Nokia Lumia 900 pictures and hands-on

Nokia has released a new flagship model in the USA at CES in Las Vegas on Monday and we were on hand to have a play.

Called the Nokia Lumia 900, is it a new version of the company's Nokia Lumia 800 released in November, but this time sports a number of improvements and extra features, all in a package that continues the same design ethos.

So what do you get?

Well the biggest and most obvious change is the move to a 4.3-inch AMOLED screen that makes the whole device just seem bigger. On the spec sheet that doesn't sound like much, however those .6-inches make a really noticeable difference.

If you've held the Lumia 800, this model will make your hands feel ever so slightly smaller. Next to the iPhone with its 3.5-inch screen the Nokia Lumia 900 is a giant, but in a good way. The exact measurements are 127.8 x 68.5 x 11.5mm and it weighs 160g.

Because of the AMOLED technology, the screen is stunning. Nokia did a really good job with the screen on the Lumia 800, and the Lumia 900 is no different. While the resolution is still only 800 x 480 (Microsoft is to blame for that) the graphics of Windows Phone 7 are crisp, colourful and bright.

But it isn't just about a slightly bigger screen to differentiate the Lumia 900 from the lower spec'ed Lumia 800, there are other treats in store for the Americans.

Nokia has also added a front facing 1.3-megapixel camera that has a bright wide angle 28mm lens. A quick play and it certainly feels like it. Self portraits will get you in the picture without having to stretch out your arm like an idiot and it also means that you don't have to be in bright sunlight for video calling (the only option is via an app called Tango at the moment).

The second big and very much welcomed design change is the removal of the protective flap found on the Lumia 800 for the Micro-USB socket.

While it does mean that the design isn't as flush and concealed, it will make a big difference when it comes to plugging the phone into the charger every day and open up the possibility for docking stations, although at the moment that would mean the UI is upside down.

On the inside AT&T customers who opt for the Lumia 900 will get access to the carrier's LTE 4G network. We jumped on the connection surfed to Pocket-lint.com and the page loaded very fast, very fast, indeed.

What this is likely to do to the battery life is anyone's guess, but if that isn't an issue then from what we've seen you aren't going to be disappointed.

Elsewhere however the hardware on offer is the same as the Nokia 800. That means a 1.4GHz processor, 512MB of RAM and an operating system that zips along nicely.

We've been using the Nokia Lumia 800 since launch and the performance of the Lumia 900 is the same until you start browsing the Internet on LTE, and then the 900 wins hands-down.

So what's the verdict?

The bad news for readers outside of the US is that Nokia has said there are no plans to take the Lumia 900 overseas. The company has been clear that this is a WP7 handset designed for an American audience that likes the bigger screen size and LTE connectivity.

The good news for Americans is that all the whinging you've been doing about how the Brits have had the Lumia 800 since November has been worth it. Nokia has delivered what looks to be a very strong WP7 phone that has the power not only to impress those keen to go Windows Phone 7, but also those tempted to switch from Android and the iPhone.

There is no reason why the Nokia Lumia 900 shouldn't do really well when it hits the shops in the coming months.

Expect a full review from us shortly.