Today we have two amazing news coming from AT&T. As you know, it is the second carrier after T-Mobile that dared to launch a Nokia Windows Phone smartphone. But the Lumia 900, which has exclusivity at the carrier, has become a real hero for AT&T because it is a best-selling device. Of course, the Lumia 900 can’t be compared with sales volumes of the iPhone 4S or the Samsung Galaxy SII but millions of this phone were sold, and more importantly, the 96 percent of buyers gave a positive feedback. It’s great news as it means Nokia has designed a perfect smartphone. Do you imagine how popular it will become after an update or a pink version?

AT&T has announced Windows Phone 7.5 Tango update will be pushed out in coming weeks. This update is available for other Lumias in face of the Lumia 800 and 710, and now it’s the turn of the Lumia 900 to get its own. Among the changes we must mention a few ones like a flip-to-silence ringer, messaging improvements, and other platform enhancements. Plus, the carrier promises a usage tracking counter, a contact sharing feature, and games from Zynga will later come to the phone.

Finally, we have gladsome news for girls — Nokia has made a statement saying the pink version of the Lumia 900 will be launched via AT&T this month. The phone will be packed with the same features as the cyan, black or white versions, and will be sold at $99.99 on contract.

Nokia’s latest entry in the smart phone wars is the Lumia 900, first unveiled at the CES 2012 this past January. It was hailed as one of the most exciting products at the show and even won the award for Best Smartphone. The award was good news for Microsoft, given their push to gain ground on iOS and Android, but certainly news for the struggling Nokia. Unfortunate for both of them, the good news has not lasted.

As far as smartphones go the Lumia 900 seems to be stuck between a fully functioning device and reliable “call only” phone trying to grow up. In either case it doesn’t do well when compared to other smartphones from Samsung, HTC, and Apple. The best thing going for it is its relatively cheap price. The Lumia 900 can be had for as little as $99 in the US with monthly plans starting at about $39. The low price might be the one thing that attracts entry-level smartphone buyers to this model.

The Hardware

 

  • CPU – 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Scorpion
  • GPU – Adreno 205 GPU
  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8055
  • Memory – 512 MB RAM
  • Storage – 16 GB internal; no removable storage capacity
  • Battery – 1830mAh Li-ion
  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 2.1; 802.11b/g/n WiFi

The combination of the low RAM and single core processor means the Lumia 900 isn’t going to win any speed and performance races with higher quality phones. And if Microsoft Phone 7.5 degrades the way Windows does, it’s conceivable this phone could get slower and slower as the months roll on.

In terms of networking the Lumia 900 will be compatible in the United States with GSM, HSDPA, and 4G LTE. The international version doesn’t support 4G LTE, substituting instead 3 GHSPA+. This may not be an issue when you read my comments about call quality and reception below.

OS and Software

 

That leads us to the Windows Phone 7.5 operating system. The first version of Microsoft’s mobile phone OS was rife with problems that lead one to question whether or not the Redmond-based company had any business dabbling in smartphones. This second incarnation is said to work much better after Microsoft fixed more than 500 issues from the previous version. I personally don’t think Microsoft Phone 7.5 is still up to par with iOS or Android, but it certainly is better in version 7.5.

One of the things people most love about the operating system is that it is identical to use no matter the phone it’s on. If you can use it on the Lumia 900 you’ll have an identical experience on any other Windows smartphone. For those who hate customization and OS tweaking, this is a good thing.

On the other hand, Windows continues its strict proprietary mindset when it comes to hardware and software requirements. Unlike Android and iOS, there aren’t legions of developers coming up with thousands of apps for windows smartphones. In the case of the Lumia 900, the only non-Microsoft software included are a small handful of apps that come directly from Nokia. If Microsoft truly expects to compete with the big boys they are going to have to put an end to their proprietary mindset. Developers simply cannot afford the licensing fees to develop for Microsoft, so they won’t even try.

Display

 

One of the bright spots of the Lumia 900 is its upgraded display. The 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED panel is covered by a single pane of Corning Gorrilla Glass, and features a very sensitive touch capacitive screen. We can say with all honesty that it’s almost as smooth and frictionless as the iPhone 4S. It makes me wonder why Android phones are still having so much trouble coming up with a capacitive touchscreen of similar quality. Nonetheless, even with pinch-to-zoom you won’t lose a beat on this phone.

As for the ClearBlack display, it provides 16 million colors and a resolution of 480×800 pixels. The ClearBlack technology displays dark hues much better than its rivals and makes the screen much more readable even in bright light. On the downside it doesn’t display text all that well, though that might be more a matter of the Windows operating system then the display itself. Users will definitely see text issues the worst when browsing the Internet.

