Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the new Windows Phone hero handset, the Nokia Lumia 900. First revealed in December right here in an exclusive report, the Lumia 900 was codenamed ACE and was publicly announced this week at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show. It is, by far, the most lustworthy Windows Phone ever released, and I. Must. Have. It. And I will: I've asked for a review copy, but no matter: I'll be breaking my contract with AT&T and purchasing this one with my own money. I can't wait.
Why the excitement?
If you've been paying attention to Windows Phone, you know that much of 2011 was occupied with news about Nokia adopting the platform. The intervening months instituted a lot of waiting, and a lot of speculation, as Windows Phone fans considered the implications of Microsoft's new special partner. Key among were hopes about N9-class devices, Nokia's vaunted camera optics, and the company's often superior software stack, especially around maps and turn-by-turn navigation.
Finally, in October 2011, Nokia revealed its first Windows Phone handsets, the Lumia 800 and 710
. These devices would target Europe first, the company said, and target the high-end and midrange of the market, respectively. Of the two, the Lumia 800 was far more impressive, and before the reviews started coming in, it appeared to be the hero phone Windows Phone fans have been waiting for, with an amazing polycarbonate body whose hand feel needs to be experienced to be believed. From a specs perspective
, it seemed impressive, with an 8 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics.
But as is so often the case, the Lumia 800 fell apart under closer scrutiny. The camera isn't as good as expected. The phone lacks complete compatibility with US-based GSM markets, making it a questionable choice depending on where you lived. There is no front-facing camera, which is sort of a checkbox item, but important to some. And it lacks 4G compatibility, relegating the phone to slower 3G networks.
For me, the Lumia 800 was close, but not close enough, and I've been more than happy to cart around a wonderful Samsung Focus S instead. This phone features a superior camera, a front-facing camera, and 4G (well, HSPA+) compatibility.
But now we have the Lumia 900. And this phone features everything that is great about the Lumia 800 while appearing to fix every single problem with its predecessor as well.
That is, it features the same, beautiful polycarbonate casing, but in a slightly bigger, American-sized package. (There are blue/cyan and black versions.) A 4.3 AMOLED screen that is superior to the version on the 800. (But of course retains the same 800 x 480 resolution, as mandated by Windows Phone.) It has a superior 4G LTE antenna for compatibility with AT&T's fastest and most modern network. It has a larger 1830 mAH battery for longer-lasting performance. And best of all, it features a superior camera with Carl Zeiss optics, a large aperture (F2.2), and a wide angle focal length (28mm) for what should be high-quality images even in low-light conditions.
The Nokia 900 also comes with exclusive Nokia software experiences, including the excellent Nokia Drive turn-by-turn navigation system (free), the exclusive ESPN sports hub, Lumia-first EA games for Windows Phone, and more.
Again, I can't wait to get my hands on one. This is my next phone.