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Barriers to entry

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Microsoft might be making their own iPhone competitor. Again.

Can Nokia

Dan from WPCentral is over in London getting his formerly slab-hating hands on the first steel and glass tech to run Windows Phone 7.5 Mango... from Nokia. It's dubbed Lumia and Dan wants one. Badly.

The device is pretty smashing. The screen really is one of the best we've ever seen both in terms of color ("wet" blacks) and just how it pops up at you. The touch sensitivity, always a finicky setting, seems perfect to us on the device as well. The unibody design makes it truly an elegant piece of art and with a top notch camera, really makes this an excellent device.

Check out the video, and WPCentral's complete Nokia World and Lumia coverage and then let us know -- do you think Nokia and Microsoft together can give iPhone I run for its money?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 44 comments. Add yours.

Daniel Smith says:

When Nokia learns not to call their own phone a prostitute, then maybe they will be some proper competition.

Daniel Smith says:

When Nokia learns not to call their own phone a prostitute, then maybe they will be some proper competition.

Highlander says:

Pretty much every company is giving the iPhone a run for its money. iPhone has lost a LOT of market share. There will never be an iPhone killer. It was to be expected. There were no phones like the iPhone before it. Now there are a lot more options. It is just a table of distribution (probability).
Just so you can see how Apple is feeling the pressure that THIS UPDATE, iOS5 is the biggest most feature enriched update the iPhone has ever gotten.
The biggest trick they have to pull is that their active customers keep coming back. They are not in a position where they can ignore the public anymore and feed them what they think we want.

No says:

What are you talking about? Haha. There's virtually nothing true in this post.

No says:

What are you talking about? Haha. There's virtually nothing true in this post.

Highlander says:

Pretty much every company is giving the iPhone a run for its money. iPhone has lost a LOT of market share. There will never be an iPhone killer. It was to be expected. There were no phones like the iPhone before it. Now there are a lot more options. It is just a table of distribution (probability).
Just so you can see how Apple is feeling the pressure that THIS UPDATE, iOS5 is the biggest most feature enriched update the iPhone has ever gotten.
The biggest trick they have to pull is that their active customers keep coming back. They are not in a position where they can ignore the public anymore and feed them what they think we want.

Donald Kelly says:

Not yet, No.
I don't think Windows Phone 7 is where it needs to be in terms of updates, app availability, and generally hardware selection to compete with iPhone.
I think at this point it's a better competitor to Android and possibly even BlackBerry (although that might be a stretch, lack of hardware keyboard), and think it can/will be a competitor in future.

Donald Kelly says:

Not yet, No.
I don't think Windows Phone 7 is where it needs to be in terms of updates, app availability, and generally hardware selection to compete with iPhone.
I think at this point it's a better competitor to Android and possibly even BlackBerry (although that might be a stretch, lack of hardware keyboard), and think it can/will be a competitor in future.

John Clawson says:

Had it arrived in the USA a few weeks ago, I'd have been seriously tempted. As is, I'm enjoying my 4S!

John Clawson says:

Had it arrived in the USA a few weeks ago, I'd have been seriously tempted. As is, I'm enjoying my 4S!

Mav says:

Did you mean a few years ago?

cardfan says:

Not yet. When MS can leverage windows 8, then they'll have people's attention. When's the US launch? Later.
These screens are like 800 x 480? No thanks. I get the colors as they're targeting 20 somethings but they don't appeal to me.
Sorry, but if they want to make a splash in the US, they'll have to do better than that. Hope to see more later.

cardfan says:

Not yet. When MS can leverage windows 8, then they'll have people's attention. When's the US launch? Later.
These screens are like 800 x 480? No thanks. I get the colors as they're targeting 20 somethings but they don't appeal to me.
Sorry, but if they want to make a splash in the US, they'll have to do better than that. Hope to see more later.

