Nokia’s Lumia 900 reviewed: big, shiny, and very sturdy

Nokia’s Lumia 800 has barely had enough time to sit on store shelves, but the company is already improving upon it, adding a bigger version of the handset designed to compete with the big screen phones like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X. Is this the biggest and best Windows phone yet?


Similar in design to the Lumia 800, the 900 takes what we loved about Nokia’s first polycarbonate Windows phone and super-sizes it, pushing the screen size a little over half an inch to 4.3 inches, adding a front camera for video chat, and increasing download speed.

Nokia’s 4.3 inch screen is the most noticeable change, increasing the size of the handset altogether, even if the resolution isn’t different, with the same 800×480 used in every other Windows Phone, even if this is the largest one we’ve seen to date. With this resolution and screen size, the display has a pixel density of roughly 217ppi, well below the 329ppi of Apple’s iPhone 4/4S Retina display.

The screen technology here is AMOLED based, with Nokia’s ClearBlack technology for deeper blacks, protected by Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass.

Inside, it’s pretty much identical to what Nokia first offered in the Lumia 800 this year, with a 1.4GHz processor, Adreno 205 graphics chip, 512MB RAM, and 16GB storage with no microSD slot.

The Lumia 900 on the left, next to the smaller Lumia 800.

Connectivity has improved a little, with a faster 3G modem capable of reaching a max of 42Mbps, even if it doesn’t connect to Telstra’s 4G LTE network. Without the 3G, you’ll find support for 802.11 b/g/n wireless networks, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, and access to GPS.

The rear camera is also identical, with the same eight megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics and dual-LED flash. The front camera is new, offering a one megapixel on the front, enough for VGA quality video chat.

Even the chassis has stayed true to the Lumia 800, with more of that thick and sturdy plastic, the same type used in ice hockey pucks.

The buttons are the same too, with three on the right side of the handset – volume rocker, power, and camera – as well as three soft buttons on the front just under the screen, serving up a back button, Windows home, and search.

Unlike the Lumia 800, the ports are in a slightly different configuration, with the microUSB port now exposed without the door on the top, alongside the 3.5mm jack on the left corner.

The Nokia Lumia 900 takes a microSIM, and arrives with a small tray ejector tool for use with the microSIM tray installed at the top of the handset.

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