At CES 2012 in January, the big news from Nokia was the announcement of the Lumia 900 Windows Phone. It was going to be their flagship device, and the first LTE Windows Phone. Much to my dismay, at the show it was also announced that it was going to be an AT&T exclusive. This saddened me, since I couldn’t see why Nokia and Microsoft wanted to keep this gorgeous piece of phone hardware locked to one carrier, and only available in the US. The Lumia 800 and 710 had both been announced for Canada at the same time, and I thought for sure somebody would hint to me that it would be making its way up north, but I guess my powers of persuasion were not strong enough. Thankfully, just over a month later, it was announced that the Lumia 900 would be coming to Rogers in Canada (sadly, only in black, at least for the moment). It is now on sale, and available at Future Shop for $99.99 on a 3 year term.
At CES I got a chance to look at the cyan AT&T version of the Lumia 900 and record a short video of the phone, which you can see below. Also, I should be receiving a demo unit soon, so check back on the Tech Blog for my full review.
At the show the Lumia 900 won CNET's Best of CES award for smartphones, and TeddyK also liked it a lot in his Tech Blog entry, calling it “possibly the best phone at the show”. Having seen it myself I can see why so many people were raving about it. Just like its sibling, the Lumia 800 (which I wrote about here), the Lumia 900 is one beautiful piece of technology.
The Lumia’s body is a unibody polycarbonate plastic moulding that is both light and very strong. It also has the advantage of not showing scratches as easily as other phones, since, unlike most other devices, the colour of the phone is not a coating that can be scratched off. The curved shell, while not perhaps as thin as some other phones, also looks quite unique, even elegant. The Lumia 900 certainly stands out from the crowd of other look-alike smartphones. It has a 4.3” 800x480 ClearBlack AMOLED screen, ClearBlack being a Nokia-exclusive technology. In their own words:
“A method to reduce reflections on the screen and improve visual image quality, especially outdoors, ClearBlack ensures that the blacks you see really are just that – black – which, in turn, enhances the contrast of the display, and makes the whole screen much easier to see.”
The screen also uses Corning Gorilla Glass to be scratch-proof. The phone’s processor is a single-core 1.4 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon, which, while on paper is not as fast as some of the lastest dual-core chips found in Android phones, is more that capable of making the Windows Phone 7.5 OS run buttery smooth on the 900. While there is no memory expansion slot, the Lumia 900 does have 16 GB of internal flash, which should be more than sufficient for most users.
Nokia has always made some of the best camera phones, and the Lumia 900 is no exception. It has an 8 MP camera, with Carl Zeiss optics and a dual LED flash. It also has an f2.2 aperture for better low-light performance, and a 28mm focal length for wider shooting angles, to capture more of what you can see in front of you.
Lastly, the Lumia 900 is the first LTE Windows Phone, and joins the small, exclusive club of LTE devices that can access Rogers’ new super-fast (up to 75 Mbps) LTE network, currently available in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Halifax.
The Lumia 900 isn’t just gorgeous design and powerful hardware. It also runs the latest version of Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS, Mango (version 7.5). While Windows Phone certainly isn’t as popular in Canada as iOS or Android, it is still a very capable phone OS, and has a lot of unique features that its competition doesn’t have.
Unlike iOS or Android, which mostly rely on apps to deliver a lot of the functionality users expect from their phones, Windows Phone bakes this right into the OS. For example, the People Hub on Windows Phone is more than just a simple contact list – it also pulls in updates from multiple social networks (like Facebook, Twitter etc.) in real time so you can see everything that friends are up to at a glance. Also, instead of a grid of icons, or static widgets on the home-screen, Windows Phone has dynamic ‘Live Tiles’ that are constantly updated with notifications. Another unique feature of Windows Phone (that makes perfect sense since Microsoft makes it) is its integration into Xbox LIVE – You can play LIVE games, earn achievements, and message your LIVE friends on the Lumia 900. Windows Phone also has full Microsoft Office 365 integration and enterprise-grade email features, making the 900 an excellent choice for a business phone. Lastly, Microsoft’s Zune music service is fully integrated into Windows Phone, and offers the very cool Zune Pass, which gives you access to unlimited music for only $9.99 a month.
On top of everything good about Windows Phone 7.5, Nokia has added some unique Nokia-only applications. For example, Nokia Drive is a turn-by-turn navigation app with voice directions, which allows you to download the maps to the phone’s storage so you can use it without having to be constantly connected to your carrier’s data network. This feature alone will save you a fortune in roaming data charges if you travel overseas a lot.
The Rogers Nokia Lumia 900 is available now at Future Shop, and is only available for purchase in-store. It is $99.99 on a new 3-year term.
You can check out some more pictures & videos of the Lumia 900 below.
Pictures of the Nokia Lumia 900:
Nokia Lumia 900 feature videos (note, US AT&T model shown):
The ultimate Windows Phone smartphone is here, and it is the Rogers Nokia Lumia 900. It harnesses the power of Rogers' super-fast LTE network, and combined with a gorgeous 4.3" AMOLED screen and 1.4GHz processor, you'll enjoy snappy performance with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface. The Carl Zeiss 8 megapixel camera comes with dual LED flash and can capture 720p video.
You must be a registered user to add a comment here. If you've already registered, please log in. If you haven't registered yet, please register and log in.