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Nokia Lumia Series 4: Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia Lumia 900

Nokia and Microsoft introduce their flagship phone, but is it enough to get back in the game?

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The HSPA+ variant of Nokia’s Lumia 900 was made for Europe and the rest of the world in mind. The Lumia 900 includes a 1.4GHz CPU with 512MB RAM, an 8-megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens, and a 4.3-inch AMOLED display.

It occurred to me that the Lumia 900 review would be one of the more important critiques of a product that I write this year. For those of you who don’t know the backstory here, the new LTE-equipped, AT&T-bound smartphone represents what could be the beginning of a new era for both Microsoft and its partner Nokia in the mobile race — at least in the US. The 900 is a culmination of all of Microsoft’s work with Windows Phone 7 (now 7.5), and Nokia’s hardware design and execution, packaged in the hopes that the American consumer will suddenly notice that not only does Windows Phone exist, but it’s worth buying into.

Even AT&T has gotten into the spirit, claiming launch expectations that seem to far exceed the warranted excitement over this phone. But it is an attractive offering in many ways. Stylistically the Lumia 900 looks like nothing on the market. It offers LTE service that — where you can get it — is shockingly fast. And most importantly, the top-tier, flagship device is being offered at a wildly discounted price: just $99.99 for new subscribers.

So does the phone have what it takes to court buyers away from Android and iOS, and establish a beachhead for Microsoft and Nokia? I’ll unravel those questions in the review below.

Video Review

Hardware / design


The Lumia 900 is a gorgeous device. It’s beautiful. It may be the best looking phone on the market right now. It’s a monolithic device — a slab of high-test polycarbonate with little more than a display and a handful of slit-like, silver buttons. Its smooth, matte plastic is shaped to appear rather rectangular from the front, but has subtle curves around the edges which give it a satisfying feel in your hands. The design is nearly identical to the Meego-based N9, and its predecessor Lumia 800, so even though it will be new to many, it’s not the first of its kind. Still, in a world dominated by lookalike Android phones and a single iPhone, it’s definitely a breath of fresh air.


Not only is the physical design of the phone different, but so is its coloring. I tested a bright cyan version of the phone (it comes in white and black as well), and I found the stark color extremely pleasing. In fact, it reminded me of how stale and lacking in playfulness industrial design has become in this industry.

The Lumia measures 2.7 inches across by 5.03 inches up and down, and is 0.45 inches thick (comparatively, the iPhone 4S is 0.37 inches in thickness). It’s not the smallest or thinnest device on the market, but it never comes off as oversized or chubby. There’s a small speaker along the very flat bottom of the phone, and a headphone jack, Micro USB port, and SIM door at the top. Along the right side are the device’s volume, power / sleep, and camera buttons.

I really like the design and materials on the 900, and for once I have very little to complain about. I will say that the door which needs to be popped open to insert a SIM does settle back into the top of the phone a little shakily at first, but it does eventually seem to go back to a flush line.

In all, it’s a fantastic piece of technology. It just looks and feels like nothing else on the market. It hits all the right notes for me. A little bit retro, a little bit futuristic, with just a touch of quirky humanity in its otherwise very machined design. This is the Nokia I grew up with, and it’s clear the company hasn’t lost its ability to enchant through hardware.

Internals and display


Inside, the Lumia 900 packs a single-core Snapdragon system-on-a-chip clocked to 1.4GHz, 512MB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage (which is not upgradable). The device has the requisite LTE and GSM radios onboard, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR.

The display on the front of the device is a 4.3-inch, 800 x 480 AMOLED “ClearBlack” screen, fronted by Corning’s now-famous Gorilla Glass. Unlike the Lumia 800 and N9, the display is slightly raised on the phone instead of flush with the surface. There’s also a 1-megapixel camera embedded above the display, as well as an 8-megapixel shooter with a dual LED flash and Carl Zeiss optics on the back of the phone.

The specs are unremarkable, but performance on the phone was not. Just as with other Windows Phones I’ve tested, the Lumia was snappy and responsive, with few (if any) hiccups or pauses — but more on that later.

On the other hand, I’m disappointed by the display on the Lumia. Besides being lower in resolution than competitive devices (new Android phones at 1280 x 720 and the iPhone at 960 x 640), I felt colors were far too saturated. This is a pretty common problem with AMOLED screens, but the issue seems pronounced on the Lumia 900 thanks to the starkness of the Windows Phone interface. Combined with the lower resolution display (which is particularly notable with white text against that black background), the effect is jarring.

I’m not saying that the Lumia 900 is underpowered, but a single-core processor, lower resolution display, and half the RAM of its nearest competition doesn’t exactly make this device future-proof.



Nokia has a long history of packing terrific optics into its devices, so you would expect that the Lumia would excel in this area. I’m sad to report that it does not.

On the device I tested, the rear camera was capable of producing fine photos, though generally the 900 shot somewhat grainy and very washed out images. It’s not that those images were particularly bad — they just weren’t particularly good. Though the company touts Carl Zeiss optics, I didn’t see anything in my results that belied fairly standard smartphone picture-taking capabilities. In fact, the camera software seemed to have real trouble in some settings, with white balance and exposure out of whack compared to my expectations.

Additionally, the Lumia 900 produces those dreaded, faint pink spots in the center of the display — particularly visible on bright white surfaces — that we’ve seen on countless phones. It’s not the kind of thing you’d notice in most photos, but you can definitely see a discoloration that shouldn’t be there.

Now keep in mind, my daily driver is a Galaxy Nexus, which has a relatively poor camera — so this is significant. I went into the Lumia 900 expecting an excellent photo experience, but it’s really simply mediocre. That’s too bad, because there aren’t many phones on the market that can snap great looking photos, and given Microsoft’s insistence that Windows Phone is a pro at quickly capturing important moments, this is a place where this phone could have shined.

