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Hands On With the Nokia Lumia 900

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Nokia’s excellent Lumia 800 Windows Phone is about to be joined in the UK by a bigger and better model, the Lumia 900, and we’ve scored some hands on time with the hot gadget ahead of its launch.

Our good friends at Dialaphone are showing off the handset at this year’s Gadget Show Live event, with the phone not due to launch until next month. For those who have seen and held a Lumia 800 before, the 900 will feel very familiar in the hand. It features the same design as its smaller brother, with that gorgeous one piece polycarbonate body and three touch buttons below the screen.

Where the Lumia 900 differs from the Lumia 800 most is in the screen. Both use a brilliant Super AMOLED screen which means bright vivid colours and crisp pictures, but the Lumia 900 features a larger 4.3-inch display compared to the 3.7-inch screen used in the Lumia 800. Despite being larger the Lumia 900’s display has the same 800 x 480 resolution and therefore the pixel density is lower at 217ppi, resulting in a picture that’s ever so slightly less sharp. You’ll only really notice this if you look very closely, specifically on text and the edges of icons – to the untrained eye and in everyday use the screen still offers an impressive performance.

Due to the larger screen the Lumia 900 is a little larger on the whole – just over a centimetre longer and 7.3mm wider. The handset is marginally thicker than the Lumia 800, but weighs a good 18g more. When holding the two, one in each hand, the difference in size and weight is noticeable, and the Lumia 800 will feel a lot more portable to most.

Camera performance is almost identical with the same Carl Zeiss lens technology and 8-Megapixel snapper, but on the front the Lumia 900 adds the front facing camera that was missing in the 800, just as Microsoft has brought Skype to its Windows Phone platform.

You’ll find the same great Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) software on the Lumia 900, with access to Nokia’s superb Drive, Music and Maps software along with over 80,000 apps in the Windows Phone Marketplace. A Qualcomm Snapdragon processor running at up to 1.4GHz makes for a nippy and smooth experience when flicking through the menus and apps.

Dialaphone tells us that the Lumia 900 will be available in around three weeks, and Phones 4u are putting up pre-orders online today for those who want to get their hands on the larger Lumia. Will you be getting one or do you prefer the more compact Lumia 800?

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.