Nokia Lumia 900 Goes On Sale In India For Rs.32,999

Earlier this year, Nokia tried to re-enter the smartphone market with the Nokia Lumia 900. This handset was exclusively launched for the AT&T subscribers in the US. Nokia Lumia 900 is the upgraded version of the not-so-popular Nokia Lumia 800 with a slightly large display and a better battery backup. This device is already available in the US from the last 5 months. Nokia fanboys in India were not sure if the Finnish manufacturer will ever launch this device in their country.

Today, Nokia has finally fulfilled their wish by releasing the Nokia Lumia 900 in India. It is the first Nokia’s Windows Phone powered device to feature the high-speed LTE connectivity. The Nokia Lumia 900 runs on the Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) Operating System. We already know that Microsoft will not upgrade the last generation Windows Phone devices to the Windows Phone 8 OS. However, the Nokia Lumia 900 will at least get some of the features via Windows Phone 7.8 update.

Nokia Lumia 900 features a 4.3 inch ClearBlack display, sporting a resoulution of 800 x 480 pixels, 1.4 GHz Snapdragon processor, Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) OS (upgradable to Windows Phone 7.8 OS), 8 megapixel rear camera with f2.2/28mm Carl Zeiss lens and dual LED flash, auto-focus and HD (720p) video recording, 1 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, 512 MB RAM, 16 GB internal memory, 14.5 GB user memory and more.

It also comes with a 3.5mm headset jack, Office 365, Xbox Live, Windows Phone Store, A-GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 3G Connectivity, IE9 with HTML 5 support, USB 2.0, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, Bing Maps, Zune, SkyDrive, Wi-Fi Internet Sharing for up to 5 devices, up to 60 hours of music playback in offline mode, up to 7 hours of talk-time, up to 300 hours of stand-by time and a 1830 mAh battery.

Currently, there is no point in buying this handset when Nokia has already announced the next generation Windows Phone powered devices at the Nokia World 2012. I have no idea what nokia was thinking before launching this smartphone in India. I’m quite sure that Nokia fanboys will disagree with me. If you are one of those, then just grab this link and get the Nokia Lumia 900 from the Nokia Store for Rs.32,999.

Looking for a much better smartphone at this price range? Don’t forget to check our Samsung Galaxy S III review and HTC One X review.

Nokia’s Troubles Continue, AT&T Slashes Lumia 900 Prices to Boost Sales

Nokia’s flagship — Lumia 900 — was already selling for a fair bit less than the top end models from its competitors, and now AT&T has now gone ahead and slashed its price further. The Windows Phone 7.5 powered Lumia 900 is now available for only $49.99 on a two-year contract with AT&T. However, even the substantial price drop might be too little too late to save the Lumia.

Nokia-Lumia-900-Price-Drop

Nokia’s biggest problem isn’t the device itself. Lumia 900 is a gorgeous phone with great build quality and a hardware that still feels pretty snappy. Nokia’s biggest concern is Lumia’s platform – Windows Phone 7. Microsoft has already announced that Windows Phone 7 devices will not be upgradable to Windows Phone 8. As a result, Nokia once again finds itself with a great smartphone that has been rendered pretty much dead on arrival. The same thing happened last year as Meego was killed even before N9 arrived in the market. To make matters worse, WP 8 apps won’t be compatible with WP 7. So, not only won’t current Lumia owners be able to upgrade to the latest OS from Microsoft, but they will also stop getting new apps by the time WP 8 hits the shelves.

No matter how Microsoft tries to spin it, there is simply no excuse for leaving Windows Phone 7 users stranded. Windows Phone 7 was supposed to be a new beginning. It was supposed to herald the future of Microsoft’s mobile efforts. Microsoft egged on developers to build for their platform. It sunk millions of dollars to develop the ecosystem. And now, it is simply turning around, and giving a big FU to the early adopters, to the Microsoft enthusiasts, to the people who actually believed in the Redmond giant.

A $50 price drop is unlikely to be enough to save a phone that doesn’t have any future. Windows Phone 7 ecosystem is already dead. Even if AT&T sells the phone for free with a 2 year contract, they might have a hard time selling it.

