Can Windows Phone 7 Finally Compete?
Nokia’s wildly popular, low cost Windows Phone 7 device, the Lumia 900, just got even more appealing. Already priced to sell by AT&T to new customers and those willing to enter a new two year contract at $99, Nokia is offering a $100 additional rebate, or credit to any early adopters’ AT&T wireless bills. This is because many of the early handsets shipped with a software issue that caused the devices to lose data connectivity over time. Newly manufactured Lumia 900 models will ship with the software update installed. Those who purchased the ones with faulty software can either exchange them at AT&T, or download the update that will resolve all issues. Free Nokia Lumia 900, anyone? But is this enough to make Windows Phone 7 a true contender against the iPhone and the slew of Android phones currently available?
Not So Fast
The Lumia 900’s features are impressive: an 8 megapixel rear facing camera, and 1 megapixel front facing camera do indeed place it within competitive range of the iPhone 4S, whose front facing camera is still VGA quality only. Also, the Lumia’s screen size is in the “sweet spot” for most smart phone users at 4.3”, compared to the iPhone’s outdated 3.5” display, and the way oversized Samsung Galaxy Note’s uncomfortably large 5.3” screen. Sure, the Lumia only has a single core processor, but you have to consider its ability to effectively support the operating system and all that goes with it rather than just the brute strength of the hardware, and the Lumia 900 is more than powerful enough for a smooth and hiccup-free experience of Windows Phone 7 and its limited host of apps. Which brings me to one point everyone really should consider: apps.
The Windows app store can’t even come close to what’s available for iOS and Android. If you are considering switching from either of those platforms, you’ll want to do your research and be sure that the apps you have come to rely on are also available for Windows Phone 7. The good news is, most of the major apps are definitely there: Angry Birds, Facebook, LinkedIn, and a vast assortment of productivity tools, including total integration with Microsoft Office products, are firmly in place. But if you have special apps that aren’t available, and there’s no Windows Phone alternative, maybe you should wait until the iPhone 5 comes out this summer (or fall, depending on which supplier report from China you are inclined to believe) or until the perfect Android phone finally lands.
All in all, the Nokia Lumia 900 is the best device for Windows Phone ever created. It’s sleek, sexy, and powerful. The display, while not nearly as great as the iPhone’s retina technology, looks gorgeous in person. You have to see and handle this phone to fully grasp its beauty. Unfortunately, it’s the hardware that really makes the cut here. Windows Phone 7 still has a long way to go before it can be considered fully mainstreamed as a premium smart phone OS.
Melonie McLaurin is a corporate blogger for a company that promotes DirecTV satellite television. You can read more of her tech articles at meloniemclaurin.com.