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  (Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC)
Smartphone is marred by a few weaknesses/bugs, but overall offers more intuitive interface than competitors

So I've now had a week with my new Lumia 900 LTE from Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V) and impressions have started to form.  Let me first give my disclaimer in that phone reviewers' commentary is colored by their own experiences and thus one man's (or woman's) impressions are not necessarily the same as another’s.

With that said, I think the Lumia 900 is quite possibly the best smartphone I've encountered in terms of the average user experience.  That's not to say there aren't some glaring annoyances here or weaknesses -- because there are.  But simply looking at the overall experience, I would say this Windows Phone is simpler to use, more fluid, and more fun than the iPhone 4S or front of the pack Androids like the Galaxy Nexus LTE.

Price
AT&T Inc. (T) has priced this device aggressively.  I received mine for free as a new subscriber.  While this promotion has since lapsed, you can still get the device for $99 USD -- not bad.  In fact, I may have not only scored a free phone, but I may also actually receive a $100 credit from Nokia for the Lumia 900's connectivity issues.

I recall putting down $200 for my new EVO 4G by HTC Corp. (TPE:2498).  Now I was happy with that device, but my Windows Phone has thus farm been a far more exciting experience -- and it was free.  Let's just say even if you don't like the Lumia 900 quite as much as me, it should come out very well in the cost v. value equation.

External Looks/Form Factor:
The Lumia 900 LTE looks fantastic.  I never really had any complaints about my HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) EVO 4G in the looks department, but I never really felt it looked super good either.  I think the Lumia certainly one ups the old EVO in the looks department and rivals the much-lauded iPhone by Apple, Inc. (AAPL) in aesthetics.  The phone is 4.3-inches, but feels light in my hand.

Lumia 900 LTE
(Click image to enlarge) [©: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

I purchased the cyan model (see above).  It's a bit deeper blue than some of the shots you'll see (which are likely over-exposed and/or a bit shifted towards the green side of things).  I like this color and think it goes well with the Windows Phone vibe and Nokia's Windows Phone blue color scheme.  However, black is also available -- and white will be available shortly, as well, if you want something a little less colorful.

Lumia 900 in Hand (1/6) Lumia 900 in Hand (2/6)
Lumia 900 in Hand (3/6) Lumia 900 in Hand (4/6)
Lumia 900 in hand (5/6) Lumia 900 in Hand (6/6)
(Click any image to enlarge) [©: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

Stacked next to an iPhone 4S, the Lumia appears a bit thinner.  Surprisingly, the face is not as much bigger as you would expect, considering that the iPhone only has a 3.5-inch screen, while the Lumia has a massive 4.3-inch touch screen.

iPhone 4S v. Lumia 900 iPhon 4S v. Lumia 900 (2)
iPhone 4S v. Lumia 900 (3) iPhone 4S v. Lumia 900 (4)(Click any image to enlarge) [©: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

In hand, the phone feels as light as an iPhone 4S.  For a large phone it has a very nice hand-feel and grips well.  I have yet to drop it, something that happened regularly with my EVO thanks to its curved back, which made it a bit awkward to grip.  

Sound:
The Lumia 900 LTE has a great speaker and a slightly better microphone than my old EVO.  The speaker is not noticeably louder, but has a significant improvement in quality.  In a quiet room, you can easily jam out to music on it, though headphones are obviously a better solution.  The biggest difference sound-wise is that the Lumia's output feels rich -- versus the EVO where music through the speaker sounded somewhat sounds slightly distorted.  

Output on speakerphone sees a similar improvement, albeit to a lesser extent.  Conversations didn't sound bad on the EVO, but they sound much more natural (for people whose voices you know) on the Lumia 900

As for sound input, microphone appears to have no real difference when making calls with the phone held up to my face, but two people have said that it sounds much better on speaker-phone than the EVO did.  Noticeably they said the voice quality was crisper and there was less background noise.  That leads me to believe that Nokia's microphone has a better range and/or noise isolation.

Of course the network could have something to do with the sound performance as well, but based on the general experience thus far, I would expect it to be working against sound quality, if anything.

One small gripe -- voice search is non-functional in my experience, continuously failing with error messages.  The problem appears to be that the phone continually fails to communicate with Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) servers.  I have not been able to get it to succeed even one time.  The problem occurs under both Wi-Fi and 3G/HSPA+ and made the feature essentially unusable and untestable.  I am unsure how ubiquitous this bug is, but it certainly makes voice search completely unusable on my device.

Well, that's the problem of reviewing a device on the first week it comes out.  It appears that Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) servers are now communicating properly with my device.  Text message dictation appeared quite good -- about as good as the dictation features in Android.  And the search has some very neat options -- like the music search, which essentially makes Shazam obsolete.

This feature -- initially non-working for me, is fast becoming one of my favorite features.  I wish I had another week to grab more impressions, but let's just say voice appears to be a strong point for the phone after all, now that it works.

Screen:
The device's screen is beautiful, much brighter and crisper colors than my EVO 4G.  Honestly, it's one of the best screens I've seen -- on par with the iPhone and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) Galaxy S II/Galaxy Nexus in terms of crispness, and perhaps a bit better than either in brightness/colors.

Screen Quality (bright shot) Screen Quality (dark shot)
The screen in bright and dim light (Click any image to enlarge) [©: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

The screen is very easy to use outdoors, even on a bright day -- something my EVO always struggled with.  And yet, it doesn't seem to be sucking down that much more power (more on power consumption to come).