Battery life, data, phone, and performance


I was very pleasantly surprised by the battery life of the Lumia. Going into an LTE phone review, I tend to have fairly low expectations for battery performance, but the 900 proved itself as a viable option for a full day’s work. According to Nokia, you can expect about 7 hours of talk time on the phone. Now, I don’t really spend that much time talking, but I was happy to report that getting through a typical day of calls, lots of email, Twitter, and web browsing was no problem — even on a fairly constant LTE connection. Furthermore, in our brute force rundown test (continuous YouTube while connected to both Wi-Fi and LTE, max screen brightness, and max volume) I got 4 hours and 43 minutes. Compared to the HSPA+ One X’s 4:22, I’d say that’s pretty good.

Data performance was pretty awesome on the Lumia 900 — when I was in range of LTE, of course. I’ve been over the moon about Verizon’s LTE service (see the ridiculous speeds I got while testing the iPad), and AT&T’s early showing suggests a match for its rival. In good coverage areas, I saw download speeds as high as 19Mbps, with upstream hovering around 3 or 4Mbps. Of course, those did fluctuate wildly, and AT&T’s network still has yet to be built out to full capacity. It probably also doesn’t hurt that almost no one is using the company’s “real” 4G network.

Phone calls were crisp and clear on the handset. I’m happy to say that during my testing, I didn’t have a single dropped call. That could be luck, but I’m hoping it’s not. The speakerphone worked well on the Lumia 900, though I thought it sounded a bit sharp for my ears, and not quite as loud as I would have liked. Compared to my annoyingly quiet Galaxy Nexus, however, it might as well have been a PA system.

As far as general performance is concerned, as I said in the hardware section, the Lumia is more than capable of handling anything you throw at it. Of course, what you throw at it is tightly bound by the Windows Phone way of doing things, which all but ensures that there’s never too much going on at once. If I had to speculate, I would say it’s the stringent methodology of this OS that allows it to seem smooth and stable during the majority of use. Quite simply, Microsoft isn’t letting these phones bite off more than they can chew.

That comes with a price, however, and it brings me to…



Let me just put this bluntly: I think it’s time to stop giving Windows Phone a pass. I think it’s time to stop talking about how beautifully designed it is, and what a departure it’s been for Microsoft, and how hard the company is working to add features. I am very aware of the hard work and dedication Microsoft has put into this platform, but at the end of the day, Windows Phone is just not as competitive with iOS and Android as it should be right now.

Before you cry foul, keep in mind that I went into this review wanting to fall madly in love with this phone. But like a book with a beautiful jacket and a plot full of holes, I found myself wanting more. A lot more.

The problems with Windows Phone are myriad, many small. But it’s a death by a thousand cuts. And all those little problems were once again immediately apparent to me the moment I started using the Lumia 900.


The most glaring issues also happen to be some of the oldest issues — things you think at this point would have been dealt with. Scrolling in third party apps, for instance, is still completely erratic. I would blame this on developers, but given that this platform has been around for nearly two years, I think that’s a cop out. In new Twitter apps like Carbon, lists of messages will sometimes disappear or skip weirdly when scrolling. I first complained about this in version 1 of Windows Phone, and I thought it had been squashed — it has not.

Elsewhere there are missteps. Though Microsoft has added some form of multitasking to the OS, there is nearly never a feeling that apps in the “background” are actually still waiting for you. In fact, many apps still deliver a splash screen to you when you reenter them — if this is a developer issue, then I guess most of the hardworking coders on this platform never got the memo. In short, it kind of sucks to use. Where iOS and Android at least feel responsive in packing and unpacking background apps, Windows Phone often comes across as broken and limp.

Other issues nag me. In the browser, webpages are often displayed incorrectly as IE seems incapable of rendering certain web elements properly. The Verge, for instance, lacks its colored panels in the top stories section, and TypeKit fonts aren’t properly displayed. Neither iOS nor the new Chrome browser for Android have this issue. Then there are menus to consider — in many applications, options to navigate are often hidden beneath long presses, meaning that most users will never know how to do simple things like delete a single text message from their inbox.

Microsoft offers Twitter integration, but it’s so clunky, it would almost be better to not include it at all. The phone will show you that you’ve been Tweeted at, but in order to view the actual Tweet you have to tap into your “Me” tile, swipe to your notification list, then tap on each individual message to see it. How anyone at Microsoft thought this would help you get “in, out, and back to life” is a mystery to me.

And all of this is to say nothing of the third party app offerings on the platform. Besides the fact that there is a serious dearth of good software for the OS, even in places where you would expect Windows Phone to excel, it lags. Gaming for instance.

At this point, one would think that the Xbox Live offerings would hold their own against game titles for Android or iOS, but even the most advanced games seem at least a generation behind other platforms in terms of complexity. Furthermore, there’s still slim pickings when it comes to titles, with launch offerings from October of 2010 still topping the charts in the Marketplace.

Elsewhere, software is largely a mishmash of fair-to-middling offerings. The design language of Windows Phone seems to present a real problem to developers on the platform, and most third party titles go off the rails badly. Additionally, there’s little in the way of familiar apps, though there are bright spots, like the Rdio app which now thankfully is capable of playing audio in the background (which wasn’t possible before the recent Mango update), and is actually quite a beautiful piece of software.

There’s also a new Twitter app called Rowi which is probably the best experience you can have on Windows Phone with the social networking service — it’s a really well thought out and well made application.

And it’s glimmers like that here which frustrate me. Because there is some really great DNA in this operating system, and it’s obviously possible to produce great software and great user experiences. It’s just too few and far between to have impact at this point.

