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Nokia Lumia 900: A Hands-On First Impression

During this past week I had the opportunity to play around with a Nokia Lumia 900 whilst eating breakfast. That's right, while there are others who've also managed to get some time to poke this new Lumia with a stick, I got to do it over a cup of coffee and a plate of fried eggs.

While originally underwhelmed by the announcement of the phone the day before, to the point of annoyance, my reactions to the device subsided overnight and left me ready to actually pay attention to the words Nokia was using to describe how they arrived at the Lumia 900. What follows is my take on the device after having allowed myself plenty of time to digest exactly what it is.

What makes the Lumia 900 a unique devices is in Nokia's delivery on a promise to make a phone designed for the US-market. Launching only within the States and without having announced any international plans, it would seem that Nokia is making quite a stab back at the market share it once held. With American-minded apps such as ESPN and specs that the same types of folks actually care about, this is one of Nokia's best attempts ever to create a modern and capable handset this side of the pond.

That's all on paper, though. Running Windows Phone 7, which is managed by Microsoft, half of this phone's essence is out of the control of Nokia. (Things are developing in MS and Nokia's relationship, though, so we'll see how that goes.) Where Nokia needs to succeed is in winning over the minds and hearts of consumers with their design whilst flying Microsoft's flag overhead. And to that extent, Nokia is on the right path. I never thought such a thing would need be saying, but WP7 is really something that one has to try in order to like. And liking it is super easy. But that's not important right now.

If I had any complaint with the Lumia 900, the lack of a curved "bubble" display found on the 800 and N9 would be my chief complaint. Following shortly thereafter would be the lack of a pentaband 3G radio preventing everyone in the world from getting in on the high-speed data fun. Lastly would be the prominent branding of AT&T just above the LCD. I understand that this phone was designed with the US market in mind (read: AT&T essentially ordered it, probably), but Apple has never done such a thing to their devices and those pale in comparison to the design of the 900.

However with all of that said, the 900 has a lot going for it. 4G LTE radio. A big AMOLED with Nokia's CBD technology that I cannot help but rave about. A killer design and a sleek operating system to match. It's a great thing.

Unfortunately I'll probably have to settle for a 710 whilst looking on longingly at my friends' 900 handsets as a result of me being on T-Mobile. That's serious buzzkill.