Literally the screen quality was one of the first things that took me aback about the phone.  I was hoping for decent quality, but I didn't expect it to be this good.  Pictures don't really fully do it justice, check it out for yourself in a store.

I/O:
The touch screen is very responsive.  My only real complaint is that sometimes a touch button is situated next to the back button, leading to the occasional unpredictable touch.  

Once your finger learns where to go, this happens much less, but I still find myself poking around a bit, on occasion in order to hit the back button.  The back button -- in my experience -- seems a bit under-responsive.  Granted, I'd rather to have it this way than have it be over-responsive and freaking out.  Just be aware you have to be pretty specific in hitting it cleanly.

Lumia 900
(Click image to enlarge) [©: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

Overall the touch buttons are less than stellar.  I always thought this was a strong point of the EVO -- rivaling the iPhone.  The face buttons on the Lumia 900 are just a slight step back, but be aware, they'll feel more natural with time.

The touch keyboard is superb.  I always felt this was an area where Android lagged behind iOS.  Windows Phone shows no such performance gap.  The keyboard is very easy to type -- even in portrait mode -- and is noticeably better than Gingerbread on a 4.3-inch Android.  I rarely have to correct myself on Windows Phone 7.  On Gingerbread backspacing was a fact of life.

OS Speed:
I never really thought of Gingerbread as "laggy" until I started my stint here with Windows Phone 7.  Granted I have a hazy recollection of feeling similarly when spending a week with a friend's iPhone.  Expect iPhone-like speed and smoothness out of the Lumia.  Any time there is a delay of any sort, the blow is softened by a nice animation.

Of course Ice Cream Sandwich narrows the gap, but in my experience even with Deck's Ice Cream Sandwich mod (which was somewhat buggy in my experience, encouraging me to go back to the stable Cyanogen mod -- Gingerbread-based) the EVO still feels slower.  Even dual-core Androids like the Galaxy Nexus felt a bit slower when I played with them in recent store/trade-show visits.

It's hard to explain, but Windows Phone just feels fast.  My EVO didn't feel slow by any means, but it didn't feel quite this smooth.  IOS traditionally felt a bit faster than Android, in my experience -- a similar phenomena is observed with Windows phone, despite it running on a single very fast core.

Front Page:
Windows Phone's front page puts all but the most widgeted-out Android phones to shame.  From the animated front tiles to the brilliant Metro text styles, to the smaller but crisp app listing on the second page, everything feels perfect.  Honestly Windows Phone is way ahead of Android and iOS in terms of home-screen looks, and it's not all visual fluff -- there's much usability in the chic design.

Again, the front page layout is essentially a stylishly themed version of what you would get out of Android with some heavy widget insertion.  But the nice part is that most of that pizzazz comes pre-configured. And the tiled approach is more consistent that some of Android's widgets, which visually clash.

As someone who was too busy/lazy to ever heavily pimp out my Gingerbread EVO widgets-wise, this was a welcome addition.  And of course such perks aren't allowed at all, if you're trapped on a non-jailbroken iPhone.

The overall look also feels much more stylish and modern than the plain Chiclet-style grid of icons that's been regurgitated up by Apple and Google Inc. (GOOG) in recent releases.  I love the overall Zune style of text, where you have multiple pages of graphics with one common wide banner header.

Lumia 900
(Click image to enlarge) [©: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

The animated picture roll is beautiful -- one of my favorite features.

Android Gingerbread/ICS and iOS do a fair job notifications, but the bigger fonts used for notifications on the Live tiles make it much easier to quickly read assess.  Windows Phone definitely gives you the most information in the quickest time on its front page, a big win.

Apps:
If you make a living off of playing apps all day, perhaps someday you will bemoan Windows Phone's slightly smaller app selection, versus the iPhone or Android.

That said, this is no Palm TouchPad (sorry, Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ)).  I have found a wealth of free -- and entertaining apps thus far.  Two of my favorites are "Mixtapes" (free music of all genres, think Pandora with more of a personal touch) and "Call of Carlos" a quirky little platformer about a jewel-hunting miner.  

That said, I think selection is still a bit of a work in progress.  Some top apps -- like Plants v. Zombies, Doodle Jump, and Angry Birds are here.  But others like Cut the Rope and Temple Run are egregiously absent.

While selection may be a bit hit or miss, at present, Microsoft at least has the best user interface for getting to apps.  Apps are automatically added to an appropriate hub, making them much easier to access unpinned apps from the frontpage, versus in iOS or Android.  While you can technically arrow over to get a full list of apps from the homepage, I find myself simply going into the appropriate Live Tile.  For example if it's a game simply go to the Xbox Live tile.  Or for Mixtapes, simply go to the Music+Videos.  

Pictures hub
(Click image to enlarge) [©: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

I didn't have that many apps in Gingerbread, but even that started to feel cluttered after a while.  Now I could have arranged them on the customizable front pages in Android, but that all feels like a big headache -- I'd be competing for space with whatever widgets I customized, and be having to reinvent the obvious.

Microsoft has simply come up with an easier interface when it comes to getting to apps.  This format also makes it simpler to share info between apps -- say leaderboards, images, music, etc.

Now if Microsoft can just patch up the holes in its app selection, it could put this front-runner UI to optimal use.

