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From the Forums: Anyone keeping their Lumia 900 past 30 days?

WP Central

The Lumia 900 has been out for a little over a week now and as people start to get over the "new phone wow factor" they start to notice the little things. Some of those little things become more of a big thing if that is the feature you need or use most. That leads us to today's hottest thread in which we are discussing the Lumia 900's camera.

Nokia made the Lumia 900 without a BSI (backside-illuminated) sensor and this sensor (which is included in most high end smartphones) increases the amount of photons captured in low light situations. Without this sensor, the Lumia 900 camera struggles for greatness. But in well-lit situations the camera is on par with other comparably priced phones. You can get more information about the Lumia 900 camera in our review here.

"Anyone Keeping Lumia 900 past 30 days?" Is the title of today's hottest thread in the WPCentral Forums. Forum member nokia4life wants to know a few things including will you be keeping your Lumia 900 and what about the Lumia's camera:

Okay so i left iOS and Android to comeback to WP and I do love WP. Can i ask an honest question, will any of you be returning the Lumia 900 before the 30 days is up? I ask this because since our phone has been released (rushed to market) its been plagued by some issues.

I thank them for getting a software fix out asap to address the data issue however no one from Nokia or Microsoft has even addressed the camera which is a big selling point. You just don't throw Carl Zeiss around and make statements at CES and Mobile World Congress about how powerful this camera would be for it not to be true. I am going to try and tough it out until the next Nokia release but this is starting to upset me that they are not even addressing how bad this is. And for those folks that say this is a cell phone not a camera i agree however if they advertise it one way it should perform that way. what are your thoughts folks?

You can imagine that this thread has received a lot of replies some good and some bad.

Forum member ftap23 is not happy with the Lumia's camera and had this to say:

Apple iPhone 4s, HTC high end phones including the Mytouch 4g slide and more recent models like the one x, and Samsung S2 models all use BSI. The HTC Titan 2 has excellent camera with BSI. It should be standard in most high end phones automatically

Even apple iPhone 4 released in 2010 has a BSI with its 5mp camera.

So Nokia while known for optics really took a short cut by leaving out the BSI on the Lumia 900. Maybe this saves them $15? In costs?

I love a lot of things about this phone but I hate the camera. If camera and shooting in low light is important to u. Than return the phone. No software will fix a missing piece of hardware

Are the issues with the camera permanent? Is there nothing that Nokia can do with a software patch?  RiseAgainst94:

 I'm just frustrated that these pictures pale in comparison to other devices. I want to be able to show off what my phone can do. It's disappointing especially with Nokia having released a phone over a year ago with superior capabilities. Also, after seeing the huge difference with pictures taken vs pictures edited it just seems Nokia could refine the pictures more with their software.

Time will tell if anything can be done to improve the Lumia 900 camera and that brings us back to the other question on the table. Will you be keeping your Lumia 900, even knowing its shortcomings? Forum Moderator duvi sounds like he is okay with the camera and keeping his Lumia 900:

People will not pay $100 more. I've been in the cell phone business for a while; in to cell phones since I was a pre-teen and the price point makes a difference. You and I may pay for it, but others wouldn't. The extra $100 off made me jump and go buy it. I would have purchased it no matter what, but definitely put the pep in my step

Forum member jbjtkbw007 had this to say.

I've been preaching Android since 11-5-2009 when I got my OG Motorola Droid. I'm now typing this on my Lumia 900. I absolutely will be keeping mine past 30. You'll have to pry the phone out of my dead hands before I give it up. I'm a convert

In fact, we can't find one person so far that has decided to return there Lumia 900. At the low price of $100 (on contract) and even free to some of the early adopters (Nokia rebate) the Lumia 900 seems to be the right device at the right price. 

What do you think? Let us know in the comments if you will be keeping your Lumia 900 or you can go to our forums for the more in depth discussion. 

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Reader comments

From the Forums: Anyone keeping their Lumia 900 past 30 days?

59 Comments

You can't find, but according to stores there are people who are returning their phones. It's an unfortunate side effect of metro which people get really scared by because they don't know how to use it. 
Two of my friends, both whom are female, have the Lumia 800. After a bit of struggling they're finally used to it and they say it's fast and great to use. 
I feel if people just waited a little bit while using it, they'd be fine with it. 

