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printed April 18, 2014
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Review: Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  29  

Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging  

The Lumia 900 runs Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. Since all versions of Windows Phone look and behave the same across devices and carriers, the 900's menus and user interface are more or less identical to WP7 handsets we've already reviewed. As far as modern smartphones go, Windows Phone is about as simple as it gets with respect to the user interface.

Your first experience with WP7 will be the lock screen. Notifications for items such as missed calls or messages will appear along the bottom of the screen. Slide the screen up to unlock it. My one frustration with notifications is that they don't really give you any information other than an unread count. Three missed calls, and 14 new emails? OK, but what about a preview of those messages, which every other platform offers? Also, there are no lock-screen shortcuts other than the press-the-camera-button-to-launch-the-camera trick.

The home screen is made up of two vertical columns of square and rectangular tiles. Some of these are "live" and will update in real-time with content, others are static. The tiles can be applications, inbox folders, web site shortcuts and so on. You can mix them up and rearrange them, and pin dozens of them to the home screen. Slide the home screen to the left to access the system menu, which offers a list of all the apps/services on the device and the controls for the phone's behavior.

Settings of individual apps can be tweaked from either the system tools or within the app directly. In order to adjust app settings, look for the three little dots (probably at the bottom of the screen). This obtuse little icon is what you need to press to get at the settings.

There are no true widgets for Windows Phone, nor are there multiple home screens. You get one home screen with widget-y live tiles, and that's about it.

Worried that the Lumia 900 has a single-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 processor? Don't be. Microsoft and Qualcomm have worked together to optimize the heck out of the code. Even with a single 1.4GHz engine, the 900 absolutely flies. All applications, screen transitions, and so on were quick and smooth.

 

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