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on May 15, 2012
I've been keeping an eye out for the Lumia 900 for some time because it felt like the first device that did Windows Phone's sleek interface justice. And then there's the Windows Phone OS itself, which unlike iOS or Android (iOS clone with flexibility) takes a completely novel approach to mobile computing. And the result...is mind-blowing. Sure, initial reviews, impressions, and brochures can tell you the specs of a device, but what's it like living with it?

I admit, I was reluctant to jump ship and use Windows Phone as my daily driver because my Nexus ONE got everything I needed done, done. It was clunky at times, but I knew there was an app for every task I would do while on the go -- at this point, I was seriously contemplating the Galaxy Nexus. However, having watched dozens of videos and tutorials on more recent iterations of WP7, it seemed like the operating system was finally ready to play on par with the big boys, and I reconsidered.

Well, I was wrong. It's better than the heavy hitters. Tasks that would take me 3-4 steps on an Android I can now do in 1-2, and that might not seem like much, but when you want to pull your phone out, get something done, and move on with life, it's huge. Living with the 900 for a month now, I've come to expect that level of delivery from smartphones. Recently, when a friend of mine asked for help on her Android, I was both surprised and disappointed by the flow-feeling interface, and unnecessary keystrokes.

It took me a little while familiarizing myself with the interface, I can't lie there -- but now, it's hard to imagine getting anything done without it. I'm not sure how I was living with my Nexus.

Here's some of what makes this device unique to me. And I use these features daily:

- Microsoft Office
- XboxLIVE integration (& companion app)
- Zune sync
- Bing! Music search (Like Shazam, but takes you straight to the marketplace)
- Native Facebook integration (good for quick checks)
- SkyDrive sync (There's something mind-boggling yet fascinating about pictures you take being uploaded to your cloud storage the moment they're taken. I love it.)

Of course, the 4G and head-turning looks certainly don't hurt, either.

All in all, the phone has exceeded my expectations. While I was interested in the WP7 OS because of its stunning looks and unique features, I was reluctant to take a leap of faith using it as my daily driver until I saw NOKIA's hardware.

Some will say NOKIA's best option was to become an Android OEM, but I disagree... The Lumia 900 is a beacon of hope -- the first step of a partnership that will make devices for the sole purpose of blowing our minds while getting crap done.

So, to all the non-believers out there: I know how you feel because I've been there. WP7 is a fledgling OS that has yet to prove itself, and on paper, sure...its hardware specs are NOT on par with the latest Android devices. But the Lumia 900 doesn't need it. It is optimized so it can finish jobs faster than a dual or quad-core android device, and throw in a sense of accomplishment for no extra charge.

Give it a chance. I did.
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on April 10, 2012
Things about me:
- I'm a former AT&T employee
- I worked for a mobile app company in Silicon Valley
- I'm a tech geek with a love for phones and switch mine out every few months, at full cost
- I have been an Android and iOS user for the last 3 years (both job and personal use)

Things that I love about this phone:
- W7.5 is pretty impressive. It is clean, neat and minimalistic. I have worked with dev in iOS and Android OS. I was a Nokia fan since the 90's (Snake anyone!?) and have always felt that I had a good experience with their Symbian OS phones.
- This phone is solid. It does not feel cheap. When I tell people it's $99, they're shocked.
- Easy to navigate. Whether you're a smartphone newb or a tech geek like myself, you'll be surprised at the ease of use of this phone.
- Screen is clean to read and use. Although I'm young, I hate small screens and this screen is not small. It's small enough to go out in my wristlets but big enough to find in my purse.
- Texting/typing on this phone is amazing! I always had to get aftermarket keyboard programs for Android bc the native keyboard blows. This types very intuitively and is not over-intrusive like iOS's keyboard/tying.
- Office365/Outlook integration. I work for a MS partner and everything I use is neatly accessible from this phone. It makes my life so much easier to see everything threaded and in the appropriate spaces.
- Live Tiles! This is so cool! I can see all the new updates as they come through about a particular person if I have them as a live title on my screen.
- Everyone is griping about Pandora not being on W7 phones, but I'm a Spotify gal and it works flawlessly on this phone.
- Works great with my Scion's in-car controls... Allows me to drive to SF without worrying about looking at my phone to change the music.
- Love the volume/speakers on this thing. Granted it's not the best, I appreciate the loudness of it and it sounds clear.
- Camera quality is insane! I took a photo of a busy intersection and it caught a moving car in perfectly clear photo. The car must have been moving at 35-40 MPH! The photo was taken during the day time with plenty of sunlight.
- The navigation on this phone is AMAZING! Wow... I will never go back to Google Maps or any other mobile map as the "Maps" native app gives really precise directions that most navi-systems costing hundreds of dollars also do. My bf is a former audio installer and he is impressed at the quality in which the directions were given as they are truly turn-by-turn directions.
- Sky Drive is neat but I still installed a 3rd party app to access Dropbox. I prefer Dropbox as I have all my stuff on there already and Sky Drive's login is tied to your Windows Live account.

