Nokia Lumia 900 Reviews (2) from ABC News, Gizmodo, WSJ, Ars Technica, USA Today, WP Central, TechnoBuffalo and CNET

| April 4, 2012 | 54 Replies

Following on the first batch of Nokia Lumia 900 reviews, in this post we have round 2. Like the previous post, I think I might just leave links.

Round 1

Round 3

Joanna Stern, ABC News (Previously The Verge, previously Engadget)


Casey Johnston, Ars Technica

Sam Biddle, Gizmodo

Daniel Rubino, WP Central

Walt Mossberg, Wall Street Journal

Edward Baig, USA Today

Last minute addition, John Rettinger, Technobuffalo.

Last minute (2) Jessica Dolcourt, CNET 


Category: Lumia, Nokia, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]
  • Mark

    CNET is up too, Jay:;subnav

    Pretty good and balanced review.

  • stylinred

    good/okay reviews from where the “average joe” gets their news from (abc, cnet, wsj)

    all this attention the 900 is paying for will hopefully pay off even though the reviews are a mixed bag at least its garnering attention

    im rather excited for nokia right now even though as i imagine everyone knows i dislike WP

    cant wait to see the numbers

  • How about putting your own conclusion whether the reactions are fair or not on the third part of this review round-up?

    • Shilow

      There’s no doubt it’s getting attention from all the big sites.
      I respect arstechnica and anandtech….
      Generally way more than engadget, cnet, theverge etc.
      Even if it’s not that great compared to the best Androids and i4PS.
      It’s starting to look like it really doesn’t matter.
      Seems to be getting “heaps” of limelight…

      • Shilow


      • arts

        if anything ip4 showed to me at least,

        its never the best that wins.

        the best package often does.

      • migo

        Certainly AnandTech is more consistent than any other site out there. You can at least read multiple reviews by AT and have a clear picture of where they stand compared to each other. Although the Lumia 710 review suggests a sterile environment, explaining why they reported a loud speaker when everyone else reported it being almost silent.

  • Terry

    Looks neat, that’s for sure. I was also thinking of getting a Nokia, basically because I had so many over the years, before the whole smartphone craze… I really trust the brand. I have my gripes with WP but I’m seriously thinking it’s worth a chance.

    • migo

      Given the drawbacks of the Lumia 900 that are showing up consistently in reviews, I would lean towards the Lumia 710 instead. It has the same drawbacks, but it’s way cheaper (affordable outright, the 900 isn’t). Design aside, (and 8GB storage), the 710 also has most of the strengths, and in some areas has the best screen of any smartphone out there (TFT CBD gives more natural colours than AMOLED CBD and pixel density is obviously better at 3.7″ than 4.3″).

  • shallow ocean shoal

    10pm news on Fox 5 new york had it on around 10:45pm, the guy loved it and kept saying “pleasantly surprised”

  • sepp

    Best wp critique from arstechnica: “Windows Phone OS design is information-sparse compared to iOS and Android—not a huge problem itself, but spread across the entire UI and apps as an aesthetic, it makes us hesitate”

    • Rebbe

      Arstechnica has alot of valid points in the article.

      “A good touch interface needs, for instance, visual cues to show you how to interact with something before you touch it.”

      WP needs to give more visual clues to the user without being distracting.

      “For the density part, the apps and settings of Windows Phone hew closely to the OS’s spacious design principles, but sometimes at the cost of making information accessible. Often apps split too much between too many menus, requiring several swipes to access all of the options. In other cases, the large fonts that characterize the OS take up too much valuable screen real estate.”

      This is also completely true, something that Microsoft needs to work on.

      As for the 900 i think it got decent reviews had hoped for better… It sad that the camera is sub par with the competition, it gives the carl ziess branding bad reputation. But sure Nokia has focused on making the phone good cheap deal in US to attract customers.

      • Dense screens are outdated. Even Google takes lessons from Metro design language now.

        I personaly hate super-dense screens.

        • Although I have to admit that my own WP7 app Accurate Tuner Pro has very dense UI:

          And it’s not even Metro, although the next big update will be. But I think Apple-like fake 3D design style makes sense for these real-thing-replacing apps (tuners, metronomes, compasses etc.) – and only for them. It’s just ugly in Twitter clients, photo enhancers etc.

          • Rebbe

            Sure but as it is right now, it’s still a little too much form over function. I am a Lumia 800 owner myself I am very happy with it. But I feel that developers nor Microsoft yet knows how to unlock the full potential of the Metro language.

