The Nokia Lumia 900 isn't going to save Windows Phone or Nokia

Time to put things back into perspective. I’m assuming that you all have already glanced over most of the Nokia Lumia 900 reviews today and noticed that the general consensus is that the device is great but definitely not earth shattering. Well, this was to be expected when you see it for what it really is: an over-sized Lumia 800 (with a Gyro, LTE modem and FF Cam) or more accurately a Samsung Focus S with an LTE Modem (and obviously better materials). Any sane person who isn’t a rabid Microsoft fanboy or hater would agree with this. Unfortunately not much more can be done with the current Windows Phone 7 chassis hardware specifications so Nokia and other OEMS are stuck releasing essentially the same phones until Windows Phone 8 Apollo is finally unleashed. Case in point: the Nokia Lumia 800 / 900 camera is undoubtedly held back by the Qualcomm MSM8x55 ISP. Nokia is known to use it’s own imaging silicon for its handsets but was unfortunately not allowed to do so in the Lumia line of devices (reason why the N9 with the exact same Sensor shoots better photos..). This will have to change soon if the Finnish company plans to pack its future flagship Windows Phone handset with the PureView 41MP camera. Fortunately we have learned that the Camera stack will be fully customizable by the OEMs in Windows Phone 8.

Speaking of WP8, there’s now the update issue looming over the Lumia 900 launch and gigantic marketing blitz. We are now getting close to HTC HD2 levels of insanity in terms of unknown when it comes to the upgrade path to Windows Phone 8 for the 1st Gen and 2nd Gen Windows phone 7 devices. In the case of the HTC HD2 we all knew that it for the most part conformed to the Chassis 1 specs but Microsoft decided that sacrifice its historical Windows Mobile fanbase and start from scratch with the WP7 launch in fall 2010. No big deal I guess as this allowed HTC to milk the same hardware platform with the HTC HD7 and HTC HD7S…meh. Unfortunately not allowing current 2nd Gen WP7 handsets to upgrade to Windows Phone 8 would be pure suicide on Microsoft’s part especially after all the hoopla that AT&T, Nokia are going to do this month. Imagine buying what is supposedly the carrier’s flagship handset and be notified a few weeks/months later that your device won’t be update to the latest OS iteration. This would be worst than the Android situation. The mystery here is that nobody outside of Microsoft and its OEM partners knows if the current handsets are powerful enough to cope with the new software unlike the HTC HD2 situation.
So is the Nokia Lumia 900 a disappointment? Nope, it’s the best Windows Phone 7 handset on the market and the best that can be done with the current restrictions enforced by Microsoft. The price is also right: $99 on contract or even $49.99 on Amazon (lick on the banners below). But this ain’t the Messiah that will make Windows Phone gain huge marketshare this year or get Nokia to the top spot in the smartphone market. Execution and marketing is going to be the key here and Microsoft will have to come clean as soon as possible on the Windows Phone 8 upgrade situation. The next BIG THING is, believe it or not, Windows 8. Microsoft will have to perfectly market its refreshed OS later this year alongside it’s mobile WP8 version to finally get so traction outside of the relatively small Windows Phone fanbase. Things are just getting started….


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