, Madden NFL, NBA Jam, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR®, Mirror's Edge, Yahtzee, and Viber with HD voice calling.
100,000+ Apps: Apps aren't a problem for me. WP has most of the main apps. It's the fastest growing app store as both Microsoft and Nokia are constantly adding more apps to the platform. Uninstall them is easy like on iOS, simply press and hold on the app you want to uninstall for two seconds, you should see a popup menu with the word "Uninstall". The same way you would easily remove any AT&T's "bloatware" on your Windows Phone. You don't need "root" at all for this.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, foursquare, Flickr, Netflix, Slacker Radio, TuneIn Radio, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Last.fm, Soundtracker, Newegg, WhatsApp, Ebay, Amazon Mobile, Amazon Kindle, Audible, OverDrive Media Console, Flixster, iMDB, Fandango, Adobe Reader, Shazam, Soundhound, WolframAlpha, ESPN, CNN, USA Today, Scoremobile, Bank of America, ShopSavvy, Tango Video Calls, Groupon, Evernote, Vevo, WeatherBug, The Weather Channel, Yelp, Pindora Radio is for the Pandora lovers.
FlashVideo For WP app is a must for Adobe Flash videos.
-AppFlow App Discovery: It helps you find great apps for Windows Phone.
-Windows Phone News: Does what it says. Try Weave app for other news from the same developer.
-Dictionary.com: Offline dictionary with voice.
-UC Brower and User Agent Switcher: Internet Browsers.
-Translator: Use your camera to translate printed text, voice recognition to translate spoken text, or keyboard to enter text that you want to translate.
-Bing2Wall/Papercut: Grab wallpapers from Bing search.
-Connection Tiles/Toggle: Quickly turn on/off settings like Wifi, Airplane, and Bluetooth.
-Flashlight XT: Simple and no ads.
-TouchDevelop: Write fun programs straight from your phone.
For those that want USB storage on your Windows Phone. You can install a program called "USB Storage Enabler". It's available on XDA forum. Your phone will show up as a USB drive on your computer.
How to get selectable EDGE/3G/4G/LTE on the Lumia 900.
1. Dial ##3282# to get to field test application
2. Press on the three dots ... on the bottom right screen and pick settings.
3. Choose the opposite of what selected "2G only" or "3G only" in Network type.
4. Press the hardware Back button to get back to the long list of texts. Scroll all the way down and select ToggleENS(REBOOT) then wait couple seconds for your phone to reboot.
5. Go to Settings -> Cellular. There should be the E/3G/4G in the list of "Highest connection speed".
Currently Skype doesn't run in the background, fortunately the Tango Video Calls app does work in the background.
Lumia 900 costs around $209 for the materials vs $188 of the 16GB iPhone 4S.
-Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak prefers Windows Phone over Android phones. He said Windows Phone is more beautiful and intuitive than both iPhones and Android. "I'm kind of shocked on every screen -- much more beautiful than the same apps on Android and iPhone."
-Siri said the Lumia 900 is the best when asked "What is the best smartphone ever". Apple fixed it after couple hours (Samsung Galaxy S III' S-Voice did the same mistake)
I would recommend this phone to anyone. You don't have to take my words for it. Consumer Reports recommended this phone. It won the best cellphone of CNET's CES 2012 Award, Popular Mechanics editor's choice award and Popular Science "Product of the Future". Don't just look at the specs. There are many features that aren't listed on the spec sheet. Go to a store, play with the phone, and see for yourself.
Update July 23: I am giving this 3 stars for now since I have an issue with capacitive buttons not responding well during an audio playing through the speakers. I sent the phone to repair. Nokia said they couldn't duplicate the issue and sent my phone back unfixed. Many people are having this issue from the comments I see in Nokia forum. The link is in the comments section below. Still waiting for Nokia to response.
Unfortunately, all the current Windows Phone 7.5 won't get Windows Phone 8 but will get the Windows Phone 7.8. I'd say wait the high end Lumia 920.
Here are the features announced for current Lumia users.
* A new Start screen look and feel, familiar from Windows Phone 8, giving you a whole new look the moment you unlock your phone
* Ringtone maker app to selected markets to create a personal ringtone
* Contact share app updated to support sharing over Bluetooth in addition to SMS and email
* Bluetooth file transfer to send media files via Bluetooth from your Lumia device to any other phone
* Cinemagraph and updates to Smart Group Shot (They are lenses for camera app)