Nokia’s Roller Coaster Fortnight

Nokia Lumia 900

Oh wow, what a couple of weeks Nokia has had. A company trying to reinvent itself and staying relevant in an increasingly iOS/Android-dominated smartphone world caught the headlines mostly for all the wrong reasons. Here’s a rundown of the news and my take on the same.

Lumia 900 Announced

First, after showing the Lumia 900 at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, they finally announced the availability of Nokia Lumia 900, their flagship device for the North American markets. Pre-orders would start on March 30, at AT&T’s website, and the device would be available in stores on April 8. As a surprise they also announced a glossy white version, to be available only in stores (no pre-order) on April 22. All good news, albeit some would argue that according to leaks earlier, it was supposed to happen on March 18, so this date could be considered a “delay”. Oh well.

Mixed Reviews?

Then, the review embargo is lifted. Suffice to say that while generally extremely positive, there was a feeling that some of the reviewers (especially one at a very high profile site) were very critical of certain aspects of the phone and the OS. I wrote about how the Lumia 900 may have created a very high set of expectations and meeting or beating those expectations would be almost impossible. Also, the device, unlike typical iPhone releases, was not accompanied by a major software update of the Windows Phone OS. So a lot of reviewers started poking around what’s missing in the OS rather than reviewing the device itself. Bottom line, there was a lot of coverage on the stuff that was missing, instead of highlighting how, at $99 with contract, this was an excellent deal for a very well-made phone.

Nokia Lumia 900 Up For Pre-Order At AT&T For $99.99

Earlier this year, Nokia announced the much-awaited Lumia 900 smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas. This handset will be exclusively available for the AT&T subscribers in the US. The Nokia Lumia 900 runs on the Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) Operating System.

Last week, Nokia announced the price and availability of this device. This handset will go on sale from April 8 in the US. If you can’t wait for the next few days, then you can go ahead and pre-order this device. AT&T has already started taking the pre-orders of the Lumia 900 smartphone at their retail as well as online stores. Currently, you can pre-orders only for the black and cyan blue variants, since the white Lumia 900 will be available from April 22.

nokia lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900 features a 4.3 inch ClearBlack display, sporting a resoulution of 800 x 480 pixels, 1.4 GHz Snapdragon processor, Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) OS, 8 megapixel rear camera with f2.2/28mm Carl Zeiss lens and dual LED flash, auto-focus and HD (720p) video recording, 1 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, 512 MB RAM, 16 GB internal memory, 14.5 GB user memory and more.

It also comes with a 3.5mm headset jack, SkyDrive, Wi-Fi Internet Sharing for up to 5 devices, AT&T Radio, Office 365, Xbox Live, Windows Marketplace, A-GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, Bing Maps, 4G LTE – up to 50 Mbps down/ 25 Mbps up, IE9 with HTML 5 support, AT&T Navigator, Zune, up to 60 hours of music playback in offline mode, up to 7 hours of talk-time, up to 300 hours of stand-by time and a 1830 mAh battery.

The Nokia Lumia 900 will be available for just $99.99. If you are a new AT&T subscriber, then you can get this device for free with the usual 2 year service agreement and a $100 mail-in rebate. On the other hand, Walmart is also taking the pre-orders for the black and cyan blue variant at their online store for just $50, instead of the regular $99.99 price set by the carrier. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and get the Nokia Lumia 900 from AT&T or Walmart.

[Update] Microsoft India Says Lumia 900 Coming To India “Soon”

Earlier today the team behind the Windows Phone account on Facebook shared the link to CNET’s article oh why Nokia’s Lumia 900 is a great phone. The device has received a lot of applaud from industry experts who got to see Nokia’s Stephen Elop unveil the device at CES earlier this month. Microsoft India sharing the link seemed a little odd to me since the device has been “designed specifically for the US” according to Microsoft and Nokia; so I asked if the Lumia 900 will be released in India. The answer was a pleasant surprise. According to the team behind the Facebook account for Windows Phone, Lumia 900 will be made available in India at some point:

I wouldn’t hold my breath though.

Update:  Not shocking but the comment is now deleted.

