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Nokia Lumia 900 Review

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As I said, the People hub is where communication happens. In addition there is also a Me hub. The system really is quite clever. I signed in to my Facebook and Twitter profiles, and also my Gmail account. The People Hub has three views. What’s New is a feed view of social networks. This can be filtered which unfortunately was an ‘all or one’ filter. Recent presents contacts that you have interacted with and this brings together all interactions, social network mentions, text messages, emails, calls. The contacts are presented as live titles.. The last view All is the phonebook. The top placeholder is reserved for you, showing your most recent post. Then an alphabetical list of contacts. These contacts can be from any source, and unlike the feed view, you can decide how many sources are used to populate this. Contacts can be linked. The system does attempt to do it automatically, but for my list only exact matches were linked. Once a contact is linked across multiple networks and sources, you can then theoretically communicate with them through any medium direct from their contact card. Each contact card has pivoting views, their profile, feeds from their linked social networks photos and communication history.

Social network integration on Windows Phone is good enough. I gave myself the challenge of using the People and Me hub as my getway to social network and found that a few quibbles aside it was a workable system. Consuming feeds is done via the People hub while posting is done via the Me hub. The biggest flaw is the lack of support from private messages for all networks. While for example I generally avoid Facebook inbox messages I generally use Direct Messaging in Twitter often enough. It would be great if one could upload photos directly from here but to be fair it is seamless from the Photo app. For Twitter, I was disappointed about the lack of a reply-all function or tweet favouriting. Mentioning users can only be initiated from a user’s contact card, as there is no autofill of twitter handles when posting a tweet.

The Messaging app handles text messages and instant messaging. Facebook chat worked perfectly fine with me, though I rarely use IM so I didn’t test this as much. The Phone app does precisely what one expects of it. Something what did irk me was the poor support for USSD codes. USSD on prepaid makes purchasing bundles and loading airtime. Windows Phone only supports one line of command, which led to the ridculousness of having to call customer service to load a data bundle.

The email experience is stunning. There is an argument to be made that the Gmail experience is sub-par but that’s a Google-centric view, and poses a problem where one uses many of the Gmail specific features that are only really well presented on an Android device. I linked my three main accounts, Work via Exchange, Gmail and Nokia Mail. Emails are arranged as subject threads. There is full folder support, push works serenely and it is all presented in a beautiful panoramic view.

Nokia Lumia 900

To complete the picture is the Windows Phone keyboard which is probably my favourite virtual keyboard on a mobile phone. And my sample: Symbian, MeeGo, various Android keyboards and the iOS keyboard on the iPhone 4S. It is clever and works really well on the 4.3” display, making communication an absolute breeze with this device.

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By , Columnist, Johannesburg office

Published on Aug 27th, 2012 GMT +2

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