Nokia Lumia 900 vs iPhone 4S vs Galaxy Nexus vs Galaxy S2 – How Does The Best Windows Phone Stack Up Against Its Competition?

The Lumia 900 is finally up for sale in the United States, and it has already sold out in quite a few online stores. The Lumia 900 is the biggest handset launch from Nokia in the recent years in the United States, and the handset will have a key role in determining the future on WP7 and the Nokia-MS partnership.

However, how does the Lumia 900 stack up against some of the best phones up for sale today including the iPhone 4S, Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy S2? Read our comparison post below to find out!


The Galaxy Nexus has the biggest display among all these 4 handsets and comes with a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD screen with a whopping 720p screen, but has a PenTile display. The Galaxy S2 and Lumia 900 come with a 4.3-inch display with WVGA (480*800) resolution. While the Galaxy S2 uses a Super-AMOLED Plus display, the Lumia 900 has a (AMOLED) ClearBlack Display. The iPhone 4S has the smallest display among its competitors with a relatively small 3.5-inch IPS LCD display with 640*960 resolution. The iPhone 4S has the highest pixel density here with a Retina busting 326ppi, while the Galaxy Nexus comes in a second close with a ppi of 316. The Galaxy S2 and the Lumia 900 both have a disappointingly low ppi of 218.

The iPhone 4S and the Galaxy Nexus both trump the Lumia 900 in terms of display quality as well as resolution, while the Lumia 900 manages to tie it with the Galaxy S2 display. However, considering the Lumia 900 is being released in 2012, and all of its competitors were launched in 2011, the former should have had packed in a higher resolution screen. Sadly, since Windows Phone does not support resolutions higher than WVGA, there is nothing much the OEMs can do about it, except for wait for Windows Phone 8.

Read: Galaxy S2 vs. Galaxy Nexus vs. iPhone 4S – Which is the best smartphone of 2011?

Processing Power

Except for the Lumia 900, the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S2 and the iPhone 4S, all have a dual-core processor. The A5 SoC used inside the iPhone 4S is an absolute beast and manages to trump every other mobile CPU + GPU combination easily. The Exynos SoC found inside the Galaxy S2 comes in second with two powerful Cortex-A9 cores running at 1.2GHz, along with an ARM Mali-400MP GPU. The Galaxy Nexus also packs in two 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 processor, and a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU, which struggles to keep up with the HD resolution on the handset.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 processor clocked at 1.4GHz along with an Adreno 205 GPU powers the Lumia 900. While the OS on the handset itself runs very smooth, third party apps and browsing on the handset take a toll due to the limited CPU power.


The iPhone 4S, Galaxy S2 and the Lumia 900 pack in an 8MP camera with an LED flash, while the Galaxy Nexus houses a 5MP camera aided by an LED flash. The 8MP snapper on the iPhone 4S can take some absolutely stunning pictures, and is a clear winner here. The Galaxy S2 and the Lumia 900 come in a close second, with the former struggling in low-light conditions quite heavily. The Galaxy Nexus with its poor, but with Instant capture feature, 5MP cam does not even stand a chance.

While the Lumia 900 may have come second in the camera shoot-out, we should not forget that the Galaxy S2 was released nearly a year ago. The Galaxy S3 is just around the corner, and chances are it will trump the Lumia 900 in camera performance easily.


While the iPhone App Store has more than 450,000+ apps, there are roughly around 300,000 apps in the Google Play Store. In comparison to this, the Windows Phone Marketplace has around 70,000+ apps. Sadly, there is a very serious lack of quality applications in the WP Marketplace. There is still no official Dropbox client available for the OS, which might be a bummer for quite a few people out there. There are still no graphically intensive games available for the OS. Most developers still prefer to launch an iOS version of their app first, followed by an Android version.

However, most developers who have released a WP7 version of their app have been seriously impressed with the SDK tools available for the platform, and actually prefer coding apps for WP rather than Android. So hopefully it is just a matter of time, and possibly few more APIs from Microsoft, before we see some quality apps hit the Windows Phone marketplace.

P.S. – I can’t comment on the battery life of the handsets since I have not used them long enough. However, I am sure the iPhone 4S will be a clear winner here just because it has a smaller screen, and lacks support for LTE networks. Lumia 900 should provide users with the same battery life as the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy Nexus, if not worse.

