I’m an Apple device-lover by nature and have been for several years (you won’t find the Windows platform on any device we own), so when Nokia asked me to review the Nokia Lumia 900, I was a bit skeptical. Even though I decided to step into the review as neutral as possible, to be completely honest, I had low expectations. Despite it all, this Windows smartphone did nothing but impress me at every turn.
I demand a lot from a phone:
- With 3 little ones around, my phone needs to durable – able to be dropped several times a week, to withstand sticky toddler fingers and the occasional slobber of a teething infant – and still perform flawlessly.
- Because I often forget to charge my phone, it must have a better than decent battery life.
- It must have reliable signal for those emergency room situations (which we seem to have plenty of in our household).
- It needs to be functional and fast because, frankly, I have little time to waste when I am chasing down 3 kids in 3 different directions.
So far, this phone has lived up to my standards. And boy, is unbelievably fast. Actually, many times, it’s faster than my laptop!
I don’t have time for and disregard most instructional booklets on any appliance or device I own, so I really appreciated the fact that the Nokia Lumia 900 had a minimal, self-explanatory set-up and was user friendly from the get-go. I installed the MiscroSIM card and set up my desired accounts (social media and email) and presto! Even my tiny tots are able to use it with little to no instruction.
I love the sleek, stylish elegance of this phone. With its bold color (I have the cyan, though it is available in black, white and a bright pink for a limited time), there is no mistaking my phone for any other. In short, it is stunning! The Lumia is made of a durable and comfortable to hold one-piece polycarbonate body (no PVC). Although slightly larger than an iPhone (5 x 2.7 x 0.45 inches), it is still lightweight (just over 5.5 oz), and the slightly thinner edges on the top and bottom of the phone make it easy to slide into your pocket without it “catching” on anything.
The 4.3” AMOLED ClearBlack glass touchscreen produces easy to read text, vivid images, and crystal clear graphics whether you are indoors or out. The larger screen is perfect for playing games, watching videos and surfing the web.
The camera is actually one of my favorite features. It is so much easier taking around my phone than my bulky camera. I find that I tend to take more photos than I used to because of it. Plus, with my camera, I average several weeks to upload photos to my laptop, whereas, with my phone, it’s up on FaceBook for the grandparents to view within seconds (fast, one-click sharing).
It’s easy to get to camera mode with a single touch of a button on the side of the phone. I usually don’t have time to fiddle around trying to find the right tile on my screen, so this really came in handy.
For those shutterbugs wondering, it has an ample 8 megapixel rear-facing main camera with a Carl Zeiss Optics, 3x zoom and dual LED flash for crisp, high quality photos. Even in the lower light conditions, which my home seems to be plagued with, the images still came out fairly good with minimal graininess. Bonus: From the AT&T Marketplace, you can find both free (and not free) photo editing apps. It’s awesome!
It has a 1 megapixel front-facing secondary camera for video calls and the like. I love that you can face the camera either direction!
Here is a photo I took using the Nokia (excuse the slightly less than focused image, as I was carrying a third child):
The Nokia Lumia 900 is built for speed and Internet with a 1.4 GHz processor, 4G LTE, Bing, Internet Explorer 9, HTML5, and Wi-Fi. As I mentioned before, it loads at super-lightning speed. This is extremely helpful for a busy, on-the-go mom blogger. Although it might seem lacking in some specs, it performs as well if not better than most smartphones I’ve come into contact with.
The phone reception is reliable and clear.
Another of my favorite features is that the touchscreen is very responsive, fast without being squirrely. Just a simple tap is all that is needed, and it’s accurate, too!
I don’t use my phone very often, but when I do, I use the larger, battery-draining features (like games, internet surfing, GPS). Still, I don’t have to charge it but every couple of days, making the standby and talk time somewhat impressive.
SOFTWARE AND APPLICATIONS
The Lumia 900 comes with some pre-set applications, but the home screen is completely customizable and you can even easily uninstall any unwanted applications. With the AT&T Marketplace, you can quickly browse through or search for additional apps, games, music and podcasts. Here are some of the featured apps:
- Tango Video Calls
- With the featured maps (Bing Maps, Nokia Maps and the voice-guided AT&T Navigator, you won’t need any other GPS device.
- Nokia Drive gives you a traffic report one hour prior to leaving your home or office.
- Xbox Live
- If you are an AT&T U-Verse subscriber, you can use the AT&T U-Verse Mobile app to schedule and manage your DVR recordings or watch TV shows from your mobile phone.
- For the sports fanatics, ESPN Sports Hub gives you up-to-date scores and videos.
- Local Scout is a great app when you want to find nearby restaurants or shops. It provides you with phone numbers, addresses, directions, hours of operation and reviews of each.
- People Hub would be a popular one amongst us bloggers. It allows you to quickly scroll through your social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook) to see your updates in real time. All this in ONE location rather than scrolling though different screens or apps.
- Voice activation is pretty much standard with many smartphones, but I really have enjoyed the effortless text dictation on the Lumia. I generally despise text messaging (so much in fact, that I turned the feature completely off on my other phones), but I can get used to voice texting – speaking my message and sending the text without having to actually type it. And guess what? It was completely 100% accurate! I wish I could say the same for those automated phone agents when you call the airlines.
- Visual Voicemail
As with any phone or device, after prolonged use you find quirks and areas that need improvement. The Nokia Lumia 900 is no exception. Here are my minor “gripes”:
- I don’t like certain button placements, namely the back and search buttons on the face of the phone near the bottom of the screen and the “end call” button. Almost every time my kids or I use it for browsing or gaming purposes, we accidentally touch the search and/or back buttons. It’s a natural place to position your thumbs to make sure you can fully view the entire screen. Perhaps it’s just the way my bones are structured, but the “end call” button gets brushed by my cheek every so often, resulting in, you guessed it, an ended call. I would love to see that updated to a new location on the next model.
- I don’t like that I can’t lock out of purchasing apps. I didn’t include my credit card info anywhere on the phone on purpose, yet it still downloaded a non-free app on accident (and while in my back pocket!) when I forgot to “lock” the phone. It said it charged to my AT&T account automatically. On an iPhone, I can lock that feature completely so that it requires a password. I can just imagine the “damage” my kids could accidentally incur while playing a game.
- Though I was never left wanting, there is a considerably less volume of apps and games in the Marketplace when compared to Android and iPhone libraries. Like I said, it wasn’t a major issue for me, especially because I found all the popular games and comparable apps, but to someone who is very accustomed to having certain apps and games, this may present an issue.
- I wish it had the date, battery life and signal strength on the home screen and not just the “lock” or welcome screen. However, on the plus side, I do like that “lock” screen tells you what’s on your calendar and notifications (new, unchecked emails and messages) at a glance.
- You cannot replace the battery.
- With 16GB there is not much storage space on the phone itself.
- The MicroSIM card tray opens with a tiny key that resembles a pin. I can see myself losing it, which means I either have to get it replaced or find a suitable pin when I need to open the tray (which hopefully shouldn’t be very often).
BUY IT! Gifting mobile phones seems to be a popular choice around the holidays, and the Nokia Lumia 900 is definitely priced to please. As rates vary based on contract terms, please check with the AT&T network for pricing.
Want this super stylish phone for yourself or for a loved one this Christmas? Well, you can WIN it here!*
*Please note that the Nokia Lumia 900 is only available on the AT&T network, so the winner will need to be a current or new AT&T customer in order to use this phone. US residents only.
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