Overall Performance

 

It’s difficult to grade overall performance because there’s such a stark difference making calls and using the apps. In terms of the software itself the Lumia 900 is very responsive and easy to use. Applications open quickly, the layout makes a lot of sense, and individuals already used to Microsoft operating systems will find the environment very familiar. Unfortunately, the same good things can’t be said about actually making calls.

Within days of its U.S. release the Lumia 900 was experiencing problems with poor call quality and spotty reception. Nokia quickly acknowledged the problems and blamed it on a programming error that was ostensibly rectified with a firmware release in April. While that seemed to help somewhat, call quality and reception still dominate most of the complaints lodged against this phone. There’s no way of saying whether this is specifically a Nokia issue or something having to do with the OS.

Final Thoughts

 

The last three things I want to touch on are the cameras, battery, and the look and feel. As for the cameras, they are adequate for an entry-level phone. The front camera is the weaker of the two offering only 1MP resolution. The rear camera is an 8MP units with 720P video, dual LED flash, and auto focus. Overall picture quality is not bad considering the price and the class of this phone. You certainly could do worse.

In terms of battery life we were pleasantly surprised as to how well the 1830mAh unit held up under normal use. Much of that comes from a Nokia’s choice of the Scorpion processor and the rest can be attributed to Microsoft keeping the resource hungry apps at a minimum. Under normal usage you shouldn’t have any problem with this battery.

Lastly, though the Lumia 900 isn’t necessarily a bad entry-level smartphone it’s very banal look and design could be its one fatal flaw. Given the fact that consumers make impulse purchases based on visual appeal it seems as though Nokia completely missed the boat on this one. To be quite honest, the case makes it look like a child’s toy. If there’s one thing Nokia could do to immediately raise the appeal of the Lumia 900 it would be a complete redesign of the outer shell.

AT&T is the carrier offering two beasts running Windows Phone OS. They are the Nokia Lumia 900 and the HTC Titan II. Both handsets are very popular among smartphone lovers and can be called highest-end smartphones though Android lovers won’t agree with me pointing at the single-core processors coming under the hood. Besides this, there are several contentious features that must be investigated. To find out which smartphone sports better features or looks more attractive PhoneDog has shot a two-part video in which these handsets fight with each other face to face.

In case you are not familiar with these phones, the Nokia Lumia 900 sports a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with Gorilla Glass 2 and ClearBlack Display, a single core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 512MB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, an 8MP rear camera with Carl Zeiss optics, a frontal camera for web chat, Visual Voicemail, WiFi hotspot, and Windows Phone 7.5 Mango.

As to the HTC Titan II, this handset is equipped with a monster 4.7-inch Super LCD touchscreen, a 1.5GHz single-core processor, 16GB of native storage, a 16MP camera on the back, a 1.3MP camera on the front and the same software version.

If you’ve already got a Lumia 900, consider yourself lucky. If you’ve been desperately looking for the handset but couldn’t find it anywhere, then hurry up to catch one while they’re in stock again.

The white Lumia was a new hope for Nokia-fans but then it went out of stock only a few days after, and everything started all over again. So now we have good news for those who have been waiting for the white Lumia 900 or at least just a Lumia. The AT&T website features the white color in stock again.

This shouldn’t last too long before the stock is emptied out again. Adding the purple-color issue to the shortage of handsets, we hope Nokia will release a good number of Lumia 900s with no or minor software and hardware issues next time. If you don’t like the colors already launched, slow down a little more and you’ll be able to purchase the magenta Lumia 900.

Aside from the online shopping, some AT&T stores also have the Lumia 900 in stock. To remind, AT&T offers Nokia’s flagship for $99 with a 2-year contract and $450 off-contract.

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Though the connectivty issue coming with the Nokia Lumia 900 is solved with the help of a special update, it seems there are some users not familiar with the problem, therefore they have not upgraded their devices yet. But Nokia cares about them too, that’s why the company has sent out a message asking all wireless customers to check for the availability of the update.

The message originally reads:

A software update may be available for your Nokia Lumia 900. To see if your phone has an update available, visit www.nokiausa.com/lumia900update for instructions. Nokia is providing a $100 AT&T bill credit for any inconvenience. Credit may take up to 60 days to appear on bill.

As you see, the manufacturer also reminds the consumers who bought their handsets before April 21 can get $100 credit as a goodwill.

While this might make many people praise Nokia once again, others will say this message comes to prove that Nokia has thought of the data connectivity issue and its solution beforehand. I mean it might be a good promotional campaign for the company together with the cyan and white Nokia Lumia 900s getting the out of stock status immediately after the launch.

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Considering the fame of the Lumia 900, mobile-fans have been running like crazy trying to catch the Lumia 900. Despite their efforts, the color is almost nowhere to be found. The popularity of the cyan Lumia has probably gave Nokia a new idea, to launch a new color.

