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Print 18 comment(s) - last by muy.. on Jun 7 at 8:34 AM

Lumia 900 remains a strong experience, with some ups and downs

I've been using the Lumia 900 LTE by Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) as my day-to-day smartphone since mid-April.  So far living in the Windows Phone world has mostly been a great experience.

I. The Good News: Lumia 900 Appears to Have Self-Healing Paint

Perhaps the most surprising thing that has occurred during my brief tenure with my colorful new smartphone occurred a couple weeks ago when, whilst shuffling several items when entering my car, I dropped it on the hard pavement.  I feared the worst.

The glass did not shatter or chip, to my relief, but that relief turned to dismay when i examined the back face, which had long, deep black gashes in the previously pristine blue plastic back-plate.  My mind flashed back to Nokia's snarky commercials making fun of the easily-damaged screens on Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhones and I felt a bit bitter at Nokia for not magically creating a way to better protect their phone against user carelessness, such as my own.

Except, apparently they had.

After a couple days I tried to "tune out" the damage and stopped looking at it because it was depressing me.  But last week, while I was discussing my new phone with a couple of colleagues, I went to show the the back, and noticed something extraordinairy -- the subtle, but distinct black gashes were gone, completely filled in.  I could not even spot them with my eyes.

The only remaining evidence of the drop was a slight dent on the corner of the phone -- and even that had visibly shifted and lessened.

Lumia 900
My Lumia 900's back-face is back to a pristine unscratched state.

I believe Nokia has incorporated some sort of self-healing polymer into their Lumia 900's eye-catching colored polycarbonate-derivative backplate.  I'm surprised that they haven't made a bigger deal marketing this.  But I'm sure not complaining -- it made my damaged phone look pristine once again.

Such self-healing paints/plastics have been rumored to be coming to the smartphone space for several months now, but this is perhaps the first phone to be spotted in the wild sporting the robust coat.

I searched for information and could not find anything much specific to the Lumia 900.  But either my phone was healed by Jesus or the Flying Spaghetti monster, or Nokia has a (perhaps) industry-first self-healing case design.

II. The Bad News -- More Connectivity Issues

I've noticed a couple of times that my phone seems to drop its data connection, despite the bug fix, which was supposed to remove the connectivity issues in Nokia's firmware.

About the best I can figure is that the issue sometimes appears to be correlated to having just downloaded several apps.  The issue is somewhat infrequent, but when it lands, it is persistent until I resort to a soft reset.

AT&T glass
My Lumia 900 LTE keeps losing data connection with AT&T's network, post update.
[Image Source: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton]

While I've only seen a handful of reports, it appears some other users are experiencing this.  Writes "21stNow" on AT&T, Inc.'s (T) support forums:

This gives me evil flashbacks of my iPhone 4.  An update was supposed to fix a problem that I didn't have, I did the update, then I started having the problems.  Please fix this Nokia!

At this point I'm unsure if the issues are with Nokia or AT&T.  But clearly the problems aren't all solved.  The good news is that powering off and on appears to fix the problem for me.

Note: I'm not on an LTE connection, my region of service only has HSPA+.  I mention this, because some early reports on the connectivity problems, suggest LTE-to-HSPA+ handoff errors were to blame.


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Data issues
By InvertMe on 5/7/2012 1:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
Not seen the data issue on mine or any of my friends/co workers 900s. Could be a specific issue with yours?




RE: Data issues
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/7/2012 1:43:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not seen the data issue on mine or any of my friends/co workers 900s. Could be a specific issue with yours?

About all I could figure out is that the data explicitly says its ON in settings, it shows a 4G (HSPA) signal with some bars, but any data-related request (webpage loads, market access attempts, email refresh, etc. times out). Voice traffic has no issue -- only the data seems to be having some weird hangup.

I've had this happen twice, post-patch.

As I stated in the piece, a soft reset restored my connection.

