Nokia Lumia 900 Review: Initial Impressions (Video)

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Now that 9pm has rolled around and the awkwardly timed embargo has lifted, I can finally talk to you guys about the phone I’ve been playing with for the past week: the Nokia Lumia 900.

I’m not going to get too detailed, as a full review and a head-to-head battle will go live in the coming days, but I wanted to hit you guys with initial impressions as early as possible. To put it plainly, I think this is a swell phone.

The Lumia 900 has a fresh look that we’re really not seeing anywhere else, with a matte finish and rounded edges. I found the hardware to be bulkier than usual, but it’s also really comfortable and feels solid and sturdy in the hand. I also can’t get enough of this matte finish. Phones these days are growing increasingly plastic-y and that soft-touch matte puts the Lumia 900 a step ahead in terms of premium feel.

Windows Phone, as per usual, is a joy. Nokia has thrown some fun apps into the mix to make sure that your transition over to WP7 is smooth, including a Contacts Transfer app. Of course, AT&T has also thrown in some bloatware including AT&T Navigator, U-Verse Mobile, and Radio.

The camera is pretty quick to snap pictures, and I really appreciate the physical shutter button, but I definitely wouldn’t call this the best camera in the world. Color reproduction is the biggest issue I have — things just end up looking a bit yellow. On the other hand, I love the UI for the camera app with swipe-to-gallery functionality and a clean, navigable interface.

When all is said and done, I think the display will be the deciding factor for many. Microsoft and Nokia are aiming this phone squarely at smartphone noobs, who really won’t give a damn if the 480×800 resolution is a bit skimpy for a 4.3-inch display. And even people who bought the Galaxy S II a few months ago (or anything released around the same time) probably won’t take issue with the pixel density as it’s exactly the same between the two handsets.

However, if you just bought a Rezound or Galaxy Nexus (both 720p displays) and want to swap it out for a Lumia 900 for whatever reason, prepare your eyes for something a bit more pixelated.

All in all, I think this phone has great potential. It’s quick, elegant, brings something fresh to the table by way of Windows Phone, and is going for a ridiculously cheap price point. So if this sounds like it may float your boat, get ready to hand over $100 in exchange for a Lumia 900 and two years of marriage to AT&T once April 8 rolls around.