Nokia Lumia 900 Trial – Part 3: Speed, Buttons & Build Quality

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.

Speed

The Lumia is definitely faster than the Flash, but because of Windows Phone’s great performance this is only really noticeable when loading games. The Lumia loads games in about two thirds of the time the Flash does. I find it a little unfair to compare the top-of-the-line Lumia to the budget Flash, and it’s not really a big factor unless you play a lot of long-loading games. Performance during actual gameplay is identical on the ones that I’ve tried.

Buttons

My first Windows Phone, the LG Optimus 7, had exclusively physical buttons. My second and current, the Samsung Focus Flash, has touch buttons for Back and Search which I press accidentally all the time. The Lumia 900 also has touch for Start. I still miss the physical buttons on the Optimus 7, but the Lumia seems an improvement over the Flash because I don’t seem to press the buttons accidentally so often. I’m not sure why this is, but I think that the larger screen keeps my fingers off the touch buttons.

I’m left handed, and I’d much rather have the volume buttons on the left side like the Flash than the right side like the Lumia. It’s very awkward to change volume on the Lumia during calls.

Build Quality

The Lumia 900 feels very high quality. The polycarbonate exterior is way better than the cheap plastic in the Focus Flash and much lighter than the rubber and metal in the LG Optimus 7. The only negative I’ve found is that the small metallic strip surrounding the camera is scratched very easily with regular use.