Who knew that a slab of polycarbonate could look so appealing?
I’d been lusting after one of the newest Windows Phones, the Nokia Lumia 900, when Mama decided I deserved better than the hand-me-down Samsung which lagged every time I tapped it against my knuckles (a bad habit of mine).
She then put it through the usual initiation ceremony that all my new phones endure with her: the first time she touched it after buying it, she dropped it. Accidentally, of course. I found time, after fussing over my precious, to appreciate the impromptu drop test. Now, my mother doesn’t know what drop tests are, but she happens to carry out some of the best I know. Why, if it weren’t for her, I’d never have known how sturdy …
- the Blackberry Bold 9900
- the Samsung Galaxy Note II
- the iPhone 3
- the iPhone 4
- the iPhone 4S
…proved after at least 3 drops each.
Conversely, Mama helped me discover the disappointing fragility of the Blackberry Curve 8900 and the Nokia E-72, as well as several other devices I most heartily regret (but which my father and his wallet most certainly regret more).
I’ve had it for two days now, so I think it’s time to write down what I like and dislike about the model.
- As stated in the title, the Lumia 900 really does let you play around with your photos. It has a readily installed Creative Studio that offers up a range of cool effects and editing options. If you find that that isn’t enough (as I did), though, all you need is a Windows Live ID (took me under 5 minutes to make on the phone itself), which you then use to browse the Marketplace (the Windows Phone’s App Store/Google Play) for a free photo editor. Mine’s called PhotoFunia and is easily one of the best available without charge. The featured photo of this blog post is one of many results from half an hour spent playing with PhotoFunia. (I’m the one in the middle, by the way.) Also, before I forget, the Lumia also has a front-facing camera for ultimate Myspace-esque self shots.
- The Lumia 900 helped me rediscover my love for radio, particularly when it’s not all Rick Dees Top 40s and cartoonish sound effects. There is an app that comes readily installed in your device called ‘TuneIn Radio’ which provides access to some of the best stations around the world. I know that most smartphones worth reckoning with have a radio, but what’s different about the Lumia’s is that it is on the main page, as well as a different colour from the other boxes on the ‘Start’ menu. It grabs your attention. You actually wonder about it. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never wondered about the radios on other smartphones. I chose to wonder instead why so many smartphones like to force you to use their built-in ringtones and nothing else. Which brings me to the CONS.
- The ringtone issue. Upon realising that the stock ringtones in the Lumia kind of … suck, I installed Ringtone Hub to see what was there for me. Tried to set my new message alert tone … and failed. You see, Windows Phones don’t let you use custom message alerts. Only using a homebrew with a complicated installation procedure can you change this frustrating rule. I’ve given up, to be honest.
- Not to leave out, furthermore, the disturbing absence of a Memo/Notepad app. As someone who is in the habit of having peculiar thoughts and writing them down at undecided moments, I find this a deeply unsettling shortcoming. It can also inconvenience users who are in a hurry to make note of something important. The lack of a to-do list organiser does not help this situation.
- I’ve also encountered minor disappointments, such as the Blackberry-standard camera quality (which is not. good.), the limited screen display options, the inability to screengrab and the awkward positioning of the phone’s only pressable buttons.. All three of them are situated on the right side of the screen, whereas the left side remains bare. This results in frequent and accidental pressing of the wrong buttons – those volume adjusters would fare so much better on the other side of the phone, I feel.
Those are all my current observations. However, just because there are more cons than pros doesn’t mean I haven’t enjoyed using the Lumia. In fact I think it’s a wonderful phone – it just needs a few urgent tweaks.
Why is it so wonderful if the cons outnumber the pros? Well, it has a bizarrely comprehensive app dedicated entirely to My Little Pony, complete with MLP ringtones, newsfeeds, Reddit, Memebase, fanfiction, music, radio, podcast and social network options. Need I say more?