Don’t misunderstand me, Windows Phone offers some very good experiences in its core apps, and it’s probably the most gorgeous and cohesive piece of software Microsoft has ever released. But after nearly two years on the market, I struggled to find a single thing this platform could do better than Android 4.0 or iOS 5.1.

The sheen has worn off of Windows Phone for me. When I put something in my pocket, it needs to be able to quickly and efficiently get things done. It needs to trump other devices in its class. It needs to be the best — and Windows Phone is far from it at this point.


I’ve already said this, but it bears repeating. I really wanted to love this phone. From a design standpoint, the Lumia 900 was immediately enticing. I’d already been salivating over Nokia’s N9 and Lumia 800, so knowing that a slightly larger (but more feature packed) version of that device was headed our way was fairly encouraging. But while the hardware — at least externally — delivers, the phone as a whole does not.

I think Nokia made a lot of the right decisions, but it’s almost impossible to move beyond some of Windows Phone’s shortcomings this late in the game. Try as I might to envision the Lumia 900 as my daily driver, the math never added up. There’s just too much missing, or too much that feels unfulfilling.

I used to get upset that Android didn’t have a cohesive design language, and iOS was lacking basic functionality like copy and paste or multitasking — but most of those complaints have been put to bed. Today I might complain about a lack of widgets or a skin I don’t like, but I’m not griping about fundamental pieces of an OS. And I think that’s what’s so trying about Windows Phone.

These aren’t minor gripes I have — they speak to the foundations of this OS. My annoyances aren’t just about the color choices in the calendar, they’re about whether or not scrolling in apps functions as it should, or if I’ll get important updates in the background. Can I use IRC without breaking my connection every time I leave the app? How many steps does it take to get to the information I need? Do webpages display properly? Will the apps I need or want to use make it to this platform, and will they be any good when they get there?

In some ways, I feel like I’m reviewing a webOS device again (but with much, much nicer hardware). There are all these wonderful ideas at play, but it’s impossible to look past the nagging bugs and missing features.

Of course, there are users out there that will embrace this phone. It is generally easy and pleasant to use, and the low price point, coupled with the beautiful hardware and solid LTE service could be persuasive. But for me and most of the people I know, there’s still something missing here, and until Microsoft and Nokia figure out what that is, Windows Phone will continue to struggle upstream.


  • Incredible hardware design
  • OS is snappy and responsive
  • LTE data is speedy
  • Great entry price


  • Windows Phone still has lots of issues
  • Third-party app offerings are weak
  • Specs feel last generation
  • Camera underwhelming


Also known as Nokia Lumia 900 RM-823

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
Announced 2012, February
Status Available. Released 2012, May
BODY Dimensions 127.8 x 68.5 x 11.5 mm, 90 cc (5.03 x 2.70 x 0.45 in)
Weight 160 g (5.64 oz)
DISPLAY Type AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 480 x 800 pixels, 4.3 inches (~217 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass
– Nokia ClearBlack display
SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Card slot No
Internal 16GB storage, 512 MB RAM
DATA GPRS Class 33
EDGE Class 33
Speed HSDPA, 42 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERA Primary 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, dual-LED flash, check quality
Features Geo-tagging
Video Yes, 720p@30fps, video stabilization, check quality
Secondary Yes, 1 MP, VGA@15fps
FEATURES OS Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
Chipset Qualcomm APQ8055 Snapdragon
CPU 1.4 GHz Scorpion
GPU Adreno 205
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML5
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
Java No
Colors Black, cyan, white, magenta
– SNS integration
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player
– MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
– Document viewer/editor
– Video/photo editor
– Voice memo/command/dial
– Predictive text input
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 1830 mAh (BP-6EW)
Stand-by Up to 300 h (2G) / Up to 300 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 7 h (2G) / Up to 7 h (3G)
Music play Up to 60 h
MISC SAR US 1.29 W/kg (head)     0.95 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 1.33 W/kg (head)
Price group About Rs. 31,000/-
TESTS Display Contrast ratio: Infinite (nominal) / 2.562:1 (sunlight)
Loudspeaker Voice 70dB / Noise 68dB / Ring 75dB
Camera Photo / Video
Battery life Endurance rating 38h

Nokia Lumia Series 3: Lumia 800 Nokia’s first flagship Windows Phone device

LUMIA 800:


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Reviewing the Lumia 800 is a hard and, dare I say, unprecedented task. Never before have we seen a phone like Nokia’s N9 — a benchmark setter in some design aspects, yet a complete dead end in terms of software ecosystem — and now the 800 arrives ensconced in a nearly identical physical body. How do you begin to grade a device that feels, superficially at least, like a cuckoo — a parasite occupying the shell that rightfully belongs to another? Well, you probably start by dispensing with such romantic notions and treating the Nokia Lumia 800 as what it is: a Windows Phone 7.5 handset with a competitive, if unremarkable, spec sheet and the full backing of Nokia’s engineering, development, and marketing might.

The similarities shared between Nokia’s Harmattan and Windows Phone devices aren’t actually the most pertinent topic of inquiry here. What will truly matter to end users of the Lumia 800 is how much of an upgrade this new flagship phone represents relative to previous, Symbian-powered generations of Nokia hardware and, potentially, the rest of the current Windows Phone crop. Whether you’re actively contemplating jumping aboard the good ship Microkia or just a curious onlooker, read on for all the answers.