          • Rebbe

            Sure but as it is right now, it’s still a little too much form over function. I am a Lumia 800 owner myself I am very happy with it. But I feel that developers nor Microsoft yet knows how to unlock the full potential of the Metro language. I am all in for authentically digital!

        • sepp

          Problem is wp should appeal to power users as well, I think in its current state it does not.

        • migo

          True, but MS could also take some lessons from ICS. Ars’ complaints about Metro are valid, and while I like the UI it’s WP’s stability and reliability that sells me on it.

  • Deep Space Bar

    ha ha gotta love them paid reviews 900 isn’t something new the htc hd7 is just as big and it’s the same bloody os and apparently the titan 2 made this phone seem like shit lol

    funny how the 900 won that competition and it’s not even out to the public yet ,proves this was marketing ploy

    • Mark

      Which ones are paid reviews and which aren’t?

      Genuinely interested.

      • arts

        i cant tell too.

        are the reviews made payable by sections?

        like maybe camera is 50000 USD, and design is 10000 USD?

        also, is the person reviewing the devices changeable with money?

        im not sure how the system works.

      • Janne

        Here is a guide:

        – The reviews praising Lumia are paid.

        – The reviews not praising Lumia are real.


        • joex2

          You’re an idiot.


          • arts

            is that the best you can do? o.0

          • migo

            He was being sarcastic. If you haven’t been on MNB for a long time I would refrain from personal attacks, you might end up attacking the wrong person.

        • Every positive review is paid, you know. Which is the reason why Apple has the biggest number of positive reviews. It is the richest guy in the room.

          • migo

            So all products actually suck?

  • jcar302

    Engadget should be embarrassed by their review.
    Misquoting the amount of apps, and not knowing why the screen is no longer curved like the 800 is poor research.

    Clearly they hate everything nokia and Windows.

    I’ve read about 20 reviews of this phone, most i’d say said the phone was good, not great.
    Engadget basically said it sucks.
    I tend to side with the majority.

    • Jay Montano

      Essentially it is a pretty good phone.

      Like I said myself, it’s a 2011 device though in 2012. Had this arrived the same time as the 800, of course it would be somewhere in the 8xx category. Mango was new and solved a lot of problems in original, but now there are more things nagging that is yet to be addressed by another major software update.

      For most people it would be great, especially at this price. For tech sites, I’m not at all surprised things aren’t as positive as before (well I’ve not actually read them all, I’m stuck under books today :S)

  • J

    I can definitely see many of the points sites raise in the review, good and bad. HOWEVER, some sites I absolutely can’t stand when they are essentially comparing the phone to whether it’s an Android phone or not.

    I find the trend lately in tech sites is,
    1. – Be critical of Apple because tech blog readers aren’t fans, but still give it good reviews to get into to press events.

    2. – Don’t [PROFANITY REMOVED] with Android. Just don’t. Your readers will destroy you if you don’t like Android.

    3. – Laugh at Symbian when it’s dropping, and make fun of WP7 when it’s new and different. THEN praise WP7 as “something different” later on to sound like you’re down with it. Talk about how dated iOS is, once again don’t mention Android though.

    I could go on. I’m fine with critical reviews as they are opinions, but they don’t seem consistent. When bloggers like Meego why not promote it more too?

    Basically, I enjoy blogs like mynokiablog, made by people who do it just vecause they are into tech. A lot of tech sites employee a bunch of techno nerds with English degrees that will do anything to keep their job. Not all are, but the BIG sites I find have a more than a few like this.

  • larryg968

    THe lumia 900 should be better than the lumia 800 based on nokia’s naming system. As far as i can tell the only difference between the lumia 800 and 900 is the screen size. A larger screen size does not make a better phone.

    In fact, its worse. The screen resolution is the same so all the reviewers complain about the pixels.

    The new flat design of the screen is not appreciated

    Additionally, u see the exact same amount of information bcuz of the resolution and and u still have to do the same amount of scrolling on a bigger screen

    Ars technica noted that WP is information sparse. I think thats a very good point. The lack of information on the screen result is a lot of scrolling and swiping.

    This is not a flagship phone. It is a midrange phone priced as a midrange phone. Plain and simple.

    For nikias sake they better hope the marketing will push people to WP

    • migo

      The screen resolution complaint is a red herring. The only reason you hold an iPhone 12″ from your face is because the screen is so small. You can comfortably hold the Lumia 900 18″ from your face, so the pixel density doesn’t need to be as high.

      It also has a FFC (not a big deal, but does put it more in flagship territory), a gyroscope (big deal for games, on which the larger screen helps, and games are the #1 app category) and LTE – what good is a faster processor if the bottleneck is the connection?