Also Read: Some must have apps for the Nokia Lumia 900 and 800

Microsoft Confirms That Existing Apps Will Work On Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8 is expected to be a pretty colossal update — so colossal, in fact, that some phone manufacturers are waiting until its release later this year before making serious flagship devices — however, there were two big questions surrounding its release. Will it work on older hardware, and will existing apps continue to work on the platform? While we still don’t know the answer to the first question, the latter was addressed by Microsoft in a blog post on Thursday. Yes, the rumors are true; existing apps will continue to work on Windows Phone 8.

On top of announcing this, the blog post also hinted at the demise of Silverlight as a development technology on Windows Phone. Microsoft’s Larry Lieberman, who penned the post, addressed the topic of Silverlight concerns by suggesting other great technologies to use when developing for Windows Phone:

We’ve also heard some developers express concern about the long term future of Silverlight for Windows Phone. Please don’t panic; XAML and C#/VB.NET development in Windows 8 can be viewed as a direct evolution from today’s Silverlight. All of your managed programming skills are transferable to building applications for Windows 8, and in many cases, much of your code will be transferable as well.

Definitely good news.

Microsoft Releases Windows Phone 7 Connector For Mac Update

On Tuesday, Microsoft pushed out an update for the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac. Allowing users to sync music, movies, TV shows, and podcasts from iTunes to Windows Phone, sync photos and videos to and from iPhoto, browse media items stored on your device, and update your device, the connector is pretty much a must-have for Mac-owning Windows Phone users.

The changelog, as follows is exactly the same as it was for the 2.01 release. That being said, WPCentral notes that reliability and performance improvements were made under-the-hood:


  • Full sync and import support for Apple Aperture software
  • Drag and drop import of files from Browse Device
  • Ringtone transfer support (for phones running Windows Phone 7.5 or later)
  • Improved video conversion process with user configuration options
  • Support for Windows Phone Marketplace (for phones running Windows Phone 7.5 or later)
  • Localization support for 13 additional languages
  • Improvements to backup and restore operations
  • Improved configuration for podcast sync and photo import
  • Improved iTunes import support in certain languages
  • Improved metadata support for videos


  • Added additional error codes and help references for device update
  • Resolved connectivity issues with certain devices
  • Resolved album art display issues for certain devices
Head on over to the Mac App Store to grab the update. You can also find out more about the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac here.

The Problem with Reviewing the Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900 Reviews

Last night (April 3, 2012) the embargo was lifted, and Nokia Lumia 900 reviews started flowing in. At first glance, one would think the reviews were mixed, or even that the device was being slammed. Lots of good words, but bottom line being negative. I went through most of the top reviews, and as you unpeel the onion you see that generally, everyone agrees that this phone definitely has the chops to compete with the top smartphones on other platforms. The issues that have been brought up are actually a problem Nokia and Microsoft will have to tackle somehow. These are, generally speaking, issues faced by techies, but since techies control the message nowadays, it is a situation that needs to be addressed.

First though, the key selling points for the device: fantastic design, great screen (ClearBlack AMOLED), LTE, low price, good camera and a fresh (compared to iOS and its poor clone, Android) operating system. Some reviewers contradicted each other on some of the features (like The Verge’s Josh Topolsky and PC Mag’s Sascha Segan criticizing the camera but Engadget’s Joseph Volpe and PC World’s Ginny Mies claiming it was great and versatile), and of course different reviewers rated the “good” on different levels of the spectrum based on their preferences and experience.

The Problem(s)

However, I saw some of the issues that the reviewers brought up in their reviews, and Nokia and Microsoft both have to be concerned. First is that expectations are sky-high for Nokia. They are known to make excellent devices and after putting all their eggs in the Windows Phone basket, a lot is expected of them. Also, with RIM imploding, there is nobody else to take the 3rd spot behind iOS and Android, so the anticipation is heightened. As a result, even a minor issue will get amplified.

Nokia Hosting Lumia 900 Launch Party In NYC

Considering the fact that AT&T plans to heavily promote the Lumia 900 — which is internally referred to as a “hero” device by the carrier; a term given only to other highly-touted devices including the iPhone — it should come as no surprise that Nokia will be hosting a special event to celebrate the launch of the device, according to a tweet.

Taking place in Times Square at 7PM “sharp” on Friday, April 6th, the event will feature a live performance from a yet-to-be-revealed special guest. WPCentral points out that the countdown on the Nokia Smartphone Beta Test website counts down to this date exactly. Looks fun!