Video review



Photographing the Lumia 800 is an exercise in deja vu. Except for the addition of a dedicated camera key, the relocation of the dual-LED flash, and the introduction of capacitive Windows Phone keys up front, this is the N9. I’d usually be first to protest if a company decides to recycle a design quite so flagrantly, but in this case, it’s more a matter of why wouldn’t you? My lasting impression of the N9′s case was that it was akin to Apple’s unibody MacBook Pro — so tantalizingly close to perfection as to make you wonder where future upgrades could possibly come from. Three years after its introduction, that MBP design is still going strong and Nokia should have to make no apologies for sticking with a similarly splendid piece of engineering.

The Lumia 800 / N9 design ethos is all about effortless simplicity for the user, but it’s backed by a stupefying amount of calculation, modeling, and testing behind the scenes. What you see and feel in your hand is a seamless piece of soft-touch plastic, curved on all sides and gently tapering toward flattened-out top and bottom surfaces, fronted by a curved screen. It’s natural and pleasant to the touch, with great ergonomics and weight balance — the diametric opposite of the cold and impersonal appearance of most modern technology. Being able to meld that aggressively minimalist monobody design with a fully functional smartphone is where Nokia’s manufacturing chops really shine through.


Perfection does elude the Lumia 800, however, and it’s almost entirely down to the few physical keys this phone is adorned with. Its right side plays host to a volume rocker, a power / lock button, and a dedicated camera key, neither of which does a great job of what are typically routine tasks. The volume rocker and lock button sit too close to one another and are almost flush with the phone’s side, making for difficult tactile recognition. They’re also a bit loose and generate an innocuous, though irritating, rattle when you move the 800 around. The shutter release button is better: it’s firmer and more pronounced, has more travel, and reacts to pressure without a definite click at the bottom (something that can introduce motion blur in the resulting photos). The latter is a good thing for camera results, but it’s less intuitive from a user perspective. While I’m bemoaning buttons, it’s arguable that the Windows Phone capacitive trifecta under the screen is a little too close to the touchscreen, leading to some unintentional taps.

Nokia is sticking to the three color options introduced with the N9 — black, cyan and magenta, all featuring a soft matte finish — with each of those being the hue of the actual polymer the phone is built out of. That means no matter how deeply you may scratch the Lumia 800, it’ll maintain the same consistent color. It’d actually be quite the challenge to force any nicks or scuffs to appear on this handset as that polycarbonate stuff it’s made of is deceptively strong and resistant to abrasions. The same can’t be said of the elliptical metal plate built into the center of its back — finished to a mirror sheen, that surface seems a magnet for little scrapes. Nokia bundles in a very good silicon case with the Lumia 800, however it has a cutout specifically designed to expose the reflective metal on the back, rather offsetting its protective qualities.

Minor issues aside, the Lumia 800 is exactly the sort of delight for the senses that you will have expected an N9 clone to be.


Sticking with the N9 lineage and a recent preference for AMOLED in its flagship phones, Nokia has installed an 800 x 480 AMOLED display inside the Lumia 800. What was a 3.9-inch panel on the N9 has shrunken to 3.7 inches (and lost 54 horizontal lines of pixels in the process) in order to accommodate the Windows Phone keys. Yes, the Pentile Matrix RGBG subpixel arrangement is present here too, though as with the N9, I have to stress that it has almost no distinguishable impact on the display’s quality. If you put your eye right up to the screen, you may notice some color fringing on white text in front of a black background, but that’s it. Pixel density at this 3.7-inch size and WVGA res feels just about right for Windows Phone and the Lumia 800 does it justice with very clear, richly saturated imagery. As usual with AMOLED, some users will find the colors rendered a little too rich, though there’s sadly no option to tone down saturation as there is on Samsung’s Galaxy S II.

One thing nobody can complain about, however, is the way the Lumia 800 renders — or doesn’t render, to be precise — blacks. It features the anti-glare polarizer that earns it Nokia’s ClearBlack Display designation, which to us simple humans just means that its screen is less reflective than most and dark shades appear truly dark. Most of the time, you’ll struggle to distinguish where the display panel ends, creating the wonderful illusion that onscreen imagery is simply suspended atop the surface of the phone — it’s a very organic appearance that lends Microsoft’s Metro tiles an extra air of sophistication.

Nokia’s spec sheets don’t list it, but a visit to Corning’s website confirmed that the Lumia 800 does indeed have a Gorilla Glass front, much like the N9, N8 and E7 before it. That should provide you with an extra sense of security when using this phone since Gorilla Glass has shown itself to be a reliably rugged screen for mobile phones.



From my brief time with the Lumia 800, I’d say its battery life has been marginally less impressive than the N9, though that’s not unreasonable given it’s having to power a 1.4GHz processor. Anyone coming from Nokia’s previous Symbian family — which typically sacrificed brute firepower for longer endurance — will have to adapt his or her expectations to a new reality. I got to 23 hours while subjecting the 800 to my usual routine of push email updates, web browsing, music playback, photo and video capture, and lots of idling. It’s an effort to simulate real world use, but the only thing constant about the real world is that it’s different for everyone, so take it as nothing more than an indicator. Nokia lists the Lumia 800 as offering longer talk time (13 hours on GSM / 9.5 hours over 3G) than the N9 (11 and 6.5 hours, respectively) but shorter standby time. When it comes to the Windows Phone competition, HTC’s 1.5GHz Titan lasts just about as long as the 800, though the 1GHz Radar offers a little more stamina than both.

Reception on the Lumia 800 has been consistently good, allowing for clear calls and generally speedy web connectivity. While on the subject of wireless connections, I do have to express disappointment at Nokia’s decision to disable Windows Phone’s Internet Sharing feature. That’s the facility that allows you to share your Lumia’s 3G connection with nearby Wi-Fi-capable devices, turning it into a mobile hotspot. Nokia may look to enable it in a future update, however it wasn’t deemed a top priority for launch and the company chose to focus on improving other areas of the phone experience. Also missing from the Lumia 800 is the NFC connection included on the N9. NFC is still a rarely used sideshow for the smartphones that have it, so I can definitely see why Nokia nixed it, but almost everyone is pushing for its wider adoption and its absence from the 800 casts a bit of a shadow over its long-term prospects.

