Why you shouldn't buy Nokia Lumia 610, 710, 800, 900, 510 Windows Phone 7 Smartphones. Lumia 920 or 820 also in question

Nokia Lumia 900 - the still-born 2012 flagship of the Lumia family
Nokia Lumia 900 - the still-born 2012 flagship of the Lumia family

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What's the problem?

The answer is simple. These models from the Nokia Lumia line are not upgradeable to Windows 8. And this is not a small thing. It should be viewed as a deal-breaker and as a sing of Nokia's disrespect towards their most important customers; customers Nokia are dependent on for their survival. To some users this might not sound like a big deal, but I believe you should not buy a 2012 smartphone that cannot run the 2012 version of its software. For one, it means it's hardware is simply not good enough for 2012, let alone have any chance of competing properly in 2013.

Why should I care about Windows Phone 8?

When you have a smart phone, you are supposed to be able to use it for all kinds of things utilizing all kinds of apps. And one of the most important things an OS should be able to provide is a wide selection of apps that you could install on your phone and use for whatever you need. Currently the only two mobile operating systems that have managed to attract enough third-party developers to populate their app-stores with a wide variety of useful applications are Apple's iOS and Google's Android. All the rest are still struggling and one of these ecosystems that is having a hard time going off the ground is Windows Phone, especially WP7.

So with Windows Phone 8 and its better interoperability with the desktop version of Windows 8, Microsoft are hoping to start remedying this problem and if you are stuck with a Windows Phone 7 device in your hands, you will miss a great deal of that action. Actually Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 RT, Windows 8, and Windows 8 Pro all share the same kernel, which means that Microsoft has managed to essentially make personal computers, tablets and phones run on the same platform. This is an amazing feat which is supposed to make it much easier and cheaper for developers to make Windows Phone 8 versions of their Metro-style Windows 8 applications. And if you buy any of the Windows 7 Lumia devices (610, 710, 800, 900 and the expected new ultra budget device 510), you are surely going to miss on all that action. You are going to be left with a device that has been built outdated running a platform that no app developer would care about (very few did before the release of Windows Phone 8 while the older operating system was still the current one).

Stephen Elop - Nokia's current CEO, whose decisions have lead the company into this unpleasant situation
Stephen Elop - Nokia's current CEO, whose decisions have lead the company into this unpleasant situation | Source

Why was this allowed to happen?

Let's start by making one thing absolutely clear. Nokia and their CEO Stephen Elop allowed this to happen knowing full well that it will make all the Lumia owners unhappy and annoyed to say the least. Some people might see the current situation as Microsoft sticking a knife in the back of their most important partners, but this is surely not the case. Nokia could have easily built the Lumia line (or at least the 2012 flagship the Lumia 900) with dual-core processors and higher resolution screens, but they chose a different tactic. They tried to sell last year's hardware as something up to date. This was evident even before it became clear that the current Lumia line-up is not going to be upgradable to Windows Phone 8 and Nokia were bound to lose any spec comparison with the competition from the start. I don't blame the current Lumia owners for feeling sold out and let down.

So why did they do it, you ask? It's also a simple question. Nokia did it to cut costs. Stephen Elop was hoping to sell user experience and design instead of pure processing power, but chose the easiest, but certainly not the best way to do so. They were so busy with their survival that they forgot to look at the big picture. Now everybody that decided to trust them and go for their extensive advertisement campaign for their Windows Phone 7 line would feel cheated on and would probably have second thoughts about trusting the Finnish phone-maker again. I don't blame them. It is a big blow on the company's reputation and it's a deserved one since Nokia were so eager to move to their new platform of choice, that they forgot that their current customers need to be happy with them, for them to be able to regain their market share. Selling out your customers is a rookie mistake and Stephen Elop should have known better. So far, Nokia have unfortunately proven that their fall from grace might have been a deserved one and it would be hard for them to recover.

Final words of advice

The most important thing you should get out of this article is not to buy any of the Nokia Lumia WP7 smart phones (Nokia Lumia 610, Nokia Lumia 710, Nokia Lumia 800, Nokia Lumia 900 and the expected Nokia Lumia 510) since they are already outdated both as an operating system and as hardware. I know that there are some people that are actually very satisfied with the Windows Phone 7 user experience and their current Lumia fits them fine, but if you are going to buy a smartphone, you should be able to have to most capable and useful one that you can afford. So for the people that really enjoy the live tiles interface of Windows Phone and like the build quality and feel of the Lumia line my advice would be to get on the Windows Phone 8 bandwagon with the more respectable Nokia Lumia 920, Lumia 820, or even abandon the Finish phone maker completely and go with HTC 8X or Samsung ATIV S, but jumping platforms to Android or iOS would also be a good decision. Still you need to keep in mind that Windows Phone 8 has a better chance of becoming a well rounded platform with an app store that provides enough choice, but it still isn't one and the app selection is still too limited.

