Opinion Brief

The Lumia 900 Windows Phone: Underwhelming?

Reviews are finally in for Nokia and Microsoft's long-awaited $99 handset — and the word is, it's pretty but no iPhone killer

Few smartphones not called the iPhone have generated the buzz of Nokia's Lumia 900. Itchy fingered tech writers have championed the aggressively priced $99 Windows Phone as a device that could finally make Microsoft a major player in the mobile game, and possibly even dethrone the imperial iPhone. Now, with its April 8 release a few calendar clicks away, the reviews for the Lumia 900, which features a large 4.3-inch screen and runs on AT&T's 4G LTE network, are finally out. How does the collaboration between Nokia and Microsoft stack up to the likes of Android and Apple?

It's a killer device: Nokia has proved once again that it's "no stranger to creating gorgeous phones," says Devindra Hardawar at VentureBeat. Not only is this "the best Windows Phone yet," but it's the first "to truly unleash the potential of the platform." This is a polished phone that feels totally distinctive; you'll never mistake it for an iPhone or any of the cheap plastic Android lookalikes. When you consider the device's $99 price ("a downright steal"), "the Lumia 900 feels like it's in a class of its own.""Nokia's Lumia 900 is the best $100 smartphone yet (review)"

Huh? The phone is incredibly underwhelming: I wanted to love this phone, says Joshua Topolsky at The Verge. "From a design standpoint, the Lumia 900 was immediately enticing." But while the externals deliver, "the phone as a whole does not." The software is inexusably problematic. "Scrolling in third party apps, for instance, is still completely erratic." And the phone's native IE browser is "incapable of rendering certain web elements properly." In the end, there's "just too much missing, or too much that feels unfulfilling.""Lumia 900 review" 

It's solid enough — but hardly stellar: "On design, it certainly wins against most Android phones," says Casey Johnston at Ars Technica. If you're looking for a "good deal at $99," and don't mind Microsoft's still-growing app ecosystem, then the Lumia 900 is worth looking into. But if you crave "the best phone in terms of performance and design," you'll need to look elsewhere. The Windows Phone pales in comparison to high-end Androids and the iPhone 4S."The Nokia Lumia 900 review"

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