Will be sticking to Lumia but exchanging it for a Blue or White by next Sunday. If the only color available was black I would have chose the TITAN II. but I can't resist the white ot blue they just look so awesome and beautiful. Nothing against the black one that I have but it doesn't differentiate that much from other phones at first sight.

So you bought a brand new phone with the intention of returning it because of a colour change? Get a case. I hope they refuse the swap.

You have thirty days to exchange or do whatever the hell you want. This site doesn't need your jack ass comments. And so what if he changed his mind about the color? Does it really .atter?

He probably works retail like me lol sometimes the entitlement customers have is out of control these days.

I didn't buy it with the intention if returning it. I just realized that the camera sucks compare to the TITAN I had. So if I was to keep a black phone I would rather get the TITAN II. But because I want to keep supporting Nokia I'm going to get a White or Blue. I hope that's ok with you sir lol

I live in an incredibly small market. When I say small I mean that I have been an orginal Focus owner since last March and have only seen one other person with the WP platform since. To Microsoft's credit,   I will say that I am perhaps in the most heavily saturrated Verizon markert in potentially the lower 48 states.No offense to you VZW users but I just don't think I could settle for the Trophy so I understany why I haven't seen much as far as WP7 goes around these parts.
Recently a friend and co-worker of mine had his HTC Android (somthing, God there are a million Android devices) finally kick the bucket. Even those he was a serious Fandroid, I convinced him to give the Windows Phone platform a chance. He agreed and long story short fell in love with the 900.   He began by constantly telling people how refreshing and incredibly smooth the Windows OS is and wouldn't have it any other way.
After awhile, he began to deveolop a gripe (shocker here) about the camera.  After seeing the pictures my Focus produced he just couldn't believe how bad the pictures his new "Cadillac" phone produced. I let him know he wasn't the only one that felt this way about the 900 and pointed out some of the advantages it has over plenty of other devices on the market.   While I don't think he will throw in the towel on the OS because of this, I know it bothers him enough that he perhaps won't be as eager to reccomend the OS to others.  Now, I know that this isn't directly the operating system's fault and that it's based mostly on hardware. However I don't think that the average user will differenciate between software and hardware when it comes to shortcomings like the camera in the 900.  
To quote a preious poster, you don't just throw around the Carl Zeiss name without backing it up with decent camera optics/hardware. Afterall, this is the same company that is now touting a 41 megapixel camera on a phone.  I just hope it lives up to half the hype when it comes to photo quality that the 900 was supposedly reported to have. 

That's a great point. people don't differentiate hardware and software. Its a package deal to most consumers so I could see the 900s camera turning off some. This goes both ways too though as I think people associate their androids with higher spec tech because of marketing and what the sales reps tell them despite a weaker OS experience.

Chances are we could be neighbors. I love that Verizon has great coverage even in some pretty rural areas where I live but their stance on WP drives me nuts. I have a Focus on AT&T for that reason...and ok coverage.
Personally, I don't care about cell phone cams, but Nokia had better.

They are going to pay for that phone over the next two years - so they have full right to complain if anything is wrong with it.

I am definitely keeping mine past 30 days. I rarely use cellphone cameras but if I do there is always plenty of light on the subject.

I can't say I take many low light photos and when I do I expect them to suck. As long as it takes primo day time photos im gonna buy it

Oh, I'm definitely keeping my Lumia 900 phones.  I was one of the unfortunate ones who was losing data connection and checking Twitter, may have been the first to report the problem.  Not sure about that.  Anyway, I exchanged both phones (that I paid full retail price for) and am now a happy camper.  I took a photo in low light situation and didn't see anything wrong with it. I also did a video with nothing more than the DJ's colored lighting and it came out very nice and all who saw it said it was fantastic.  So I really don't know what people are complaining about, unless they are trying to shoot in total darkness.  Unfortunately I no longer have those images because they were on the original phone that I exchanged and since I had no data connection, they weren't uploaded to my Skydrive account.  Only way I'll get a new phone is if Nokia comes out with a 5" or better one.  LOL  That way I can just get rid of my laptop.

I returned mine, not because of the camera but because of touch sensitivity issues. Touch really feels off on this device compared to the Radar and Lumia 800.