But I showed off the strange behavior to my friend who was also on AT&T's network. Humorously on his Samsung Android he had fewer bars, but his data connection was working perfectly.

Overall it hasn't been a huge problem, once I learned that the soft reset would fix things. But the first time it happened I waited for it to "go away" and it didn't.


RE: Data issues
By InvertMe on 5/7/2012 2:42:47 PM , Rating: 2
For me, I am done with soft resets, pulling batteries or putting up with a miserable experience in any way.. That's why I left Android. I'd be pretty mad if I had to restart my phone for any reason. My Focus spoiled me, I didn't restart it for for months at a time.

I haven't had to restart my 900 either but I can tell you for sure if it even got to the point where I had to restart more than say once a month or so, I'd send it back to Nokia to get fixed and if it didn't I'd probably be done with them.

Hopefully your issue gets resolved soon. We should be seeing Tango soon, maybe there will be a magical fix in there? If not I'd be replacing your phone if I were you.

All that said, I still think Microsoft and Nokia are on the right track. Maybe a few bumps in the road but overall I am super happy with my 900 and so is everyone I know who owns one.

I can't wait to see what Nokia releases this fall. I want a PureView Lumia like you would not believe!


RE: Data issues
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/7/2012 3:55:15 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Hopefully your issue gets resolved soon. We should be seeing Tango soon, maybe there will be a magical fix in there? If not I'd be replacing your phone if I were you.

All that said, I still think Microsoft and Nokia are on the right track. Maybe a few bumps in the road but overall I am super happy with my 900 and so is everyone I know who owns one.

I can't wait to see what Nokia releases this fall. I want a PureView Lumia like you would not believe!

I tend to agree. Love the phone overall, despite its few issues, which I can easily work around. Overall, it's had less issues early on than my HTC Evo did (my EVO would get nasty crashes in the camera app, a couple hard reboots, and even "ate" a memory card -- totally corrupted/unreadable even after formatting.)

Everyone I know who sees my Lumia is amazed by its looks and wants to hold it play with it. When they get to the Windows Phone homescreen they're just amazed by how good it looks. I've even had a couple iPhone owners who seemed pretty jealous of my phone when they played with it for a second.


RE: Data issues
By Trisped on 5/7/2012 6:38:33 PM , Rating: 2
It sounds like you are tired of buying bleeding edge tech.

Only one issue is not too bad.


RE: Data issues
By InvertMe on 5/8/2012 9:56:37 AM , Rating: 2
I think it's just that I expect my phone to work for me, I don't want to work for it. At the risk of sounding like a commercial that's why I abandoned my other mobile OS platforms and am sticking with Windows Phone (unless something better comes along).


RE: Data issues
By WalksTheWalk on 5/18/2012 4:15:58 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that some of the Android manufacturers have really made some inferior products that had major issues. Like any other piece of tech, you generally have to follow the reviews to see what works and what doesn't.

Windows Phone is still in its infancy right now. Once there are many iterations of the OS and a bunch of third party apps that add functionality you want to use, the stability perception will inevitably decline.


RE: Data issues
By Ramstark on 5/9/2012 6:49:52 PM , Rating: 2
I have an LG900, one of the first WinPhones out there. I am really happy with it, although I too have some of those issues with the cell signal.
While I have tried to disable, and enable the network connections again, I've found that only the same solution applies, a soft reset.
Anyway, it happens very infrequently as you have mentioned, and my LG has better reception than the droids or even an iPhone 4 of a friend of mine most of the time.
So I conclude it most be some glitch within the software managing the antenna or something like that.


RE: Data issues
By HrilL on 5/21/2012 4:24:28 PM , Rating: 2
I had a similar issue on my GS2 on At&t though once upgrading to ICS 4.0.3 I haven't had one data issue other than youtube not loading over the carrier network which I've still yet to have solved.


Dont panic!
By jnemesh on 5/7/2012 1:01:46 PM , Rating: 3
It will work fine once they get the OS out of beta!




