- Excellent design
- Useful additional apps
- Easy to use operating system
- Screen isn’t as sharp as other premium phones
- Performance could be speedier
Review Price £699.00
The last in the series of Christopher Nolan's Batman movies – the Dark Knight Rises – released in cinemas on July 20 and as a tie in with the movie Nokia has produced a limited edition version of the Lumia 900 called, unsurprisingly, the Dark Knight Rises Special Edition. The handset is currently available exclusively from Phones4u for free on a £26 a month contract.
First things first, what's the different between this Batphone version and the standard Lumia 900? Basically, what you get here is the Batman logo laser etched into the rear of the phone, an exclusive Dark Knight theme for the phone, and the Dark Knight app. The latter includes trailers, info on the movie and a rewards based game that's based around Foursquare check-ins. Other than that, the phone is pretty much identical to the normal Lumia 900.
If you've seen the Lumia 800, the Lumia 900's design won't come as much of surprise, as it essentially takes it's smaller sibling's styling and supersizes it in order to fit in a larger 4.3inch screen. The phone's body is essentially a single piece of polycarbonate with Gorilla glass covering the screen on the front. There's also a chrome badge on the rear that has the Nokia logo stamped on it and which also surrounds the camera lens and LED flash.
The round edges of the phone also make it more comfortable to hold than its more angular rivals, including the iPhone 4S. Overall, it's a very elegant design, and feels robust in a way that many Android phones don't. It's is relatively wide though, due to the larger screen, so if you have more petite hands you might find it slightly awkward to hold single-handed.
Also, there are a couple of other niggles. The microUSB port is slightly awkwardly sited at the top of the phone and the power button is on the right hand side, which is different to most other smartphones on the market.
Nevertheless, like all Windows Phones this one has a dedicated camera button – something that's sadly fast disappearing from other smartphones – and we love the way you can just hold down the camera button to quickly launch the camera even if you're in a different app or the phone is in standby. Naturally there's also a standard headphone jack at the top as well as volume up and down buttons on the right hand side.
As with all Windows Phone models there are also three touch button across the bottom f the screen with the Window button (essentially a home button) in the middle, the back button on the left and the search button on the right. These are nice and responsive to use and light up when the screen is on.
Speaking of the screen, it uses AMOLED technology rather than the more usual LCD display's that most smartphones rely on. The advantage of this is that it really is searingly bright when used indoors, but unlike some of the other OLED screens we've seen brightness levels thankfully don’t drop off too much once you're outside. The increase in the size of the display over the screen on the Lumia 800 does give photos and videos more impact. However, it's still stuck at the regular 480 x 800 pixels, so essentially it's just enlarging what you get on all other current Windows Phone handsets.
Thankfully Nokia has moved away from the Pentile subpixel arrangement of the screen on the 800, which caused some graininess, especially when rendering smaller text. The Nokia Lumia 900's screen uses regular RGB subpixels instead and so text and graphics actually look a fair bit sharper. However, it's no match for the high resolution screens on the iPhone 4S or Galaxy S3. Also, the colours can look a bit overly saturated and there's a blue-ish tinge on whites – something that's very noticeable when you're viewing webpages as most of them have white backgrounds.
The Nokia Lumia 900 Dark Knight Rises Special Edition isn't exactly a beast when it comes to specs either. It relies on a relatively modest single core Snapdragon processor that runs a 1.4Ghz and is twinned with 512MB of RAM. There's also 16GB of storage space for apps, photos, videos and the like. As with the iPhone, this storage space is fixed because the phone doesn't have a microSD card slot. OK, so 16GB is probably enough for most people, but it's still annoying that you haven't got the flexibility to expand it using cheap memory cards in the way that you can on most Android phones.