Hands on with Nokia Drive and Nokia Transport

Nokia Location Apps

Nokia is very strong in location-based services and to demonstrate this strength, they have a few apps pre-loaded on their Windows Phones, like Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport, Nokia Pulse and Nokia City Lens. I got a chance to look at Nokia Drive and Nokia Transport at the Nokia booth during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Nokia Drive is the free turn-by-turn navigation app that comes pre-loaded on Nokia Windows Phones. It lets you search an extensive database of points of interest (POI) and also get directions to a specific address. Nokia Drive comes in 50 languages and in 100 countries, and allows downloads of specific maps to the phone so that it works even when the phone is not connected to the network.

Nokia Transport is in beta, and it is an app which lets you get from one place to another via public transport (including walking). The interesting part about this app, as you will see in the video, is the ability to pin a certain route to your Start Screen. This pinned Live Tile then keeps you updated with the next 3 times of departure for your route. This app demonstrates the beauty of the Windows Phone OS: pinning the route to the Start Screen allows you to get to that route instantly without opening the app and then searching for the route, and the Live Tile which keeps updating the route timings throughout the day.

Nokia Transport comes with information on public transport in 450 cities in 46 countries.

Enjoy the videos below.

Nokia Drive and Nokia Transport

For my hands on with Nokia Lumia 900, see this post. For a walkthrough of the Nokia ESPN app, see this post.

Nokia Windows Phone ESPN App Walkthrough

ESPN

Here is a video of the exclusive app that ESPN created for Nokia Windows Phones. The app is beautiful, no doubt. It follows all of the Metro design principles with the pivots, the in-app pinning, etc. What I found out though, as an existing Windows Phone user, is that the app left a lot to be desired. Perhaps it was my high expectation level about an exclusive Nokia app, or that ESPN would take their current ScoreCenter app and raise it a notch. Whatever the case may be, it was a little bit disappointing.

The biggest issue that I saw, and I feel it is an opportunity missed at least in this version of the app, is the lack of Live Tiles. If Nokia wants to wow the new Windows Phone users, it would be fantastic if the users could not only pin an individual sport to the Start Screen, but also get toasts or Live Tile updates for that sport. As an ESPN registered member you can choose to receive text alerts, for example, at various intervals within a game. Those alerts could easily have been implemented as toasts or Live Tiles within the app.

Video walkthrough of the ESPN app exclusive on Nokia Windows Phones:

Nokia Windows Phone ESPN App Walkthrough

In this video, the Nokia representative is talking about the app, but is also talking about the platform in general which allows you to do many things within the context of what you are doing rather than force you to open multiple apps. What you will notice is that after going two levels deep, the links end up opening the ESPN mobile web, which is not bad. However, compared to the native app, it does look quite different.

The Nokia ESPN app is a well-designed one which looks beautiful. It has pretty good functionality for “version 1”, but I hope Live Tiles and greater in-app content gets to the app soon, perhaps even before the official ship date of the Nokia Lumia 900.

For a hands on look at the Nokia Lumia 900, see my earlier post.

Nokia Lumia 900: My Hands-On from CES 2012

Nokia Lumia 900

I was at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas for the past few days and I got a chance to put my hands on the gorgeous new Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone. It was announced at the Nokia CES press conference by Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop.

The Lumia 900 is a sleek device with a ClearBlack 4.3-inch display. The 4.3-inch display may sound huge, but it really does not feel that big in the hands. I use a Samsung Focus which is a 4-inch device and the Lumia 900 is only a tad bigger. However, if you are an iPhone user, you will definitely feel that bigness. Having used a 4-inch screen for the past 14 months, I don’t think that I can go back to the 3.5-inch screen of the iPhone.

The device build is very similar to the sleek Lumia 800 but unlike the 800, which has a slightly curved (bubble) glass, the 900’s screen is flat. The reason being, for the size of the screen, the curvature would end up being too much. As a result of going with a flat screen, you can clearly see a ridge around the edges. Whether that is actually an issue or not, we will have to wait and see after we use it normally for a few days.

The Nokia Lumia 900 comes as an exclusive to AT&T and has 4G LTE support. One of the other features touted over and over again by Nokia and Microsoft executives in various interviews and presentations at CES is the fact that it comes with an 1800mAh battery. In talking with the Nokia folks who have been using this phone for a few weeks, it seemed like they were able to get through an entire day of “heavy” use and a couple of days of “normal” use. I can’t get my Focus to go an entire day of “heavy” use, so here’s hoping this is a significant upgrade over the other Windows Phones.

