Nokia has officially announced the Lumia 900, the third handset in its Windows Phone 7-powered series – inhabited by the Lumia 800 and 710. It says the phone is designed specifically for the North American buyer, and is an LTE 4G phone headed exclusively to the US AT&T network. Not much use for us UK folk, then.
Are we missing out on much? If you’re a Lumia 800 fan then yes, actually. The Lumia 900 has a very similar design to its predecessor, with a similarly lovely curved colour body made of the same high-end plastic. Where the Lumia 800 featured a 3.7in screen, the Nokia Lumia 900 is 4.3in across. Like the 800, it uses a “Clear Black” AMOLED display, which offers great black levels and vivid colour.
On the back of the handset is a f2.2 28mm wide angle camera sensor, which is equipped with a single-LED flash. There’s also a user-facing camera, which has an f2.4 sensor – which in theory should outperform most front cameras. Nokia did not reveal the megapixel count of either camera in its presentation. We'd guess the handset matches the Lumia 800, with an 8-megapixel main sensor - we'll confirm the details as soon as possible.
Like the Lumia 800 before it, though, the Lumia 900 makes the limitations of the Windows Phone platform glaringly obvious, if you look close enough. The 1.4GHz processor is a single-core model and the screen has a mere 800 x 480 pixel resolution. In the HTC Titan, we found that Windows Phone 7.5 is carefully optimised enough to keep the interface looking sharp, and the single-core processor fast enough. But head to a less carefully-controlled environment, such as the web browser, and the lower pixel density will become apparent.
That the Lumia 900 is a US-only LTE device makes us sad pandas, but we're sure it won't be too long until an iteration upon this design appears in other areas of Europe, including the UK. Nokia CEO Stephen Elop stressed the importance of the relationship with US carrier AT&T in the company's CES 2012 conference, indicating it's a decision based on inter-company politics rather than technology.