What the Lumia 800 does have is Bluetooth, which is harnessed nicely by a Bluetooth Contacts Transfer app. It does what its name suggests and helps to bridge the software incompatibility that arises between Nokia’s new Windows Phone and its line of legacy devices — provided they too have Bluetooth on board, of course.

The loudspeaker at the bottom of the Lumia 800 may look identical to the one on the N9, but it’s subtly different. Whereas the N9′s speaker was impossible to muffle, the 800′s is much more susceptible to being muted by pressing something against it — that basically rules out listening to music on the phone while standing it in an upright position. Aside from such an eclectic concern, the sound produced by the Lumia 800 is very good indeed. The usual size limitations imposed by the smartphone form factor do apply, but it’s good enough that you will actually want to listen to music through it. Nokia’s bundled ear buds, on the other hand, are not. They’re quite terrible, sit loosely in the ear, and your best course of action may be to never unpack them so as to keep up the phone’s resale value.



Yet another hand-me-down from the N9 production line, the Lumia 800′s camera is composed of the same 8-megapixel sensor and f/2.2 Carl Zeiss lens as on the MeeGo Harmattan phone. That’s generally a good thing, as the Lumia 800 is capable of filling those eight million pixels with tons of detail and Nokia’s been very frugal with its noise reduction. Nonetheless, issues of color fidelity do arise, ostensibly caused by Nokia’s post-processing which occasionally introduces an artificial green hue to pictures. This probably has to do with the camera’s automatic white balance misreading the scene; whatever the reason, it takes away from the ease of use and reliability of the Lumia 800′s camera, which are the two most paramount considerations when you’re building imaging equipment for phones.

Less critical, though still important, is the speed of operation and this is where the Lumia 800 shines. Microsoft has emphasized quick camera operation with Windows Phone from its start, and the Lumia 800 keeps up that standard beautifully. A long press of the side-mounted camera button sends you right into the camera app and tapping anywhere on the screen instructs the camera to focus and auto-expose the image based on the information in that spot. You can also half-press the physical camera key to get the camera to do the same in the center of the picture. Focusing speed isn’t sublime and there are none of the N9′s special software optimizations for speeding things up — the Lumia 800′s camera software is stock Windows Phone — but relying on Microsoft’s already strong platform isn’t a bad choice here, performance is still satisfyingly quick.


The dual-LED flash works very well on nearby objects and avoids washing out scenes when it’s called into action. It’s intelligent enough to recognize how much light it needs to provide, so if you focus on your hand in a dark room, it’ll light it accurately, but if you focus on the black phone in your hand, it’ll readjust for the phone and over-expose your hand. That may not sound ideal, but the good aspect of it is that it works predictably and reliably.

Video recording, much like stills, benefits from some really nice detail, however motion blur is exhibited a bit too readily for my liking. If the Galaxy S II was capable of handling motion perfectly at 1080p resolution back in April, your new flagship phone should be able to do the same at 720p without bother. Nokia doesn’t live up to that standard with the Lumia 800, unfortunately. Another way in which this phone falls short on the imaging front is in its omission of a front-facing camera. Sure, most people consider them gimmicky and video conversations aren’t exactly threatening to overtake regular voice calls, but front-facing cameras have become essentially standard equipment nowadays and it’s odd to see Nokia skimping on one here.


Nokia’s historic move to a new mobile operating system is finally complete. Gone are the days of trudging through outdated Symbian menu systems, no longer will you be laughed at by your trendy app-loving peers. Nokia’s latest handset runs Windows Phone, a truly up-to-date OS with a future bright enough to justify the Lumia branding.

So why does it feel so underwhelming?


The first issue is one of familiarity. We’ve seen both Windows Phone 7.5 and the Lumia 800′s chiseled physique already, so combining the two is like making yourself a banana sandwich, new and potentially tasty, but not an altogether unpredictable combination. The Lumia 800 is a device embodying all of Nokia’s phone manufacturing nous and relies on Microsoft’s best mobile software to date, but what it doesn’t do is create something new and altogether better out of those components. The two parts are welded together, whereas what the world really wanted to see was for them to melt into one spectacular new juggernaut that would do battle with iOS and Android. Windows Phone isn’t there yet and if any one phone will push it into that stratosphere, the Lumia 800 won’t be it. The Lumia 800 equipped with all of the N9′s software bells and whistles might have been that hero device, but alas, time constraints have forced Nokia to serve up a very ordinary helping of Mango with almost no improvements of its own.

Nokia has been consistent in saying that it’ll endeavor to bring the swipe gestures, the double-tap-to-wake, and everything else that was good about the N9′s UI over to Windows Phone, but the fact remains that those goodies are not present in the Lumia 800 today. What you get are sadly superficial tweaks: Nokia alerts, ringtones, wallpapers, and a “Nokia blue” theme are scattered around the phone, while the Metro tiles, email client, calendar, and all other native apps are left untouched. There aren’t obvious ways to improve on them, mind you, as Microsoft has done a really stellar job of refining the basic Windows Phone user experience. Still, it would have been nice to see Nokia implement the awesome onscreen keyboard of the N9, along with its terrific haptic feedback, in the Lumia phone that’s probably being built on the exact same manufacturing line.

