July 16, 2012, 4:36 PM — AT&T recently dropped the price of Nokia's flagship phone, the Windows Phone-powered Nokia Lumia 900, to $50 with a new two-year contract. It's a great deal for a high end phone that was already pretty cheap at the original price of $100, when most popular phones sell for $200. But is Nokia's phone worth it, even at $50?
The problem with the Lumia 900 is that it's essentially a dead end from a technology perspective. In the fall, Microsoft is rolling out Windows Phone 8, the next generation version of its new mobile platform. And all current Windows Phone devices can't upgrade to the new OS. Sure, Microsoft will be upgrading current Windows Phone 7.5 devices to Windows 7.8, but is that enough to convince you to live with the Lumia 900 for the length of a two-year contract with AT&T?
Here are a few things to consider.
Nokia in late June added some great new features to its camera app including a self-timer, action shot function, a new panorama mode, and smart group shot that creates a composite photo from several snaps taken in quick succession. The new app is available now for Lumia phones in the Windows Phone Marketplace.
Nokia is also offering a new Nokia Play To app for streaming content on your phone to a PC, Blu-ray player, HDTV, or other DLNA-compatible device. A new app called Nokia Counter can track your cell phone usage including data, voice, and messaging. There are also updated versions of Nokia Music, Maps, Transit, and Drive.
Windows Phone 7.8
The biggest feature Lumia 900 users have to look forward to is the Windows Phone 7.8 update expected after the Windows Phone 8 launch this fall. Windows Phone 7.8 will give current Windows Phone 7.5 users the new Start Screen that is one of the centerpiece features of Windows Phone 8.
The new Start Screen removes the thin black strip on the right side of current devices and lets Windows Phone live tiles fill up the entire screen. You can also resize Windows Phone live tiles to cram as much or as little as you'd like into your Start Screen.