Nokia Lumia 900 review

Is the Nokia Lumia 900 a worthy Windows Phone handset?

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Nokia Lumia 900 hands-on
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ESPN on the Nokia Lumia 900
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For

  • Striking Nokia design
  • Windows Phone tiles gleam
  • The battery keeps going

Against

  • No microSD card slot
  • Limited built-in storage
  • Not enough apps

The Nokia Lumia 900 is a good-looking phone that boasts a bright 4.3in screen that shows off the software’s distinctive live tiles

Windows Phone powers the Nokia Lumia 900, which we first got our hands on back at CES in January 2012.

Microsoft’s elegant and fresh-as-paint operating system hasn’t gained market share against Apple and Android yet, but it deserves to. The brand first featured it on last year’s Nokia Lumia 800 and this model is a bigger-screened (and blue hued) version.

Nokia is gradually making something of a comeback with its most recent phones, such as the Nokia Lumia 710 and the newer Nokia Lumia 610. The 900 is the latest in an increasingly strong lineup of Windows Phone 7 phones that includes the HTC Titan.

Nokia Lumia 900: Build

Nokia’s new phone has great build quality, from the individually milled speaker holes to the improved microUSB socket: the Lumia 800 had a flimsy plastic cover on the socket which was easy to damage.

Here, the socket sits proud (and naked) on the top edge. This is a solid, handsome phone that feels good in the hand.

Nokia Lumia 900: Features

Nokia has a long history of cameraphones and this 8-megapixel snapper is quick and efficient. Like most phones, it can struggle in low light, though at least there’s a dual-LED flash.

Unlike the Nokia Lumia 800, this one has a front-facing camera, too, so you can make video calls.

Nokia’s extras include handy apps like Nokia Drive, with free downloadable maps and no need to connect to data in order to use it as a satnav.

Nokia Music is a series of tracks you can stream for free. Of course, there’s the thousands of other Windows Phone apps but there’s still a dearth compared to Android or iOS. Mind you, the ones it does have look spectacular.

Nokia Lumia 900: Screen

The big display looks great, with vivid colours and pin-sharp detail. It’s smooth and responsive.

The size means it’s immersive enough to watch video on, for short bursts at least – though it can’t compete with giant screens like the 5.3in display on the Samsung Galaxy Note.

Nokia Lumia 900: Performance

Compared to phones like the HTC One X, which has a quad-core 1.5GHz processor, you’d expect the Lumia 900’s single-core 1.4GHz chip to lag.

But everything canters along happily, whatever you’re doing. Microsoft only supports single-core chips, for now. Another Redmond restriction is the absence of a memory card slot, so the phone’s 16GB storage is all you get.

Nokia Lumia 900: Battery

A problem with the phone’s predecessor was that the battery would quit too soon.

The extra space means the Lumia 900 has a big-capacity cell, which happily runs for more than a day without complaint – though it can’t match the Motorola Razr Maxx’s stamina.

Nokia has maximised the battery by sealing it into the phone, like on the HTC One X.

Nokia Lumia 900: Verdict

The combination of hardware and software on the Nokia Lumia 900 is pretty winning.

Microsoft’s OS is shown off to its best in this handsome and appealing handset, with a screen that looks tremendous.

Battery life is way above average, so though nightly charges are preferred, it won’t need a lunchtime top-up.

Although it’s big and solid, it won’t feel too huge for most hands and the matte finish back feels good.

The Nokia Lumia 900 is a beautiful and accomplished handset which shows Windows Phone at its best.

Nokia Lumia 900 availability: Available now

Product name price: Nokia Lumia 900 price: £480