The Nokia Lumia 900 was finally confirmed earlier this week. At the launch at CES, Nokia stated the phone had been designed specifically for the North American market. Both phones run Windows Phone 7.5 Mango and have the same internals, so in operating they’ll be virtually identical, but what is the difference between the two phones?
Easily the most striking difference between the two phones. Dimensions of the Lumia 800 are 116.5x61.2x12.1mm. Despite being longer and slightly wider, the Lumia 900 is actually 0.6mm thinner, measuring 127.8x68.5x11.5mm.
Nokia has built both phones using ClearBlack AMOLED technology, which should mean bright, punchy colours and very deep blacks - on both devices black variants, it’s hard to see the difference between the edge of the screen and plastic chassis.
The main distinction is the screen size. The Lumia 900 is 4.3-inches to the Lumia 800’s 3.7-inches, with both being a very comfortable size to thumb through and type on.
Both phones share the native Windows Phone resolution of 480x800, but because the screen on the Lumia 900 is larger, the Lumia 800 is noticably sharper
Inside the two phones, the main difference is the connectivity. The Lumia 900 includes LTE (or 4G) support, which hasn’t yet come to the UK. It's therefore a nonstarter touting this feature as a deal maker or breaker for UK consumers, though if you're in the US and love your speed, LTE is a major plus.
The Nokia Lumia 800 has a single rear-camera, the Nokia Lumia trumps this by including a 1.3-megapixel f/3.4 front-facing camera for video calls, which also captures 720p HD video. From what we've been told, the exact same module / software is loaded on the rear facing camera, so unless you're into your video chat, this omission on the Lumia 800 won't be too sorely missed.
As demonstrated in the video below, there are also a range of Nokia apps that make an appearance on the Nokia Lumia 900 that we haven't seen before. Nokia City Lens is the AR Layar type application highlighting points of interest and plotting them along your screen overlaying your camera. The sharp eyed will also see the Nokia Pulse application, updating your photos with your location. More info can be found at Nokia Labs.
Depite apps being highlighted, the fact is, these aren't hardware differences and there's every chance that the apps we've seen on the Nokia Lumia 900 will be available for the Nokia Lumia 800 too.
After some time with the Nokia Lumia 900, we can be quite candid about things and say we prefer the Lumia 800. Now before you think we're just being bitter because the bigger sibling hasn't landed on our shores, we'll assure you, our primary reason for coming to this conclusion is this: the Nokia Lumia 800 works because of its design, lithe, comfortable to hold and pocketable. The Lumia 900 is the 800 blown up version and loses the refined feel in the process. If it got a pixel bump, or a camera boost, we might think differently, but as it stands, we're happy with these specs in their current, Lumia 800 sized form factor.
So all in all, despite the fact we'd love a super-speedy LTE phone, for the time being we're happy with the Lumia 800 in the UK. Maybe more time with the handset will change out mind and we hope a UK announcement follows, until then, enjoy the video and let us know what your thoughts are on the battle between size and lithe.