It's not often a smartphone comes along which seduces us into parting with our iPhone 4S or Galaxy S2 voluntarily (if only for a short time).

The Nokia Lumia 900 not only did that, but also convinced us that Windows Phone is worthy of a much larger slice of the smartphone market.

We Liked

It just works, plain and simple. The Windows Phone experience is slick and intuitive, making using the phone a breeze.

The metro interface offers something very different than the now familiar Android and iOS offerings and its good to see it implemented in a decent fashion.

Android could learn a thing from the nearly bloatware-free Windows Phone – and what does come preinstalled can be easily nuked in a couple taps.

We can't take our hand off the Lumia 900 – not since the iPhone was overhauled in 2010 have we enjoyed touching an inanimate object this much.

It's a shame the camera hardware doesn't live up to its software – you had us at "date view," and the rest is icing on the cake.

Bear in mind Windows Phone is still in its infancy compared to the big players it's playing catch up to, and with its excellent implementation on the Lumia 900, Mircosoft's offering is certainly an attractive one.

We Disliked

Although well implemented, the Nokia Lumia 900 just doesn't feel quite as polished as the likes of the iPhone 4S or Galaxy S2.

The 16GB of internal storage doesn't give us much wiggle room, especially when there's no way to insert additional SD storage, and little bugs in the Windows Phone software will no doubt irritate some after a while – although many should be addressed in upcoming updates.

Surely six months is long enough for Nokia to realize they need to step up their game where the camera is concerned, the Finnish firm has a great history in camera phones, but the Lumia 900 doesn't hit the mark.

Rome wasn't built in a day, but Microsoft was once a leader at selling apps with Windows Mobile, long before Apple stepped into the fray – simply put, there should be more than 100,000 apps by now.

All in all, Nokia Drive is likeable enough (and who can argue with free?), but the lack of contacts integration almost makes it a deal breaker.

We get push email for Gmail, Hotmail and Windows Live, but what about the iCloud and Yahoo service?

Verdict

There's a lot on the line for Nokia and Microsoft with the Lumia 900. While one handset isn't going to sink either company, the right one could certainly do wonders for both companies' market (and mind) share, where iOS and Android have continued to thrive into a thoroughbred race with only two horses.

Now that Palm's webOS has been pronounced DOA and Research in Motion's Blackberry continues on life support, Microsoft's Windows Phone looks like the knight in shining armour, promising to rescue users from Apple or Android domination.

If Microsoft and Nokia can tighten up the OS, beef up Marketplace selection and slap in a better camera, they'll have a real shot at dethroning one or both smartphone giants.

Until then, the Lumia 900 may not be perfect, but it's plenty good enough to recommend with little hesitation for users looking away from the mainstream and ahead to The Next Big Thing.