Melvin says:

I have a Samsung Focus from last October that is a secondary phone right now running Mango. While Mango added some nice new features to WP7, the OS is rather boring. Also the apps are just lacking completely. They do have a lot of the 'big' apps.. netflix, yelp, facebook, Flixster, ESPN, Epicurious, Engadget etc... it doesn't have the same quality lesser known apps. Also a ton of apps in the Windows Phone marketplace that are "top" apps are low quality.
Windows Phone 7 doesn't need beefy hardware to run, it runs perfectly smooth on the 1GHZ snapdragon processor in the Samsung Focus, however, they don't even have a front facing camera, which is a strange decision since Microsoft purchased Skype. Also the hardware on the Lumia just isn't that impressive.
Personally I would never purchase another Windows phone again, only an iPhone or a Android phone as a backup phone/dev phone. Windows Phone 7 is fine for someone who just needs a smartphone, but doesn't purchase many/any apps.

Melvin says:

I have a Samsung Focus from last October that is a secondary phone right now running Mango. While Mango added some nice new features to WP7, the OS is rather boring. Also the apps are just lacking completely. They do have a lot of the 'big' apps.. netflix, yelp, facebook, Flixster, ESPN, Epicurious, Engadget etc... it doesn't have the same quality lesser known apps. Also a ton of apps in the Windows Phone marketplace that are "top" apps are low quality.
Windows Phone 7 doesn't need beefy hardware to run, it runs perfectly smooth on the 1GHZ snapdragon processor in the Samsung Focus, however, they don't even have a front facing camera, which is a strange decision since Microsoft purchased Skype. Also the hardware on the Lumia just isn't that impressive.
Personally I would never purchase another Windows phone again, only an iPhone or a Android phone as a backup phone/dev phone. Windows Phone 7 is fine for someone who just needs a smartphone, but doesn't purchase many/any apps.

Allan Hviid Jensen says:

Excellent free navigation app.
Also saw an awesome face recognition feature on the Galaxy Nexus. I'm an Iphone devotee, but I love to see the competition turn up the heat.
Things are looking great, and they're only getting better....

Wayne Williams says:

Nokia hardware, yes. Microsoft's completely useless and shitty Marketplace store? No. The apps there are pure crap.

sting7k says:

The casing reminds me of an iPod Mini.

Carioca says:

The device itself is awesome, it makes the iPhone 4/4S look dated and a little stale, with the same old rows of static icons staring at you. It will be impossible for most people on this forum to admit, but Microsoft did a better job than Apple on how Windows Phone 7 looks and behaves.
If Microsoft had a Marketplace like the App Store, right now the Lumia would be a better option than the iPhone. Since it doesn't, Apple or Android devices will always be preferable.
We all know that what makes the iPhone a great phone is the App Store, so it's not even fair to ask if any other phone is better, or to pretend that this is all to Apples credit, and not to the thousands of developers that support the device.

DiamondDNice says:

sorry but i prefer icons to those tiles anyday. style wise this u.i. is last for me. behind ios, android, webos, then window phone 7, and if qnx ever come out it will probably fall one more back.
but to me what looks dated is that flat paint look. like it's so square. not the hardware i mean metro. can't they put some photoshoping on there. it's flat like the first android icons where flat. that makes it feel dated to me.

fastlane says:

Well, it's not running iOS 5... so, uh... no.

Carioca says:

It's Gorilla Glass, it doesn't scratch, and with a softer/lighter casing it is much less prone to shattering than the current iPhone design.

EagleyeSmith says:

Yes. It's the N9 w/WindowsPhone on it. I love this device. I am seriously in Love w/this device. I love my iP4 however, I would honestly consider giving this bad boy a spin. Just marvelous.

EagleyeSmith says:

This phone is getting no love in the comments. Ha. (typical)

Selena Larson says:

my co-worker's half-sister makes $84 hourly on the laptop. She has been laid off for 5 months but last month her income was $7450 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read about it on this web site http://ufil.ms/jfiHL

James says:

Not yet. The eco system doesn't compare (as mentioned in previous posts) yet and the lack of a FFC mystifies me. I mean MS intends to integrate Skype. I think the next generation of Nokia WP phones will be able to compete better but by that time, what will Apple be bringing to the table?