We have already reported that magenta Lumia 900 was spotted on a demo screen at a Microsoft Store. The image of the phone displayed AT&T branding. Firstly, there were some doubts of this being a new color or a mere Lumia 900 case.

The new color became more than a possibility when Nokia displayed the magenta Lumia 900 on its Facebook page. Interestingly, the pictures were taken down shortly after, which probably means something went wrong over there.

The manufacturer has planned a good color strategy with cyan launching first as the only bright color, then white joining in as the elegant Lumia member, and finally, magenta as a gift for Mothers Day, May 13 (Sundays are AT&T launch days). If you prefer the girly Lumia variant, then you should probably wait a couple of more weeks and not tire up yourself with Lumia scavenger hunt.

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With the unexpected over-popularity of the Lumia 900, Nokia has started to use hunter’s technique on the buyers. The days when you could sit on the couch and purchase a phone online are over, now you have to hunt down the new Lumia 900. The Finnish manufacturer has already announced that the demand for the device is too big, and they’re doing their best to satisfy it. On the other hand, the upcoming launch of a new color gave hope there will be enough units this time.

However, it turns out the white Lumia is also too popular to stay in stock. The sale of this phone was supposed to start on Sunday, with some retailers starting on Friday. As of now, you won’t find a white Lumia 900 on AT&T’s website. Amazon and Best Buy haven’t even started the sale (both retailers have the cyan Lumia 900 for back-order).

The best way to hunt down the princess is to actually check out the retail stores. Most of the buyers rash into online shopping, which is why they go out of stock sooner than stores. Stephen Elop has already commented on the deficit saying the handset is sold faster than produced. Nokia has put all efforts into this model, which sets me thinking, be careful what you wish for, as wishes may as well come true.

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When Nokia launched the Lumia 900 only in black and cyan colors and announced about the white one coming later this month, some buyers had to make a really tough decision: get the phone as soon as possible or wait for the white version. Those having enough patience to wait, sit back and watch the show, can now jump in too.

After the whole in-and-out-of stock game with black and cyan Lumia 900s, it’s finally time to welcome a new color and new customers. The white Lumia 900 is finally available at AT&T stores.

 

On the other hand, this might also save the company. The black and cyan Lumias are out of stock almost everywhere, meaning the white version is the only model available, attracting those who were hoping for other colors before. If they buy the white Lumia, it’s a win-win as the company won’t pay $100 credits anymore, and the users will buy already fixed handsets.

Nokia had better provide a good number of handsets to the retailers, otherwise the $100 credits and software updates might become the company’s style. The international version will be launched in June.

If only Nokia and AT&T knew about the head-turning popularity the Lumia 900 would have, they would definitely have millions of handsets in the storage. As of right now, those millions could really come handy as people are still in crazy search for a Lumia 900 in stock. After some out-of-stock period, Nokia has finally been regaining its speed.

The first variant to go out was the cyan color. Fortunately, the mobile has been reported a few times to be back to stores. Some people in Austin, Texas have been lucky to welcome the new cyan Lumia 900. Others have reported to have seen the cyan version up in Boston too, stores in other states are gradually joining in.

The black Lumia 900 is already back at AT&T’s online store but down to fourth place in Amazon’s Cell Phones With Service Plans list. It tends to yield to the cyan Lumia in regard to the demand it creates.

It turned out that the US mobile users are in love with colored handsets. In this case Nokia should be properly prepared for its white Lumia 900, which will be launched very soon. Hopefully, people at Nokia factory work extra-fast as this could be the one-in-a-million chance for the company to take the North American mobile market.

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Nokia’s Goodwill is already out and available for those who have been experiencing a data connection problem on their new Lumia 900. The manufacturer has taken the lead, accepted the complaints and pushed out the update like a bat out of hell.

This restates the bet that was put on the Lumia 900 and Nokia’s intentions of invading the American market. Moreover, you should feel lucky if you chose AT&T as your carrier for the Lumia 900. As it turns out the $100 credit gifts are only for AT&T customers, if you are with T-Mobile, the only good news for you is the already available update.

Although there are two solutions to the issue: to install the new update or exchange the old Lumia 900 at any AT&T store near you,  Nokia follows the deadline of $100 credits until April 21. Its decision is very noble, but it’s also a little strange. Why would a carrier pay Lumia 900 users so long, if they reacted instantly and fixed the issue three days before the official date? It’s unlikely that Nokia has lots of money and doesn’t know where to spend it. This could be a well-planned step to show mobile users that Nokia has got style and appreciates the devotion of its fans. Nice strategic move. Those who preferred everything other than Nokia can do nothing but regret their choice.

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