I thought, scrolling improved(as per public liking, though earlier had no issues, but a different implementation) after the latest update. 

I just got back from the MS store and it does seem that touch perf improved with the update! I am still sticking with the 800 though for now. I might get it again when the white version comes out.

I'm still on the fence at the moment. I've had my iPhone 4 since the day it came out, and I was looking forward to the Lumia 900 since CES. I received it on April 6th, as I pre-ordered it. Of course, if I'm going to leave my Apple eco system and get locked in for 2 years, this phone needs to deliever (in my eyes). Yes, the camera situation does bother me, and I've been comparing them side by side. For shots taken outside,  iPhone 4 has better colors and the Lumia 900 is brighter, but not better. Inside shots, the iPhone 4 wins hands down. The other huge issue is audio. I used my iPhone for all my audio needs, including while exercising, and it's way better than the Lumia 900, which has no EQ settings to help out. And now, It's looking that the Lumia 900 will not be compatible with Apollo (rumored), and if that's basically true, it's a deal breaker. Why lock myself in to a 2 year contract with the Lumia 900 if the phone's OS cannot be upgraded? This is the same thing that happened with WM 6.5 on that huge HTC phone that came out last year, and I took that phone back once I found out the OS would/could not be upgraded. Even with all of that, I do enjoy the Lumia 900, as the OS is fluid and fast, and fun to use. The bigger screen is welcome and the build is outstanding, but not sure if that's enough.

I have to disagree with you on the audio quality of the Lumia 900 vs the iPhone 4.  Audio on the Lumia 900 is better than that of the iPhone, and yes I am an audiophile.  With my Studio Beats, it's even better.  If nothing more, the iPhone and Lumia 900 have equal audio capabilities IMO. I especially love the fact Nokia put the speak at the bottom of the phone, just like Apple did with the iPhone.
 
As for the Apollo "discussion", I wouldn't read into any of the rumors going around.  MS needs to come out and talk about Apollo, but most likely will not until after Tango has been released to the masses.  I for one am being positive, and believe that MS (and Nokia) will get AT&T to "approve" the upgrade for the Lumia 900 and Titian II.  I certainly hope they will for all Gen2 devices.  I can understand not doing it for Gen1 (it'll be past 2 years, so folks should be able to upgrade their devices with the 2yr commit pricing.)

First, a bit about where I am coming from…

I live in Miami Florida and presently have been using a Samsung Focus S since it was first introduced by ATT with WP7. I have really grown attached to it. It’s a great device.

I purchased the Nokia Lumina 900 for a few reasons…

1) Primarily - early purchase with contract renewal (free – thanks to the data issue). I’m a geek so how could I resist?

2) Potentially - better internet data speeds with LTE – particularly with laptop connect service

3) Supposed better camera then the Focus S

4) I thought I read somewhere that it had an FM transmitter which would have been great for my car since I don’t have a Bluetooth hookup. As it turns out, I don’t see this feature

5) The additional Nokia software (particularly drive)

Now that I have had the phone for about 3 days and completely tested it out, my thoughts are as follows…

The biggest negative when coming from the Focus S is the weight of the Lumina. This phone (by far) feels heavier in the pocket the Samsung Focus S (probably because it is). Of course there are those who may prefer this because it feels like it’s built to withstand almost anything.

I don’t see any better battery life then I did with the Focus S. I usually turn all background tasks off so I am pretty consistent in this comparison.

I’m not that concerned about the camera because I am avid photographer hobbyist and would never consider any type of cell phone camera comparable to what I can do with a real digital SLR and some post processing. The fact that the camera is better than the Focus S is simply enough to make me happy

As far as LTE goes – I see no service in Miami so I don’t see any benefit in this area yet. However, I have no problem with the advertised 4G service

Regarding the Nokia software, it’s ok but Nokia Drive pales in comparison to the ATT Navigator service (where available in the US). I tested Nokia drive the other day, drive about 20 miles and not once was there a street name mentioned. The mapping and “turn by turn” directions were sufficient but I prefer to hear actual street names rather than “turn left here” or “stay to the right”, etc…). I guess, in areas where there is no data connection available for ATT navigator, Nokia drive will have some benefit.

