Nokia Lumia 900 Launch Hands-On
Summary: The Australian launch of the new Nokia Lumia 900, alongside the Lumia 610, happened yesterday in Sydney and we’d have to say that we were fairly impressed. Once we looked passed the Lumia-specific...
The Australian launch of the new Nokia Lumia 900, alongside the Lumia 610, happened yesterday in Sydney and we’d have to say that we were fairly impressed. Once we looked passed the Lumia-specific cocktails and fancy décor it was pleasing to see that the two new Windows Phones still managed to hold the attention of the greater number of attendees.
The Nokia Lumia 900
As expected, the major differences between the Lumia 800 and Lumia 900 were immediately obvious. The AMOLED ClearBlack display provided fantastic contrast between the vibrant colours and stark black background of the WP UI.
The 900’s larger 4.3 inch screen, as well as its generally larger form-factor really made up for some of the issues we took with the 800. It’s not that bigger screens are inherently better, but we did feel that the Windows Phone experience felt a little cramped on a 3.8 incher. Expanding it out to 4.3” felt much more natural.
As we’ve said before screen size is totally subjective, so you can make up your own mind on this one but we have to say that it seemed like an improvement to us. The display also appeared a bit brighter on the Lumia 900 than the 800, but we didn’t really get a chance to put that theory to the test.
When we picked the 900 up we noticed that the polycarbonate casing was actually a bit more course than on the 800. Where the 800 was quite smooth and almost slippery at times, the Lumia 900 provided much more grip. This is important in any smartphone, but more so with the larger handsets as they can be a little more difficult to hold, especially for those with smaller hands.
The annoying flap that covered the Lumia 800’s USB charging port was gone, leaving the port uncovered. This is a great change. It might sound silly, but the annoyingness of that little flap is truly difficult to convey in words. Ditching it was a good idea.
The SIM card slot has also seen a positive change, with Nokia opting for a more iPhone-esque approach that requires a paperclip to open. The previous slide-aside door just didn’t really feel sturdy or operable enough.
Camera shots looked good, if not amazing. It was difficult to fully test the camera out in the darkened cocktail lounge, but overall it handled itself about as well as the Lumia 800 did. It certainly didn’t wow us, but it gave the impression that it would get us by.
Speed-wise the Lumia 900 was snappy. The Windows Phone UI isn’t particularly demanding so the single-core 1.4GHz CPU handled it easily and switching between menus was smooth. There was almost no screen lag time, something that was a slight improvement over the 800 which could occasionally slow down mid-swipe.
The dual-channel HSDPA connection was fast on the Telstra NextG network. While real-world speeds will never approach the 42Mbps max, we got over 10Mbps down on our speed tests. Of course other providers and other locations will offer different speeds, but 10Mbps down is still impressive, nonetheless.
Overall we were happy with the Lumia 900. It was basically everything we expected it to be; a slightly upgraded and larger version of the Lumia 800. It was stylish, comfortable to hold and operated smoothly.
The Lumia 900 sports a RRP tag of $699 and will be available from Boost Mobile in June and major carriers in July. It will be available in Cyan, Magenta, Black and White. Not every vendor will be able to offer every colour and we’re yet to find out who will get what, so if you have your heart set on a specific look make sure your provider will be offering it.
We should also mention that Nokia was showing off a handy new portable battery charger.
No word on pricing or availability yet, but it’s essentially an extra battery pack in the shape of a long, thin cylinder with a micro USB port and chord. This allows the charger to be charged at home, then in-turn charge your phone if it runs out of battery during the day. It’s a handy device to have for folks who have smartphones where the battery can’t be removed and thus cannot buy a spare one, like the Lumia 900. The charger will be available in the 4 colours of the Lumia line: Cyan, Magenta, Black and White.
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