    • Keith

      Personally I find 3.7″ and 3.8″ are decidedly too small. I played with a 800 demo unit and was wowed but I could never go for a screen that small. I wouldn’t trade my HTC-HD7 with a vanilla 4.3″ for a Lumia 800 despite everything else being better. But I certainly want the 900, although disappointed in its subpar camera.

      A co-worker was also impressed by the 800 after checking it out a couple of weeks ago and he is going wait for the 900 also. He’ll be switching from an Xperia.

      Aside from migo’s list, the 900 also has a front facing camera and I’m sure there are other items were missing too but I’m too lazy to go seek them out.

  • Kan

    Seemed like the markets bought on the rumour and sold on the news. The reviews have beena mixed bag. The Lumia 900 hasn’t hit it out of the ballpark. Nokia shares are down from 5.50 at the end of last week to 5.17.

    It’s not going to provide much traction. There seems to be a common element.

    2 Years ago MS said wait for windows phone in response to Iphone and Android. October 2010 we got WP7 and it was a mixed bag. MS then said wait for the Mango release which came about a year later in September 2011. Again it was a mixed bag as the hardware hadn’t changed much even though the o/s had moved on.

    In April 2012 we have the hardware design evolving but nothing much more in regards to the o/s. Again we have been told wait til October for Windows 8.

    As we continue to wait Android and Apple are defining and controlling the mobile space.

    WP will end up being the third ecosystem by default as Nokia scuttled Symbian and RIM imploded.

    The major concern for Nokia is that it can only build and design a phone against MS chassis requirements and these chassis requirements are dependent on the speed of the o/s development. Ie there is no point adding a multi core cpu and GPU when the o/s cannot take advantage of them.

    However my main fear for WP is that in a desperate effort to get its phones sold on the operators networks MS will allow the operators to control updates and rollouts and then bastardize the products with their branding.

    The operators still live in the past with their outdated business models.

    • migo

      It’s not that WP can’t take advantage of multicore – that’s gingerbread problem – it doesn’t need to. WP is smoother on single core than ICS is on dual core.

      And Nokia isn’t constrained by specs, HTC is. HTC goes for a 1.5GHz CPU and eMMC flash to get every bit of performance they can for the Titan. Nokia is content with 1.4GHz and slower flash that everyone else uses. They’d use a single core CPU even if WP supported a dual core CPU right now because WP is fast enough already with just one.

    • Hypnopottamus

      “However my main fear for WP is that in a desperate effort to get its phones sold on the operators networks MS will allow the operators to control updates and rollouts and then bastardize the products with their branding.”

      As far as this goes, this isn’t a WP only thing. Operators do it for Android also (at least here in the US). For AT&T, pretty much any phone subsidized by them is carrier branded. And at least here in the US, Updates are totally at the behest of AT&T. It is up to them if they want to roll it out or not.

    • Jay Montano

      Good genuine concerns.

      I guess Nokia has to survive on good user experience at a great price, and lay low whilst the rest are trying to push out the boat on features.

      There’s just too much resting on Apollo now allowing Nokia freedom to expand on the hardware (though even when they had freedom on their own platforms, they never really took advantage of it, preferring to scuttle down the bare basics as always in the core important places – apart from camera).

      Apollo must NOT be a catchup OS. They will fail spectacularly if all it will do is play catchup. I have a worry it’s not going to deliver at all and that MS might just not get it and are twiddling thumbs picking fonts.

      • kan


        MS has made a conscious decision not to support multi cores on WP7 as to me it seems WP7 was always a bridging o/s between WIndows Mobile and Windows 8. Windows 8 on the phone will be using a different kernel.

        You can be late to a party if you bring something new. MS needs to throw some curve balls to shake up the landscape as if all they do is catch up the game is over. They need to redefine the mobile landscape not by copying what is out there with marketplaces and ecosystems but by offering something new and different.

        I am not sure MS can deliver that. As to Nokia – if Windows Phone fails so does Nokia. If Windows Phone is a success this does not automatically translate into a success for Nokia. Nokia is between a rock and a hard place.

        • Jay Montano

          Definitely agree. Don’t play the game by someone else’s rules. Break the rules and invent your own game for others to follow.

          I have no idea what MS and Nokia have ready for WP8. The uncertainty frustrates me. Reading some reviews of 900, especially the ones that take the non-geek look at it, it’s quite surprising how decent the device actually is at that price. As a geek though, I want more.

