Print 36 comment(s) - last by Zuul.. on Jan 11 at 1:56 PM

Phone is Nokia's first phone "built for and designed for the North American market"

As expected, Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) -- the world's largest phone-maker by volume (when feature phones are included in the mix) -- made a push on Monday to stay relevant in the smartphone market with the new Nokia 900.

The Nokia Lumia 900. [Image Source: Nokia]
I. Nokia Enters America... Or Re-enters it?

Nokia's VP of Communications Susan Sheehan made an amusing stumble, commenting at the opening of the press conference that the Lumia lineup was "Nokia's entry... (stutter) reentry into the wireless market in North America."

But to be honest the first statement was probably the most accurate -- Nokia hasn't been relevant in the North American market since the days when there wasn't much of a market.

Nokia kicked off the conference with old news.  The Nokia 710 was launching on Deutsche Telekom AG's (ETR:DTE) T-Mobile USA, America's fourth largest mobile carrier, on January 11.  Priced at $50, Nokia pitches that the phone, "Brings an unparalleled combinations of quality and price to the American market."

Likewise, Nokia talked about how its Nokia 710 and snazzier color plastic Nokia 800 have been trinkling out to various non-U.S. markets worldwide.

The Lumia 800
The Nokia Lumia 800. [Image Source: Nokia]

But the big ticket item of Nokia's presser was the Lumia 900.

II. The Lumia 900 -- Bigger is Better

The Nokia Lumia 900 follows the chic Android cliche of "supersizing and 4G".  It essentially takes the Nokia 800, bumps the screen size to 4.3 inches, and adds an LTE modem, plus a beefy 1830 mAh battery to support the new blazing but hungry communications chip. As we mentioned over the weekend, a 1.4GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, and 16GB of storage space is in the mix as well. The screen also saves power via circular polarizing display tech., branded as Nokia's "Clear Black" feature.

Lumia 900

New Nokia CEO -- and ex-Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) camera employee (and "Trojan horse" according to some) -- Stephen Elop cheered the device.  He comments, "We believe that the industry has shifted from a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems...[The Nokia 900 is] a smartphone designed and delivered specifically with the North American consumer in mind...[It is] the first real Windows Phone built for and designed for the North American market."

Elop w/ Lumia in Hand

A couple of other pertinent tidbits were tossed out by Mr. Elop.  The new phone will use Nokia's proprietary injection-molded polycarbonate casing to deliver black and cyan Lumia 900s whose "color is inherently innate to the material, not cheaply painted on the outside."

The phones will also have some pretty nice optics.  On the rear is a F2.2 wide angle lens, with dual aspect ratio support.  On the front is a F2.4 lens, which Nokia seemed particularly proud of.  The company brags, "The front camera of the Nokia 900 let's in as much light as the back camera of nearly of nearly every other smartphone out there."

Lumia 900 camera

The phone will be carried by AT&T, Inc. (T).  In a bit of fan service to tech news fans everywhere, Nokia managed to squeeze Stephen Elop, Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer, and AT&T President Ralph de la Vega all on one stage.

Ballmer w/ De La Vega and Stephen Elop

III. Nokia's Big Lumia 900 Suffers From Soft Launch

Sadly, the launch was very soft, with many of the most criticial deals left unsaid.  Price was not discussed other than Mr. Elop's nebulous assurance that it would "aggressive. " The launch time was stated as "in coming months" (about as ambiguous a phrase as you could think up).

Mr. Elop says part of the challenge of selling consumers on Windows Phones is explaining to them that the fastest CPU does not necessarily mean the best performance.  He comments, "Quad-core doesn't mean quad-performance or quad-user experience."

Of course it's hard to sell a product that doesn't exist yet, so Nokia better move aggressively to drop its Lumia 900 on the American market ASAP, particularly with HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) preparing to drop its own HD, LTE Windows Phone -- the HTC Titan 2.

All images © of Jason Mick and DailyTech LLC.

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By sprockkets on 1/9/2012 10:33:37 PM , Rating: 4
"We believe that the industry has shifted from a battle of devices to a war of ecosystems...[The Nokia 900 is] a smartphone designed and delivered specifically with the North American consumer in mind...[It is] the first real Windows Phone built for and designed for the North American market."

How can you say that when it save for maps is exactly like any other windows phone? OK it has LTE.

I'm not hating Nokia for adapting WP7 so much as for them jettisoning their whole Nokia 700/810/900/N9 platform for nothing. They want to talk about ecosystems, yet squandered that nice setup they had for nothing.

RE: please
By Aloonatic on 1/10/2012 12:46:52 AM , Rating: 2
It may have been a nice set-up, but fewer and fewer people were interested in it, and they hardly gave it up for nothing, I think MS gave them a $ or two to go with WP7.

