Nokia Lumia 900 Windows Phone (preview)

Nokia Lumia 900 preview: The Lumia 900 is Nokia's flagship Windows Phone handset

Nokia may have only just released the Lumia 800 Windows Phone in Australia, but it the Lumia 900 will eventually replace it as the company's flagship Lumia device. It adds a number of new features including a larger 4.3in display and a front facing camera.

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Nokia first announced the Lumia 900 in January, but this was a US-only model designed for carrier AT&T. It has now unveiled a version that will be released in the rest of the world. We can only hope this includes Australia, though Nokia hasn't given any indication as to whether the Lumia 900 will make its way down under.

If the Lumia 900 does make its way to Australia, it will be interesting to see if it is 4G compatible, or simply a regular 3G handset. The global Lumia 900 isn't a 4G handset according to the official specs, but Telstra could always release a version to work on its new 4G network (if such a model exists). Only time will tell.

The Nokia Lumia 900 is basically a larger Lumia 800. That handset gained most of its inspiration from the MeeGo-powered N9 and the Lumia 900 is no different. It's yet again constructed from solid polymer, the same material often found in ice hockey helmets. Like both the N9 and the Lumia 800, the Lumia 900's polycarbonate casing is coloured all the way through in the manufacturing process, so scratches, dents or marks from everyday use will not show up. The Nokia Lumia 900 will be available in black, white cyan and magenta colours.

One aspect of the design that has changed is the SIM card slot. On the Lumia 800 this was concealed via a plastic flap, but Nokia has opted for a different set up on the Lumia 900. The SIM card slot on top of the device needs a small pin to pry open (exactly like the iPhone), and the micro-USB port is now unconcealed.

The Lumia 900's biggest improvement over the Lumia 800 is its display: it now has a large 4.3in screen compared to the much smaller 3.7in panel on the 800. The Lumia 900 uses the same AMOLED display and ClearBlack technology that promises better blacks and improved outdoor visibility, but it is interesting to note that the resolution of 480x800 has not changed. This means text isn't likely to be as crisp.

The Lumia 900 has the same 8-megapixel camera as the Lumia 800, but it now gets a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video calling, one of the main criticisms of the Lumia 800. The main camera also doubles as a 720p HD video recorder. The Nokia Lumia 900 differs little from the Lumia 800 when it comes to specifications: it is powered by the same single-core 1.4GHz processor and 512MB of RAM, while it also has the same amount of internal memory, 16GB.

Interestingly, the Nokia Lumia 900 is a dual-channel HSDPA phone, which should make it one of the fastest 3G phones on the market. This technology provides theoretical maximum data speeds of 42 megabits per second (Mbps) — though you are never going to see these speeds in real use, the technology means data speeds should be faster than many other regular 3G smartphones. A good example is the dual-channel HTC Velocity 4G, which proved to be faster than most other phones on the market even when in a regular 3G coverage zone.

The Nokia Lumia 900 will launch in various global markets in the coming months but pricing and Australian-specific availability has yet to be announced.

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World

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