Thursday, April 05, 2012

Nokia's AT&T Lumia 900 is inexpensive, and the hardware shows why

If you were wondering how Nokia and AT&T could offer the Lumia 900 at such a low price ($99.99 with a two-year contract), the answer to us seemed obvious: hardware that was under-specced compared to the competition. A new teardown confirms what was already suspected (expected).

We already knew many of the specifications of the device:
  • Single-core 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 processor (when top phones carry dual- and soon quad-core)
  • 512MB of RAM (top Android phones carry 1GB of RAM)
  • 3.7-inch AMOLED display (800 x 480) (larger than an iPhone, but smaller than today's Android phones, and definitely underspecced as far as resolution)
  • 16GB of internal storage
  • 802.11 b/g/n WLAN
  • Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR
  • 8MP rear-facing camera
  • 1MP front-facing camera
  • Dimensions: 5.03 inches (H) x 2.70 inches (W) x 0.45 inches (D)
  • Weight: 5.6 ounces (same width and height as the Galaxy Nexus, but slightly thicker and heavier; bigger and heavier overall compared to iPhone 4S. -Specializing in Cheap Flights
A few points: the device does have less RAM than the Galaxy Nexus and other new Android devices like the Droid 4 (both with 1GB). However, it has the same RAM as the iPhone 4S. Although more is always better, memory use in a platform and apps make a big difference, so 512MB on WP or iOS might be just as good or even better than 1GB on Android.

In terms of screen resolution, the newest Android phones come in at 1280 x 720 and the iPhone 4 and 4S at 960 x 640, so the Lumia 900s 800 x 400 comes up short. It also reportedly has a problem with color oversaturation, but that's a common problem with AMOLED phones.

The phone definitely is not going to compete with either Android or iPhone in terms of gaming. That's not its focus, but truly, the hardware is too under-powered for that.

That said, this is still the best Windows Phone yet made. Some might add "which isn't saying much," but we've played with it, and it's quite snappy. As we've said before, however, if Microsoft is going to make an impact it will mostly be with those who have not yet switched to a smartphone.

Every app downloaded to an iOS or Android device is one more reason for that user to NOT switch to a different platform. That is why Microsoft's late entry to the market with a next-generation (now, current generation) smartphone platform has hurt them.

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