One nice surprise – ATT is providing Visual Voice Mail on this device – I hear it’s a benefit of the LTE service. No need for Google Voice going forward.

Lastly, here is the final reason I may continue with this device…

The call quality is excellent. The speaker sounds great and for the first time since using the Focus S, the people I call on the 900 don’t ask me to turn off the speaker phone because of the unruly echo they hear (regardless of the echo cancellation settings on the Focus S). If call quality is important to you (as I would suspect – since the device is a phone) – this may be a deciding factor.

If I cannot get past the weight factor, I could simply swap back to the Focus S and keep the 900 as a backup (since after all – it’s supposedly free with the upgrade and Nokia rebate). However, for those in a similar situation, keep in mind that the 900s SIM card is a smaller form factor then the Focus S - so once ATT transfers you to the 900 and changes your data plan to LTE, you would need a new SIM card in order to switch back to the Focus S.

I hope this information is helpful

I believe, not announcing street names is the only thing that it can pale against AT&T navigator. Else considering, that you are so dependent on data and also battery life effect, I would go for offline version only, if I had a choice, which you have with Nokia Drive. 
(I miss that heavily now on my iphone, and hence have not kept my Nokia 5800 in my car, just for navigation and music player) 
I use Nokia drive equivalent on my symbian phone, which also does  not announce street names. Initially it was awkward for me too after switching from a stand-alone PND. But after few days, I got used to it and also I liked Nokia's UI where they essentially zoom into the turn area, so it just requires a quick peek, if you needed to, else turn right/left,etc worked out fine. Only place where it can pale, is for u-turn, since it did not tell you to make u-turn always. But not sure, how the new version is. I had 1 year old version on my phone. 
 
 

It does have an fm radio built in. Its in the music&video tile. Once you open swipe till you get to the Zune player and you will see radio tap that and start looking for your radio stations. One thing though you have to have headphones plugged in as the device will use the headphones as an antenna.

The Camera is better than the Focus S IMO.  While the Lumia 900 doesn't have a BSI, it still takes good photos.  As for the weight, I actually didn't like the flimsiness of the Focus S (or the Galaxy S hardware for that matter), and don't have an issue with the weight of the Lumia.  I haven't tried Nokia Drive yet, but why wouldn't you plug in your device to charge while using it?  There are more issues with the Focus S (had an original Focus and loved it) that I'm glad I have the Lumia.  I won't be returning it.

Yall I love my Lumia 900! I left Tmobile for it. I am not keen in the two year contract though and I don't trust ATT. I already have an N8. It has twice the features as my lumia but I hate typing on it and browsing the web. I think i may have to return this lumia though. I love it, but hate being locked in for 2 yrs.

Seriously???  You knew that you didn't trust AT&T and you knew that you didn't want to be locked in for 2years.  But you got the phone anyway... only to return it?
 
So in other words, you just wanted to play with the phone?  Returns are just leave a negative impression; one of the main grips from many of the sales people is that they don't like recommending WP because of the returns. 
 

The camera was terribly disappointing on my Dell Venue Pro, and was the biggest reason I was excited Nokia was releasing Windows Phones. I was going to hold out for the White Lumia 900, but I do not plan on purchasing it now. The camera would be an upgrade over the DVP, but I also have to switch to AT&T, which means $30/mo or $360/year more I'm spending. No thanks!

The camera certainly is not the best especially from Nokia but  I have both Htc Radar and DVP and I just gave my out my HD7 to my younger brother and the Lumia 900 camera if far better than any of these phones mentioned here. I personally dont have any problem with the camera because I can edit and polish these pictures anytime. 

I must say that a lot of things about Nokia bug me.
It all started when they announced Lumia 800 as 'first true Windows Phone' - it sounded extremely hollow as everyone knows that they just reused N9 design (and did it again later with Lumia 900).
Then all the reports of glitches appeared - battery, camera, touch screen, sound, etc.
Then I got my hands on 800 and it was quite disappointing in real life - with plasticy feel, pentile screen, and underwhelming camera. Granted they fixed most bugs, but the hardware feel and functions are not something that can be fixed.
Then the Lumia 900 launch happened - and once again Nokia made the same mistake with launch glitches - this time with network connectivity and once again camera.
And they keep on banging about their cameras when it is damn clear that they are far from the best on the market...
I just hope they will up their game A LOT - it's not like they are in position to be able to afford a lot of mistakes... I kept my 800 last year, and I hope you guys will keep your 900s now - you lot had far few issues from the get go (Nokia had learned it appears).

