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Just how tough is the Lumia 900 Windows Phone?

We've seen the Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone drive nails but how tough is this Windows Phone? Sure it has Gorilla Glass and a solid, polycarbonate unibody but can it stand up to freezing temps? Temperatures hot enough to bake cookies? How about falls from a moving car?  How about instead of driving nails Lumia 900, you tried to drive a nail into the Lumia?

CNET TV's Jeff Cannata took the Lumia 900 out on a torture test to see if anything could beat it. While it survived the falls, freezing temps and oven temps there was one test that did the Lumia 900 in. Even though the video ends in tragedy, it's nice to see how tough the Lumia 900 is.

Source: CNET TV via: wmpoweruser

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Reader comments

Just how tough is the Lumia 900 Windows Phone?

109 Comments

Lol, I'm sure the phone still worked after the pool swim, they just turned it off because "he wish it wasn't windows phone".

Agreed. Aren't you supposed to leave it in rice overnight and not just 20 minutes? When he said that, I just rolled my eyes and kept watching. I think I'm getting used to CNet's biases.

That really did piss me off when he said that. I'm sorry it's not good enough for your standards. I thought he was cool... not anymore.

I listen to Weekend Confirmed and the Totally Rad Show, both of which Jeff is featured on.
 
He is an unapologetic Apple fan boy. He thinks iPhone and iPad games are the epitomy of mobile gaming (despite the existance of Ninento DS and Sony PSP/Vita). So its not really surpriseing he isn't gushing over a non-Apple OS.
 
He probably would have made a dig if it was an Android phone too.Maybe. But whatever. It was one bad joke out of a 8 minute segment. At least he didn't make multiple jabs throughout.
 
 
And taken as a whole that segment paints the Nokia/Lumia in a good light for the typical CNET audience who are novice tech enthusiasts.

as far as Rice is concerned I usually recommend immediately placing the phone into a sealed bag of rice and letting it sit for at least 3 or 4 days before I even try to see if it will power on.  If you don't want to wait for the rice you can try the oven on low for several hours and cook the water out. 
 This guy in the video is a Dbag through and through.  He obviously didn't do any research. 

the phone unfortunately was set to fail that test...it didnt have the sim cover on so the water had an easy path to all the inner workings of the phone...and he just rushed through that last part like the dbag he is...but its okay....im pretty sure most other phones would have survived much less even with his bias

The sim tray was out of the phone so more water got into it. I also checked all of the other CNET torture test videos and they did not do as extreme tests as they did to the Lumia 900. For the iPad 3, iPhone 4s, macbook air and Samsung GS3 they just put heat lamps on it, dropped it from normal holding height and they just poured a glass of water on them. The freezing part appears to the the only fair part. Also, with the Kindle torture test they dunked it a pool like the Lumia 900 but they didnt let the Lumia 900 dry for 1day+ like they did for all other things they tested.

He said he had been using it for a while and yet there was not one personalized tile. Like he had no contacts. Never listened to any music or anything. Mercy.

Yeah, they gave a way better advantage to the other devices. I know it would have most likely turned back on after it was left to dry off for 24hrs. Like you're suppose to do. So it wouldn't have failed. And it would have passed all their tests. He just had to let it fail one. Come on it was in an oven at 200F, and he used it as a hammer. Try doing those things with an iPhone 5.

I don't know why he didn't have the sim tray in the phone when he did the water test, leaves a big gap for water to get in.

The SIM tray was in, but there was no SIM card in the tray...Woulnd't have made much of a difference, although I suppose baking it might have helped. Rice for 20 minutes won't do much.

I am pretty sure when he is inspecting it while outside after a slight drying by the pool the whole sum tray is actually removed.

May not have made much of a difference if sim tray was in the phone. At 7:40 on the video when he has just jumped out of the pool you can see the imei label.

I couldn't help but laugh at this guy. Something about him just made him seem like a complete douche! Either way, the phone probably would have turned back on given more time to dry. Just another reason to stick with Nokia.

We have dropped one of our lumia 710s into a pool, and later into a river while fishing. It is amazingly still working fine.

