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4/4/2012
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Eric Zeman
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Lumia 900: 5 Critical Questions Before You Buy

Nokia's Lumia 900, based on Microsoft Windows Phone, goes on sale April 8 for $99. Business smartphone buyers should have some questions.

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AT&T and Nokia want you to run out and buy the Lumia 900 smartphone this weekend. At just $99 with a contract, it is surely an enticing prospect. The Lumia 900 runs the latest version of Microsoft's Windows Phone, and offers a 4.3-inch display, 1.4-GHz processor, 8-megapixel camera, a polycarbonate shell, and support for AT&T's LTE 4G network.

Before you grab your wallet and run to the nearest AT&T store, however, consider these five critical factors:

4G Availability: AT&T offers its LTE 4G network in about 30 markets at the moment, with more on the way. Its population coverage is somewhere in the vicinity of 90 million, and will reach 150 million by the end of 2013. Only a few handsets are able to use AT&T's LTE network at the moment, with the 900 being the latest.

[ The marketing campaign for the Lumia 900 is well under way. Read Nokia Pits Lumia 900 Against Apple iPhone. ]

If mobile broadband service is a vital performance factor, make sure AT&T provides coverage where you live, work, and play most. If not, check to see if or when AT&T will provide coverage for your area. Even without LTE 4G, the Lumia 900 will fall back to AT&T's speedy HSPA+ network. But AT&T's LTE network is a fairly barren place at the moment, meaning there's tons of capacity available for those who sign up.

Is Windows Phone for You? Before making a two-year commitment to any phone, you should like the operating system. If you haven't used a Windows Phone yet, don't buy one sight unseen. Go to a store and play with one for a while to see if you like the user interface. It is fast enough for you? Does it have the right set of tools? Do you like the way it looks/feels?

App Support: The Windows Marketplace for Mobile may have just surpassed 80,000 applications, but that doesn't mean it has everything you need. If your business runs specialized mobile applications that are already available to the Android or iOS platforms, be sure they are also available to Windows Phone. If they aren't, then perhaps the Lumia 900 isn't the right choice. If your business develops its own applications, check to see if the development team is up to speed on Windows Phone and whether or not it is realistic for them to code an app from scratch.

Has Your Business Gone Google? If your business largely relies on Google's Web-based products and services, Windows Phone probably won't offer as much flexibility as you require. Though WP7 supports Gmail, contacts, and calendar with no problem, other critical apps such as Google Docs aren't supported.

Is Your Business Part of the RIMpire? Enterprises that rely on RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Server will find that they can't control some critical security features on Windows Phone. RIM released Mobile Fusion this week, which lets businesses manage fleets of Android and iOS devices in addition to BlackBerrys, but it doesn't include support for Windows Phone. Microsoft offers these enterprise tools separately, of course, but if you're hoping to keep the IT department happy, check with them first.

That all said, I've spent about a week using the Lumia 900 and conclude that it is a fine phone. It's not for everyone. But for Windows Phone enthusiasts, it is the "it" smartphone of the moment.

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Sandman366
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Sandman366,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/3/2012 | 12:42:32 PM
re: Lumia 900: 5 Critical Questions Before You Buy
I'm hating this phone for a couple of reasons without even trying one. First, the look of the hardware. It looks kinda like one of the smaller iPods made large for an iPhone to be stuffed inside. Second, that OS just looks hideous to me.

But the worst part by far is Microsoft's arrogant commercial. Yes, I like Win7 (a laptop), and hope Win8 flops (because that just looks hideous), but one of the Lumia's commercials is flat-out arrogant.....by saying every other smartphone is a beta test for this phone.
Though that'll come back to haunt them later if they try another phone. If the "beta test" is over, why do you need to release another phone? Was the last one also part of this "smartphone beta test" (which doesn't exist outside of their building anyway) and your commercials lied?

Oh how I wish to see what they'll say for the "sequel phone"......
EVVJSK
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EVVJSK,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/6/2012 | 1:11:58 PM
re: Lumia 900: 5 Critical Questions Before You Buy
As a former and current Nokia phone owner (3 year old Nokia E71 still doing 90% of what I want a smartphone to do), I have a bit of ax to grind with Stephen Elop and Nokia management for the direction they have taken. If they succeed, I will be happy for the employees who retain employment. If they fail, I will not be terribly surprised. The above was an expression of that frustration. It was meant less for you and other readers as it was for Nokia management (I DO realize it is unlikely that Nokia Management will ever read it).
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/4/2012 | 6:36:18 PM
re: Lumia 900: 5 Critical Questions Before You Buy
You should consider keeping your day job...
EVVJSK
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EVVJSK,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/4/2012 | 4:09:24 PM
re: Lumia 900: 5 Critical Questions Before You Buy
Easter release of 900 in hopes of Resurrecting Nokia and ending the Passover of Windows Phone by consumers. Might happen, but would have been better if 900 would have been released prior to last Christmas. I wonder if anyone at Nokia is building an Ark to provide some sort of life line (preferrably an Ark made of aluminum so as not to be affected by the burning platform) !
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