Nokia Lumia 900, Facebook phone - review

2012-07-06 14:37

Cape Town - The Nokia Lumia 900 makes a direct proposition: If you like Facebook, you will love this smartphone.

While most modern smartphones integrate with social networks, the top-of-the-range Lumia is so tightly woven into the social networks that one could be forgiven for thinking this device was designed with help from Palo Alto.

That doesn't mean the Lumia is bad; on the contrary, it's completely unique in the smartphone market and retains the traditional excellent Nokia build quality that made the 3310 a legend.

The one-piece polycarbonate body (read plastic) doesn't feel cheap and the device does give a neat fit and feel in the hand at 160g.

And you'll want it in your hand often to look at that high-definition 11cm display. It's covered with Gorilla Glass to protect against disasters that will no doubt result when all and sundry want to hold it and look at pictures or watch video.


The main camera on the Lumia is 8 megapixel with Carl Zeiss optics, an f/2.2 aperture and dual LED flash. The result is decent photography that makes point-and-shoot cameras completely redundant as many high end smartphones are doing.

Video is respectable as well, despite a somewhat irritating feature where the device will not zoom while shooting video.

Premium devices on the Android platform are able to zoom as well as take still pictures during video recording and Nokia may have missed a trick here.

Using the Lumia is easy and intuitive: The home screen can be customised with apps, as well as popular contacts and web pages. Of course, there is no massive collection of apps yet, but the Lumia does many things well-enough that one doesn't miss downloading hundreds of apps.

Facebook is tightly integrated with contacts and image gallery that may be disconcerting, but for those who want to separate their Facebook life from real life, one can thankfully disable the integration with contacts.

The device displays images and updates from Facebook friends as well as organising images by date, album and source. It also integrates social network contacts and calendar information.

The Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system is smooth even though the processor driving the Lumia is somewhat slower at 1.4GHz than the top-end dual core and quad core processors in competing devices.


It's quite an experience using a different operating system and the elegance is noticeable in hundreds of details from the menu bounces when you don't swipe up completely to the themed home screen.

One of the benefits of working with Microsoft is that the Lumia comes with a fully functioning Office editor that allows road warriors to keep working without having to fire up a laptop. Nokia's mapping program is independent of Google and also delivers real-time traffic updates.

On board is 16GB of storage that you can only access with the included USB cable and Nokia has stuck with the Zune only method of synching of content. Though the software has been refreshed to look neater and be more user friendly, one does miss the ease of drag-and-drop on the N9.

The Nokia Lumia is the new kid on the block and offers a refreshing change when everyone around has an Android device. It has a recommended retail price of R7 999.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

Here's a Nokia YouTube video on the Lumia 900:

  • Preshen - 2012-07-06 15:43

    Nokia is like Bin Laden was the bomb but now is dead

  • francis.o.lai - 2012-07-06 16:18

    Ack! iPhone all the way!

  • trevor.bush.9655 - 2012-07-06 16:44

    At that price I can get in Hong Kong now the latest Asus TF700 Tablet and smart phone, in SA, the tablet and a nokia N8.

  • Dean Barrett - 2012-07-06 18:30

    An incredible phone with an awesome, fresh OS. Much faster than iPhone, I should know; I've got an iPhone and have played with a friend's Lumia - iPhone gets smoked...The OS is really intuitive and fun, even Steve Wozniak from Apple loves it - that says something! Forward Lumia - best handset on the market today.

  • Jonray LeeChing - 2012-07-07 08:24

    A solid device (but hardware trails behind Android offerings e.g. Galaxy SIII), a decent app selection (but only a fraction of the AppStore) and a refreshing OS (but not receiving WP8 upgrade i.e. locked in the past). Beaten by Android, beaten by OS and beaten by Windows Phone of the near-future. A good handset at best.

  • ntjeke.wilfred - 2012-07-07 21:40

    lumia 900 or iphone4?

      ludlowdj - 2012-10-04 11:00

      Honestly neither, go for Samsung for now, They are also releasing a Windows phone.

  • huey.freeman.963 - 2012-07-08 09:25

    Way too expensive! This article cannot be right.

      ludlowdj - 2012-10-04 11:00

      Price is actually spot on the Nokia Lumia 800 retails at R7500.00 which is also a waste of money

  • ludlowdj - 2012-10-04 10:58

    unless they can integrate it with the PC properly and ensure basic cell phone abilities like message forwarding actually exist this will be another Lumia 800 failure. Can't interface with a PC or use desktop applications to write and send SMS or MMS messages or update contacts etc, can't view the memory or use it as bulk storage, can't forward SMS or MMS, cannot save media without first saving it to PC and then syncing it to the device. THe LUMIA range is a bad let down for anyone with even the basic PC technical ability and sadly does not even have the basic functions one finds on a R800 cell phone. Being a loyal Nokia man for over 10 years, My Lumia 800 was definitely the last Nokia I will buy in a long time.

  • Iman Niko Muhammad - 2013-04-29 18:05

    Ha ha ha

  • pages:
  • 1