Nokias are built to survive....

Shame the same can't be said about other devices, which this cunt neglected to mention *cough* insta-shatter iPhone 4S *cough*

have to give Molly credit here for calling out on the guy's failure in the final test (i saw this yesterday on always on)
 
the guy was suppose to keep the phone off and in a rice bag for at least 24 hr~48hr according to Molly's previous tests, didn't happen here... and I still don't understand why they would do the water test AFTER the drop tests.. its like making holes for water to get in
 
and his final comment is just annoying, don't say stuff like that during torture tests, it's got nth to do with it and it's all his own opinion (i like Molly's versions better)

Both my L800 and my gfs lumia has been in water for about that same time (with sim card in of course) and both behaved oddly, didn't turn on for a couple of days but after like a week mine got back to normal, no signs of the accident. Has been working like a champ for many months.
My gfs recovered even faster, these phones are awesome!

The guy sucked but it's really cool to see the 920 take all that punishment. The water test it tough no matter what phone unless its designed to keep water out, to many open ports on most phones.

Interesting, I'm curious to see what this kind of beating would do to the suspended camera and springs of the lumia 920.

I think the most relevant test was the drops off the car, though that's so variable (heck, it didn't even fall off one time) that it's not comparable.  Aside from that, it was (poor) showmanship.  The 'drive a nail with the phone' test hardly anchored the nails (never mind the potential variables with where you stick the nail into the wood), and as many others mentioned, the dryout period was way too short.
I'm not sure I learned anything relevant watching this. 
 
(edit: I made it sound like the phone never fell when I originally wrote this.  It fell off the car 2 out of 3 times.)

Another random thought but I wonder if the pool was a chlorine pool or salt water..not sure if it makes a difference.

Very nice test. I think I'm going to stop carrying my phone in a case now. I always hated covering it up anyway...

I use a pouch/slip case... Works fairly well for dropping when coming out of pockets etc. Then you slip it out and see the phone how it should be :)

I've never owned a phone as tough as the Lumia, EVER. I've been fixing them recently and bought one (eBay) for $25 that had been run over multiple times on a gravel road. Screen was completely shattered, replaced the screen and it works flawlessly.
Kudos to Nokia!

Unfortunately if you actually do have a cracked screen on the lumia 900 its ultra expensive because you can't just buy the digitizer separately. You have to buy the screen and digitizer because it's all one piece.

I am not sure how those nails didnt scratch the screen. It is no unscratchable. Just the other day mine fell off my nightstand and hit my bed frame on the way down (metal) to the floor. Left a nice 3-4cm scratch on the screen. It is hard to notice, but you can definitely notice it when using the phone. I just think the people arnet looking close enough after they perform these tests. Especially when the phone is on.

 
WOW...Really... Well I like the test, if it’s truly honest. However the same test can be done in a different order. Technically starting from the freezer then to the oven changes the elements and materials dramatically, basically on a micro level yet materials have no choice but to contract while in the cold and expand while in heat. Although the materials are calculated, there are tolerances that take place. Which means, at any time there could have been very small micro gaps created going from cold to heat then durability? Not to say that the same thing wouldn't happened if tested in a different order but if falling in the pool was first (which Jeff Cannata was not in the pool that long) it may have held up better being that the phone was technically at its natural state (room temperature). Either way, I like the test, there are a lot of people that can relate to some of the test Jeff Cannata shown, and may need to show other accidental things people do...LOL... But, the question now is, "Why not try this test with other competing smart phones" via it be the Samsung, HTC, or even the Apple iphone. I own a Lumia 900 and I can agree with this test, but I don't think any of the other phones will hold up....Just my thought. What do you think?

To be fair to Always On, that is the general order they use every time. The water is nearly always an electronics killer, and it is performed last on the phone.
That said, it would have been nice if he would have left the device dry out a little more before calling it dead.At the very least, other devices were plugged in again to ensure that the device wasn't alive, minus a shorted out battery.
But that "Too bad it's a Windows Phone" just says it all, doesn't it?