Camera:
The camera is about on par with my EVO in my experience thus far.  I haven't exactly been wowed by its autofocus, though the inclusion of a hardware button shoot is nice, as that pesky software button always proved an annoyance.  Auto focus still takes a bit longer than I would like -- the iPhone does certainly differentiate itself from Android and WP7 here.

Email:
Email was a breeze to set up.  And the email inbox is (to me) more visually appealing in terms of fonts and UI layout than Gingerbread and iOS.  Sending and receiving email pretty simple.

Email
(Click image to enlarge) [©: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

I have to gripe about the lack of a solid multi-standard IM client.  I use IM+, but it has been slow and takes a long time to load messages, in my experience.  I chalk this up to poor implementation, as most Windows Phone apps don't have these issues.

IM wasn't great in Android, but I felt that AOL's first-party AIM client was slightly better than IM+ is on Windows Phone.  IM is definitely a spot Microsoft can improve upon, and possibly even pass Android if it does the job well.

Browser:
I definitely think Android and iOS are a bit ahead in the browser department.  

Microsoft has always been a bit behind in terms of supporting newer standards.  The browser also seems incapable of remember logins in many textboxes.  I guess this is a (likely unintentional) security perk of sorts, but at the expense of convenience.

For those reasons, while the browser isn't really bad from a speed or basic features standpoint, it brings down the overall experience quality, versus enhancing it.  I broke my gripes about the browser into a separate blog.

Text rendering bug Text rendering bug
(Highlights added for emphasis. [Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC])

Some of the feedback that I got complained that I was off base and that the browser was really good.  If that's your experience, great, but my experience was that several sites I commonly use (including one of my most used email clients, which is made by a firm that services millions of users) and a couple of my most-viewed news sites rendered more poorly in mobile IE than mobile Chrome.

So take that with a grain of salt, but in my opinion/experience the browser just isn't quite as good, a problem that is exacerbated/furthered by the fact that most of the third party browsers reuse Microsoft's rendering engine, given its speed.

Lock Screen:
Like Ice Cream Sandwich, Windows Phone supports notifications on the lock screen. I'm not sure if ICS supports controls on the lock screen, but WP7 allows this.  For example, Mixtapes places basic playback controls on the lock screen, much appreciated.

Lock screen
(Click image to enlarge) [©: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

As great as the lock screen is in this regard, it's still limited to two options, much like iOS -- slide unlock or password unlock.  I would love a grid-based unlock like in Android, but alas that is not here -- and may never be, as Google is patenting it.

Battery:
Battery life is quite good.  Perhaps not as good as the iPhone, but within striking distance.  I find that on average the battery lasts comfortably about a day.  One day I used the phone intensively for several hours and found the battery life dipped to about a day.  

But in most cases if you forget to charge it one day, it won't be dead the next.  The same cannot be said for my poor EVO 4G, whose horrible battery life necessitated me to buy a larger replacement battery (granted it improved dramatically when I rooted it and ditched the HTC bloat).

Anyhow, battery life doesn't amaze on the Lumia 900, but it also doesn't disappoint.  Whatever battery issues Nokia had with its early WP7 handsets, I have not encountered them yet myself on the Lumia 900 LTE.

Networking & Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi is relatively easy to use and setup -- no real surprises here.  The only annoyance is that locking the phone pauses downloads, unless you're using a Wi-Fi only app (such as Mixtapes), in which case the Wi-Fi somehow determines to stay live.

AT&T is one of the phone's biggest issues.  Now, at last I know how iPhone users feel.  While data speeds are terrific, I find many more dead-spots where voice coverage and calls drop out than I did with Sprint.  The problem is especially bad indoors and has me contemplating buying a femtocell.

AT&T has been "going hard" at improving voice coverage, but clearly the situation is far from great.

On the plus side, my data speeds over HSPA+ have been much more acceptable.  While I was unable to test in an LTE region yet (my region is getting LTE from AT&T later this year), the speeds I got over the "4G" HSPA+ were decent.

Speed test (1/6) Speed test (2/6) Speed Test (3/6)
Speed test (4/6) Speed Test (5/6) Speed Test (6/6)(Click any image to enlarge) [©: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

My average upload speed was 634.4 +/- 207.8 Mbps, while my average download speed was 207.8 +/- 178.8 Mbps.

Calendar
I found the font selection and layout in the calendar much friendlier than in Gingerbread.  Not quite sure how well it stacks up to ICS, but it stacks up favorably to iOS in everything except the ability to add an appointment via voice assistant.

Games:
The responsive touch screen makes basic touch-driven games a blast, in my experience thus far.

And promisingly, basic 3D games (Fruit Ninja) offer no noticeable slowdown.  I'm definitely looking forward to the upcoming addition of Electronics Arts, Inc. (EA) survival horror space thriller Dead Space as a test of a higher poly title.  

For now, suffice it to say that PC-game-like titles such as "Infinity Blade" are mainly the realm of iOS, although Microsoft does have a decent selection of 3D titles like Splinter Cell Conviction or Sid Meier's Pirates!.  These 3D games tend to skimp a bit on environmental detail versus versions on more power Android smartphones/tablets or the iPhone/iPad.

The graphical limitation won't be a big deal for 90-95 percent of smartphone gamers, though a small contingent of enthusiasts will bemoan not having the iPhone's graphical prowess on tap.  That said, the bigger issue is the lack of certain popular titles -- e.g. Cut the Rope.  No Cut the Rope?  Really, Microsoft?  

