Nokia Lumia 900 review: Europass

GSMArena team, 4 July 2012.
Pages: 12345678910

Introduction

It took the Nokia Lumia 900 just a few days to top the US sales charts and see delighted handshakes quickly turn into group hugs, as Nokia, Microsoft and AT&T, which carries it exclusively stateside, were busy celebrating the flagship's performance in recent months.

The Lumia 900 has finally made the trip across the pond but it's not the return home it must've dreamed of. Not quite the triumphant welcome from thousands flocking to retail outlets and carriers. Yes, there's a big question mark hanging over the global version of the Nokia Lumia 900. The news that Windows Phone 8 is out of reach has taken the shine off its appeal. But its character is intact - and the Lumia 900 has enough of that to spare.

Nokia Lumia 900
Nokia Lumia 900 official photos

A big, quality screen, fluid and stylish OS and premium build are all sprinkled with Nokia's magic in a package that's made to impress. We've been there already - and we don't mean the review we have of the Lumia 900 for AT&T. After all, it's a Lumia 800 all over again, only the screen got bigger. And yet, we are delighted to meet this smartphone again - and we'll give it that, it looks stunning in white.

You'll also be happy to know that this time around we're putting the Lumia 900 to all our usual tests. AT&T's Lumia 900 was reviewed away from the office but this one will not simply walk in and out of our labs without getting a taste of our torture routine.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Quad-band 3G with 42 Mbps HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps HSUPA support
  • 4.3" 16M-color AMOLED capacitive touchscreen of 480 x 800 pixel resolution
  • Scratch resistant Gorilla glass display with anti-glare polarizer
  • 8 megapixel autofocus camera with dual LED flash, 720p@27fps video recording and fast f/2.2 lens
  • 1MP front camera
  • Windows Phone 7.5 OS (Mango), upgradeable to WP 7.8
  • 1.4GHz Scorpion CPU, Adreno 205 GPU, Qualcomm APQ8055 chipset, 512MB of RAM
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Non-painted polycarbonate unibody
  • GPS receiver with A-GPS support and free lifetime voice-guided navigation
  • Digital compass
  • 16GB of on-board storage
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • Built-in accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack; FM Radio with RDS
  • microUSB port
  • Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP and EDR
  • Impressively deep and coherent SNS integration throughout the interface

Main disadvantages

  • Won't get WP 8
  • No USB mass storage (Zune only file management and sync)
  • No native video calls
  • Non-user-replaceable battery
  • No memory card slot (and no 64GB version like the N9)
  • microSIM card slot
  • No native DivX/XviD support, videos have to be transcoded by Zune

The newly announced Windows Phone 8 has given us plenty to look forward to, but a WP8 upgrade is not on the cards for the Nokia Lumia 900. WP 7.8 is coming later this year to all compatible single-core devices and it will be the last update they are about to get. Both Nokia and Microsoft promise to continue the support though they will most likely be focusing their efforts on multiple-core WP8 smartphones.

Nokia Lumia 900 Nokia Lumia 900 Nokia Lumia 900 Nokia Lumia 900
Nokia Lumia 900 live pictures

But don't close the page on the Lumia 900 just yet. The Windows Phone experience is impressive even on single-core chipsets and the OS is beautifully simple and charmingly social. The proprietary apps are a major lift too - Nokia Reading was recently added to the familiar Drive, Maps and Music.

It will be a while before the new WP8 devices start hitting the market, so the Nokia Lumia 900 will be the Windows Phone flagship for a good few months. With a shadow always looming over it, the Lumia 900 will stand tall or fall short. But it won't go unnoticed.

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