For the last 2 weeks I have been using a Lumia 900 as my main device, the current Nokia flagship device at least until the Nokia Lumia 920 arrives. The announcement of a new device didn’t make the Lumia any less relevant however as it will still receive the Windows Phone 7.8 update in the future. Nokia has also pledged to update the phone with features previously thought to only be exclusing to the Lumia 820 and 920. Anyway, on to the phone itself.
The first thing you notice when picking up this device is just how well it’s made. I was given the Batman edition to test which is the same externally as the standard black Lumia save for the Batman insignia on the back. The phone feels incredibly durable and looks beautiful. Nokia have put themselves on a par with the likes of Apple in terms of industrial design.
On to the software now and before the Lumia arrived I had never used a Windows Phone device as my only device and I was interested to see how I would get on. I’d heard the software was miles behind iOS and Android but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure the software doesn’t do everything Android does but there is always going to be differences between the mobile OS’s. The fact is in my 2 weeks using the phone I never once felt there were any glaring ommissions. Windows Phone 7 is fast and responsive. The UI (formally known as Metro) is unique and well thought out. I liked that the majority of apps have a common design as this made navigating the apps easier than it would be if I was having to learn a new interface each and every time.
Live Tiles are a great feature, they show up to date info ranging from things like email inbox to current weather to how many @replies you have on twitter. The order is customisable and from what I’ve seen, this is only going to get better in Windows Phone 7.8.
The Keyboard is excellent also. I was able to type just as fast as I could on my iPhone and better than I could on any of the stock Android keyboards. I became quite accustomed to the sound it made when typing as well, it was more aurally pleasing than the harsh clicks of the iOS keyboard I’m used to.
Internet Explorer is a very capable browser also. It was often criticised at launch in 2010 for not having flash but given that, for the most part, flash on mobile is dead and the web has moved on from it I never missed it. Pages loaded fast and scrolling and pinch to zoom were incredibly quick. My only slight complaint would lie with the font, which isn’t as visually appealing compared to Helvetica Neue or Roboto but it’s not the worst I have seen either.
The camera on the Lumia 900 is superb. It’s one of the best I have used on a phone both in terms of software and images. There is a dedicated shutter key which starts the camera from anywhere in the OS including the lock screen which is incredibly handy for taking quick shots. It’s also a 2 stage button so when taking pictures you can focus using the button instead of needing to tap the screen. Video recording is HD as is the standard nowadays and when recording there are large but almost transparent numbers overlaid across viewfinder so you can see how long you’ve been recording for. Nokia offers a “camera extras” pack as a download as well which adds additional features to the camera that arent available on stock Windows Phone 7.
Apps were not a problem for me either. There are a few omissions such as Instagram but all the big hitters are there like Twitter, Foursquare, Whatsapp, Facebook, which is actually one of the best iterations I’ve seen. Nokia also adds unique apps of its own such as Nokia Drive which is a frankly fantastic Navigation solution.
Overall I was really impressed with the Lumia 900. Windows Phone 7.5 is a capable OS that is only going to get better very soon with the release of 7.8 and the hardware is incredibly nice. I normally use phones in a case but the Lumia 900 was just too beautiful to cover up.
The Lumia 900 is available from Phones4u and we’d like to thank them for loaning us this phone for review.
Now, we’ll admit that some of the shots here came out a little fuzzy, so head over to our earlier article if you’d like to see more photos.