The Nokia Lumia 900 Gets Updated in US

This has been a busy and bumpy year for the Nokia Lumia 900.  Just released this spring, it was already declared a dead-end device by Microsoft shortly after its arrival as Microsoft announced that Windows Phone 7.5 phones wouldn’t be updated to Windows Phone 8.  Although this wasn’t a complete surprise (due to the hardware limitations of the current devices), many of us hoped some of the features of Windows Phone 8 would eventually make it to Windows Phone 7.5 devices.  As of this writing thought, it looks like a rather limited set of features will eventually appears in the upcoming Windows Phone 7.8 update (not due until after Windows Phone 8 ships later this fall).

In the meantime, Nokia continues to do their best to continue to support their users. They just released the latest update to Windows Phone 7.5.  This is not the promised 7.8 update, but rather, it is the update commonly referred to as “Tango”. We first heard that the Tango update was appearing on Nokia’s servers for the Lumia 900 a week or so ago, and now it’s finally available thought the Microsoft update process as well. Tango is a mixed bag as it brings smaller improvements and enhancements, especially on lower-end devices and it was promised long before the ill-timed MS Windows Phone 8 announcement.

This update contains a number of improvements including the “flip to silence” feature that allows you to silence a ringing phone by flipping it over (face-down) and improvements to the camera software (kind of a sore spot of the device despite the 8MP Carl Zeiss optics). In addition, there are a number of general performance enhancements like a fix for the purple tint that affected some phones, improvements in the startup process (especially when coming from a drained battery), and improvements int he performance of the proximity sensor.

I installed the update last night and I can tell you that, so far, the camera seems to do a better job than before, especially in lower light conditions. I think the camera on the iPhone 4s is still tops, but this seems to be a big improvement.

I will be using update over the next few days to see how the other improvements really shake out and I will update this posting with my findings.

It’s not what we were hoping for but it is still nice to see Nokia fulfilling its promise to continue its support for its customers!

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17 replies

  1. I updated it yesterday, and like you didn’t see anything yet that struck me as outstanding, more an incremental feature update as you noted in your article. Kudos to Nokia for pushing updates to the Lumia!

    On another note (thread drift, sorry!), I’m seriously considering selling my Lumia 900. It’s a great, stable phone but after spending some time with an iPhone the ergonomic differences are quite obvious to me: for me the 900 is simply too big. I guess I’m a throwback since I prefer a smaller form factor and simple one-handed phone use. Yes the Lumia has 4G/LTE (no LTE for me yet), so that is one issue and a better…okay FREE…NAV app. Nevertheless…I dunno…the smaller iPhone just integrates better with my usage style. And oh those 3rd party hardware accessories…

    • Funny you say that Bryan- I sold my iPhone 4Son eBay last week and am currently using an HTC ONE X. I’m not a huge Android fan but I do like the phone. EXCEPT… I am finding it too big. I love the screen for reading and viewing video etc but from a usability perspective it falls short because I NEED two hands to do most things.

      • Precisely. The two-handedness of most newer, larger phones seems very awkward. For my Lumia, as I am right-handed I hold the phone in my left hand to use it and the dialpad (when not using voice commands), but if I need to make a call I switch the phone to my right hand to use. I suppose I could force myself to use my left hand to hold the phone, but that would feel odd to me.

        • I am with you guys … I love the keyboard on my Droid 4, but it is a BRICK. This weekend I was cleaning my ‘old cell phone’ drawer and was fiddling with my Droid Pro and Palm Pixi Plus … they are so light and comfortable … I would jump to an iPhone 4S in a second if it wasn’t for the whole money and contract thing.

          • In hindsight, I think the Lumia 800, aside from the slightly lower color depth (16 vs 24-bit) would have been a better ergonomic choice for me in terms of a Windows Phone (very similar in size to say in iPhone), alas no subsidized variant existed in the US. Except for our giveaway earlier this year. 😉

            • Yup, besides the OS I’m finding the size of the HTC ONE X to be difficult.
              Sent from my iPad

              • I’d be curious hearing about your impressions on Android.

                    • Funny and… true.

                      Two days with it and I am reminded why i have always described it as Windows Mobile for 2012.

                      The phone burned 2GB of data in under 2 days. I called ATT and was told “you need to get an app killer or that will keep happening”

                      That is reason enough for me to not be a fan

                      Sent from my iPad

                    • I definitely can’t be called an Android fan – there is too much that still feels inconsistent or unfinished (although JB is so much better than previous versions!). It really feels like all the things that were right and wrong with Windows Mobile are the same things that are right and wrong with Android – no difference at all. WP might be missing apps, but it never felt inconsistent or incomplete as an OS and iOS feels just like a comfortable old pair of shoes – yeah it’s a little dull but it’s so comfortable and never lets me down!

            • It interesting – my hands aren’t big, but my fingers are long so the Lumia 900 doesn’t feel oversized to me because it is thin and narrow and I can operate it one-handed, but the HTC Titan which is a touch wider is uncomfortable to operate and my HTC Evo 3D was too wide to be operated one-handed. But yes, I agree, the iPhone is just a perfect size for one-handed operation. I’m not convinced that a bigger iPhone is the right move for Apple (and I’ve been on record saying that in the past as well – lol). But then I also don’t think they should dramatically change their “boring” old interface either!

  2. More on-topic, I have joined the critical chorus about MS handling of all of this stuff – and particularly the poorly times ‘end of the beta test’ campaign. But I am glad to see that Nokia is at least trying to help out those people who bought the abandoned product …

    • I totally agree with you, Mike. Microsoft burned a lot of Win Phone adopters, but Nokia has done a lot in trying to maintain their product.

      • If I decide at some point to get a WP8 device, it will be a Nokia or nothing! Nokia has done more than any other WP manufacturer to support the platform and their users. I’ve seen nothing much of value come from Samsung or HTC by way of supporting their WP users, but Nokia seems to continuously be sponsoring apps and updates. Can’t wait to see Words with Friends – another title Nokia is bringing to the table first.