Nokia Lumia 900 review

Reviews Ben Griffin 11:48, 11 Jun 2012

We review the Tango-toting Nokia Lumia 900, a Windows Phone with a sizeable 4.3-inch AMOLED display

Rating: 
4.5
Pros: 
Sublime build quality, Excellent display, Battery life, Nokia apps are very useful, Front-facing camera
Cons: 
Quite heavy, Chunky design won't be to everyone's tastes
Verdict: 
Combining Windows Phone Tango with a big screen and Nokia's superb build quality, the Lumia 900 is a great smartphone let down only by its weight

The one thing we felt was missing from Nokia's Windows Phone line up was a big screen monster, and this feeling was emphasised when we knew the US was enjoying exactly that - the Lumia 900 and its 4.3-inch AMOLED display.

Luckily for us, the Lumia 900 finally arrived in the UK in May, bringing with it a front-facing camera, more of that excellent Nokia sturdiness and Windows Phone Tango.

Is it worth the extra money over the very capable Lumia 800, though, or the even more budget Lumia 710? Let's find out.

Aesthetics

The first thing you will notice is the sturdy, chunky design Nokia has bestowed the Lumia 900. You will then notice it's a chunky beast - 160g, to be precise. Make no mistake, you don't forget this smartphone is in your pocket, which is both good and bad. Good, because you will struggle to forget it. Bad, because it weighs you down a tad.

This is in part down to that big-old display. It's 4.3-inches in size, and unlike the Lumia 800's display, it's completely flat - and looks better for it.

At the bottom are the traditional three buttons found on any Windows Phone. From left to right, you have a back button, which also deals with multi-tasking if you press and hold it, the home button and a search button for quickly bringing up Bing. On the right side sits a volume rocker, lock/unlock and a camera button.

These buttons have been adjusted so they are more easily reachable. Volume, for instance, now sits much further down from the top, providing more comfortable ergonomics.

Other improvements over the Lumia 800 include the removal of that plastic cover for the microUSB slot. This is handy because, once broken, the gap it leaves looks odd. It's also more accessible. Sadly, anyone who uses a dock will still have to endure the Lumia 900 upside down - the speaker sits at the bottom instead. And you will need a supplied pin to access your microSIM-card, in iPhone style.

Hardware

Any anti-Windows Phone fan will say something about single core processors and bad performance, and they would be right on one count. A 1.4Ghz processor does feature in the Lumia 900 as it did the Lumia 800 and the 710 before it. Where they are wrong, though, is in the performance assumption.

Having used Windows Phone since its launch, we've yet to complain about speed except in the instance of the Lumia 610, which has incredibly low specs.

Whereas Android needs dual core and quad core processing to make up for the lack of optimisation, Windows Phone glides along incredibly quickly, and this is often emphasised by the operating system's direct nature.

Suffice to say, the Lumia 900 is a very fast smartphone. Whether browsing the web, sending an email or loading a game, the wait is usually a brief one.

Specifications

Typical Price Around £450
UK Launch May, 2012
Frequency GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
Phone Style Candy bar
Thickness 11.5mm
Length 127.8mm
Width 68.5mm
Weight 160g
Built-in Memory 16GB of storage
Additional Memory N/A, no expandable storage
High-speed Data HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Screen Size 4.3-inches, 480x800 pixels (217ppi)
Screen Colours 16 million
Camera 8-megapixel with autofocus
Designer Lens Carl Zeiss
Camera Resolution 3264x2448 pixels
Zoom Yes
Flash Yes, dual-LED
Video Resolution 720p at 30 frames per second
Ringtones Yes
Music Player Yes
Music Formats MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player
Song Storage 16GB
Radio Stereo FM with RDS
Speaker Yes
Video Calling Yes
Internet Yes
Browser HTML 5
Games No, but can be downloaded from the Windows Marketplace

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