The other point of view worth mentioning would be that the current Lumia line can benefit from a big price reduction that might soon turn the Lumia 900 into very nice and capable mid-range or even entry-level smartphone. But until it's price becomes more competitive, it's not a very good choice for a user that wants to do more than browse the net, use the occasional navigation app and use social networks. In the end, if the price is low enough, I would probably get my girlfriend and my mother WP7 Lumias as their first smartphones. But this is only because they are the only real smartphones that come in pink and are actually very easy to use and get used to.

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Comments 21 comments

Marble Sweets profile image

Marble Sweets 4 years ago

I read in USA Today that Microsoft just unveiled its newest Windows operating system in conjunction with their tablet competing with the IPad. As we all know, when Microsoft unveils its newest OS it is not always available to other devices. Right?

Distant Mind profile image

Distant Mind 4 years ago Author

Microsoft lets device manufacturers install their OS only on devices that satisfy certain criteria. None of the current Nokia Lumia phones satisfies the criteria for a Windows Phone 8 device, so their software will never be updated to Windows Phone 8, despite the fact that everybody who has both such a device probably believed that this update would be available to them.

Unfortunately, it will not and this is what Nokia knowingly did not prevent.

James McCullough profile image

James McCullough 4 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

One of Nokia's problems was designing a phone to run an operating system from 2010, instead of planning for the future. Of course, they aren't the only ones at fault. Most Android phones will never get beyond Android 2.3, and most that have 4.0 probably won't get updated beyond that. Even Apple isn't immune to this as the original iPad (barely two years old) won't be getting updated to iOS 6 when it launches.

Distant Mind profile image

Distant Mind 4 years ago Author

James, thank you for your comment. I believe you are right. But I think there are much more apps available for Android 2.3 and the original iPad than there are for Windows Phone 7. I think the most annoying thing is that the Nokia Lumia 900, which is their 2012 flagship will not be able to be upgraded to the 2012 OS Windows Phone 8. I find this to be both enraging and ridiculous.

James McCullough profile image

James McCullough 4 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

It kind of bothers me with how many tech journalists like to compare app numbers between platforms. Most of the apps on the platforms are pure garbage - dumb apps with advertisements running, or don't do the task they were meant to do. I would imagine that the top apps for all platforms are roughly the same.

Anyway, hopefully Microsoft buys Nokia and solves this problem, becoming more like Apple.

Distant Mind profile image

Distant Mind 4 years ago Author

I agree that apps should be viewed not as number, but as quality and utility, but the range of apps available for Windows Phone 7 right now is too limited and after Windows Phone 8's announcement, it's even more unlikely for it to change. I don't think Microsoft needs to buy Nokia to start building devices, but it could work.

bacardimetz profile image

bacardimetz 4 years ago from Palma de Mallorca

Still, considering that mobile world is always evolving, even if you get a windows 8 enabled smartphone, soon it will be shadowed by the next version. My question is: why is it sooo important to have the latest version of the running OS? because the last version now is remains only until next update. It's like a race, but for which purpose?

Distant Mind profile image

Distant Mind 4 years ago Author

Hello bacardimetz and thank you for your remark.

The difference between WP7 and WP8 is huge - this is not a mere update. While WP7 has practically nothing to do with the desktop version of Windows 7, WP8 and the desktop version of Windows 8 are going to share the same karnel or in other words, the same core. It's a brand new OS.

What is much more important than the OS itself are the apps available for it. The reason Windows is dominating the desktop market is the fact that almost all the programs are written for it and not for Linux, Unix, or the Mac OS. The best thing about Windows Phone could be the the ability to run the same apps as your desktop computer, but Windows Phone 7 is simply not getting any of that action. So software developers are going to abandon it completely. And it has a very poor number of apps available anyway.

So Windows Phone 8 is a brand new OS that has much more potential than Windows Phone 7 and people that want "smart" smart phones should wait a few month in order to be able to buy the new devices.

