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Early Nokia Lumia 900 reviews: good, not bigger than iPhone

updated 10:30 pm EDT, Tue April 3, 2012

Nokia Lumia 900 gets positive but not needed OK

The Nokia Lumia 900 received an Apple-like simultaneous blitz of early reviews that have shown a positive overall outlook that still posed trouble for Nokia and Microsoft. Advantages from our hands-on (above) like the quality screen and beautiful design still held true. Windows Phone is still considered an accomplished operating system, and the addition of LTE like elsewhere gave it a large speed boost in speed online.

Among the more common complaints was the rear camera, which is inherited directly from the Lumia 800. Although it has a wide f2.2 aperture and an eight-megapixel sensor, reviews at AllThingsD, The Verge, and Time all panned the image quality. Colors remain "washed out," and the camera often has trouble properly focusing on close-up subjects or avoiding the "pink spots" that some phones produce in the middle of their camera shots. Engadget saw relatively balanced color but was the exception rather than the rule.

Performance also remained an issue. Windows Phone's basic interface remains very fast, but its browser still trailed well behind Android and iOS in speed, on top known limitations for video (720p) and gaming performance that come from a single-core processor.

Software reactions were mixed and no longer as positive as they once were. The hub concepts, simple layouts, and Nokia-specific bonuses like Maps and Transit were positives. The quality of its app ecosystem was a problem, though, and interface issues were now starting to be glaring. The Verge was especially damning, and noted that multitasking was behind iOS and Android,the browser didn't render as accurately, and much of the vaunted social integration was unintuitive, being much better served by individual apps.

The site's Joshua Topolsky summarized it as time to offer a true rethink of the OS and that Microsoft couldn't keep relying on the uniqueness of its OS to drive sales. "I think it's time to stop giving Windows Phone a pass," he said.

No reviews so far have given the phone a bad review, but the overall scores pointed to a solidly average device that wouldn't make the broader public reconsider its opinion on Windows Phone. While far from a disaster, it wasn't a "crowning achievement either," Engadget wrote. The reception could pose problems for AT&T's ambitions, where it hopes to have a launch bigger than the iPhone's but with a device that may be considered average next to those with dual-core processors, higher-resolution screens, and better cameras.

by MacNN Staff



  1. leonpro

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Single Core?

    Of all the glaring limitations on this otherwise awesome-looking phone, why would someone release a single core processor at this day and age?

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    BIggest meh ever?

    Lumia. That's pronounced Lu-meh-ya.

  1. juraiprince

    Joined: Dec 1969


    AT&T is wrong...

    ...I don't think this will be the phone that will top the iPhone 4S and be their biggest launch ever. That phone isn't due to hit the shelves until later this year. It will be the New iPhone (iPhone 5).

  1. Alfiejr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    it's pretty plain that, except for the eye candy, the 900 is a mediocre smartphone by today's standards. with nothing really special to offer, except for loyal MS/Nokia users.

    but that damning truth is not the meme that most web pundits want to report. they want a New Kid In Town! a new contender to rival Apple now that RIM is on deathwatch and Android is just muddling along.

    so all the blogs that usually go wild over the latest Android phone specs suddenly don't think Lumia specs matter that much. it's fresh! and all those that love to nit pick any iPhone issue just glaze over the Lumia's quirks. no removable battery, oh, that is so 2010! no Adobe Flash? oh, that is so 2011!

    and it's $100 cheaper! why it's half the cost of an iPhone! (unless of course you count the two year contract, or unlocked full price, after which its only 5% cheaper).

    these fawning reviews of the 900 are embarrassing. but then, most of the stuff on the tech web these days sounds like smart college kids B.S.'ing in some bar.

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