RE: please
By sprockkets on 1/10/2012 12:54:08 AM , Rating: 2
It's hard to be interested in something that has never been marketed to the US in any way, shape or form. OK, they had YouTube, wow.

Forget the N9, Nokia never marketed any of their smartphones here until today.

RE: please
By Denigrate on 1/10/2012 8:54:13 AM , Rating: 2
The N9 is probably the best smart phone on the planet, but no one knows anything about it. Nokia never properly marketed the Maemo OS. It was a GREAT mobile OS, much better than Android, and had the potential to be the best mobile OS on the planet with proper evolution. Nokia has long had the best hardware, but just didn't have the proper ecosystem for it to live on because they refused to drop Symbian and go with the much better Maemo.

RE: please
By sprockkets on 1/10/2012 10:30:12 AM , Rating: 2
And I rather have gone with it instead of Android, even though Android has its marketshare advantages like app support.

But I know for sure it is a dead end. Met a girl who had the N900, and she says she never is getting rid of it since it is a powerful computer. She got the N9 as well, looks nice. Funny running into another Linux nerd.

RE: please
By Denigrate on 1/10/2012 12:48:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I absolutely love my N900. Great, great phone.

Love it!
By UsernameX on 1/10/2012 8:55:15 AM , Rating: 4
I absolutely love the new Windows Phone 7 interface. Being able to fully customize your home screen, once your muscle memory is down, is extremely fast and efficient! Especially being able to see things at a glance! I know when there's relevant posts to my personal / business life, email, and entertainment.

On top of that the interface is seemless! I compare it to my Dad's dual core 3D Android GUI, which I'm not trying to bash, but it's not as smooth or pleasing, IMHO.

We all have our boats - WP7 floats mine.

RE: Love it!
By melgross on 1/10/12, Rating: 0
By neb_ula on 1/10/2012 10:35:43 AM , Rating: 1
Survivalcraft will be awesome on this screen, AMOLEDs have much better shades of gray reproduction than LEDs, very nice when looking for minerals in a dark cave. Can't wait!

RE: Awesome
By french toast on 1/10/2012 10:55:53 AM , Rating: 2
ha ha.

By french toast on 1/10/2012 10:01:27 AM , Rating: 2
Well i do wander how many of these comments are actually microsoft employees posting from microsoft adresses ;-)

Yea it looks decent, i must admit i like nokia and microsoft..just not overly sold on them both combined.aka microkia.

They have just copied exatcly the same design and feature from the n9, just with 4G,a bigger lower resolution screen, less ram, less storage, same decent camera(apposed to previous n8's best in class)
Bog standard processing thats 1 year out of date.

The screen whilst has a funky circular polorizer, is a lowly wvga pentile (bug screen) spread out over 4.3 inches, the image quality is going to stink next to a galaxy s3 which it will be going up against.

Its disapointing that microsoft forces these terribly out of date specs, i know we dont want fragmentation, and i like the idea of instant software upgrades, the os also runs very smooth and bug/lag free sans all those terrible overlay bloatware you get on android.

But it would be a whole lot sexier, if with this they standadised on an up to date 720p screen above 4 inches,a snapdragon msm8960 krait duel core, which would provide much much better performance and much better battery life.
A smartphone standard 1gb ram and the n9's 64gb storage wouldnt go a miss either.
Even HTC is at leasy trying to push the boat out somewhere with a better camera.

Come on Microkia wake up.

Where you at Verizon?
By SilentSin on 1/10/2012 12:22:00 PM , Rating: 2
Now that WP7 obviously supports LTE, what is Verizon's excuse for not announcing more devices? I could give a sh*t about having the latest ARM core of the day as long as it runs fast, and every WP7 phone I've played with absolutely crushes android in that respect. Nokia's form factors are also better than any other droid device out at the moment.

Arghh trying to find a really stellar phone seems to be harder and harder the more these companies flood the market with hardware. All of them have some weird trade off that no consumer really wants but will put up with since there is nothing out there that is perfect and they are tired of waiting. I do not want to have to compromise on something I'm going to spend $2000+ on including the call plan.

Big 800
By melgross on 1/10/12, Rating: -1
RE: Big 800
By Denigrate on 1/10/2012 8:54:47 AM , Rating: 4
Yeesh, short bus much?

RE: Big 800
By Zuul on 1/10/2012 10:51:42 AM , Rating: 2
I remember when dual-cores and 64bit came to desktops in the form of Athlon X2 processors, as well as Athlon 64 processors. While no doubt that in synthetic benchmarks and capability it was superior, in the real world it was barely noticeable. However, the marketing and sales showed one of the most important facts about marketing: Customer perception is reality. Customer's perceived that their computers would be faster with a dual-core / 64bit cpu and they purchased accordingly, regardless of the negligible impact to their real-world experience.

