Nokia Lumia 900 review

Nokia's Lumia 900 mostly delivers on the promise of Windows Phone as a viable third mobile platform.

The Nokia Lumia 900
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Results are also quite mixed once you switch the Lumia 900 camera into camcorder mode.

With most top-end smartphones, such as the Galaxy S2, now recording 1080p HD video, Nokia's newest flagship device appears to bring a knife to a gunfight, capable of only 720p HD at 30fps (a less-desirable secondary mode is also available for 640x480 video).

Nokia Lumia 900

Unlike many Android smartphones, the Lumia 900 wisely shoots in the higher quality MPEG-4 format, and the video is certainly better for it.

We didn't notice much in the way of artifacts or blocking in the video we shot, although outdoors in bright sunlight, the video tended to be a little too high contrast for our liking.

When in darker settings or indoors with less desirable lighting, the Lumia 900 mostly falls flat on its face. There was noticeable noise and grain once the lights went down, and the automatic white balance struggled to keep up in environments with mixed lighting.

Nokia Lumia 900

The AMOLED display actually works against the video camera, making video look worse than it actually is while shooting – an unfortunate by-product of this technology, making colours oversaturated.

Once footage was imported back to our computer, we were pleasantly surprised to see an improvement – but it did little for the noise and grain.

Nokia Lumia 900

On a more positive note, the Lumia 900 video camera includes built-in stabilization, the same four effects filters as the still camera and 3x digital zoom, but don't plan on doing any smooth zooming in or out with the latter, since it jumps from setting to setting.

The zoom also can't be toggled during filming, with the same going for the LED flash, both of which need to be set before hitting record.

The video camera also features a large time display in the lower left corner, which unobtrusively changes opacity while recording so you'll never be left wondering how long a clip is.