Nokia Lumia 900 Trial – Part 2: Screen, Apps & Sound

Nokia has loaned me an AT&T Lumia 900 to try out via its Trial a Nokia program. I’ve been using the phone for about a week and I’d like to share my thoughts on it. It will mostly be a comparison with my current phone, a factory-unlocked Samsung Focus Flash. I will not review Windows Phone, only the phone and its particular features.

Screen

The Lumia’s ClearBlack display is not only large, but very, very good quality. Despite the lower DPI than the Flash (larger size, same resolution), I cannot really notice pixilation. The screen also works great in sunlight, something that has really surprised me. It does have to wait a little less than a minute to become usable (probably due to the adaptive brightness), but once it does it’s an enormous improvement over the Flash’s Super AMOLED display which is useless in the sun.

Apps

I thought Nokia Transit and Nokia Maps would be killer apps. They aren’t. Many free transit apps in the Marketplace are way better than Nokia Transit. Nokia Maps is about as good as Bing Maps, and Bing Maps search seems to work better, at least here in Seattle. I’m sure Nokia Maps are better outside the US, but other free apps in the store like Gmaps makes buying a Nokia phone just for the maps experience a bad reason. I don’t drive, so I didn’t test Nokia Drive.

Sound

I don’t know if the problem is the phone or AT&T (I use my unlocked Focus Flash on T-Mobile), but the sound quality during calls is much worse in the Lumia 900. It feels muffled and very hard to understand. I’ll try to test it further and see if it improves.