Tuesday, January 10, 2012

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Windows Phone gets serious with Lumia 900

Nokia was expected to announce the Lumia 900 at today’s CES 2012 event, and when CEO Stephen Elop took the stage, he didn’t disappoint. The Windows Phone flagship that the US never got is finally on its way. While leaks had it being called the Nokia Ace, the Finnish company appears to be sticking with the Lumia 900 branding. The Mango-running handset is essentially a larger, LTE-equipped version of the Europe-only Lumia 800.
The Nokia/Microsoft alliance had been conspicuously quiet on the US front, prompting us to wonder whether it was tentative about jumping into the fray with iOS and Android. As it appears, the companies were waiting for the grand stage of CES to makes its big announcements.
The Lumia 900, like its little brother (theLumia 800), sports a 1.4GHz single-core Qualcomm CPU, 512MB of RAM, and an 8MP “Carl Zeiss” camera. The biggest differences are that its ClearBlack display is super-sized to 4.3 inches (from the 3.7 inches of the Lumia 800), it packs an LTE radio, and it has a front-facing camera. Of course the upgraded hardware will add a little weight: 160 grams to the Lumia 800′s 142 grams. Like the 800, the Lumia 900 runs Windows Phone 7.5 Mango.
Will the Lumia 900 provide the splash that Microsoft needs for its Windows Phone platform to take off? The platform is cohesive and attractive enough to compete with iOS and Android, but thus far its devices haven’t sold well. The Lumia 900 is, however, the best device for the job, with its gorgeous polycarbonate hardware and Mango software. The handset will also benefit from a healthy dose of marketing, as 2012 is the year that Windows Phone will finally be pitched aggressively. The only remaining question — a large one, mind you — is whether US customers will take the bait.
The Lumia 900 will be released “within the next few months” on AT&T in black and cyan color options. Pricing hasn’t yet been announced.
* Note that the image is the product of our imaginations, and is not actual Nokia marketing material.


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