Fast-forward to today, I am seeing this same battle unfold again. People are buying smartphones not based on battery life, but based on perceived performance. While for the VAST majority of smartphone buyers having 2-cores and LTE is pointless, it does give them bragging rights.

RE: Big 800
By Aloonatic on 1/10/2012 12:54:52 PM , Rating: 3
The whole "power" issue with smartphones is something that makes me smile. For the vast majority of people the hardware found in the original Google Nexus would be more than adequate. (Some of the low power (e.g. HTC Wildfire) phones are too slow/under powered though)

What do people do with their phones? Text, look on facebook/twitter, take photos and share them and then play around with the odd app and game, but game playing makes up a small percentage I'd wager, and they might even make a call from time to time.

The power in a lot of devices is way over the top, and will never be used by many other than when they run a benchmark to see just how powerful it is or running a demo to show off.

For me, screen size and resolution were important, as well as being able to last a day easily which is why I went for a HTC sensation. I'd really love to give WP7 a try, but all their phones were "small" screen affairs, baring the Titan but even then (as with the 900) they are limited to the standard resolution.

That my phone has 2 cores doesn't really mean anything to me, but I can see why people get sucked in by the marketing, and that's where MS need to work harder. IMHO they need to show more iPhone style adverts that actually show the phone being used, how simple and smooth the interface is and that you can do with it what you can do on other phones, as well as Nokia maps (in this case) so that people are aware that it actually does what they expect, or more importantly, it can do pretty much everything an iPhone can do, as to many the iPhone is still "the" smartphone.

RE: Big 800
By Motoman on 1/11/2012 9:36:33 AM , Rating: 1
I just got a new MyTouch Q. It has a single-core processor.

I text on it. Make phone calls. Read the news. Occasionally play something like Angry Birds or poker.

That's it. That's pretty much what probably 95% of the market does with their phones. There's nothing more that I *want* to do with a phone. And I'm pretty gosh-darned sure that applies to 95% of the market...and also pretty gosh-darned sure that having a dual-core processor wouldn't make any real-world difference for me...or the 95%.

RE: Big 800
By sprockkets on 1/10/2012 1:09:07 PM , Rating: 2
You didn't notice an improvement? Wow.

Bud, you got like 25% more performance for like 10% more energy being used. I noticed it big time when I bought my 3600+ dual core athlon from the 3000+ I had.

You don't video record? Video encode? Audio editing? Picture editing? It really helped.

RE: Big 800
By Zuul on 1/10/2012 4:09:09 PM , Rating: 3
I didn't notice improvement based on what I was doing (went from a Barton XP 3200+ to the X2 4200+). Neither did a vast majority of our customers (I was working for an OEM at the time) because most of them were using their computers for email/browsing/creating documents/editing the occasional picture. I was not a power-user, I was a mainstream user. The price differential between the 2 was negligible for me so I didn't buy a single-core cpu. I bought a dual core cpu just because I had to have it.

The clock speed difference between the Athlon XP 3200+ (2.2GHz) vs. the Athlon X2 4200+ (2.2GHz) meant that overall, I noticed zero performance improvement. Even IF there was a 10% performance boost, that would mean my Word document or browser opened up a few tenths of a second quicker.

What do the majority of people with smartphones do? Aside from making calls, check email, browse websites, they will pull out their smartphone to play a quick game of angry birds while sitting on the can. They are not doing video editing on their phone.

While I think WP7's focus on the mainstream user would normally make sense in other markets, I think Microsoft has missed the mark because the mainstream users are buying what the power users want simply because they can buy a higher performance device for the same price - regardless whether they will realize that performance increase or not.

RE: Big 800
By bug77 on 1/10/2012 5:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
Even for a mainstream user, a dual-core CPU allowed (and still does) you to play a game without worrying that your firewall, antivirus, messenger ate precious CPU cycles. Since there was a second, mostly unused core, you had plenty of cycles to spare. It also allowed you to run a CPU intensive task (e.g. compressing/uncompressing stuff) without the UI getting stuck. This continues to be the main advantage even today.

As for the AthlonXP vs Athlon64 X2 analogy, remember that the latter also featured an integrated memory controller. Better performance for memory intensive tasks (again, compression comes to mind).

Of course you didn't see these gains all the time, the PC is not always held back by the CPU. But to claim you didn't see anything? That's a stretch.

RE: Big 800
By Master Kenobi on 1/10/2012 6:43:12 PM , Rating: 2
Remember back when dual core first came out, most games were still castrated by the graphics cards, not the CPU itself. It took a while for software to catch up largely with ragdoll physics and similar improvements to really start to require dual core or better systems.