Nokia Drive and Nokia Music are the two big additions on launch day. Drive provides offline navigation with voice turn-by-turn instructions and Music includes a Mix Radio streaming service that’s loaded up with genre-based playlists of free music. Both are actually very good at what they do and are sure to figure in your long-term use of the Lumia 800. The Mix Radio library is being built out continually, so there’ll be more and more content for you to access in the future, while the Music app also pulls in the venues for upcoming gigs near you. I still would’ve liked to see Nokia do more than just throw in some added apps, although unlike HTC’s underwhelming Hub for WP7, Nokia’s additions offer real added value for the user. Moreover, Nokia Maps — the new name for Ovi Maps — will be available for the Lumia 800 and all Windows Phones within the next couple of weeks, so we can at least say that the Microsoft-Nokia partnership is headed in the right direction.


Perhaps the main reason for Nokia’s abandonment of MeeGo and embrace of Microsoft was the need to have a thriving software ecosystem to empower its handsets with. The Windows Phone Marketplace isn’t quite up to that standard yet, however Microsoft is putting good tools in developers’ hands and Nokia’s presence adds extra clout and credibility to the platform. Stephen Elop’s vision of Windows Phone as “the third ecosystem” behind Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android looks set to indeed materialize, meaning that prospective Lumia 800 owners should have plenty to look forward to. Skype’s absence from the Marketplace, for example, will soon be rectified by the folks working in Microsoft’s freshly inaugurated Skype Division.

The gravitational pull of Microsoft and Nokia’s collective determination can reasonably be expected to produce the critical mass of good apps for Windows Phone to truly compete with the best — it’s just that at this particular moment in time, it continues to lag. While closing the gap on Android and iOS, Windows Phone doesn’t improve on them in any dramatic way. Its multitasking overview is good, the live tiles offer information more quickly and easily, and its calendar is arguably the best of the bunch, but those are small advantages. iOS still wins when I want to browse the web or check out a new app and Android is still the best platform for users of Google services.


I’ve been using the Lumia 800 alongside an Android handset and an iPhone 4S recently and one thing’s abundantly clear: all three platforms are getting the basics right. Push email is arriving at more or less the same time, calendar alerts are going off simultaneously, notifications are mostly unobtrusive, pinch-to-zoom is smooth, web browsers are rendering pages correctly, and email conversations are threaded. What will make the difference going forward are things like the extra layer of polish that iOS can offer, and Windows Phone, as the new entrant to this competition, will need to beat the others to such new features and improvements if it wants to attract defectors to its cause.

An honorable mention is earned by Microsoft’s windowsphone.com website. As the name suggests, it’s the web portal unto your ownership of a Windows Phone, and allows you to browse the Marketplace and send apps directly to your device. There are also guides for novices as well as a pretty comprehensive My Windows Phone menu. The latter allows you to find your phone (with disturbing accuracy), ring it, lock it up with a password and a message for its lock screen, or even wipe it completely. In a classy little touch, Microsoft has also made the color theme of the website match the theme of your phone, which can actually be useful if you’re managing multiple Windows Phones and need a visual way to distinguish between them online. Everything on the site worked exactly as advertised, and though the functionality it offers isn’t unique, it’s a great extra to have and a wonderful base from which to build and expand the WP web ecosystem.



The Lumia 800 is exactly what it looked like when it was first announced at Nokia World: it is an N9 running Windows Phone. Ironically, in moving from the wildly imaginative Harmattan to the more straight-laced Windows Phone OS, this smartphone has undergone the reverse of the transition Stephen Elop wants to see Nokia make. He wants the company to stop being known for unexciting reliability and to start inspiring greater emotional attachment in its users. The N9 was that irrationally loved device, and no matter how hard the Lumia 800 tries, it simply isn’t as thrilling. For anyone still stuck on one of Nokia’s Symbian devices, the 800 is an obvious upgrade. It lacks the N8′s superb camera, but otherwise it easily trumps anything and everything in the company’s recent portfolio. Windows Phone provides a modern and attractive user interface and the Lumia 800′s hardware maintains Nokia’s reputation for attention to detail and insistence on high build quality. The picture is less clear for those considering alternative Windows Phones, as the Lumia 800 actually falls behind by not including a front-facing camera or mobile hotspot capabilities. Choosing your favorite there will depend on how much you love the Lumia 800′s sterling physical design and how much faith you place in Nokia’s ability to execute on its ambitious plans for software differentiation. The Lumia 800 has the potential to be great, but today it’s merely good.


  • Excellent design
  • Attractive display
  • Brightest future of any recent Nokia phone


  • No Internet Sharing
  • Fiddly volume rocker and lock key
  • No front-facing camera


  • On-screen keyboard is disappearing during typing. Nokia has addressed the problem with a software fix in the update 8107.
  • Nokia Lumia 800 is claimed to have “sound quality problems” when using low impedance headphones like the supplied ones. Nokia has acknowledged the issue and is working on a fix.
  • Battery life. In December 2011, Nokia confirmed that some Lumia 800 devices do not use the full capacity of their battery. They also state that “only a charger with an output of 1000mA will fully charge your Lumia 800 battery.” During 19–20 January 2012, two updates were made available—battery related software update and another of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango build 8107. Nokia has stated that reported issues are fixed with the update and it triples the battery life.
  • Problems with camera focus in certain conditions. Nokia has confirmed this and is working on a fix.
  • Daily Mobile reports an issue with screen flickering.
  • Multiple reports of trouble turning device on.