 
You realize that Nokia practically saved windows phone while the opposite can’t really be said at this point.

I have been using WP for about a year, and love my new Lumia 900.  Even though it got the data bug and I had to update the software through zune.
With regard to the camera, it is a MAJOR upgrade over my prior LG quantum, which was only ok re: the camera.  My biggest issue was using it properly, especially the auto fix feature with indoor photos.  The overall experience has been great and the video feature is spectacular.  As mentioned, it really is a little different from my od phone, so took some work to get better.
I am definitely keeping it, and will upgrade to another Nokia phone when I do upgrade.  I usually keep a phone for about a year or less.

i love my lumia 900 probably the best phone ive owned and ive owned quite a few
WHY:
Call quality
Camera quality (no photographer but works great)
Screen is great idk if its just me but i love the brightness
WP7 Platform in general love it
Design is sexy still think its the best out on the market
mine is cyan :P
 
I think people nowadays expect so much from their phones that they forget that its a phone i think thats a serious issue people lol.

Well, I think I've found the perfect balance. I have already owned a MOTOROLA ATRIX 4G for 3/4 of a year now, and I just bought the Lumia 900 on Thursday. I tend to use them for different things, my Lumia's for wherever I go, and my ATRIX is for long trips for games and apps. But even though the Lumia is missing that wonderful BSI sensor, it still far surpasses the my ATRIX's camera, and same goes for screen quality even though it has a much lower ppi. If you're looking to get a phone just for the camera, then why not just buy an actual camera instead? I'm its still a really great camera but it really shouldn't be a make or brake point. If you really need to take a lot of pictures then you should buy a camera, at least that's what I believe anyway.

My wife will not give up her cyan 900! She will not even let me touch it. I will have to stick with my titan because of contracts...

I went from a pre-pay service to join the behomoth AT&T corporate ranks all for a bright blue Lumia 900. After a couple weeks I'm considering jumping ship and going back to the pre-pay. I am willing to shell out the extra $50 a month for 2 years if that means I feel it's worth the money. While I've had no problems with AT&T, I can't say I'm convinced the Lumia is worth it. 
In a lot of ways it reminds me of when the iPhone 3G launched: a fledgling app store, not-so-great-camera, and lots of missing features which eventually got added a year later. 
Perhaps my biggest annoyances is the lack of integrated video-calling. I know it's possible with 3rd party software, but how many of my friends are on Tango? Zero. Am I going to try to convince them to download and sign-up for Tango on their iPhones just so I can video-chat with them? No, because it's too much of a pain for everyone. So it remains unused. 
My second is the audio. I commute 4 hours a day by bus and train. During my commute I would at least like to enjoy some bass. No. There is no built-EQ. Not even an app in the sad marketplace for a sound enhancer. The sound is flat and anemic, no matter how much I turn it up. 
There are many other quirks I'm not sure I can deal with. Bing acting strange (searching for 'windows phone sound enhancer' and 'sound enhancer windows phone' will bring up different results; one being product shopping for HTC phones, the other website results), the lack of customizing the live tiles size, the spam-like apps of the marketplace (Fart Nukes for every app search? Really?), no audiobook support (besides making playlists), the lack of development standards in the apps (auto-resume should be mandatory) and other minor UI gripes. 
I am loathe to go back to my crappy little pre-paid Android phone but at least I knew what I was/wasn't paying for. With the Lumia I can't help feeling like I'm beta-testing a phone and OS that could be great in a few more years. But the cost of being that beta-tester just doesn't seem worth it right now.

As much as I hate Monster Audio, you really need to pick up a pair of Beats Solo HD's ($99), or the Studio's if you can shell out $299.  Yeah, I'll probably get flamed, but I love the audio quality they bring.  No need for an EQ.  Besides, I truly believe MS is afraid of EQ's, as folks like me have been asking for an EQ on the Zune PMP's and the Zune client.  But, I have an HP Envy 14 Beats Edition, and Beats headphones, so no lack of bass there.
 
