Nokia Lumia 900: An iPhone User’s Perspective

Since 2008, I’ve been a dedicated iOS user and somewhat of a fanboy. While I’ve spent plenty of time playing around with Android phones such as the Droid RAZR and the HTC Desire, they’ve all been laggy and generally do not provide an enjoyable experience for me. But while Android didn’t stand out for me, another mobile OS did: Windows Phone 7.

To be honest, most Windows Phone devices have been pretty dull. The Samsung Focus, HTC Titan and others have looked like any other non-iOS. However, this completely changed when Microsoft and Nokia announced their partnership and Nokia announced their new series of Windows Phones.

In case you’re unaware, Nokia originally announced the Lumia 710 and 800 in November of 2011. The Lumia 710 featured a whole new design while the 800’s design was carried over from the MeeGo-sporting Nokia N9. The Lumia 710 would be brought to the US via T-Mobile while the Lumia 800 would stay in Europe. This did eventually change as the unlocked Lumia 800 was offered in a wallet crushing media pack, which cost $899 at Microsoft Stores in the US.

Then CES 2012 rolls around and Nokia announces two more devices: the Lumia 900 and the Lumia 610. The 610 is meant for emerging markets as the expected price of the unlocked phone is sub-$250. The Lumia 900 on the other hand, is an AT&T-exclusive high-end Windows Phone for the US market.

Priced at only $99 (on-contract) in the US, the Lumia 900 rocks a 4.3″ touchscreen and a front facing camera. The US variant of the Lumia 900 also packs LTE connectivity while the international version is running on HSPA+.

Now that I’ve run down all the specs and history of the Nokia Lumia series, I want to give you my full thoughts on the Nokia Lumia 900 after I was given one last week. While this won’t be a full review of the Lumia 900, it should give you a good idea of an iPhone user’s thoughts on the device.

My Thoughts on The Lumia 900

I’m not one to complain about specs on a mobile device. As long as the device works flawlessly for me, I’m happy. So I honestly don’t care that the Lumia 900 only features a 1.4GHz single-core processor and 512MB of RAM. Why? The phone is smooth. Scrolling is fluid, app switching is fast and to be honest, it just works. So that’s a plus.

Lumia 900
The Lumia 900 features an absolutely out of this world design. I never thought I would say that a chunk of plastic is sexy, but I think I have to. The Lumia 900 (and 800, for that matter) has arguably one of the best phone designs I’ve seen in recent history. I like to think of it this way:  the iPhone 4/4S has the best industrial design while the Lumia 900 has the best “playful” design on the market.

As for Windows Phone 7.5, I don’t mind it. It’s a totally new idea, which didn’t copy iOS. The menus could be a tad more easy to use, but the “Live Tiles” are very nice and add a ton of functionality to the device. While there is a lack of applications in the Marketplace, the necessities are there and so is Angry Birds.

As for the screen, ClearBlack is nice, but not perfect. While it does allow me to see the screen better in the daylight, the pixel density is pretty horrible. With a screen resolution of only 480×800 (~217ppi), text can often seem blurry and images washed-out. I’m refreshed when I go back to my iPhone 4S’s 960×640 (~326ppi) screen.

The Lumia’s camera is also pretty bad. While Nokia claims the Lumia 900 boasts a 8-megapixel sensor, it sure doesn’t act like it. Images seem washed out and have an annoying pink spot in the middle. Please see the example below.

Lumia 900 Camera

Finally, I cannot currently comment on the Lumia’s LTE connectivity as I’m using it on AT&T’s PAYG plan, so I only have access to their HSPA+ network. On HSPA+, data is fast and call quality is pretty good.

While the Lumia 900 won’t replace my iPhone 4S, it’s a close runner up. It’s definitely the best Windows Phone 7 device on the market and Windows Phone 7 provides a nice user experience which can’t be matched by anything except Apple’s iOS. So if for some reason you’re looking for a non-iOS device on AT&T, the Lumia 900 should be your match.

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Andrew Kunesh

Andrew is a geek, Apple enthusiast, blogger and coffee lover from Chicago. Follow Andrew on Twitter for constant updates: @andrewkunesh