RE: Big 800
By Reclaimer77 on 1/10/2012 9:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
I think you guys are totally missing the point about dual core CPU's....

RE: Big 800
By Zuul on 1/11/2012 1:56:00 PM , Rating: 2
I think there may be a disconnect between the intent of what I wrote and how you are interpreting it. My intent to say was with respect to real world applications for mainstream users back when dual cores came out, I saw no noticeable performance improvement. My browser, MS Word, Excel, Outlook etc. opened a fraction of a second faster. I call that no difference because it amounted to no additional value for me. If you want to get down to semantics, than yes, it made a fraction of a second difference.

To address your comments about AV and FW, back when dual cores first hit the mainstream desktop, the mainstream OS and applications were not optimized for dual cores and thus never effectively utilized them. There are applications of course that benefited greatly from multi-core systems, for example, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere - though I don't consider these mainstream. Further, the OS still does not perform functions on multi-core systems on some applications when the system is under load because there are other factors impacting system performance should it run the application (such as IO speed, memory, bus speed, etc.). For example, you still don't have AV system scans going on while you're working.

With my technology hat on, I SUPPORT dual cores on mobile devices because it pushes the envelope forward in the mobile space. With my business hat on, I SUPPORT the marketing behind it because it has proven to work (my AMD example).
I believe that the mainstream users are being treated like drones that are easily swayed by marketing (and they are yet again). Because of this, what I DO NOT SUPPORT at this time is the perception that having more cores is always going to create tangible performance improvements. Right now it's a marketing ploy to boost sales.

I believe that we will get to that level of core optimization in the mobile space eventually for mainstream applications, however by the time we get there, the phones we use today will be sitting in a recycling bin or a hand-me-down for our children to play with.

RE: Big 800
By Motoman on 1/11/2012 9:33:19 AM , Rating: 1
While I don't disagree with your tone for the energy/performance argument, I will point out that in terms of a % of the population, essentially no one video records, video encodes, or audio edits. And for the VAST majority of people, "picture editing" means double-clicking the photo to open it in whatever the default editor is on their PC (for which they probably don't even know the name) and clicking the "red eye" button.

By vol7ron on 1/10/12, Rating: -1
RE: Well
By priusone on 1/10/2012 5:48:45 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on the squares, but looking at Windows 8 Metro screen, I'd say that big squares are here to say. "First, click the Start Button.... it's on the bottom left.... look, I'll be over in a bit"

I don't know much about Windows Mobile, but perhaps there is an app to simulate a more advanced launcher that would work better for you.

RE: Well
By a5cent on 1/10/2012 8:24:18 AM , Rating: 2
It's called Windows Phone (WP), not Windows Mobile (WinMo). WP and WinMO are two completely different product lines that have nothing to do with each other (besides both being mobile device OS').

MS want's to guarantee a consistent user experience across all devices. As a result, it is effectively illegal to deliver a device with a custom launcher. Obviously, it is possible to make any changes after rooting the device:

It seems very few are interested in doing this though.

RE: Well
By theapparition on 1/10/12, Rating: -1
RE: Well
By Etsp on 1/10/2012 11:09:19 AM , Rating: 3
It's much more akin to the difference between XP and Vista. The difference here is that we don't have to worry about drivers.

RE: Well
By BushStar on 1/10/2012 11:11:38 AM , Rating: 2
Nope. It's more like the difference between Windows 98 and Windows 7.

RE: Well
By nafhan on 1/10/2012 12:56:04 PM , Rating: 1
A major UI change with a incremental kernel change (i.e. Win CE 5.x to Win CE 6 and later 7) is probably more similar to XP >> Vista. Anyway, kind of a pointless argument.

RE: Well
By theapparition on 1/10/12, Rating: 0
RE: Well
By Mitch101 on 1/10/2012 7:40:37 AM , Rating: 1

RE: Well
By crispbp04 on 1/10/2012 8:26:58 AM , Rating: 3
You'd love the squares once you understood what they do and how they work. At a glance of my home screen I know what's going on with my family, closest friends, girlfriend, and can see if people have posted anything to my social networks. It's consistent and beautiful. I had the same concerns as you for about 10 minutes after first getting the phone for development purposes (i thought it was going to be a turd, turns out it polished into gold)

RE: Well
By Arsynic on 1/10/2012 9:36:42 AM , Rating: 1
You're in a big minority. Windows Mobile was shit. Outdated and clunky shit.

RE: Well
By Zuul on 1/10/2012 9:48:29 AM , Rating: 2
The tiles are actually customizable through an app called 'WizTiles'.

I'm using a customized tile for my browser, phone and pinned bluetooth. You can change the background colour, add a background image, edit some parameters on launch, edit the name of the tile, and even create the background tile.

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