Also it doesn't make sense to buy a premium device now at a premium price if in a few months they are going to have to slash it's price at least in half because it has no chance to compete with the new line of devices.

So if you want Windows Phone, wait for the real Windows Phone.

bacardimetz profile image

bacardimetz 4 years ago from Palma de Mallorca

Hi Distant Mind, I understand, thanks for pointing this out.

The truth is that I don't see any smartphone out there that stands out from the crowd. All fail in battery duration and sooner or later, one or other application will not run or is not compatible with new upgrades or the phone is not even "upgradable". I just feel there's a whole lot aspects to improve and only then should these devices come in the market. In the meantime...let's wait and see what happens:-)

Distant Mind profile image

Distant Mind 4 years ago Author

Hi baardimetz, thanks for reading and commenting.

All the smartphones are getting older as we speak. The reason I wrote this hub is my desire to point out devices that were born old. If a Samsung Galaxy S3 will get old in two years and in 3 or 4 it will start being unable to run some important new apps, the Nokia Lumia 900 "flagship" will be unable to run the new Windows Phone apps in a matter of months. That's why for people that care about their smartphones being as useable as possible a Lumia phone would be an utter disappointment.

blessed365 profile image

blessed365 4 years ago from New England

I see they are dropping the prices of the Lumina 900. http://www.technobloom.com/recent-price-drop-of-no...

Edgar 4 years ago

I agree with you un some aspects but i bought a wp7 lumia 710 brand new for 200 us dollars, is amazing GPS id than much better iphone 4 and un waiting for w7.8 remember that xp Windows had 10 years Live, i hace updates for años everyday i can't complain and 200 us dollars for an amazing phone

Distant Mind profile image

Distant Mind 4 years ago Author

Well, it really boils down to what you expect from a smartphone. The Nokia Lumia 710 is not the worst phone in the world and it provides an acceptable user experience, but for 200 dollars on contract you could have gotten the Samsung Galaxy SIII and even the better Lumias have a hard time competing with it, let alone the budget 710. I really don't agree with your GPS comment.

I'm happy you are happy with the smartphone you have and in the end, for your smartphone the only thing that matters is your own opinion since you are the one using it and the one spending money on it. It really should suit you and only you.

I still believe that most people would find more value and functionality in a similarly priced Android driver. It would be much more versatile and it would have a much larger selection of apps it could run.

vinner profile image

vinner 4 years ago from India

Cool article. You have your own style in technology topics. Waiting to read more...

Distant Mind profile image

Distant Mind 4 years ago Author

Thank you for the nice comment and for taking the time to read and comment.

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mobilefever 4 years ago

Nokia had a very good presence over the market from a decade but they lost it because they didn't have any Android mobile phone. I don't understand why they do so? Windows phone users are few as compare to Android.

Distant Mind profile image

Distant Mind 4 years ago Author

You are quite right, mobilefever. I guess they chose to do so in order to try to differentiate themselves from the competition. They decided to be the leader in Windows Phone instead of just one of the competitors in the Android segment. We'll see how it all turns out for them in the long run, but for now they are not doing so well and their devices are not attracting enough attention.

George 3 years ago

Wow. Nice comments, wel' see how Nokia combats all the negative and dissatisfied users in the mean time, im enjoying the windows 7.8 update on my very old Lumia 610

Teresa 3 years ago

Please, if someone could help - I am trying to add a second line to my phone - I mean while I am speaking and someone is trying to phone me at the same time - I don't hear him/her. My phone is Nokia Lumia 610.

Fabio 3 years ago

I don't know if it better to buy the entry level 520 for 140€ or high level but old 900 for 200€. Any advice?

Distant Mind profile image

Distant Mind 3 years ago Author

I would suggest an Android handset for that money but if you are set on Windows Phone this is what you need to know about the two options.

The Nokia Lumia 520 has a newer version of Windows Phone (Windows Phone 8) which means more apps available and better support. It also has a dual core processor which is more powerful than the processor in the Nokia Lumia 900. The 900 has a larger screen but it has the exact same resolution as the 520 so I don't think this is a pro in this case. You can say that the 900 build feels a little more premium, but I don't think it's worth it. The only thing that the 900 has going for it is having a 8MP camera while the 520 has only a 5MP one.

If I were you I would get the cheaper more compact and more powerful on the inside 520 instead of the outdated 900 because I think 5MP is enough for most use cases and I am not that crazy about photography. I used to have a 3.2MP camera on my older device and it was still enough for my very modest needs.

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