Nokia makes bright move with Lumia
Apr 05, 2012 (Boston Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Nokia's new flagship phone, the Lumia 900, is comparable in quality and ease of use to the iPhone 4S, but with a price tag so reasonable it will make Apple-philes wonder: What, in the name of Siri, is going on here?
Nokia needed this phone to be a game-changer, and it has the potential to be just that. Let's start with the operating system. Windows Phone 7's excellent mobile platform is a perfect fit for the bright display, which is larger than most touchscreens at 4.3 inches, featuring a respectable 480-by-800-pixel resolution.
The phone functions smoothly. When swiping back and forth between apps and even while streaming movies, I never felt as if I was waiting for a task to complete. Multitasking is a breeze, with a lingering tap on the back button bringing up a taskbar of recently used apps to swipe through.
Though the phone is heavier than its counterparts, it has a good feel, with nicely curved edges. Whereas the iPhone 4S screen would shatter to pieces if dropped face-down, the Gorilla Glass screen on the Lumia would survive the drop test.
The 8-megapixel camera, with its much ballyhooed Carl Zeiss lens, gets the job done. Though the colors seemed a bit duller in photos than the camera on the iPhone 4S, it's nothing a good photo-editing app won't fix.
Speaking of apps, that's a trade-off here. Some apps such as HBO GO and Hulu are missing from the WP7 ecosystem. But Nokia has a stable of promising new apps. And the ease of use you get with the Lumia is worth having fewer apps.
The WP7 user interface is a welcome departure from the classic flurry of icons on a desktop. The home screen is divided into so-called live tiles, which are dynamic little previews of the information that lives in each particular app. The People Hub is another novel feature, with information culled from Facebook, Twitter, email and other apps feeding automatically into your contacts list.
The Lumia is currently back-ordered on Amazon.com with a price tag of $49.99 and at $99.99 through AT&T Wireless with contracts. Off-contract prices are around $450 compared to $650 for the iPhone 4S.
AT&T customers should be hitting the stores on Sunday when it becomes available.
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