Quick Review: Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone “Tango” update on AT&T

Nokia Lumia 900 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

Last week, Nokia finally released the Windows Phone “Tango” update v7.10.8779.8 for the Lumia 900. This is a fairly minor update overall, but it adds a few nice features like flip-to-silence and fixes a few bugs. It also brings support for the Counters and Contact Share apps, which have worked on other Nokia Windows Phone handsets for some time now.

The performance enhancements are definitely noticeable, especially in the startup department. Most Windows Phones have a very fast boot time, but the Lumia 900 always seemed to be a bit slower than most. Of course, it was always still light-years faster than other operating systems which shall remain nameless. The camera and battery improvements are quite welcome too. The front-facing camera was impressive from the start, but the back-facing camera was merely good. With the Tango update, the overall quality has increased.

The biggest changes in the update, however, are the addition of flip-to-silence and new messaging improvements like the ability to attach multiple pictures to a single MMS, as well as videos, audio notes, and ringtones. Previously, you could only attach a single picture to each MMS. I haven’t used any of these features very much in practice, but that’s because I rarely receive traditional phone calls or send MMS messages. You also can’t turn off flip-to-silence – this may or may not be a problem, depending on your preference – but it works well. Audio notes, on the other hand, could be a bit better, since the playback volume was almost too low to hear clearly.

Speaking of volume, I was disappointed to learn that the speaker volume is still fairly loud at the low levels. You’d think that 1/30 would be just quiet enough to hear without disturbing anyone around you, but that’s not the case. It jumps from complete silence to what I would consider a medium-low volume (rather than low). Thankfully, the volume rocker works much better, and it no longer requires a second press before the adjusting the volume when the screen is off.

While the Counters and Contact Share apps aren’t technically part of the update, it does bring the OS up to a version which supports them. Counters, in particular, works well, running in the background and keeping tabs on your calls, messaging, and data. As someone who enjoys statistics, this app is very cool. It’ll show you stats like outgoing minutes, longest call, average call length, top contacts, messages sent, messages received, and the amount of data used. You can, of course, set monthly limits and add warnings.

Overall, the Tango update for the Nokia Lumia 900 is a nice improvement. It doesn’t fix all of the device’s minor annoyances, but that’s fine – as long as Nokia fixes them in a future update. If you haven’t downloaded the update already, you can do so now by plugging your device into your PC, opening up the Zune software client, and following the update prompts.

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William Devereux

William Devereux is the former Microsoft editor at Pocketables, as well as a Microsoft MVP and SkyDrive/ Insider. As his title implies, he wrote about all things from Redmond, including Windows 8 and Windows Phone. He is currently carrying a Windows Phone 8X by HTC and a Microsoft Surface with Windows RT tablet.

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