But to be fair Microsoft has to attract customers before it can completely sway all developers to consider its platform.  It took Android a while to win over developers.  Likewise, Microsoft has a battle ahead, but I'm hopeful these missing hits will eventually come to the platform.

At the very least, indie developers should have a field day filling in the gaps.

Conclusions:
I think in many ways Windows Phone and the Lumia 900 LTE take the strengths of iOS and Android and then extend that "best of the best" list.

In looks some may not like the Windows Phone user interface in the looks department, but I feel that this logic is largely backward-ism.  As in, I really loved the interface in Windows 3.1 and at one point considered that my gold standard for operating system UIs.  If you hanker for old fashioned, you could whip out the old Palm Pilot or reach for the iPhone or Android.

Windows Phone Box (1/2) Windows Phone Box (2/2)
(Click any image to enlarge) [©: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

To be fair, Ice Cream Sandwich improves Android a bit in looks.  And jailbreaking does wonders for the iPhone in looks, with proper customization.

But these are all halfway efforts.  Windows Phone is a full, cohesive solution and it looks beautiful if you approach it with an open mind.

Overall nearly every aspect of the core experience is solid.

The iPhone has a handful advantages:
+Siri
+Better camera quality/response time
+The bleeding edge of 3D mobile smartphone gaming.
+Better browser
+More apps

Likewise Android ICS/Gingerbread have a couple legs up:
+Better browser
+More apps
+Open source
+Slightly cleaner integration with core Google apps (I'm not a heavy user, but I suppose for heavy users this would be an attraction).

But overall, I feel thus far that Windows Phone is likely to give the average user the most bang for their buck.  I've never felt quite this excited about a phone.  I would almost say I love the Windows Phone experience, versus my EVO first impression, which I merely “liked”.

If Microsoft and/or Nokia can improve a handful of items (in order of importance) ---

1. Better browser
2. WORKING voice control, and more of it
2. Built in IM (AIM, please!).
3. More apps
4. More 3D graphics-heavy titles

...then it could have a much better footing against Android and iOS in terms of experience for users whose minds are not blindly devoted towards a particular platform (which is perhaps a fair chunk of users, at this point).

One final wild card is the AT&T network, which is in my recent experience, relatively bad in some areas (such as mine).  Again, this likely varies and in some regions AT&T is probably the best network.  That said, the badness of the network is more of an occasional annoyance than a crippling issue, and wasn't enough to ruin the great Windows Phone experience for me, thus far.

Lumia 900 in Hand (3/6)
(Click image to enlarge) [©: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

For now the handful of disadvantages leave the new Windows Phone experience a work in progress, but still arguably an industry leader, when paired with a premium handset like the Lumia 900 LTE.

That may sound like an ad, but I have to live my device every day, just like you have to live with yours.  Having just spent a week with Windows Phone 7 on a proper piece of hardware, I find it hard to imagine going back to Gingerbread, or even Ice Cream Sandwich.


Comments     Threshold


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Nice review
By Paj on 4/17/2012 7:11:32 AM , Rating: 2
Good review Jason. Pretty objective about the faults.

Like the OP I'm seriously considering getting WP7 as my next phone. My HTC sensation hasn't really impressed - too much HTC bloat, random shutdowns, poor battery life.

The main drawback for WP7 for me is apps. I play a lot of games while Im travelling/commuting and so a good app selection is important. I also use Google services (calendar, maps, docs) quite a lot and like the way they integrate with Android.




RE: Nice review
By InvertMe on 4/17/2012 8:23:00 AM , Rating: 3
Marketplace is almost at 100,000 apps and growing quickly. I have TONS of amazing games on my phone and never seem to have a shortage of new ones to try.

I think AT&T gives you a thirty day remorse period - you could always buy it and return it if you don't like. I have a feeling that won't be the case though.


RE: Nice review
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/12, Rating: 0
RE: Nice review
By InvertMe on 4/17/2012 8:56:28 AM , Rating: 2
Why does there have to be an official app when the third party ones are very good or you could just use the website?


RE: Nice review
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2012 9:15:02 AM , Rating: 1
That was just an example. Good luck playing the "third party" Angry Birds Space or using a website for that.

Again, JUST an example. Point is, a lot of big developers are ignoring WP7. Now with the announcement that MS is now going to pay developers to make apps for them (lawl), that could be changing so we'll see.

Saying "apps don't matter" for a smartphone is a pretty silly position to be in. Don't be a fanboi.


RE: Nice review
By InvertMe on 4/17/2012 10:26:04 AM , Rating: 2
When did I say "app don't matter"?

Your hate of anything MS is seriously at a scary level - you should seek counseling and possibly medications.


RE: Nice review
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2012 11:14:09 AM , Rating: 2
Wait what? How can I hate "anything" MS and be called an MS fanboi by other posters? Which is it?

How about we just discuss the topic without resorting to pejoratives which amount to you saying "I have no argument, so I'll flame you."?


RE: Nice review
By Cheesew1z69 on 4/17/2012 2:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
you should seek counseling and possibly medications.
OK TONY..../smh...


RE: Nice review
By InvertMe on 4/17/2012 2:59:47 PM , Rating: 2
Okay so maybe not the best choice of words for my post but looking over his post history he seems fanatical in his attempts to bash anything related to WP.

