The release of Nokia’s Lumia 900 this weekend is a critical moment for Microsoft’s Windows Phone in its attempt to come back in the mobile phone market. I’ve been trying out a device on loan from Nokia, and these are a couple of my (very) early impressions of the hardware.

Overall, the phone feels good in the hand. This is a substantial device, weighing in at 5.6 ounces, with a 4.3 inch screen. For reference, the iPhone 4S is less than 5 ounces, with a 3.5-inch screen. (See them side-by-side in the video above.)

The ridge around the edge of the screen, the one that was bothering me when I tried the device back in January, for some reason doesn’t bother me as much in my usage now. Either I’ve gotten used to it or they did something to minimize it prior to release, but I don’t think it’s as much of a hurdle as I initially believed it would be.

At 8MP, the camera is comparable to the iPhone 4S camera, but like other Windows Phones, the Lumia 900 I’ve been testing struggles with what I like to call the “wiggly kid” test. When shooting a photo, the screen initially shows the moment I thought I’ve captured, but then the actual picture is from a split second later — just enough time for your wiggly kid to shut her eyes or look away.

The problem isn’t as pronounced in the Lumia 900 as in other Windows Phones I’ve used, but it’s still there, at least in the device I’m using.

Those are some of my initial thoughts on the hardware after a brief period using the device. I’m planning to keep using it for a bit, and I’ll share more of my impressions as I spend more time with it.

The phone is slated to go on sale this Sunday via AT&T in the U.S., selling for $99 with a two-year contract. It will run on 4G  LTE in cities where AT&T’s network has been upgraded, and the lesser “4G” technology, HSPA+, in other places, including Seattle.

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  • Guest

    Walt @ AllThingsD and Josh @ Verge were not kind to the Lumia 900.

    • Guest

      Yeah, haven’t seen any reviews that were super positive, either about the phone or OS.

  • Mark

    Lumina is not more than google phone

  • Martin

    The release of Nokia’s Lumia 900 this weekend is a critical moment
    for Microsoft’s Windows Phone in its attempt to come back in the mobile
    phone market.

    • Guest

      You mean it was. And based on reviews so far it failed.

  • Techs Uk

    Screen: Have you tried it outside? What is the ‘clearblack’ like?, gorilla glass, etc?
    What is the reception and durability like compared to other phones?

  • phoni

    Nokia better get the Lumia 900 right, otherwise it’s just a flash in the pan…

  • Joe M.
  • Victor

    DOA already. Even the internal Microsoft people I know are still using their iPhones.

    • Chuckop

      Everyone seems to expect a WP device that moves people off of their iPhone.  That’s not likely to happen.  WP is aimed for folks coming into the Smartphone market, not those entrenched and invested in their current platform.

      • Victor

        Point taken, but isn’t that what Android phones are for? It appears that the Lumina 900 is already a compromised product with inferior hardware sets. So it isn’t aiming for the high end, then just what is the real differentiation against the lower-end Android phones? 

        • Chuckop

          Agreed that Android is the current alterative to iPhone devices, but it’s a horrible experience (IMHO) compared to WP regardless of device.  That’s it’s main differentiator against Android. 

          Don’t agree that the Lumia 900 is a “compromised product” any more than the iPhone 4S is.  A lot of people wanted LTE and  Facebook integration; two things that the Lumia 900 has.  Plus, it’s HALF the cost, with a bigger screen, admittedly not as sharp display however.

          I’d argue that WP is easier to use than iOS5 (gasp!), but no one would listen and I shouldn’t expect them to.

      • Suckedinbythead

         They’ll have to find people that have never owned an apple product then..and don’t consume music/podcast on their device. Had the 900 for 4 days and am extremely frustrated.

  • John
  • Dr. Bill SB

    I per-ordered the  Lumia 900 and have had it for three days now.  Overall I like it much better than my Motorola Droid. The operating system is slick and very fast. There are plenty of free apps for the things I need. I am disappointed in the calendar app, which makes it nearly impossible to tell which dates have appointments in the monthly view. There is no weekly view.

    I was able to easily sync to my gmail account, wi-fi services, and bluetooth devices.

    The main problem was with AT&T. They shipped the phone with an IPhone 3G SIM card so I could not get any cellular data service (This took a while for the AT&T person on the phone to figure out, but she was very good). I took the phone into the local AT&T store and they put in a 4G card, but I still did not have service. They said it would take a while. After a few hours I went back to the AT&T store and said I still did not have service. The tech checked the new SIM card and said they had put another IPhone SIM in!! After trying the third SIM, the phone worked, but only after resetting the phone. Now I get to reload all the apps and resync with gmail, my wi-fi networks, and my Bluetooth devices.

    I am still very happy with the phone and think it will be a winner when AT&T gets their act together.

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