James says:

Not yet. The eco system doesn't compare (as mentioned in previous posts) yet and the lack of a FFC mystifies me. I mean MS intends to integrate Skype. I think the next generation of Nokia WP phones will be able to compete better but by that time, what will Apple be bringing to the table?

Not says:

Same old WP7 look, nothing new. While the same could be said for iOS and Android, WP7 looks like poo. The tile UI is one of the most horrendous UIs I've ever seen. It makes me and other not want to use a phone when it looks like that. Navigation is also not very fluid and when people use it, they find themselves having to resort to going "back" "back" "back" otherwise each submenu of the UI is remembered and it becomes very BB like in terms of back and forth navigation. Even Apple wised up a bit on that and now they did away with the Settings screen remembering where you were last on it if you closed out for a long period of time. Before it too used to remember your last screen and sometimes it could easily confuse novice users as to why they can't see every setting when they hit Settings... because they'd have forgotten they used it before and closed out of the screen several layers deep.
Bottom line, Nokia won't succeed with WP7... just won't happen. Not when it looks like it does. And while I can appreciate a cover for a USB connection, that's just asking for something to break off. And speaking of breaking off, micro USB ports are horrible for doing that. Talk to anyone who's been a BB heavy user and admined a bunch of users with them and they'll tell you that's the number one thing that breaks really quickly. The iDevices ones aren't much better, but given the fact that the multiport plug is wider and inherently bigger, it at least has a bit more plastic in the connector to keep it from snapping too easily from insufficient surface area. Fast forward to Apple moving these portable devices to the newer mag-tight ones and you can pretty much say goodby to anyone using old school type connectors when it comes to someone not wanting to snap their chargers and cables off in their handsets.

Not says:

Same old WP7 look, nothing new. While the same could be said for iOS and Android, WP7 looks like poo. The tile UI is one of the most horrendous UIs I've ever seen. It makes me and other not want to use a phone when it looks like that. Navigation is also not very fluid and when people use it, they find themselves having to resort to going "back" "back" "back" otherwise each submenu of the UI is remembered and it becomes very BB like in terms of back and forth navigation. Even Apple wised up a bit on that and now they did away with the Settings screen remembering where you were last on it if you closed out for a long period of time. Before it too used to remember your last screen and sometimes it could easily confuse novice users as to why they can't see every setting when they hit Settings... because they'd have forgotten they used it before and closed out of the screen several layers deep.
Bottom line, Nokia won't succeed with WP7... just won't happen. Not when it looks like it does. And while I can appreciate a cover for a USB connection, that's just asking for something to break off. And speaking of breaking off, micro USB ports are horrible for doing that. Talk to anyone who's been a BB heavy user and admined a bunch of users with them and they'll tell you that's the number one thing that breaks really quickly. The iDevices ones aren't much better, but given the fact that the multiport plug is wider and inherently bigger, it at least has a bit more plastic in the connector to keep it from snapping too easily from insufficient surface area. Fast forward to Apple moving these portable devices to the newer mag-tight ones and you can pretty much say goodby to anyone using old school type connectors when it comes to someone not wanting to snap their chargers and cables off in their handsets.

Gregory Gammill says:

I had to abandon webOS when HP killed it and my 3rd Pre died. I'm with Sprint and had every intention of picking up the HTC Arrive when I went the store for a new phone. I had watched numerous videos of Mango and was really excited about making the switch.
But I couldn't. WP just isn't there yet, and the Arrive is not my kind of phone. I don't like landscape sliders at all. The portrait sliding Pre was perfect (esp with Just Type), or I'd rather have a slab. Also the Arrive's camera is almost embarrassingly bad.
I love the Metro UI. The clean text, the fluid interaction... it's really, really nice. But WP just isn't mature yet. There is a lot of promise and I know MS will deliver, but for now I just can't go through another 2 years waiting, after I have spent more than 2 years waiting on webOS.
So it's iPhone for now. I never thought I would own one (still not crazy about it) but it's hands down the best non-android phone Sprint carries. The UI is horrible but I can tough it out for another 22 months.