Also known as Nokia Sea Ray

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 – RM-819
HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 – For Canada
HSDPA 900 / 1900 / 2100 – RM-801 CV
Announced 2011, October
Status Available. Released 2011, November
BODY Dimensions 116.5 x 61.2 x 12.1 mm, 76.1 cc (4.59 x 2.41 x 0.48 in)
Weight 142 g (5.01 oz)
– Touch-sensitive controls
DISPLAY Type AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 480 x 800 pixels, 3.7 inches (~252 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch Yes
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass
– Nokia ClearBlack display
SOUND Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Card slot No
Internal 16 GB storage, 512 MB RAM
DATA GPRS Class 33
EDGE Class 33
Speed HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP, EDR
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
CAMERA Primary 8 MP, 3264×2448 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, dual-LED flash, check quality
Features Geo-tagging
Video Yes, 720p@30fps, check quality
Secondary No
FEATURES OS Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon
CPU 1.4 GHz Scorpion
GPU Adreno 205
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML5, RSS feeds
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Java No
Colors Black, Cyan, Magenta, White
– SNS integration
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player
– MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
– Document viewer/editor
– Video/photo editor
– Voice memo/command/dial
– Predictive text input
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 1450 mAh (BV-5JW)
Stand-by Up to 265 h (2G) / Up to 335 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 13 h (2G) / Up to 9 h 30 min (3G)
Music play Up to 55 h
MISC SAR US 1.27 W/kg (head)     1.08 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 0.94 W/kg (head)
Price group  Rs. 22,000/-
TESTS Display Contrast ratio: Infinite (nominal)
Loudspeaker Voice 60dB / Noise 59dB / Ring 61dB
Audio quality Noise -87.3dB / Crosstalk -87.8dB
Camera Photo / Video
Battery life Endurance rating 35h

Nokia’s latest colorful 603

Nokia has announced a new addition to its Symbian Belle lineup, the Nokia 603. The main highlights of this device are a 3.5″ ClearBlack display and 1 GHz CPU.

The screen supports pixel dimensions of 360×640 and has a brightness level of 1000 nits (as bright as the Nokia 701). Its 5 MP fixed-focus camera is capable of recording 720p video. Other specs include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, a 3.5 mm jack, 32 GB microSD card support, and NFC connectivity.

The Nokia 603 will cost 200 euros (approx Rs 14,000) plus taxes. The device will be available in black or white, with six coloured back covers to choose from. The company has also launched an NFC-capable Luna Bluetooth Headset along with the device, and is expected to retail at 70 euros (approx Rs 4900) plus taxes.

The leaves in your yard may be transitioning to the more subdued hues of autumn, but Nokia’s new 603 smartphone certainly isn’t. Available in six different back cover colors, this new Symbian Belle handset is powered by a 1GHz processor and boasts a 3.5-inch, capacitive touchscreen with 640 x 360 resolution. It also comes with 2GB of internal memory, a 32GB microSD slot and five megapixel camera, along with full NFC and Bluetooth 3.0 capabilities. Speaking of which, the folks in Espoo have also taken this opportunity to unveil their new Luna Bluetooth headset — an NFC-enabled, in-ear accessory that delivers up to eight hours of extended talk time, as well as a rainbow of colors (see an image after the break).



GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100
Announced 2011, October
Status Coming soon. Exp. release 2011, Q4
SIZE Dimensions 113.5 x 57.1 x 12.7 mm, 74 cc
Weight 109.6 g
DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 360 x 640 pixels, 3.5 inches (~210 ppi pixel density)
– Nokia ClearBlack display
– Multi-touch input method
– Proximity sensor for auto turn-off
– Accelerometer sensor for UI auto-rotate
– Scratch resistant display
SOUND Alert types Vibration, MP3 ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MEMORY Phonebook Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
Call records Detailed, max 30 days
Internal 2 GB (340 MB user available), 512 MB RAM, 1 GB ROM
Card slot microSD, up to 32GB
DATA GPRS Class 33
EDGE Class 33
3G HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Yes, v3.0 with A2DP
Infrared port No
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0, HS, USB On-the-go support
CAMERA Primary 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, fixed focus
Features Geo-tagging, face detection
Video Yes, 720p@30fps
Secondary No
FEATURES OS Symbian Belle OS
CPU 1 GHz processor, 2D/3D Graphics HW Accelerator with OpenVG1.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0 support
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM
Browser WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML, RSS feeds
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS, music recognition
Games Yes + downloadable
Colors Black, white (front panel)/ black, white, fuchsia, green, yellow, blue (back panel)
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Java Yes, MIDP 2.1
– MicroSIM card support only
– SNS integration
– NFC support
– TV Out
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– Digital compass
– MP4/WMV/H.263/H.264 player
– MP3/WAV/еAAC+ player
– Photo editor
– Organizer
– Quickoffice document editor
– Adobe PDF Reader
– Flash Lite support
– Voice command/dial
– Predictive text input
BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion (BP-3L)
Stand-by Up to 460 h (2G) / Up to 490 h (3G)
Talk time Up 16 h (2G) / Up to 7 h (3G)
Music play Up to 75 h
MISC     Price group approx Rs 14,000

Operating System, Kernel and Types of kernels

What is Operating System, Kernel and Types of kernels?


1. What Is Kernel?

A kernel is a central component of an operating system. It acts as an interface between the user applications and the hardware. The sole aim of the kernel is to manage the communication between the software (user level applications) and the hardware (CPU, disk memory etc). The main tasks of the kernel are :

  • Process management
  • Device management
  • Memory management
  • Interrupt handling
  • I/O communication
  • File system…etc..

2. Is LINUX A Kernel Or An Operating System?

Well, there is a difference between kernel and OS. Kernel as described above is the heart of OS which manages the core features of an OS while if some useful applications and utilities are added over the kernel, then the complete package becomes an OS. So, it can easily be said that an operating system consists of a kernel space and a user space.

So, we can say that Linux is a kernel as it does not include applications like file-system utilities, windowing systems and graphical desktops, system administrator commands, text editors, compilers etc. So, various companies add these kind of applications over linux kernel and provide their operating system like ubuntu, suse, centOS, redHat etc.

