LAS VEGAS, USA – The Nokia Lumia 900 is designed with people in the United States in mind and Nokia Conversations has a unique insight into how it was crafted for one of the world’s most discerning mobile markets.
Jamie Langford explains how the Nokia Design team met the brief for the latest addition to the Lumia range of phones – which includes the Nokia Lumia 710 and Nokia Lumia 800.
“It’s all about media, with the large screen and sleek unibody, delivering a powerful statement.”
Jamie, who leads the industrial design team working on Symbian and Windows Phone products, says the Nokia Lumia 900 is a phone which puts content first, making it “instantaneous, responsive, and intuitive”.
“With faster network access, Nokia Lumia 900 provides consumers noticeably faster Internet browsing and better video streaming,” he says.
“The large display is fantastic for any number of experiences from imaging to gaming to video chatting.”
He is talking about the Nokia Lumia 900′s stunning 4.3-inch AMOLED ClearBlack screen, which not only delivers superior viewing and touch experiences, but is also designed to reduce reflections. So you get crystal clear images, indoors and out.
“US consumers seek convenient access to multimedia content, so the combination of 4G LTE and the large display is very compelling.”
“As a matter of fact, Nokia Lumia 900 comes preloaded with AT&T’s U-verse Mobile which allows U-verse subscribers to browse TV program guide, schedule and manage their DVR recordings, and watch TV shows.
“And Nokia Lumia 900 has been designed with a large customized 1830 mAh battery in support of all-day usage.”
The blueprint is even more impressive when you realize that the advanced hardware which powers the mobile phone sits in a unibody case not much bigger than the display itself. The shape is cleverly crafted to sit comfortably in the hand.
This harmonious fusion of design and technology has all been achieved in a very short time.
“Our design team started work on Nokia Lumia 900 about a year ago. The challenge was to take the Nokia Lumia 800 to a larger display size with LTE architecture and re-enter the US market with AT&T.”
Luckily the potentially most challenging aspects of the joint venture were already taken care of, he says.
“When we started the collaboration with the Windows Phone design team, we discovered amazing similarity in the principles and approach with Nokia design.
“Reduction and simplicity drove the design of both the user interface and the hardware. The first result was the Nokia Lumia 800, and Nokia Lumia 900 extends this approach to a larger display.”
It’s a powerful combination. The Nokia Lumia 900 represents the full potential of these great brands working together. With AT&T’s high performance LTE network, that potential will now be experienced broadly in the US market.
And the Windows Phone user interface is a fantastic experience on the larger screen. With bold graphics, clear typography, and fast navigation, the phone allows people to spend less time figuring out what to do with it, and more time using it.
The success of previous Nokia designs has helped to achieve the seamless experience offered by the Nokia Lumia 900, says Jamie.
“The lineage from the Nokia N9 and Nokia Lumia 800 is evident in the Lumia 900. We continue to challenge how we make products – just like the Nokia N9 did.
“We are in a continuous learning and refinement mode, so we took lessons from both these previous devices.
“We spent lots of time with the program team to solve the physics of packaging a 33 per cent larger display with a larger battery and complex antenna architecture while meeting the product requirements of the US market. To do this in less than a year is a significant achievement.”
It’s the same approach, insisting on a human minimalist design, which has worked so well for Nokia giving their handsets a purity that others fail to match. And, it’s this incredible attention to detail which has resulted in a product that is beautifully balanced and easy to use.
“The Nokia N9 and Lumia 800 were derived from the same approach of extreme product making based on the principle of reduction and simplicity,” says Jamie, who joined Nokia in 1999. “The learnings and discoveries will continue to influence the way we design going forward.”
When you see the Nokia Lumia 900, you can’t resist picking it up and touching it. The unibody is a single piece of injection-molded polycarbonate plastic which somehow feels like metal. That’s because the premium plastic has been worked on by using machining techniques used for metals. And it provides a killer property not open to phones with metal cases. The specially-developed plastic allows outstanding antenna performance, resulting in fewer dropped calls and lost data connections.
The attention to detail is impressive. Even the product specs are printed on the internal SIM drawer to avoid any visual clutter on the external surface. The speaker holes have been individually milled to make them as small as possible, so they are less likely to collect fluff from a pocket.
And the audio jack is perfectly concentric to the form, and has been custom-made so it can be in the best place for use.
The framing around the active display minimizes any “dead banding” to give the highest area of visual screen in the most compact space possible.
The polycarbonate material gives the Nokia Lumia 900 yet another design advantage. Color. Color has always been at the heart of the Nokia brand. It has been taken to a new level. The unibody case is dyed all the way through, so it can never scratch off or wear away. It looks newer longer.
Early versions come in a stealthy matte-black and a bright cyan, or blue as most people call it. More colors will follow later in the year.
And the color thread runs through the accessories including Nokia speakers, Bluetooth headsets, even the protective soft covers; creating an end-to-end story that is coherent and consistent.
The signs are already good that people will love Nokia Lumia 900.
“Based on early customer reactions in the US, the design is considered very sleek and modern,”
“The LTE, 8 megapixel camera, and noise cancelation resonates well with people. Strong battery life was particularly appealing as well. And everyone appreciates the front-facing camera for video chatting.”