Things that I'm meh about this phone:
- Battery life. I was expecting Nokia phones to last like no other but this one is average. With the "battery saving" feature, I can go 15 hours before it beeps that it needs to be recharged. I consider myself a heavy user and I feel that the battery life is adequate for the average user.
- I miss some of the touch-and-go features that Android had (brightness controls, on/off wifi/bluetooth, etc.) but realistically, I never used them enough to really care.
- The position of the buttons. The volume rocker is at a nice point in the phone and doesn't require me to hold the phone with two hands (I have really small hands!) to turn the volume up or down. The power button is in the middle which totally erks me. And the camera toggle is placed at the bottom which I naturally want to hit as the power button.
- The charger being placed at the top. I guess I'm so used to the Android-based phones having the charger at the bottom that I just need to get used to it.
- Sometimes, I will double click on the screen during camera mode and the photo won't snap. It's annoying to only have to press the button at the top of the phone to take a photo.
- I've done the "hold camera button while your phone is in sleep mode to active camera mode without unlocking your phone" and it seems tricky. Maybe the gel case on my phone makes the responsiveness of the camera button slow but it only works some of the time.
- When I turn down the all the way to zero for the ringer, it doesn't go into a silent mode. I have to go and manually turn off the vibration in order for it to be a true silent mode. Lame!
- I formerly worked for a mobile phone ringtone company and tried to send the phone a custom ringtone through text message. There's no option to download the ringtone directly from the message. This is sad that you have to download the ringtone onto your desktop, load it up with Zune then sync. (Sound familiar Apple?)
- No task killer. I opened up Zune to play a podcast and it wouldn't close completely until much later. My thought: is it still running in the background? Kind of hard to say when there's no way to view what tasks are actually still going.
- No removable battery. I'm on the fence about this as I feel that in the long run, this could be a problem which causes you to have to replace the phone if the battery is bad. But at the $99 price point, it's not going to be too big of an issue. I would have preferred to have a removable battery versus the pinhole reset button at the top.
- No SD card slot. C'mon now, this should have been a given. I understand that it comes with Sky Drive but not to be able to use my 16GB class 10 card is a waste.

Overall, I had to give this phone 4-stars only because I feel there are better OS improvements that should be made in order to make this a good phone.
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on April 11, 2012
Just a quick background. I have owned a Samsung focus(windows phone),Iphone 4, Ipad 2, Motorola xoom (android tablet)..and now a nokia lumia 900. Ive got to say, this thing is SEXY! Its heavy but not too heavy(very sturdy feel), the Windows phone interface is so easy to use (and dare I say fun?) The phone syncs with facebook and twitter without even having to download an app. speaking of apps, a lot of people have complained about the lack of apps. Sure, Temple run, angry birds space, hulu plus, pandora, and instagram arnt currently available (im sure they will be eventually)but there are alternatives and apps like ESPN, Netflix, gasbuddy, kayak, groupon, Amazon Kindle app, and allrecipies are available (and thousands more)..So far the battery life is great, camera takes great pictures (nokia has an app exclusively available for the phone called "creative studio", awesome picture editing app)..you really cant go wrong with this device for the price (hell even if it was the standard $199 itd be worth it.) The phone is fast, sturdy, the screen quality is excellent, and battery life is good. If you are eligible for an upgrade the phone is only $19.99 or $49.99 for new ATT customers. You WILL NOT regret purchasing this phone.
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on April 27, 2012
My wife upgraded from iphone 3GS. She was tired of the phone. Stated it looked old and hard to text. Also the calling clarity was bad. Too many people told her it was hard to hear her.

