March 26, 2012 at 4:01 PM ET
In a bid for the Windows Phone 7.5 to make some kind of dent in the smartphone wars, AT&T is upping the ante by offering the 4G LTE Nokia Lumia 900 -- awarded the "Best of CES 2012" award in the cellphone category -- for only $100.
Available April 8 in cyan blue and black matte (and in high-gloss white on April 22), the smartphone -- considered the top of the Lumia line -- has a Samsung-rivaling 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED screen. Its 8-megapixel camera includes Carl Zeiss optics with a large aperture (F2.2) and wide angle focal length (28mm).
Beginning March 30, customers can pre-order the phone, which requires a two-year agreement and monthly data plan.
Realizing it needs to pack a punch in mobile devices, AT&T U-verse Mobile gives U-verse TV subscribers the ability to browse the U-verse TV program guide, schedule and manage DVR recordings, and watch more than 700 TV shows on the go.
Lumia 900 owners can also download Nokia Drive from Windows Phone Marketplace. This app gives drivers who still want/need to talk while on the road free voice-guided, turn-by-turn navigation.
Even if you're past March Madness, sports fans might also appreciate the pre-loaded ESPN sports hub.
While Android and iPhones dominate the smartphone world, Nokia has quietly but effectively captured the flag from HTC as the world's number one Microsoft (Windows Phone) smartphone vendor for the first time, according to research from Strategy Analytics.
Global Microsoft smartphone shipments grew 36 percent to reach 2.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011, of which 0.9 million come from Nokia (33 percent) -- tiny compared to the No. 1 smartphone vendor in the world, Apple, which sold 37 million iPhones in that same quarter.
(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
This phone made a big splash at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, so if you're looking for a powerful smartphone alternative to Android and iPhone, this is an attractive option -- especially for the price.
Here's a promo video AT&T released: