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 vol7ron on 1/10/2012 12:54:33 AM , Rating: -1
My biggest problem with WP7 is I really don't like those big squares. Call me crazy, but I used to have a Pocket PC and I loved it. I didn't mind the small little Start menu; I think its size needed to be adjusted, and give a user a customized desktop and Windows would be in business for me.

There are a lot of software features that these mobile phones are missing, which MS has the programmers to catch up, and surpass the competition. I don't get why MS is playing "catch up" instead of taking the lead.

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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