Having so much hate for something that really doesn't matter to him one way or another seems crazy to me.

If WP took off and sold 50 million phones tomorrow would his life be any worse? Nope.. but no the way he acts.

In any event I will leave him to his rants. I will just put my blinders on and ignore him.


RE: Nice review
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2012 6:07:02 PM , Rating: 1
You're the one reading "hate" into this because you feel you have to defend a product you enjoy. So that means nobody else can possibly have a different opinion.

You're the one who made this personal in a trollish attempt to question my "sanity" and whatever else you've said.

In other words, you're the one putting emotions into this, not me. I don't "hate" Windows Phone. I don't even hate Microsoft. Pointing out inconvenient truths and facts isn't "bashing" Windows Phone. Sorry.

I do, however, hate Apple. But that's for another discussion :)


RE: Nice review
By french toast on 4/20/2012 12:02:52 PM , Rating: 2
''looking over his post history'' mmm, i think you may need a check up from the neck up! ;p

Hes right about the apps, WP is getting better, but it does lack some key apps, hopefully that will come soon.

Nobody would want an eco system to fail, because it stops innovation and puts prices up when you have a clear dominant market leader, i hope we have 3 equal brilliant operating systems.


RE: Nice review
By Mitch101 on 4/17/2012 10:45:42 AM , Rating: 3
Thats Pandora's loss there is enough consumer base in Windows Phone 7 that if Pandora doesn't establish itself someone else can take the reigns. Certainly living fine and dont miss them if they dont come over oh well.

Last.FM, Spotify, Slacker, Rdio, Wimp yada yada yada.

A lot of big developers yet everyone just names "Angry Birds Space" - If that's a deal breaker then oh well then stop complaining its not the device for you.

This quarter the Windows Phone should start showing growth numbers and the remaining developers will be onboard. Its just like the console wars when we have a third competitor and once the market is there the developers start writing apps for all the popular devices and release at the same time to try and prevent the dupes/knockoffs.


RE: Nice review
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2012 11:48:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thats Pandora's loss there is enough consumer base in Windows Phone 7


Define "enough". Obviously Pandora doesn't believe so. So do others.

quote:
A lot of big developers yet everyone just names "Angry Birds Space" - If that's a deal breaker then oh well then stop complaining its not the device for you.


Okay you don't get it. It's not about Angry Birds Space, it's about a platform that's been lagging behind in big titles.

If this doesn't matter, why did MS recently offer money to app developers? They understand, better than you obviously, that popular apps on other platforms MUST be available on theirs. Or else it's just that much harder to get people to buy into it.

This argument is all too reminiscent of the MAC/Linux vs. PC arguments from years ago. No matter what those OS's had going for them, it was absolutely dwarfed by the fact that the games and programs that most of the world used wouldn't work on those OS's. You can scream that it doesn't matter until you're blue, but the world is screaming back "it does".

quote:
This quarter the Windows Phone should start showing growth numbers and the remaining developers will be onboard.


True, I'm with you on that. By by that point iOS and Android will have reached critical mass. WP is just taking too long.


RE: Nice review
By Mitch101 on 4/17/2012 2:58:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Define "enough"

80,000+ and growing at a plenty fast enough rate.

I don't see it as lagging behind because the Nokia sales will get the developers attention. Its the developers that are allowing the knockoffs of their products to rake in the cash instead of them.

Every Platform pays for exclusive content since Android and iPhone arent paying for exclusives Microsoft will pay the developers to have what people consider to be important apps ported to the phone. Apps some people think are important but look around and youll find knockoffs that exceed the original app they were intended to mimic. Once again the original app developer lost revenue by sleeping.

The Nokia Sales are the wake up call there is a third contender he might not be as popular but damn is windows phone good.


RE: Nice review
By Smilin on 4/18/2012 11:24:13 AM , Rating: 3
There are already two Pandora apps on the marketplace. MetroRadio is one, forget the other.

Just plug in your pandora creds and go.

While I like Last.FM and Slacker I much prefer Zune with the zunepass. SmartDJ is just more clever plus mixes in your own stuff. Nobody seems to match Pandora's secret sauce though. (IMO)


RE: Nice review
By corduroygt on 4/17/2012 9:09:33 AM , Rating: 2
Because some apps are social experiences and don't mean anything without the community. Pandora is not such an app, but Words with Friends, Draw Something, and Instagram are.


RE: Nice review
By jimbojimbo on 4/17/2012 10:33:15 AM , Rating: 2
Although there isn't an app called Pandora there is an app that streams from Pandora that works just as well. So what's the problem? I think a lot of complaints about unavailable apps isn't a problem of the market so much as the inability of the user to bother trying to find it.


RE: Nice review
By Mitch101 on 4/17/2012 10:52:49 AM , Rating: 5
Because they have run out of things to complain about remember when copy and paste was some sort of mass hysteria, then it was multi tasking, now its a handful of apps they read on some website they probably dont even use. They are clawing for excuses now.

Where is my Microsoft Office on Android and iPhone? OMG what a fail if your device doesn't support the most used application in the world.


RE: Nice review
By sigmatau on 4/17/2012 1:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with this post.


RE: Nice review
By Smilin on 4/18/2012 4:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with your agreement of the aforementioned post.


RE: Nice review
By CyCl0n3 on 4/18/2012 7:02:54 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed.


