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Nokia Lumia 900 Review

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To differentiate the Lumia range from the rest of the Windows Phone brigade, Nokia have added some exclusive in-house content and partner content providers. Apps like ESPN are nothing to write home about, but I have already mentioned Nokia Music, Camera Extras and Creative Studio. Added to that is the crowning jewel of the Nokia ecosystem, Nokia Maps and Drive. Nokia Drive is as expected superlative, true offline navigation with a great set of navigation algorithms. Nokia Maps, however, is curious. Despite having maps for South Africa downloaded on the device, it only ever downloads map content online. Indeed, switch off data connections, and Nokia Maps is useless. I can understand perhaps for fetching point of interest data, but having said that this works perfectly fine on Symbian and MeeGo with no need for an internet connection.

If you come from a Symbian device, then Windows Phone offers a far better experience both in terms of the number and variety of application. It still has quite a way to go to catch Google Play, nevermind iOS, but I was happy that the majority of apps and services I use were catered for. Of course, for app-hungry folk there will be a deficit but as things stands the app ecosystem is satisfactory, though it could and it looks like will get better.

Like with Android devices and Google accounts, and Symbian/MeeGo and Nokia accounts, a Windows Live account is required. While there is a decent mail and PIM experience, better since the switch to Outlook.com, this is not mandatory. The account is required to access the store, as well as using social networks with the People hub. Striking Windows Live from view is as easy as disabling email sync, hiding calendar entries and filtering out contacts. You won’t even know it exists. Search on device is through Bing, no different to Android and Google search of course, and despite a naturally preference from sustained experience of Google search, I have no issues with Bing being the default search provider

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By , Columnist, Johannesburg office

Published on Aug 27th, 2012 GMT +2

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