My wife really likes this new phone. The only thing is she's mad she didn't get it in white. The main thing I noticed (I use a Atrix 2) is that the call quality is 100% better than her iphone. First time I called her it was like she was in the other room talking to me. I was impressed. The phone looks cool, works well. feels good too. I like how the tiles are active. Nokia Drive is comparable to Google Navigation except it lets you download the maps... which is a huge plus for people who don't have unlimited data plans.

The camera is decent. The app selection is small. The price was amazing. $49 plus $100 back from ATT. Can't beat ATT paying me $51 to upgrade to this phone. If I had an option to upgrade my Atrix 2 I would probably upgrade to this phone as well.

Overall my wife is very impressed with this phone... and I am a tad envious.
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on April 14, 2012
I was not sure about moving away from my iPhone 4s (yes that is what I said!), other then a few missing apps out of the 30 or so I use, this phone has been refreshing to use and hold. I am on the road 3+ days per week and from a social aspect this phone makes my old phone (iPhone 4S) seem archaic. once you give it your Live/hotmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Exchange (if you have it) accounts it does something no other phone will do. it integrates all of them into a common people hub and fills in all the missing pieces. After I discovered GROUPS and pinned one for each of my Family, Work, Friends to my screen I never seem to go back to facebook, or other social tools and I can update everyone everywhere on my my travels with ease.

another feature I noticed early is the Voice navigation! yes no expensive app needed, just use the built in BING maps or the free Nokia Drive application with downloadable maps so you dont need to use your data plan.

there are so many things to describe and I am sure I will run out of space! I guess I would say you need to explore the phone for the little things that make like easier. the BING Music finder, Text converter, QR/Code scanner all build into the phone. or silly things like clicking on a picture you took and seeing a list of apps that you have that can manipulate this item.

oh a great feature for me was this. SKYDRIVE!! so it seems Microsoft gives everyone 25G of free storage in the cloud (think Internet), this is part of your Live account (Live.com, hotmail.com, etc) once you setup your Live account on the phone and tell it to use it to store your pictures and stuff you will never loose anything again! photos you take are backed up automatically.

LTE = amazing speed! ok so 3G was good, 4G is really a bit faster then 3G (it is really 3.5 or HSPA+) and LTE is faster then my DSL at home! yes I speed test anywhere from 8Mbps to 22Mbps (Dallas, Houston) keep in mind that not ALL CITIES are LTE. the top 50 cities or the top 100 cities are LTE. the rest will be 4G. also note that my now "crappy" iPhone 4S is only 4G (remember really only a bit faster then my old 3GS iPhone)

PS: my 13yo son who has an iPhone 4 wants to trade it and get a phone like mine :-)
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on April 16, 2012
There have been many reviews that dig into the many good things about this phone so I'm not going to add a ton of detail on that.
I'm writing this more as a focus on those things that the detractors will say it can't do without actually experiencing the phone.

First off, this phone does not have the high end specs of some other phones out there. It does not have multiple cores, it does not have a 64GB variant, it does not have expandable storage, and it does not have a removable battery. Those things make it even more impressive when experiencing what the OS can do with what is packed inside this handset. The single core processor is more than enough to handle all of the tasks thrown at it. The 16GB of storage is enough for most people and if you use the free Skydrive service you really don't need to eat into that space too much at all for anything other than videos. There is no need for a removable battery unless you never put the thing down in an LTE area as most people are able to get a full day of normal use without issue.

Next, apps. This is not directly related to the Lumia 900 but to the Windows Phone platform as a whole. People complain about a "lack of apps" when, in fact, most of the popular apps that people use on other devices are already released in the 70,000+ that are out there today. Many of those that don't have official apps have an unofficial app that someone has written to tie into the same service or an equivalent. Some companies have flat out refused to write applications for the platform and while they may be popular on other platforms, they're just missing out on more sales.

Finally, the build quality. The Lumia is a very well constructed piece of hardware. It has a great size and weight to make it where it does not feel cheap but also is hardly noticeable in the pocket. A Gorilla Glass screen is almost a must on mobile devices these days and because the entire shell of the phone is made from a single injection mold minor nicks and dings wont ruin the appearance (hopefully, I haven't found this out first hand yet). Also, the polycarbonate allows it to take a decent fall without shattering. I haven't drop tested mine, yet, but there are reports already of some falls with little or no damage.

