We recently posted our full text review and a video review of AT&T's brand new Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone, but I know some readers just want a quick at-a-glance guide to the best features of a phone. The Lumia 900 is an incredible, incredible device and it deserves the praise that it's getting. Now I'll walk you through five of my favorite features.
Custom Nokia Software
Nokia and Microsoft have a special agreement that allows Nokia to include its own special applications on its Windows Phone devices. Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, and Nokia Contact Transfer are just a few of the applications available, and we're sure more are on the way. Most Windows Phone devices don't offer free turn-by-turn navigation but Nokia Drive adds this feature for free, and it worked really well in our tests. The custom software is just one reason why we'd lean towards picking up the Lumia 900 over any other Windows Phone.
Amazing Industrial Design… And Colors!
We said in our full review that the Lumia 900 is one of the most gorgeous phones we've laid eyes on in quite some time. The industrial design is super minimalistic, which means there aren't odd buttons and weird doo-hickeys placed all over the phone. Instead, it has volume keys, a power button and a camera quick-launch key. That's it. We found the camera button a bit hard to press and thought the lock-mechanism was placed far too close to the volume controls, but the rest of the device certainly makes up for those minor flaws. We love Nokia's decision to launch the device in black, cyan and glossy white, the latter of which will no doubt help the phone stand out on AT&T's store shelves. But the color choices also showa that Nokia and AT&T are willing to get more creative in what phones look like. Why carry a boring black phone? We also appreciate Nokia's decision to go with a polycarbonate plastic, that's both strong and scratch resistant, so that the phone doesn't look two years old after just a few days of use.
Nokia has always been known for including solid image sensors in its phones. We used to love the N82, a device with a 5-megapixel camera and a xenon flash that was leagues better than any other camera phone at the time. Or the N95 — that phone was way ahead of its time. But those phones never landed on carriers in the United States. Now it's our turn for some Carl Zeiss optics, baby. Colors in photos are vibrant, especially when photos are viewed on the phone's AMOLED screen, and images looked really sharp. Sure, plenty of other phones offer competitive options, but the Lumia 900's shooter can definitely hang with the rest of them. Our only gripe is that the phone can only record in 720p video, which is shy of the 1080p clips that most other high-end smartphones can record.
4G LTE Connectivity
The Lumia 900 is the first Windows Phone with support for the fastest 4G LTE networks currently available. The data speeds in our Irvine office were faster than most phones we've reviewed, although we used a slightly different benchmark than usual. An Internet Sharing application is also available on the phone so that users can share their Wi-Fi connection with other Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops and tablets. Thanks to its large 1,830mAh battery, too, the Lumia 900 is capable of getting through a full day using 4G LTE without dying.
All Day Battery Life
Windows Phone devices typically offer stellar battery life and the Lumia 900 was no exception. We were able to get through a full day, from about 7am until 11:30pm, without having to charge the device. Better yet, its battery was still at 20% when our head finally hit the pillow, which means we probably could have made it through the night idling. As we mentioned above, all-day battery life is still pretty rare in most smartphones, especially those with 4G LTE connections, so this is definitely a feather in the Lumia 900's cap.
As usual I fibbed just a bit. There's one final feature that I love about the Lumia 900: its super affordable $99 price point with a new two-year AT&T contract.