First off let’s compare the pricing. The Lumia 900 is available from AT&T for $99 with a new contract, or $49 from Walmart, or $0.01 from Amazon. The Galaxy Nexus is much more expensive at $299.99 from Verizon with a new 2 year contract, though it can also be found from Amazon for $99.
Next, let’s talk about LTE speeds and battery life. I’ve found the AT&T LTE network to be a bit slower than Verizon’s LTE network, however AT&T seems to be more stable. I’ve seen the Galaxy Nexus lose its connection and never get it back numerous times. For battery life, the Galaxy Nexus is pretty good as long as you keep an eye on the apps. I left Facebook running a couple times and that killed the battery in 4 hours, but if I keep things managed it can last around 16 hours. The Lumia 900 on the other hand, has consistently gotten me at least 24 hours of battery life in my normal usage scenarios. Granted you can get an extended battery for the Galaxy Nexus where as you’re stuck with the Lumia 900’s battery since it’s non-removable.
One reason for the weaker battery life on the Galaxy Nexus is its high resolution 720p screen. With 1280 x 720 pixels at a 316 pixels per inch, the Galaxy Nexus has a lot more pixel pushing to do. That’s going to take up more battery life, but it’s also going to slow things down.
The Lumia 900 with its 480 x 800 pixel screen is a bit faster at moving through web pages and rendering HTML5 animations. That’s with a single core 1.4 Ghz processor too, versus the dual core 1.2 Ghz processor of the Galaxy Nexus. When you look at the screens side by side you definitely see the difference in the higher resolution Super AMOLED HD screen of the Galaxy Nexus. Still, you do get great blacks and saturated colors on the Lumia 900 and the resolution difference doesn’t really detract much from the functionality.
When it comes to the camera software, Nokia’s Lumia 900 gets to the camera a bit faster, but the Galaxy Nexus is much quicker with its lack of shutter lag.
Both devices are quite responsive when launching apps. One issue with the Galaxy Nexus and its higher resolution screen is that some apps and games such as Angry Birds really aren’t designed to take advantage of the higher resolution and end up with tiny buttons. Not having variable screen resolutions is an advantage for Windows Phone in that respect.
In terms of build quality, while the Galaxy Nexus does feel more solidly built than other Samsung devices, its backing still feels pretty cheap. This is not true with the Lumia 900 at all. The Lumia feels like it could withstand quite a beating and keep on going.
The bottom line is the Nokia Lumia 900 packs an impressive punch for its low $99 price tag when compared to the $300 Galaxy Nexus.