Nokia Lumia 900

Messaging gets its very own tile on the Lumia 900 Start screen, and once launched, cycles between traditional SMS/MMS threads and integrated Facebook chat, which can be disabled in settings if you don't want it.

Tap the + icon to create a new message, where you can attach a photo via MMS or record a voice memo to send instead.

Sadly, videos can't be sent with the Lumia 900 (or any Windows Phone device), but are promised for a forthcoming update. (Receiving videos works just fine.)

Contacts are easily added with a tap, and the Windows Phone keyboard makes good use of the display with tall, well-spaced keys providing a board to match the stock Android one, although like the Android offering, we did find ourselves hitting the wrong key on more than one occasion.

Nokia Lumia 900

We liked the pleasing, understated "tock tock tock" sound as we hit keys, compared to the more shrill sound used on competing mobile OS platforms.

If you require a bit more travel between keys you can always turn the Lumia 900 landscape and the accelerometer with flip the keyboard round, providing a more spacious layout.

Conversations are threaded in coloured boxes which echo the Start screen tiles, and can be individually deleted by selecting "delete thread," a function tucked away under three small dots in the lower right corner, which is a system-wide method used for accessing additional features.

An annoying quirk with the Windows Phone platform is if you haven't flagged a friend's number as 'mobile' in their contact profile, you won't be able to find that number in the auto-search box of a text message's contact field.

Nokia Lumia 900

This means if our mate Dave's number is set to something like "home", when we start typing Dave into the "to" box in a new message, his number won't show up – a highly frustrating issue we hope will be ironed out in the next software update.

While in People hub, if you have linked contacts you can initiate a Facebook chat, write on that user's wall or even mention them on Twitter as well as send email to any of their connected accounts.

New accounts are added via Settings > Email + Accounts, where you can choose from Windows Live, Outlook, Nokia Mail, Yahoo! Mail, Google, LinkedIn or any POP/IMAP email.

New accounts are added via Settings > Email + Accounts, where you can choose from Windows Live, Outlook, Nokia Mail, Yahoo! Mail, Google, LinkedIn or any POP/IMAP email.

Nokia Lumia 900

Push email only works with Microsoft and Google accounts, which our iCloud account was none to happy to hear about.

Initially, each email account appears on its own tile, which can get pretty messy for those of us with more than a few of them.

But Microsoft comes through again with linked inboxes – simply add all of your accounts and like magic, they'll appear in a unified "Linked Inbox" tile.

Email is done quite elegantly here, but we stumbled across a few nagging issues, such as being unable to move an email between account folders.

Nokia Lumia 900

Aside from traditional SMS and Facebook chat, instant messaging is otherwise MIA on the Nokia Lumia 900.

Thankfully, there are a few apps in the Marketplace to add this functionality, including the excellent (and free) IM+, which works with almost every service you can think of – from stalwarts like WhatsApp, AOL and Yahoo, all the way down to a few you've probably never heard of.

While both Twitter and Facebook are well integrated into Windows Phone for casual users, power users will probably want to download the official free apps from Marketplace, or seek out one of several paid third-party options.

Microsoft's official port of Facebook is actually one of the slickest we've used, which even allows users to decorate backgrounds using their own images.