Friday, April 27, 2012


               For the past few years the smartphone market scenario has been as follows:
-Apple leads the pack with its I-phone which no matter how good or bad makes people go crazy for it
-Android based handsets try to overthrow I-phone but still the sales of a new I-phone seem to break all previous records
-Gadget lovers are divided into two different camps with one supporting Apple(see:Apple Fan boys) and others who keep ranting about Android and calling it better than Apple I-phones
But this scenario started changing when Mobile giant Nokia partnered with Microsoft and the result was the birth of Lumia series of Smartphones. Nokia initially launched two smartphones- Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 both of which performed averagely and were hardly able to live up to the expectations of consumers and even Nokia and Microsoft. But since Nokia revealed Lumia 900 at MWC 2012 and bagged the prize of best Phone of the MWC, Windows 7.5 Mango OS is been seen the next best thing in the Smartphone world. So how good is Lumia 900? Read on to find out.
HARDWARE: Assuming that you have had a look at the Lumia 800 you might be hoping to see a similar looking device albeit with improved hardware specs. Much too your hatred though, Nokia decided to give Lumia 900 a bit different look. Instead of the quirky design of 800, Lumia 900 has a design similar to N9. a border now surrounds the big 4.3 inch screen with the windows navigation keys located below it. Also located at the top of the screen is a VGA camera for video calling and ambient sensors. To be honest, it wasn't a mind blowing first look though it was a satisfying one.
Turn the phone around and all you see is 8MP camera with f/2.2 Carl zeiss lens and dual LED flash. Nokia decided to place the speakers at bottom edge of the device which makes sure that your hands don't block the speaker while you are holding the phone. The volume rocker, power key and dedicated camera key are located at the right edge of the poly-carbonate shell of Lumia 900 keeping the left edge clean. The top edge is home to uncovered 3.5 mm jack and mini USB port. One of the improvements here is the fact that Buttons here don't jiggle and don't give you that loose kind of a feel.
In terms oh hardware located under the hood, Expect the usual 512 MB ram, 1.4 GHZ snapdragon processor which is single core but doesn't let you feel even the slightest of lags even while you multitask. This kind of specs in Android based devices would have caused a lot of trouble but the beautifully designed Mango OS neglects even the slightest possibility of hiccups.

DISPLAY: Love High resolution display, are you crazy about the retina display on I-phones? sorry you won't get it here. For a high-end smartphone a HD display is must. But sadly Microsoft has strict limitations according to which all windows based phones have to contain themselves to a screen with a resolution of 800X480 which is again quite frustrating for a consumer who shells out big amount of money only to deal with such issues. But this isn't as big an issue as it seems. Crank the brightness to 100% and you won't find t difficult to rad your emails. Nokia's clear black AMOLED display is surely an improvement over Lumia 800 but it is sill difficult to deny that while browsing graphic heavy websites and viewing images in your image gallery, you will regret the fact that Lumia 900 doesn't have the display you expected.

CAMERA: No matter how many drawbacks this phone has, once you click the camera app, you forget everything. Brilliant Carl Zeiss lens with 8MP camera produces stunning images. Even pros would appreciate the intelligent sensor which captures very detail of images. It can be said that Lumia 900 somewhat matches the likes of I-phone 4S and Samsung galaxy SII. Novices can click some good snaps without messing their brain in changing the settings while pros can have complete control over the kind of images they take. Holding the dedicated camera key wakes the phone and opens the camera app while another short press of the same key captures the image immediately. Its this user-friendliness which makes the camera a success. Before you get carried away, note that the camera still doesn't beats its rivals and neither does it prove itself superior to N9. see a few images below.

Videos record at 720p resolution but aren't really flawless. Auto-focus produces a few issues when you move the phone a bit while recording and even he audio suffers a bit if background is full of howling winds but it is still more than average performance.

BATTERY LIFE AND PERFORMANCE: You will be happy to read that sacrificing on the specification front has at least made sure that the battery life is far superior than other smartphones. Even with heavy usage(browsing on 3G or 4G networks, WI-FI switched on and also making few calls) you can expect to get full 2 days of usage on a single charge. Using battery saver settings coupled with moderate usage might very well increase your playtime to somewhere around 60 hours.

 Even with its moderate specs the whole OS performs brilliantly. Apps don't open in a snap but the at their own flowing pace. In order to eliminate lags, the OS has been designed to prefer charm over pace. The OS has been built in such a way that it attracts your attention and impresses you with its animations. Live tiles make you feel much more comfortable rather than usual home screens. Lumia 900 is not designed to create a benchmark with blazing fast OS but is designed to make smartphones user-friendly and does a good job in doing so. Users accustomed to lightning fast performance might get slightly disappointed but soon the OS would win them over. In simpler words, the performance is pretty much impressive thanks to the OS and not hardware power.

WRAP UP: Lumia 900 is not a perfect device in any sense. The restrictions of the Mango OS have wakened its capabilities. Its camera is its biggest plus point along with its user-friendliness. It might be Nokia biggest hit so far but is far from impressive and outstanding. The phone is for those who look for simple to use smartphones and don't really expect their phone to beat the rest. Still there is a hope that Lumia 900 will provide the Finnish giant Nokia the momentum they require to regain at least their lost brand value.

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