RE: Nice review
By french toast on 4/20/2012 12:22:42 PM , Rating: 2
Disagree with the agree from the agree :p


RE: Nice review
By ccsturgi on 4/17/2012 8:25:03 AM , Rating: 2
I've had a samsung focus (wp7 device) since release and i can tell you that I am really hoping the platform takes off finally cause it is solid. This nokia definitely looks like the best thus far and all the news of its strong sales is great.

as for the google apps, the wp7 calendar app integrates google calendars well. google has made a gmaps app for wp7, though i prefer to use the built in bing maps, gmaps works fine (it is likely very bare compared to on android). and there is also a decent gdocs app as well.

That being said if you are to get a windows phone i STRONGLY recommend getting a live ID, through live.com

This will automatically sync your skydrive (cloud storage which windows has had far longer than apple) 25gb of storage free, music storage coming soon i believe. It will also sync your calendar and any office docs you want to store in the sky drive to the built in offic app.


RE: Nice review
By JasonMick (blog) on 4/17/2012 9:00:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Good review Jason. Pretty objective about the faults.
Thanks, again, I'm sure my review is not perfect, but I consider it a bit different from most of the soft-reviews out there, by people who aren't actually going to own this phone and don't look as critically at both its flaws and its strengths. Maybe I'm a bit biased, but I feel like owning the device makes you a bit more vested in the experience for better or worse. :D

I'm just glad Microsoft's voice dictation/search finally started working for me.... first few days the servers were incommunicado... that would have been unfortunate if I had unfairly panned them, considering how good they turned out to be. :)
quote:
The main drawback for WP7 for me is apps. I play a lot of games while Im travelling/commuting and so a good app selection is important. I also use Google services (calendar, maps, docs) quite a lot and like the way they integrate with Android.
True, if you're really vested in Google's services, I can see that as a reason to stick with Android. I'm only a casual user of Google Calendar and Gmail, so parting ways with it wasn't as big a deal.

But if you're merely afraid of the more limited apps selection, like some have said, there are somewhere around 70,000-80,000 apps last I heard, so we're not talking about a Palm/HP-esque app shortage (trust me, I bought a TouchPad... HP's app selection was truly horrible).

There's a lot of apps. Just some high profile ones are missing, which seems a bit odd. But you have thousands of games, so it's not really a big deal, unless you HAVE to play some particular game... in which case you could always buy an iPod Touch.


RE: Nice review
By Mitch101 on 4/17/2012 11:00:26 AM , Rating: 2
Heres a neat trick take someones business card.

Open your windows phone and select search this takes you to the bing interface - at the bottom is an eye icon select it align the camera and select translate text.

Enjoy - I use this for all my license keys.


RE: Nice review
By JasonMick (blog) on 4/17/2012 11:40:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Heres a neat trick take someones business card.

Open your windows phone and select search this takes you to the bing interface - at the bottom is an eye icon select it align the camera and select translate text.

Enjoy - I use this for all my license keys.
Wow, nice! Man, yea the phone keeps surprising me with new perks.

I'm digging SkyDrive too. Made transferring my stuff from Android a lot easier.


RE: Nice review
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2012 11:51:59 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like a less capable Google Goggles app. Jason didn't you use that on your Android phone? I love it.

http://www.google.com/mobile/goggles/#text


RE: Nice review
By InvertMe on 4/17/2012 1:23:34 PM , Rating: 1
You have too much time on your hands.. Go outside and breath some air. Leave your precious phone home.

Seriously, I'm worried about you.


RE: Nice review
By Mitch101 on 4/17/2012 2:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
Without trying it you assume its less capable? Ill wait while you reboot your phone.


RE: Nice review
By sviola on 4/17/2012 11:12:11 AM , Rating: 2
Nice review Jason, just think you could have talked a bit more about the Messaging Hub, which includes the functions to send sms messages, msn messenger and facebook im messages (these are integrated into the OS).

The Tango update will also bring multimedia capabilities to this hub as well (message pictures and videos).

It also seems that when Apollo is delivered it will bring in Skype integration and may bring also other IM tools to be integrated on the OS.


RE: Nice review
By EnzoFX on 4/17/2012 1:54:21 PM , Rating: 2
Biased? How could it be the best mobile experience, when all I read is fault after fault, many times only saying its as good as X device. Sure the tiles home screen deserves credit , but the rest needs work. Great experience, but the best?


RE: Nice review
By jimbojimbo on 4/17/2012 5:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe because it has less faults than the others.


Awesome Review.
By Marfoo on 4/17/2012 2:17:02 PM , Rating: 2
Hey man, great review. I can tell you that most of the features you were impressed with (core OS features) are just as amazing even on cheaper phones! I have the HTC Trophy which runs on a 1GHz single core and I have no gripes with speed whatsoever.

Also, as another commenter has said, try the game called Tentacles! It's great.




RE: Awesome Review.
By Pirks on 4/17/2012 2:45:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
as another commenter has said, try the game called Tentacles! It's great
"I waant it on my iPhooone" whined one of the forum dwellers I read. Tentacles is da killa! I'm playing it every day and can't get enough of it.


RE: Awesome Review.
By corduroygt on 4/18/2012 10:22:03 PM , Rating: 2
For each game like Tentacles, there are 100 games on iOS that people "waaaaaaaant for their WP7" phone. I can start with infinity blade.