3. Types Of Kernels

Kernels may be classified mainly in two categories

  1. Monolithic
  2. Micro Kernel

1 Monolithic Kernels

Earlier in this type of kernel architecture, all the basic system services like process and memory management, interrupt handling etc were packaged into a single module in kernel space. This type of architecture led to some serious drawbacks like 1) Size of kernel, which was huge. 2)Poor maintainability, which means bug fixing or addition of new features resulted in recompilation of the whole kernel which could consume hours

In a modern day approach to monolithic architecture, the kernel consists of different modules which can be dynamically loaded and un-loaded. This modular approach allows easy extension of OS’s capabilities. With this approach, maintainability of kernel became very easy as only the concerned module needs to be loaded and unloaded every time there is a change or bug fix in a particular module. So, there is no need to bring down and recompile the whole kernel for a smallest bit of change. Also, stripping of kernel for various platforms (say for embedded devices etc) became very easy as we can easily unload the module that we do not want.

Linux follows the monolithic modular approach

2 Microkernels

This architecture majorly caters to the problem of ever growing size of kernel code which we could not control in the monolithic approach. This architecture allows some basic services like device driver management, protocol stack, file system etc to run in user space. This reduces the kernel code size and also increases the security and stability of OS as we have the bare minimum code running in kernel. So, if suppose a basic service like network service crashes due to buffer overflow, then only the networking service’s memory would be corrupted, leaving the rest of the system still functional.

In this architecture, all the basic OS services which are made part of user space are made to run as servers which are used by other programs in the system through inter process communication (IPC). eg: we have servers for device drivers, network protocol stacks, file systems, graphics, etc. Microkernel servers are essentially daemon programs like any others, except that the kernel grants some of them privileges to interact with parts of physical memory that are otherwise off limits to most programs. This allows some servers, particularly device drivers, to interact directly with hardware. These servers are started at the system start-up.

So, what the bare minimum that microKernel architecture recommends in kernel space?

  • Managing memory protection
  • Process scheduling
  • Inter Process communication (IPC)

Apart from the above, all other basic services can be made part of user space and can be run in the form of servers.

QNX follows the Microkernel approach

Ubuntu 10.10

Ubuntu 10.10:


If you have not tried it yet ….. here are 12 Reasons to Try Ubuntu 10.10

As Ubuntu 10.10, or “Maverick Meerkat,” hits the streets this Sunday, it’s a pretty safe bet that legions of existing Ubuntu users will be updating to the new release. After all, it looks to be Canonical’s most user-friendly Ubuntu Linux yet, and many of the new features promise to be must-haves.

For those in the business world who haven’t yet tried Ubuntu, however, the reasons to download and give it a whirl are even more compelling. Here are just a few of them.

1. Speed

Ubuntu 10.10 is fast — darn fast. Even the beta version could boot in as little as 7 seconds, according to reports. Who has time to wait around for Windows when there’s work to be done?

2. Price

There’s no contest on this one, because Ubuntu is free. Pure and simple. No investment whatsoever, unless you want to buy professional support later on.

3. No Commitment

You can try out Ubuntu without changing or affecting anything else on your computer through options like a LiveCD, Live USB, Wubi or virtualization–all of which I’ve already described elsewhere. In other words, you have nothing to lose.

4. Hardware Compatibility

Ubuntu will play well on just about any machine you might have sitting around, so you could also try it out on a spare one to keep it off your Windows machines altogether–until you decide you can’t go back, that is.

5. Ubuntu One

Ubuntu One is the personal cloud service that lets you synchronize your files and notes and then access them from anywhere. You can also consolidate your computer and mobile phone contacts and share documents and pictures with them. On the fun side, you can use Ubuntu One to buy music and get it delivered to the computers of your choice.

6. Windows Compatibility

With Ubuntu 10.10, a beta client for Windows also allows users to integrate their Windows and Ubuntu worlds by accessing files from either platform. You’ll never have to worry about being unable to get at your Windows files.

7. Applications

Unlike Windows, Ubuntu comes with key business productivity software for free, including OpenOffice.org. Firefox is included, but there’s also support for both Flash and Google Chrome. Anything that’s not there already, meanwhile, can be found in Ubuntu’s Software Center. Whereas finding new software on Windows is very much a hunt-and-peck process, with lots of time spent on Google–and your credit card–the Software Center gives you a central place to find and download thousands of open source applications–for free–in a matter of seconds.

8. Security

Ubuntu–and pretty much every distribution of Linux–is extremely secure, particularly compared with Mac OS X and Windows. No wonder experts have recommended using Linux for online banking, in particular–the others just aren’t secure enough.

9. Multitouch

If you try the Netbook Edition of Ubuntu on a supported netbook, you’ll be able to see for yourself the brand-new multitouch features in Maverick’s new Unity interface.

10. Beauty

One key emphasis in the new Ubuntu is making it more beautiful and aesthetically pleasing to use. The Unity interface is part of that in the Netbook Edition, and the Ubuntu Font Family is another part. It’s all just nice to look at.

11. It’s Sociable

Ubuntu’s new “Me Menu” lets you access your Facebook and Twitter accounts straight from the desktop. You can connect to all your favorite chat channels and make updates through a single window.

12. It’s Linux

There are so many reasons for businesses to use Linux today, it’s hard to keep track of them all. Security is one, of course, but there are also many other reasons Ubuntu, in particular, has become such a good business choice–far better than Mac OS X or Windows.

Ubuntu 10.10 will be available for download starting on Sunday from Canonical’s Ubuntu site. Of course, if you can’t wait until then, there’s always the Release Candidate, which is ripe for the picking right now. Either way, my bet is that once you try Ubuntu for your business, you’re going to want to keep it.


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