Overall, if you aren't already deeply rooted in Apple or Google ecosystems, there is no reason to not try out the Lumia. It's a great phone, the OS is very well made, and it's absolutely a fully functional device.
It's a steal for the price and if you pick it up in a corporate store you can even return if you don't initially like it so why not?
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on April 18, 2012
I have been an iPhone customer since February 2009 beginning with the 3G and ending with the 4. It was time for an upgrade on my plan and I debated between the Lumia 900 and Galaxy S2. I must say the reviews of the Lumia sealed the deal for me. The look and feel of the phone is pleasantly surprising. I had alot of predjucices thinking there would be lag when opening apps or moving around the phone. I thought it would be cumbersome to type on the phone as I had developed a 6th sense for the iPhone. However, all of the preconceived notions where laid to rest when I put my hands on the phone. It is extremely responsive and typing text messages is extremely smooth. I was most impressed by the fact that this phone felt very "complete." My complaint with the iPhone now is that it was focused to heavily on apps only. Everything revolved around an app. The Lumia with Windows Phone feels like a complete computer so to speak. You click on one tile and it opens as if you were opening a program on a PC. Within that tile you have so many options to access so many other things. It doesn't have that micromanaged feel of there being an app for every single thing you want or need. Some reviews complained that is has a single core processor. As I said earlier, the phone has no noticeable lag that would be associated with a single core. Everything opens quickly and never have I experienced a hang. The built in speaker is almost too loud and that is a compliment, since it shows its ability. I cranked it up to 30 and it was actually so loud it was annoying. I do agree only partially with other reviewers about the camera. Outside pictures come out beautifully and taking photos is literally a snap. I also saw no delay between pushing the button and capturing the photo. I took a picture of my Sheltie in total darkness and the picture came out awesome, surprisingly I know. However the weird part came when I took a picture setting in my car. It wasn't completely dark or light and the pictures continuously came out blurry. It is like there isn't a good in between. The flash in total darkness turns photos out great and the natural sun light of being outside turns pictures out great but artificial light atleast for my photos didn't agree with the phone. There is one other minor quirk that can be turned off but too me is over used and that is the vibration. Everytime I do anything on the phone it does a short vibration, not a big deal but perhaps it could be tweaked for only important times rather than everytime. The interface is absolutely beautiful. You don't simply have screens full of jumbled apps. Phone calls are clear as a bell and cell reception is what it should be for my area. One other minor complaint would be the "People" tile. My contacts in my phone are merged with all of my friends on Facebook and I have yet to find a way to separate them. Perhaps there is a way, I just don't know yet. I don't associate with the people on my Facebook friends list as much as I do the people in my phones contact list so it is only a minor annoyance. I am definetely sold on Windows Phone and Nokia and highly recommend this to iOS and Android. Current promotion on this phone is a steal anyway. Hopefully Microsoft doesn't abandon us early adopters come October when Windows 8 is released. Would be awesome to update from 7.5 to 8 at that time.
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on April 19, 2012
Why on earth would I ditch my Dual core LTE qHD screened android phone ( droid bionic) for a phone with a single core processor and a 800 x 480 sceen resolution? Use it. You'll know why. This phone really flies through everything without ever really slowing down , and looks good while doing it.

Lets start with the OS. If you don't like windows phone you won't like this phone so why are you even reading a review? If you aren't really interested in iOS and aren't really satisfied by Android , its a refreshing alternative. It runs extremely smooth , the apps , while not as abundant are very high quality and don't force close all the time like on Android ( Don't argue with me I've had 3 android phones and a nook running Cyanogenmod and all of them have had force close issues). The only absentees that I miss in the app market are Angry birds space , Rio , and Seasons, though I think Space is coming eventually. Rocket Riot is a great game and should be downloaded by everyone.

Hardware? This phone feels great in the hand. Solid , smooth , not at all uncomfortable to hold with a little heft to make it feel substantial but its not a brick. The screen is gorgeous. Doesn't have the bluish tint that other AMOLED screens suffer from. Very visible outside , and most of the time the resolution is something thats not noticeable and looks sharper than some hi-res pentile arrays on android phones. Its great to look at. Thats all that matters , and the polarized glass is a big plus.