Windows Phone 8 will have Skype built into the Phone Hub, so you can make calls.  They should support video calling features as well.  However, that's just speculation by me, since MS has not come out and officially talked about Apollo features (other than they did say Skype would be part of the OS and not an app like it is today.)
 
I also completely agree that every single app needs to have the Fast App Resume feature, and that needs to be a requirement for Mango-ready apps.
 
I'm not giving up my Cyan Lumia 900 BTW.

It still stuns me how some get so bent out of shape over a little criticism.....over a phone no less. And believe me, I enjoy technology and gadgets like anyone else. But at the end of the day, they're just things that really don't mean much in the grand scheme of it all

I am keeping it for sure over 30 days. I needed the best integrated phone with Microsoft exchange and office and this phone is the best for it. I switched from iPhone 4s after missing 4 important meeting schedules because iPhone calendar is not so good at it. I am very happy as I got what I need. Other small issues at least to me is something that I can leave with or ignore or wait for updates. With the recent incident of software update I have more confidence in Nokia's agility on dealing with issues. So my decision is to stay with Nokia.

The forum thread referenced, and certain comments here just reinforce what I've been teaching my kids; some people are only happy when they complain.

Well funny you mention that...
1. I left feedback/comment with AT&T about the Lumia - what I liked and didn't like. They emailed me saying they killed my comment. My worst offending comment? I didn't like the camera. I thought the iPhone 4 one was better.
2. I left feedback on Facebook about the Lumia. Same words, even mentioned the camera. A buddy from Microsoft asked if they could forward the comments to Microsoft.
Sometimes I wonder if AT&T can be it's worst enemy...

Honestly, I didnt' even know you could return a phone if it wasn't passed 30 days. You know why? Because I do my research and I know what I'm getting. When I went in and ordered my Cyan Lumia this last weekend, I didn't go look at it first. I ordered it without ever having even touched it. THEN I went and looked at what would soon be my new phone. My wife even said to me "you're not going to go look at it first?" Nope, I know what I'm getting. I guarantee the OP got his Lumia with the sole intention on picking it apart so he could return it. Otherwise he wouldn't be posting here. He would simply have picked a different phone.

I was thinking about returning my 900 for the Titan2, but with the price tag set at free I have no real reason to, I could care less about the camera I have a canon slr for that stuff

I'm on the fence, as well.  I bought the Lumia 900 because it does voice dialing over Bluetooth well.  I also wanted to welcome Nokia back to the US. 
 
Losing the data connection is a major problem for me.  I wasn't having any data issues before the update but now, data goes out which means that apps don't update and visual voicemail doesn't work.  Battery life (which was an advantage over Android) is taking a hit now, too.
 
There are other small things that are big to me, such as the lack of a screen orientation lock.  I'm also trying to learn the WP7 OS, as this is my first Windows Phone.  Is there a way to integrate all email accounts into the same tile?  I would like to fit more tiles onto the top part of my homescreen, and converting the three email tiles into one would be helpful.  I have one more email account that I would like to add, but don't want another tile.

yes you can combine them into one email tile. just go into the settings, email accounts and combine them (link them).

I had nothing but data connectivity issues prior to the update.  With the exception of a local AT&T outage in SoCal (South Orange County to be exact), I haven't had any data connectivity issues with my Lumia.  Battery life is excellent, and better than my Focus S (which had great battery life.)
 
You need to create a Linked Inbox to merge multiple Inboxes together.  Go to one of the Inboxes, select the "..." menu, then select Link Inboxes.  You can create as many Linked Inboxes as you want, you just can't have a mailbox be linked to different Linked Inboxes at the same time.

Thanks to you both.  That's exactly what I needed.
 
Is there a better place to ask questions?  I also want to know how to keep the capacitive button backlight on for the same amount of time that the screen is active.

I took mines back because I just couldn't see myself paying 100 plus a month for 2yrs. But I love the lumia 900 I just might buy the white one when it comes out

Thanks, I know about the headphones, I was referring to an fm transmitter that broadcasts the signal from the device to an external fm receiver. This would allow one to stream from the 900 to a car radio without cables or Bluetooth. Perhaps even make calls using the cars audio system as a speaker...