Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T review: Going all in
Armed with a multimillion dollar marketing budget and even more ambition, the LTE packing Nokia Lumia 900 has hit the shelves in the United States. The smartphone is aiming for a piece of the high-end smartphone cake, currently enjoyed by Apple's iPhone and the hordes of Android smartphones.
Launched with much fanfare during this year's CES in Las Vegas, the AT&T exclusive Nokia Lumia 900 is a pivotal step for the Finnish manufacturer's return to relevance in the high-end smartphone segment where the real money is. Just go and ask Apple, Samsung, HTC, and the likes.
And it is not only Nokia, who have a lot of hope for the Lumia 900. Microsoft is also on the band wagon. The software giant has been looking for a flagship device to showcase its Windows Phone platform. Heck, even AT&T hopes for the smartphone to live up to its marketing hype, and bring memories of the good old days when the iPhone was exclusive to the carrier.
As far as looks go, the newcomer is very much a stretched Nokia Lumia 800. The specs of the Lumia 900 are similar too. There are however a couple of important additions to them such as LTE connectivity, a front-facing camera, and a bigger screen. Here goes the full list.
- Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
- Quad-band 3G with 21 Mbps HSDPA and 5.7 Mbps HSUPA support
- LTE network 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 video recording
- 1.3MP front-facing unit
- Windows Phone 7.5 OS (Mango)
- 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 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
- Attractive $99 price tag
- No Flash or Silverlight support in browser
- No USB mass storage (file management and sync pass only through Zune)
- No native video call support (you need the Tango app)
- Non-user-replaceable battery
- No memory card slot (and no larger storage versions)
- microSIM card slot
- No native DivX/XviD support, videos have to be transcoded by Zune, which takes quite some time
The specifications of the Nokia Lumia 900 are downright generic, thanks to Microsoft's strict hardware requirements for the Windows Phone OS. Therefore, the design and build quality of the smartphone are left with the serous task of making a lasting impression. We'll tell you all about both on the next page.
Editorial: You might notice that this review is shorter than usual and doesn't include all of our proprietary tests. The reason is it has been prepared and written far away from our office and test lab. The Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T is a US-only phone and it will be a while before it gets to the shores of the Old Continent. Still, we think we've captured the essence of the phone in the same precise, informative and detailed way that's become our trademark. Enjoy the good read!