Nokia Lumia 900 Smartphone Review

Article Index

Summary and Conclusion

The Lumia 900 is widely considered to be Microsoft's best shot at securing significant market share in the U.S. smartphone space in the near term. Even though it's launching exclusively on AT&T -- one of the most disliked major carriers in the nation -- it'll be met with a huge marketing campaign. Nokia has a lot riding on this launch as well. The good news is that it's priced right; at just $99 on a 2-year contract, it's half the price of most flagship smartphones and can even be gotten for less with some returning customer promos. By this point, you should know whether or not AT&T is right for you. The company's network has been getting stronger, and in LTE areas, you'll see blistering data speeds for a mobile device.
Hardware-wise, there are few handsets that can match the Lumia 900 at its price point. For $99, you'll be hard pressed to find a more well-built phone in the US. It's sturdy, it has a great camera and it's beautiful to look at. The 4.3-inch ClearBlack OLED display, despite having a relatively low 800 x 480 resolution, is gorgeous. And on the software side, which used to be a downside for Windows Phone devices, there's plenty of new things to praise. We found call quality to be excellent as well.

Microsoft has really nailed a lot of the basics with Mango, the newest edition of the Windows Phone OS, enabling both casual and business users to find ways to get things done without jumping through as many hoops as they used to. The Marketplace is still lacking in a lot of ways, but there's plenty of promise that more apps are on the way. The question, however, is this: are you willing to jump in now with only hope for future?

It's a tough sell, even though it's a beautiful phone with a fast, fluid and enjoyable operating system. Many smartphone users are already entwined in the iOS or Android universe, and exiting now will be painful. There are app investments to be lost, data and contact syncs to do over, productivity hassles, and dealing with the loss of many of your favorite apps that are only on one of those "other" platforms. If this phone were launching for free on contract, yes, it'd be worth a look. But at $99, it's tough. That said, the up-front price of a smartphone is the least of your worries; you're most likely paying thousands over the course the contract. The difference between $100 on day one or $200 on day one is really minor in the grand payment scheme, so the pricing play itself may not be enough.

If you're new to the smartphone world, and you rely heavily on Windows, Office, Hotmail or Exchange already, this is the best Windows Phone you'll find. But those already entrenched in other platforms will have a hard time finding good reason to leave. We love where Microsoft and Nokia are heading with this partnership, though; we only hope the Marketplace can beef up in order to convince more people to leave the smartphone ecosystem that they're currently comfortable with.

  • Sharp, sleek design
  • Gorgeous 4.3-inch OLED touchscreen
  • WP7 is fluid and beautiful
  • Priced right
  • Lower-res screen
  • Cannot add storage
  • No carrier options other than AT&T

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