The Lumia 900 has a f2.4 front-facing camera which Nokia says allows as much light as many rear-facing cameras on other phones. Unfortunately, the Nokia booth representatives were told not to show much of the camera or the software since the phone has not been officially released yet. The representatives confirmed that the ESPN and CNN apps will be pre-loaded on the AT&T Lumia 900 phones and we know that Nokia is going to get exclusive games from EA (which was later revealed to be a 6-month exclusive for Nokia, see this interview of Chris Weber with The Verge where he mentions it).

This phone is clearly the flagship Windows Phone, at least in the US where it is going to be available. Among other things, Elop mentioned that they are going to “aggressively” price the phone, not just as a flagship phone but also for first-time smartphone buyers. It was an interesting quote and I look forward to seeing how it is priced, since I will not only be buying it, but doing do off-contract!

Nokia Lumia 900 Image Gallery

Nokia Lumia 900 at CES

Nokia Lumia 900 For AT&T Announced; Comes With 1.4 GHz CPU, 8 MP Camera

As expected, AT&T and Nokia finally announced the much-awaited Nokia Lumia 900 smartphone. It is the first Nokia’s Windows Phone powered device to feature the high-speed LTE connectivity. This handset will be exclusively available for the AT&T customers in the US. Nokia Lumia 900 runs on the Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) Operating System. This handset comes with the Nokia Drive app, which offers free voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation with a dedicated in-car user interface that turns the Nokia Lumia 900 into a GPS navigation device.

“The introduction of the Nokia Lumia 900 with AT&T is another significant milestone in the ongoing rollout of Nokia’s global smartphone strategy,” said Chris Weber, president of Nokia Americas. “The Nokia Lumia 900 is designed specifically with the US in mind and the announcement of this collaboration with AT&T, in addition to other recent announcements, signifies a new dawn for Nokia in the US.”

nokia lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900 features a 4.3 inch ClearBlack display, sporting a resoulution of 800 x 480 pixels, 1.4 GHz Snapdragon processor, Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) OS, 8 megapixel rear camera with f2.2/28mm Carl Zeiss lens and dual LED flash, auto-focus and HD (720p) video recording, 1 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, A-GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and much more.

It also comes with a 3.5mm headset jack, 4G LTE – up to 50 Mbps down/ 25 Mbps up, IE9 with HTML 5 support, 512 MB RAM, 16 GB internal memory, 14.5 GB user memory, SkyDrive, Wi-Fi Internet Sharing for up to 5 devices, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, Bing Maps, AT&T Navigator, Zune, AT&T Radio, Office 365, Xbox Live, Windows Marketplace, up to 60 hours of music playback in offline mode, up to 7 hours of talk-time, up to 300 hours of stand-by time and a 1830 mAh battery.

Nokia Lumia 900 will get 20 popular EA games in the coming weeks. This handset is expected to be available from March 18. Nokia will soon announce the price of this amazing smartphone.

Nokia Offers Free Hotel Rides For CES Attendees In Metro Tiled Buses

Earlier today the New York Times published a two-page write up on the design brilliance of Windows Phone 7. Not appreciated for their software designs, the New York Times article tries to make the point that with Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has turned a new leaf. Within the article was information about the launch of Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone 7 device—Lumia 900. Picked up by several websites, the NYT says Nokia will unveil the Lumia 900 at CES. The phone will sport a sleek metallic body, 4.3″ screen and 8MP camera. The phone will be sold via AT&T and will be at the center of the $2 Million marketing push planned by Microsoft and Nokia. As part of the promotions planned, AT&T representatives will be given incentives for promoting the new range of Windows Phone 7 devices, something that Microsoft should’ve done at Mango’s launch.

All this brings me to Nokia’s presence at CES 2012 happening at Vegas. Microsoft’s Ben Lower who reached Vegas shared on Twitter Nokia’s early bird promotions for their announcements. Nokia is offering free bus rides to attendee hotels at the airport. The buses covered in Nokia’s Windows Phone 7 Lumia art work have some rather catchy captions. According Lower, Nokia is also demonstrating the devices to attendees. Images courtesy Ben Lower:

While I am travelling India, Keith, Parth and Romit from Techie Buzz will be at ground zero to bring us hands-on coverage of the event.