Lumia 900 review roundup: mostly positive but with a few annoyances

A number of technology blogs and news sources have published reviews for the Lumia 900, including ourselves. What's the general reaction from reviewers? Mostly positive. Critical on certain aspects of Windows Phone itself, but positive nonetheless. The Lumia 900, with the polycarbonate unibody, shouts out "I'm good looking!" but there are a few apparent flaws with both the hardware and software that could put off potential buyers.

We've taken a look at a number of reviews on the web, from the likes of CNET, Engadget and VentureBeat to name but a few. We can now pass on a summarised feeling as to how the Lumia 900 has been received by critics. We'll hit the negative points first. Unfortunately, many reviewers stuck to their guns and complained about the lack of apps available on the Marketplace. Even though Microsoft has been accelerating growth with numerous developer camps, competitions and giveaways the company still needs to work on getting big names on-board. Something their future developer plans appear to address.

As well as the lack of apps, a number of reviews touched on the multitasking in Windows Phone, which was implemented in the "Mango" update last year. Comments include the lack of robustness that is present when compared to both the iPhone and an Android handset. As for the Lumia 900 itself, the speaker was noted as being "too quiet". This is a flaw that many Lumia 800 / soon-to-be 900 owners can (and will) agree on - the speakers could be improved.

Lastly on the negative front, a few comments were made regarding the Windows Phone 7 Connector for Mac - I wanted to touch on this personally. Of course the small app isn't Zune, but it doesn't have to be. I'll be the first to admit I'm a fan of not only Microsoft, but of Apple as well. My main two computers I use on a daily basis is my trusty Mac Mini and white MacBook, so I'm familiar with not only the Zune suite on my Windows desktop, but also the Mac Connector. The app that Microsoft is continuously developing, which allows me to synchronise and update my Windows Phones, is more than enough. I would actually go as far to say it's more efficient than Zune.

It's not all doom-and-gloom for Windows Phone and the Lumia 900 however. As I mentioned in the opening of this article, the majority of reviews were positive overall with compliments provided for not only the hardware, but the software too. The LTE speeds experienced using the 4G Windows Phone were particularly impressive. Then you have the award winning design of the Lumia 900 itself, which originated from the N9. Nokia has done a superb job with fitting the 1830mAh battery as well as adding the 1.3MP front-facing camera with an f/2.4 lens to really make the 900 last and be capable of more advanced tasks.

As well as the hardware side of things, Microsoft's operating system received some love with the "silky smooth experience" being mentioned more than once. While handsets on the platform don't sport 15Ghz octo-core chips that require a mobile nuclear reactor to power them, the experience that the consumer will continue to enjoy is heavily optimised for low-end hardware. It's also slightly lighter on the ol' piggy bank with manufacturers being able to drive down cost.

To conclude; Microsoft has a long way to go. They already realize and understand this fact. As the company has reiterated: they're in for the long haul, it's a marathon and not a sprint. With their apparent planning of Windows Phone's not-so-distant future with bringing on-board more big name developers, we should see the annoyances rectified and the handsets sent to the games. But it's a positive step in the right direction.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.