To elaborate on the “hero” label internally assigned to the Lumia 900, it essentially means that it will be AT&T’s touted flagship device; Nokia, Microsoft, and AT&T will be spending up to $200 million on getting the device marketed to consumers.And, on top of “conventional” advertising, Nokia have also struck a deal with AT&T where they will be paying the company to provide the Lumia 900 to employees at no cost.

This is pretty much the first time that a US carrier has taken Windows Phone this seriously, and it should be interesting to see how it impacts the Windows Phone platform (and the Lumia 900 itself, of course.)

WP7 Root Tools Released, Homebrew Backup App In The Works

If you’re a homebrew Windows Phone developer with a thirst for the ability to utilize root-level features of the OS in building your apps, then you’re in luck. Windows Phone hacker Heathcliff74 released the WP7 Root Tools 0.9 last week, which is essentially a set of tools that includes a full blown registry editor, file system browser, and certificate injection capabilities.

The bigger news, however, is the accompanying APIs, which will allow you to access the very root-level features that the tool utilizes. One example of an app that’s able to exist thanks to these APIs is the Complete Backup app, developed by Rafael Rivera and David Golden. The root tools released by Heathcliff74 has allowed Rivera to finally create a functioning backup app, following a previous failed hackathon attempt to do so.

If you’ve been eager to get your Windows Phone data properly backed up, then you won’t have to wait for too much longer. They just have to work on a few other things (such as a restoration app), but it’s coming soon. And on top of this, it will be open-source and available on GitHub.

Something cool about the WP7 Root Tools is that homebrew apps utilizing these root-level features will require explicit authorization from users to function; they will have to independently mark the app as “Trusted”. This is put in place to at least help alleviate the quality concerns in using homebrew software.

In conclusion, this is pretty good news for the homebrew/Windows Phone enthusiasts out there. It would be nice if Windows Phone had a proper backup and restore implementation to boot, though.

‘Smoked by Windows Phone’ Contestant Plans To Take Legal Action Against Microsoft

Earlier this week, a huge fiasco unfolded surrounding Microsoft’s promotional ‘Smoked by Windows Phone’ competition, in which tech blogger Sahas Katta participated in the contest, and was told that he lost even though according to his account, he beat the Windows Phone at the challenge.

Now, yet another participant who feels that he was unfairly declared the loser in the competition has taken a less passive approach. Instead of taking to the keyboard to deal with the situation as Katta did, Vivek Viswanathan took to a lawyer. Visiting his local store in Atlanta to participate in the challenge, Viswanathan claims to have beat the Windows Phone twice, while being denied the laptop.

Here’s what happened, according to his own account of the events that he provided to CNET: Viswanathan’s iPhone has an issue. All of the physical buttons apart from the home key did not work. So, he disclosed this information to the Microsoft employee, and he shut down all of the background apps. The challenge that he had to perform was to open up a Facebook page on the phone. “I unlocked the phone and pressed the Facebook icon I had on my screen, placed the phone back on the table and as soon as a page loaded I said done, moments before the associate.” However, despite this, the associate claimed that he had won.

There was a crowd, and, when offered to perform a second challenge, Viswathan begrudgingly agreed.

With all the due diligence completed, the associate challenged me to find a restaurant near the store. Again, I unlocked the phone opened Maps and pressed R and restaurants showed up as a suggestion (I may have added that to auto correct in the dictionary a while ago) and then hit search. I place the phone on the table and as soon as I got a hit, I screamed done well ahead of the associate.

The asociate, Lee Johnson, then admitted defeat. He did, however, state that Viswathan did not qualify to win the prize due to the defective iPhone bower button. A manager showed up, wanting to see a third challenge. Viswanthan did not go ahead with it, and the manager backed his associate in saying that Viswathan is ineligible.

Interesting. Viswathan has now hired a lawyer, who has contacted Microsoft to attempt restitution. So, is this yet another legitimate complaint from a participant unhappy with Microsoft’s handling of the matter, or is this someone else trying to take advantage of the immense (negative) media coverage that Katta brought to the competition only days ago? On an unrelated note, the egg display picture on Vivek’s recently registered Twitter account is quite bothersome.

Windows Phone Beats Out Android, Ties With iOS In PC Mag’s 2012 Reader’s Choice Awards For Customer Satisfaction

While on the marketshare front, Windows Phone still lags behind iOS, Android, and even RIM, it has surpassed Android and tied with — but in some categories, surpassed — iOS according to readers of PC Magazine.