Camera- You can definitely get some solid shots out of the thing. Outside pictures have a great amount of depth and detail to them. Inside pictures do fairly well depending on lighting. Though there are some coloration issues , the auto-fix feature greatly improves the pictures. I haven't taken any videos but from what I've seen posted online its reasonably good quality , but its not gonna knock your socks off. The Bionic took better pictures and video , but it also force closed in all kinds of apps , had a half broken gallery app that even when brand new with a mighty dual core processor was not nearly as smooth as the gallery app on this phone , and it also lacked a camera button and took longer to take pictures and to open the camera app.

Reception/Call quality- I switched from Verizon to AT&T so I can't compare it to other phones directly , but reception seems pretty good and call quality is fantastic. The loudspeaker for music is also very loud and clear for a phone.

Battery life- Even getting up early and staying up late , I havent killed it in a day yet after about a week. Battery life is good enough to be something you won't have to think about unless you play games or stream video or use GPS or something like that which will take its toll on any phone.

So why shouldn't you buy this phone? If you think that having a higher screen resolution and a faster processor matters more than the actual experience of the phone and how the screen looks , or If you think you'll actually use all of the hundreds of thousands of apps in Apple or Googles appstore. Otherwise its worth a shot. Is it the best phone that could ever exist? No , in 6 months something will come along with better everything , but thats true of almost any phone you'll buy. Overall , I think the experience on the phone for the price of the phone made it a no brainer for me.
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on April 10, 2012
I got the phone yesterday, and had almost a day to play with it. I have been extremely impressed by the smooth operation of the OS and how the contacts, calendars etc. are tightly integrated. The phone itself is very pleasing to hold. The screen is beautiful (my wife has an iPhone4s so I am very well aware of the "Retina" display, but there is something special about the Nokia screen even though it has a lower resolution. The contrast is excellent, and images and text just stand out in terms of clarity. 4.3" is slightly big, would have preferred a 4" screen, but that takes nothing away from the quality of the screen. Touch response seems to be smoother than what I experience on the iphone. There is of course more to explore, and I am sure there will be bugs that will come up. But that should not take away any points from the fact that Nokia has partnered with Microsoft to bring a high quality phone to the US. Finally!!!!

Just to make it clear, I am not biased towards any OS. I have previously owned the iphone 3, 3g, 4 and currently have the iPad2 and HTC Flyer, so I am quite familiar with what the different mobile OS have to offer.

While setting up the Google account I did run into some authentication errors. Finally found a solution that worked. problem is not with Windows OS but on Google side. See the details below:

Basically, I created a 2-step verification on for my Gmail accounts, which seemed to be what was impeding the authentication. I opened up Gmail in a browser, opened up 'Mail Settings' (the gear icon in the top-right corner of the page), went to the 'Accounts' tab, and clicked on 'Other Google Account settings". Once I authenticated a 2-step verification process under "Security" option, I clicked "Authorizing applications & sites". Then I basically followed the steps on that page to create a once-off application-specific password for the Nokia phone (one can name it anything they want), and used the generated password by google to sync my account on the Nokia phone and voila! It worked! Once I figured out what I was doing, it took be no more than 2 minutes.
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on April 12, 2012
The thing I notice most with the Nokia, Lumia is that when I walk the dog through the forests near where I live there is no loss of signal. With my iPhone 4 I would often lose connectivity and had always assumed it was because I was away from the city, not the case. Also in the house, I always had to wave the iPhone around to keep wifi connectivity, with the Lumia the signal is strong all the time. Also the quality of the calls is very high, I can hear people clearly and vice versa which was not always the case before. Overall as a phone I find the user experience far superior with the Lumia (I think we sometimes forget with video, pictures & games that these things are primarly phones) The screen I think is very high quality, the resolution might not have numbers with lots of zeros but everyone who sees the phone absolutely loves the display, the blacks are SO black that everything looks clear & clean. The phone is also quick and easy to switch on & off, something that always seemed to take ages with the iPhone. Doing this each night I find the battery life is really quite good. There are enough Apps for me, the Maps are good, the free storage is great to keep things safe, the camera is customisable, zoomable (as is the video)and I could not live now without a Back button. Overall a great looking phone that works well and is easy to use. It's not without some small things that could be improved but then Apple iOS is now version 5.* So Windows 8 (The 3rd OS from MS I think > 7, 7.5, 8) might be the one to make this phone absolutely perfect instead of just perfect.
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