Strikerkya0 says:

I feel the same way. I'm with Verizon and I'm a big Xbox and windows guy. I was playing the the trophy a lot and was looking at the interface for mango. Mango is a great os but at the time the phones were not ready for the US and my 3rd pre plus was about to kick the bucket. So I bought a 4s cause it's what was around that could fulfill my needs in a phone. Now once windows gets their act together and adds thoughts few other features I was looking for I'll be jumping ship in a heartbeat.

JB says:

Cool color but ugly phone and what is with microsofts home screen? I'm all for healthy competition but with that hone screen I will never buy a Microsoft OS phone

Carioca says:

Well, that´s one way to see it, outside the reality distortion field we might say that first, the unibody polycarb design is suited for non-case use, which makes it quite superior to the bumper-loving design of the 4/4S, which is shatter prone, heavy and slippery. I have to remove my iPhone from its case to even look at the Apple logo on the back.
Second, the Super AMOLED screen is light years ahead of the power hungry LCD used by Apple, and it has the new Nokia ClearBlack technology, which improves the AMOLED blacks. Sure, it has a lower dpi, but at 252 dpi, the larger AMOLED is at least just as gorgeous as the "retina".
Third, the single processor of the Lumia operates at a higher frequency than the dual core of the iPhone, making the Lumia faster at processing single tasks, which is actually all that iOS is really capable of.
Fourth, the Lumia´s camera builds upon the N8 camera, which was arguably the best phone camera, with Carl Zeiss optics, not the plain maketing-propelled China optics of the iPhone, not to mention the deathly blue tint of the iPhone 4 when used indoors.
We could go on and on, but in the end we would be discussing apps, like Siri, Camera+ and so many others that really make the iPhone soar above its competitors.

Billy says:

Piece of crap.... If you dont have an iPhone, you dont have an iPhone... there is no such thing as an iPhone killer and it has been proven time and time again... Windows has nothing on Mac... If you buy this pile, youre just a cheap ass....

Asdollah Mirza says:

cheap ass ? What makes you think this will be cheaper than iPhone.
I think youre too narrowminded to think that nothing else matters buy iPhone.
Nokia is going to make a strong comeback. Which is great cause Apple needs the competition to push the limit.
iPhone 4S isnt much to brag about after 16 months of hard work ;)

Asd says:

isn't the sgs2 running on a 1.2 dual core? not 1.5

DiamondDNice says:

there is nothing on windows phone or from Nokia that would get me to switch. Not a fan of metro interface. i just don't like the look, the lack of icons, the colors. i don't dig the tiles. I hate the flat no shine or no render look. you gotta sexy it up for me. I've used wp7. I don't hate it or anything. it does what it does. i think it's pretty smooth. I am just not a fan of that style. It's probably last in terms of what i like UI wise. Office is also a great standout feature. but the UI kills it for me.
As for nokia, i'd never buy a colored phone. I'm more for black or silver. but the bright colors are not my style. It's a nonstarter. And hardware wise probably a great camera with those optics but nothing hardware or design wise that makes it better to me then any other phone iphone or android.
for me this looks ugly and there's nothing special

Carioca says:

I´ve never used mine without a case. First because of antenna problems, second because the iPhone is way too slippery.
On average AMOLED uses less power than LCD, since it powers only the pixels that are on.
Today the Galaxy Nexus holds the title of best display, at 4.65 inches it is sAMOLED and has a resolution above 300 dpi, making it every bit as "retina" as the 3.5 LCD of the iPhone, but with true blacks.

kbduvall says:

Carioca is so Emo, their black is blacker than our black. They call it "black black".

Splinter Baker says:

New WP7 phones including this one will definitely give ANDROID a run for it's money. but not iPhone just yet. WP7 is definitely an Android killer though.