RE: Awesome Review.
By french toast on 4/20/2012 12:32:47 PM , Rating: 2
Yes here here to that...i could name 20 off the top of my head!.


I may just get this phone.
By dark matter on 4/17/12, Rating: 0
RE: I may just get this phone.
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/12, Rating: 0
RE: I may just get this phone.
By dagamer34 on 4/17/2012 11:59:35 AM , Rating: 2
The Lumia 900 is also made of "plastic" but Nokia put far more into its design than Samsung does. No free pass for them.


RE: I may just get this phone.
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2012 12:04:48 PM , Rating: 2
Because it comes in blue? How exactly did Nokia put "more" into the design than Samsung does? Quantify that please.

http://www.themobilefanatics.com/wp-content/upload...


RE: I may just get this phone.
By french toast on 4/20/2012 12:29:56 PM , Rating: 2
Too be fair, although the Samsung Galaxy S2 is a nice well built, slim bit of kit, it isnt as nice as the moulded polycarbonate unibody of the Lumias...HTC tried to copy it, which looked good, but it had issues with distortion or something.

Lumias could really do with some of the Galaxys slimness, 12mm is far too thick for a smartphone.


Great
By french toast on 4/17/2012 8:32:16 AM , Rating: 2
Fantastic review, good honest appraisal of its good points and faults, i predict that after a slow start WP will actually overtake Android and IOS in quality..maybe not sales.

It might take WP8 to finally achieve that though, and thats the one i will be buying ;)




RE: Great
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/12, Rating: 0
RE: Great
By Mitch101 on 4/17/2012 11:05:29 AM , Rating: 2
The Nokia phone mentioned here is Free or -$50.00 if check the deal sites. Suckus payin $200.00 to have bragging rights.


RE: Great
By french toast on 4/20/2012 12:15:13 PM , Rating: 2
That depends, but i stand by my points about Elop, and the way Microsoft undershot the features on WP phones, it is true that because of that lack of decent hardware, buyers of WP7 devices are going to be left out in the cold from WP8.

However that doesn't detract from this Lumia 900 which is actually a decent peiece of hardware, and crucially at a very reasonable price, had it been priced at IPHONE 4S money then it would have been overly priced, but as priced for this review, it looks like a real decent proposition.

Other Nokia Lumias were wayy overpriced for the capability of the device, Lumia 800 was more like a midrange smartphone than a high end one.

It will be goog for everyone if we get 3 good solid ecosystems up and running, even if you only like Android/Apple because it will force prices down and innovation up..and i look forward to it;)


agreed
By wushuktl on 4/17/2012 8:56:14 AM , Rating: 2
Great thorough review, i especially like the comparisons to ios and android for all the little details. I got this phone right when it came out and I am very happy with it and I agree with pretty much everything in this review. I was never the gadget kind of guy that needed to have the next newest thing and i've been blown away with how much of a nice phone it is especailly compared to the motorola backflip that i had before. The interface works and looks great. And it's not just different to be different, it really is nicer to use and look at than android.

the one thing i'm surprised wasn't discussed in this review is the multitasking. As fast as this phone is, the multitasking is strangely slow. Every switch requires the the user to wait with a note of "Resuming..." I guess it's a compromise to make what you're currently doing to be faster. Which you can certainly argue is more important anyway.

A little note about AT&T: i never have any connection issues in Baltimore. I guess they're still working on it in other locations.




RE: agreed
By Varun on 4/17/2012 12:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
When they added Multitasking in Mango, app developers had to re-do some of their apps to have an instant resume. Not all of them did. Try something like "Weather Flow" - it instantly resumes properly. It is also the nicest weather app ever.


RE: agreed
By french toast on 4/20/2012 12:35:54 PM , Rating: 2
Tombstoning :( hopefully WP8 will fix that for good!


Two questions for Jason Mick
By Trisped on 4/17/2012 6:31:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I love the overall Zune style of text, where you have multiple pages of graphics with one common wide banner header.
Can you provide a picture of this? It is hard to visualize what you are talking about.
quote:
My average upload speed was 634.4 +/- 207.8 Mbps, while my average download speed was 207.8 +/- 178.8 Mbps.
Should that be Kbps instead of Mbps? Are the upload/download speed swapped? The only people I know who would have a 600Mbps+ connection are web hosting companies. Usually the upload speed is slower then the download. If it makes it easier http://testmy.net/ has a speed test which can be run in a browser (without flash).




RE: Two questions for Jason Mick
By Smilin on 4/18/2012 11:29:04 AM , Rating: 2
This might illustrate..
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/wp7-lumia-800-...

With metro you're looking at a screen that horizontally is many times larger than what you see. The phone display forms a 'sliding window' on this larger screen.

All those human interaction/psychology types at MS Research came up with it. Some people hate the clipped words but I couldn't care less. It's sweet UI.


RE: Two questions for Jason Mick
By Trisped on 4/18/2012 1:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks.

The video for Music and the video for Pictures showed the concept very well.

It is kind of cool, but makes it harder to read. I guess it doesn't matter because you probably already know where you are and you see over 75% of the word.

I think I like it, gives the pages a tied together feel.


Jason you must try Tentacles!!!
By Pirks on 4/17/2012 1:28:02 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.windowsphone.com/en-US/apps/6651b8fe-0d...

You won't believe how good it is, just give it a try man. I think this is the best WP7 game out there at the moment. And it is WP7 exclusive too! I couldn't believe it when I read about this. I think MS is onto something if they release such wonderful games as exclusives this early in platform life.