          I’m sure Nokia already knows how and that they can redefine the mobile landscape. It’s just whether they can actually implement their brilliance, execute and deliver. I don’t want to look back 5-6 years finding some concept/labs demo video showing what they had in mind but could not bring to market.

          • arts

            the reasoning behind the complete lack of news is due to last time when they announced apollo to the whole world was ahead of time, alot of the unique features for wp was copied (the camera roll thingy comes to mind)

            thats what i remember reading anyway.

          • Kan

            Nokia are held back by MS speed to deliver. MS concern is its market. They want to continue with their old business model of charging for software. The old model in the PC world was MS made the profits and the PC makers made do with sub 5% margins. Intel and MS grew rich on the back of this. Now in the smartphone world its been flipped. Android is free and IOS is only available on Apple hardware subsequently it has no market clearing price. So MS is trying to shoehorn its old business model of charging for the o/s in a different market. Its failing because there are real alternatives for handset makers.

            Samsung and Apple charged ahead and take the bulk of the industry profits. MS under Ballmer are still wed to the past. Its why they have been slow to react to Ios in the fear of them cannibalising their own sales but the fact is Apple has already done that.

        • migo

          They could shoehorn in dualcore support like Android did, and wait for WP8 to actually take advantage of it. There’s no need to though. WP has no lag, so users aren’t clamoring for something faster to save them.

          MS did bring something new – Metro. By itself that’s not enough, but it’s a very good start.

  • Heron

    The warning of 2012 being a year of transition is making things true, I see.

    W8 and WP8 are the big bets Nokia has placed on, it seems. Still, a lot to be happy about, after all, Nokia on board of WP meant more than a doubling of apps for the WP ecosystem. That will mean a lot for the stocking of W8/WP8 app store once it launches. In the meantime, Nokia and Microsoft have to stay the course and bleed with WP7, sadly.

    Still, as a satisfied user of a Lumia 800, I got to say, the 900 is gonna my next phone once the other plans in my family can be upgraded, and I will trade in that for a brand new Nokia Apollo device once it hits. Staying the course with Nokia. XD

    • migo

      I think it’s a safe bet that there will be a better phone than the 900 released in a few months. They’re likely just not going to announce it until the marketing and sales push on the 900 with AT&T is over. If you passed on the 800, then the 900 makes sense, otherwise I think it’s more logical to wait for a follow-up.

  • HappyN9User

    These reviews are just plain stupid. If they really want to test the battery performance or the camera, they should use controlled environment and variables. Now the result is that one reviewer is disappointed with the battery life and the other is stating “great battery life”. Same with the camera.

    And the amount of apps… oh please. One reviewer was at least mentioning specific apps that are missing. Mostly it’s just the same old “it’s lacking apps because there are no 500 000 of them”.

    Maybe a scientist just shouldn’t read those reviews…

    • migo

      Battery life reviews less than a month in are hard to trust anyway.

  • DKM

    Waiting for Nokia World in Finland, i beleive it will change the mobile market in someway or other.

    Nokia has to sustain its position at the moment but it will come back big because they are not lacking in edge technology they are still in transition period.

    L900 is a great device, and the OS is 7.5 iteration and all blogs are comparing it to IOS5 and ICS (4) iteration which is 4 years ahead of WP7.5

    I would compare 7.5 to IOS3 or gingerbrad iteration for the moment. Hope WP8 will raise the bar to compete with IOS6 and Android 5.

    • migo

      Don’t quite agree with you there. Mango is maybe one version behind if you’re looking at the lowest common denominator, on par with iOS4, but it also has the lead in some areas, matching iOS5. So 7.5 is really more equivalent to a hypothetical iOS4.5.

      Comparing to Android is harder, as Android and Windows Phone aren’t quite the same model, but it’s worth pointing out that even the Nexus S doesn’t have an official Google ICS build, and will probably wait another 4 months with it, so for what people have in their hands right now, it only has to compete with GB. Obviously GB has a lot of stuff Mango doesn’t, but GB lags a ton, has crap battery life and is unstable. WP is bland but healthy, while Android is junk food.

      • manu

        android market share 52% ,windows phone 1.5%.
        Why android device sells?
        It offers what people need also a worthy replacement for symbian users.unlike windows phone which forces users zune and metro u.i and all restrictions even if they dont like

  • manu

    the point is not on multicore is needed for os point of view.but multicore device sells ios works well on 600mhz didnt stop apple from launching a dualcore phone.i see many people with galaxy s2 and all using it for basic stuffs,
    so big specs=big sales
    Also what about that andreno 205?? Its shame that nokia flagship has a gpu which ultra lowend sony and samsung devices have.

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