RE: Dont panic!
By inighthawki on 5/7/2012 4:14:57 PM , Rating: 3
You have it all wrong, WP7 is a highly polished OS, Android is the one that's constantly in beta.


RE: Dont panic!
By elleehswon on 5/9/12, Rating: 0
RE: Dont panic!
By althaz on 5/11/2012 10:21:38 AM , Rating: 2
WP7 doesn't support multi-core processors, but for some reason my Lumia 800 is feels roughly 1,000 times faster than my Galaxy S II.

Multi-core processors are a good thing, but WP7 on single-core is WAY faster than any Android phone yet released (Galaxy SIII might finally be first not-chuggy Android phone, Nexus was best for Android, but still crap compared to WP7 or even iOS).

Android has some real advantages over WP7, but hardware specs are an IDIOTIC reason to buy a phone - unless you are married to Android, in which case obviously you want as powerful a phone as possible so you don't throw your phone out the window out of frustration. Android is highly customisable and has a wide variety of handets, these are it's advantages. It's disadvantages are truly atrocious performance.


RE: Dont panic!
By Darksurf on 5/16/2012 1:41:51 PM , Rating: 2
That may have something to do with everything in android requiring a vm to run in.. This is one reason I've always disliked java. But the ease of programming, and multi-platform use of java is nice and saves us from a lot of issues.

BTW, I'm an Android fan. Until recently, Windows phone has always kind of been a joke to me. Reminds me of windows vista (when it first came out) and my friends new windows phone. When he plugged it into his vista laptop, both the phone and the vista machine would crash lol.


WiFi?
By Trisped on 5/7/2012 6:47:04 PM , Rating: 2
Do you have the same problem with WiFi connections (downloading several apps crashes the WiFi too)?
If the phone's connection is bugged, does WiFi still work?

Personally I hate the idea of a data plan, so if I was to get the phone I would only use WiFi hot spots for my internet, which is why I ask.

Also, I did not understand why the "rumored to be coming" link to http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_... was in the article:
quote:
Such self-healing paints/plastics have been rumored to be coming to the smartphone space for several months now, but this is perhaps the first phone to be spotted in the wild sporting the robust coat.
The linked article is informative (covers the Ford Tech Shop) but I was unable to find anything relating to self healing paint or cell phones.




RE: WiFi?
By JasonMick (blog) on 5/7/2012 8:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The linked article is informative (covers the Ford Tech Shop) but I was unable to find anything relating to self healing paint or cell phones.

http://newsroom.nissan-europe.com/EU/en-gb/Media/M...

Whoops, should have been that Nissan link.

quote:
Do you have the same problem with WiFi connections (downloading several apps crashes the WiFi too)?
If the phone's connection is bugged, does WiFi still work?
I'm not sure. Both times it happened I was mobile. The first time I was at a friend's house so I probably could have hopped on WiFi, but I just waited hoping the connection would refresh.

Assuming it happens again when I'm someplace with WiFi, I'll have to try that.


By iNSOMNiA ZA on 6/3/2012 1:24:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As a Nokia rep would be happy to tell you, the body is not painted the old fashioned way but it's rather made of this plastic that has the same color in depth, scratches and marks from accidental drops won't not stand out as much.

From: http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_lumia_900_att-review...

So basically instead of the colour just appearing on the surface, the entire body is made out of coloured plastic. The black you might have seen was most likely just dirt the phone picked up in the fall.




magical heals ???
By muy on 6/7/2012 8:34:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
my phone was healed by Jesus


... that was nearly enough to remove dailytech from my browser bookmarks. fortunately, i didn't stop reading there and delete the bookmarks but read the rest of the sentence.

quote:
... or the Flying Spaghetti monster


that made my crying out with laughter. only "the great JuJu down the bottom of the sea" was missing from that list. interesting to see how any reference to religion that is not a clear parody or metaphore gives me a sort of allergic reaction, especially in a technical publication.




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