Nokia Lumia 900 hands-on: First encounter

GSMArena team, 10 January 2012.
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Nokia Lumia 900 hands-on

We got the opportunity to go hands-on with the Lumia 900 and we didn't hesitate. It felt familiar and that's no surprise - it uses the same polycarbonate unibody as the N9 and the Lumia 800. It will be available in Black and Cyan, by the way. Magenta didn't do well in the US focus groups obviously.

The Lumia 900 has grown bigger to accommodate the 4.3" ClearBlack display, but the bezel around it has shrunk so the smartphone still feels reasonably sized.

No doubt that feeling is also helped by a slightly slimmer profile when compared to the Lumia 800 - 11.5mm vs. 12.1mm. The curvy body makes the handling of the Lumia 900 even easier. The phone has put on some weight though (it now weighs 160g, up from 142g) and while you can feel the difference, it's not too heavy.

The three capacitive keys below the screen are positioned lower (because of the thinner bezel), but that doesn't take away anything from their usability. The buttons are still far enough from the bottom to remain comfortable to use.

Nokia Lumia 900 hans-on
The Nokia Lumia 800 on the left and the Lumia 900 on the right

In the upper left corner of the front panel sits the new 1MP video-call camera. It was something we missed on the 800 and it has a more traditional position as well (the camera in the lower-right corner on the N9 took some getting used to).

Anyway, enough dancing around the subject, let's talk about the display. It's a 4.3" unit, the biggest of any Nokia phone (not counting those old Communicators). The ClearBlack AMOLED offers image quality that's certainly among the best on the market.

Nokia Lumia 900 hans-on
The 4.3" ClearBlack AMOLED screen on the Nokia Lumia 900 is great

It has a 480x800 pixel resolution (not surprising for a Windows Phone), but unfortunately under the showroom lights we couldn't tell if it used a PenTile matrix or not (the N9 and Lumia 800 do). We're hearing reports that it uses a conventional RGB matrix with 3 subpixels to the pixel, which would be a major plus.

Update: Nokia confirms it's not a PenTile matrix.

The pixel density here is 217ppi, which is equal to that of the Samsung Focus S I937 (another WP phone available on AT&T) and the Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II. We didn't hear anyone complain about those two, so this kind of density should do well on the Lumia 900, too.

The display offers the deep blacks and vibrant colors typical of AMOLEDs and Nokia's ClearBlack technology keeps reflections off the screen to a minimum.

The screen is covered by scratch-resistant Gorilla glass and has the trademark beveled edges.

The right side of the Nokia Lumia 900 is pretty busy - from top to bottom there are the volume rocker, Power/Lock key and the shutter key. The left side is left bare again.

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The right side of the phone houses all controls Nothing on the left

On top things have been reshuffled a bit. The microUSB port is left uncovered (no swinging door for it this time) and the microSIM card tray has been moved to the far right. Yes, it's microSIM again.

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The Lumia 900 next to the Lumia 800 (it's the one in the rubber case) Top view of the Nokia Lumia 900

The secondary noise-cancellation microphone is at the top too, while the bottom features only the loudspeaker grill.

Nokia Lumia 900 hans-on
Nothing new at the bottom

The back of the Nokia Lumia 900 is nearly identical to that of the 800. At a distance we'd be hard-pressed to guess which is which, if it wasn't for the repositioned dual-LED flash to give it away.

The camera is the same 8MP unit with a 28mm wide-angle Carl Zeiss lens, which boasts an F2.2 aperture to let more light in. The camera on the front is a 1MP unit with a F2.4 aperture, wide-angle lens and can do 30fps videos (Nokia was mum on the resolution, but we're guessing 720p). The Lumia 900 will come with the Tango Video Calls app preloaded.

The non-removable battery saw an increase in capacity too - it now stands at 1830mAh. Nokia is promising you'll get over 12 days of standby out of it (on both 2G and 3G) and talk time is 7 hours (again, both 2G and 3G).

That's about all we have on the Nokia Lumia 900 for now. The LTE wasn't enabled so we couldn't test it and the software is still in the works (it's Windows Phone 7.5 Mango commercial release 2, which adds LTE support).

Nokia Lumia 900 hans-on
Some of the preloaded apps on the Lumia 900

One last bit of info, the phone is powered by a Qualcomm APQ8055 chipset (single 1.4GHz Scorpion core, Adreno 205 GPU) paired with 512MB RAM, so we expect the same zippy performance we got with the Lumia 800, but no major speedups. Internal storage is set to 16GB again and there are no other options here.

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