Amusing given my 900 died from a fall in a backyard from a little above waist high 2 weeks ago. Screen shattered and doesn't display anything at all. Lol

Well, sadly they are not invincible and if they fall right, the screen can break and the device can be killed. But, there is less chance of it happening. Difference is that Nokia owners are surprised when a Nokia phone dies from a small incident like yours. Owners of other brands are surprised when theirs survive. ;)

What kind of shit head bakes cookies at 200 degrees. Jesus. He lost his common sense credibility right there.

Did anyone notice when he was hitting it with the nail and he said "it doesn't like me" it actually launched the U-Verse app? So, technically the phone performed exactly as designed. And yes! He's a douche for not even logging into the phone before making the "to bad its a windows phone" comment...

This guy is all kinds of dumb. Who keeps rice in the freezer? Who bakes cookies at 200°? His clothes aren't dry in the drier but the phone is expected to be dry after 20 minutes in rice? The roof of the car≠hood, and that wasn't plywood, dumbass.

You little fucking piece of queer shit. If you don't like it then touch it. You don't deserve a Lumia 900. If I see you, I will get a fucking piece of crap iPhone and shove all the way up your ass. Then while I'm there, I'll shoot a bullet up your anus. Fuck you.

Can't believe it. Must be some PR BS. My lumia dropped about 3 feet on to a paved road (slipped from my hand as I was putting it into the pocket) and the screen is totally cracked. Despite having a screen protector sheet.

This guy is a douche bag. The first strike of the nail,his finger launches the my at&t app, and he says it didn't like that. This guy is a moron. Molly, please fire him..

D biggest challenge the Lumia 900 faced and actually as a WP fan I'm proud of, is it held its own against an anti-WP douchebag of a tester!

Yet another array of BS torture tests on a phone.  Versions of these garbage tests are done by idiots all the time and anyone who believes them probably shouldn't read emails from long lost relatives in Africa, etc., who want to give you money.  A couple quick points.  Any modern phone should pass a "freeze test" and all of them should be initially sluggish.  Cold is not an enemy of the circuitry but it will affect any lithum battery.  With respect to heating the phone to 200 degrees fo an hour, given the variance of temperature in different ovens, the phone is as likely going to explode as anything else.  Lithium based batteries have a little problem on that front at 212 degrees (100 celsius).  Also good luck touching a piece of glass straight out of the oven that has been heated to that temperature.  Water tests are also always a joke because it is not whether the phone works in a few minutes or even a couple days, it is what happens when any mositure that has made it into the workings facillitates circuit desgradation and corrosion - this can take days or weeks.  In this case the idiot took it one step further by taking it for a swim in a chlorinated pool with an open SIM slot thereby guaranteeing contamination.  I could go on but enough said.  These tests, whether they be to demonstrate how tough a phone is or blow one off as junk, are just a bad joke.  Any tests would need to be done by a qualified and independent facility in a controlled environment.  Otherwise, they range from meaningess (at best) to outright faked....

Sory if I sound stupid, but at what part of the video does he make the "Too bad it's a WP" comment? I think I missed it...
 
edit: never mind, i found it... god how did i miss that?

Fun video and unnecessary OS remark. Well it was a fun video until I saw the inconsistent way the tests were carried out between phones making comparisons meaningless.

Open youtube and watch tests for other phones...:-P..
And i bet you, if you could find a phone having more guts

I drop my lumia on water before and it still worked after it no rice trick or anything just dried it of course only half the phone was under water and only for about 5 second but still anything else would of died

The screen really sells it for me. I like the part of the test where he does the hammer and nail part. Id like to see him repeat that test on an iphone. I have had my 800 since february and still not a single scratch to the screen even after having kissed the ceramic tiles on the bathroom floor several times :)

I dropped my L900 from a pool deck chair...the ones that are about 8 inches off the ground...cracked the screen. Not so strong in my opinion.

gorilla glass is tough on direct impact, even if there is abrasion. I don't think it's any more resistant to edge hits than any other peice of glass.

Yup, stronger, scratch resistant materials, are by their nature, more susceptible to shatter. It just matters where the impact occurs. Diamonds can be crushed with a hammer.