By french toast on 4/20/2012 12:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
Steve Ballmer! you should be ashamed of your self! didn't you guys get busted for reviewing a few weeks back?


Web Browser is Tops
By sigmatau on 4/17/2012 1:31:37 PM , Rating: 2
I have to dissagree with you on the web browser Jason. I have owned an iphone 3GS and a Samsung GS2 and have tried several other Android phones and not one would load my company's portal website at all.

I tried it on the HTC Titan and it asked for user name and password and loaded up the portal without any issues. This blew my mind as I have been trying for over a year to get on that website on a mobile phone.

The smootheness of Windows Phone transcends all other phones. It's just on a different level, or two. This ClearBlack tech is also awesome.




RE: Web Browser is Tops
By french toast on 4/20/2012 12:26:23 PM , Rating: 2
Ay? Titan doesn't have clear black...its HTC! hmmm.


Nice Review - IM clients
By warganz on 4/17/2012 10:04:40 AM , Rating: 3
The issue with the 3rd party IM clients is that they are not allowed to run in the background like music and file download/upload apps. On Android everything can run in the background (not good for battery) and on iOS voip and gps apps (Nike+) can run in the background in addition to music and file download/upload apps. Until the OS adds background support for 3rd party voip apps they are stuck with the somewhat clumsy implementation they have now. They work by logging you in on their servers, and a Toast message is sent when a message is received. Even though they support fast app switching, the connection still has to be recreated when the app is opened, causing slowness. Trust me, I hope they include voip background support in Apollo. The app builders have done a great job with what they have to work with.




By Arsynic on 4/17/2012 10:41:02 AM , Rating: 2
...but my wife is getting one of these when her Verizon contract runs out. She hates her Moto Droid 2. Not only is the hardware horrible, but the software is as well. I just wish they would make the pink one. At any rate, she gets Cyan.




By Shadowself on 4/17/2012 12:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
My average upload speed was 634.4 +/- 207.8 Mbps, while my average download speed was 207.8 +/- 178.8 Mbps.


Upload speeds faster than download speeds? I don't think so. I'd suspect these are swapped.

Also I believe you meant to type "kbps" not "Mbps". Some of the numbers, as stated in the quoted piece, are above the theoretical limits for HSPA+.

Also what's with the 2+ second ping time shown in one image. Is that typical (hopefully not). If your ping times are routinely more than 200 msec this calls into question the real world relevance of your throughput numbers.

Also a "friend" with an iPhone (yes, I do have a friend with an iPhone, they exist) routinely gets 1.6+ Mbps download with a similar upload speed on his AT&T connection.




By jimbojimbo on 4/17/2012 4:56:44 PM , Rating: 2
I got to play around with an AT&T manager's phone in a store for a while and I really really liked it. Everything I tried came up quickly and after using a Droid3 for a while I'm amazed at how quickly and smoothly this phone could zoom in and out of web pages and pictures. Stupid Droid.

However, for work one of our unyielding requirements for a phone to get connected to Exchange is encryption. While Gingerbread didn't have it the Motorolla's versions did. I manage the messaging system at work and I'd love to get work to get me a WP7 phone to play with but we can't even consider it due to the lack of this feature. As soon as WP8 comes along I'm hoping to get a trial version so I can perform my tests to see if we can start allowing the device but until then we can't.




Good review
By Myrandex on 4/18/2012 8:55:03 AM , Rating: 2
Nice review. I know that your experiences can and will be different from others. Here are a couple of statements from my experiences:

AT&T network: I think it is a godsend where I live. LTE was just enabled in my area a couple of days ago. Before that, performance was still good (2 to 3 Mbps download on average), after the switch was flipped I'm getting up around 15mbps down. The speed is faster than my home network over wifi (12mbps uverse service, which is still very nice).

Touch buttons: I agree with your opinions, thy are a little less sensitive than I expected, but it dos prevent accidental button presses which I like. I would still prefer hardware buttons though.

Browser: I feel that mobile IE is extremely fast and fluid and I honestly prefer usin it to m iPhone browser (I have an iPhone 4 for work on Verizon, who has an awful 3G network speed wise let me tell you... .2 mbps is average with full coverage). Pages load and scroll and zoom faster than other browsers that I have used in the mobile space.

Nokia Apps: This is a big plus in my opinion. The free gps app that downloads maps ahead of time is very nice.

Camera: I agree with you, the camera is nice In good lighting, but no real wow factor. Should have had bsi.

Keyboard: Best touch keyboard I've ever used. I can't stand the spell check on my iPhone especially with being spoiled by it.

Performance: overall performance is insanely good. No slowdown and always smooth, that has to be the biggest plus for the platform as a whole.




Nokia N9 demand raised
By hamids9898 on 4/19/2012 12:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
Smartphones Nokia Lumia 900 Demand Raised Very High from http://hamidshaikh.com




By Gungel on 4/22/2012 8:43:12 AM , Rating: 2
I just came back from my local AT&T store this morning. I had a question about my bill, but ended up spending half an hour with this phone. I couldn't avoid it, it was right in the center of the store. I must admit, the feel and look of the white phone is just amazing. The screen colors of the Lumia are brilliant and I thought that my iPhone 4 was good. I would have upgrade right then and there, but unfortunately, I'm under contract for another 6 months.




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