According to the results of their 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards (the smartphones and mobile carriers category), Windows Phone gained 0.6 points from its rating of 8.1 last year; a pretty substantial jump, to say the least. Apple’s score gained 0.3 points from its score of 8.4 last year, and Android remained at 7.9. In terms of overall satisfaction, Microsoft and Apple have tied at 8.7, but Windows Phone slightly beat iOS in reliability, text messaging, web browsing, and gaming. iOS, however, was substantially favored over Windows Phone for its app quality and availability, along with its music playing functionality.

Windows Phone also boasted the lowest rate of 20% when it came to users needing technical support with their device, compared to 25% for iOS and a whopping 32% with Android. Here is how PC Mag summed up the Windows Phone platform:

You may not see many people using Windows Phone handsets yet, but those who chose this route are very happy. Clearly, Microsoft needs to get more app developers on board to gain traction, but in every other aspect we measured, it’s providing a winning experience.

However, despite people’s satisfaction with the platform, they didn’t seem too keen on recommending the devices to friends compared to Apple and Android users. In terms of how likely users were to recommend their device to others, Apple received a 9.2, Android received an 8.2, while Windows Phone was only 0.1 points higher. This may have something to do with app quality and availability reasons; perhaps people using Windows Phone now are early adopters, and know that their smartphone-seeking friends would hate to not be able to use apps such as Instagram or Path.

Microsoft Release Windows Phone SDK 7.1.1

Microsoft has released the accompanying Windows Phone SDK for the Tango update that was recently released. Like the Tango update itself, it doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of features; rather, it packs some minute improvements which will allow developers to create apps for lower-end devices with 256MB of RAM, as well as test performance through the emulator. You will also be able to develop on machines that run Windows 8.

As a quick refresher, it is through these lower-end devices with 256MB of RAM that Microsoft hopes to gain share in emerging markets. They expect those devices to do well in China and the Middle East, which are both markets that Microsoft has only recently entered. To quote the blog post, here’s a full — and short — list of the improvements in the 7.1.1 SDK:

  • The Visual Studio IDE is patched to enable selection from a list of emulators, and launching it (note that the WPSDK can only support connecting to one at a time, though)
  • The Windows Phone [512 MB device] emulator image is updated to use build 8773
  • A second, new emulator device image is included, allowing you to emulate running your app on a 256 MB device
  • The Microsoft Advertising SDK is updated to the latest version (previously only available as a separate install), which fixes some issues devs were encountering at runtime
  • IntelliSense now supports specifying the 512 MB device requirement in your manifest file, should you choose to opt your app out from running on the new 256 MB devices
  • Language support is again consistent both in the IDE (the 7.1.1 Update supports all 10 of the WPSDK 7.1 languages) and in the emulator OS (Malay and Indonesian have been added)
If you already installed the CTP build, you will be able to upgrade to this RTW build without uninstalling.

Microsoft Issue Apology, Laptop To Controversial ‘Smoked by Windows Phone’ Participant

Yesterday, we reported on the ‘Smoked by Windows Phone’ controversy which rapidly found its way throughout the entire Internet. Now, Microsoft has finally issued a proper response and apology, likely due to the colossal PR catastrophe that transpired as a result of Sahas Katta blogging about the incident.

Microsoft Evangelist Ben Rudolph tweeted, stating that he had a laptop, phone, and apology to offer to Katta. “Hey @sahaskatta , @Microsoftstore & I want to make things right. So I’ve got a laptop & phone (& apology) for you. Email me!”

While it was the appropriate response in terms of PR, due to the nature of this story — primarily its rapid spread throughout practically every technology blog, even finding its way to the front page of Reddit — Microsoft ended up in a lose-lose situation. If they stood by their reported Windows Phone victory, they would have been heavily criticized for hosting a rigged competition. But, in providing Katta the laptop (and a bonus phone), people attribute the company’s apology to the situation being such a PR nightmare (i.e Microsoft would have done nothing if it didn’t become such a news headline.) But, it t was really the best they could’ve done.

The big question is, where does this leave the Smoked by Windows Phone campaign now? Overnight, the enthusiasm surrounding the campaign was essentially crushed. The campaign went from being fun and admirable — as when Rudolph lost, he admitted it and issued the prize money to contestants with no quips — to being thought of as a rigged-from-the-beginning “competition” by much of the Internet, or as a casino, where the house always wins.

So, now that Katta received his goodies, what is he doing with them? He announced in a new blog post on Monday that he plans to auction off both the laptop and phone to charity, donating 100% of the proceeds.