hen Nokia unveiled the Lumia 900 smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, techies let out a collective squeal. It's the first high-end Windows Phone for the U.S. market, and the product of a partnership between two determined tech titans — Nokia and Microsoft — who were key players in the mobile market until Apple and Android overshadowed them. The Lumia runs on Microsoft's Mango operating system, a wholly unique platform that features large dynamic tiles rather than the the tiny app icons of Android and iOS (take a visual tour here). Will Microsoft and Nokia finally be able to compete?
Yes. This phone rocks: I've already tried the Lumia 800 — the Lumia 900's little brother, which is popular in Europe — and found it to be "the nicest phone I've ever used," says Dan Lyons at The Daily Beast. "It makes the iPhone seem old and outdated, and makes Android phones seem big and clunky." The Lumia 900 improves on the 800 with a slightly bigger screen and the "same sleek European modernist design feel." Microsoft and Nokia have the goods to compete with the iPhone and top-of-the-line Androids.
"Nokia Lumia 900 boasts sleeker, more modern design than Apple iPhone"
And everybody likes an underdog: "In mobile, Microsoft has become the beloved underdog of the tech press," and together with the "beleaguered" Nokia, it's "created something that actually looks good," says Jared Newman at TIME. This could be "the ultimate comeback story." While competitors produce predictable updates to existing models, Nokia and Microsoft have a phone that separates itself from the pack with striking looks and a unique operating system. Microsoft and Nokia also have a compelling narrative for the media to jump on. That could go a long way in getting the Lumia the attention it needs.
"How Nokia's Lumia 900 Windows Phone won CES before it even started"
But under the hood, it's underwhelming: The Lumia 900, iPhone 4S, and Galaxy Nexus are all "gorgeous" phones, says Will Shanklin at Geek.com. But the Lumia's screen resolution is inferior to the iPhone's. When it comes to storage and processing power (not to mention weight), the iPhone and Galaxy also have a slight edge.
"Lumia 900 vs. iPhone 4S vs. Galaxy Nexus: specs showdown"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why China's Communist Party is headed for collapse
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why Texas Republicans may want to cool the anti-Obama land-grab talk
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- How to make perfect fried rice in 6 easy steps
- Why the poor's investment of choice is so alarming
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why we need a maximum wage
- Obama doesn't have a manhood problem — but conservatives certainly do
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
Subscribe to the Week