Maryann Tobin

Apple has set the standard for smartphones with the iPhone series. But that doesn't mean that phones with Windows-based operating systems, like the Nokia Lumia 900, are not offering a serious challenge.

At first glance, the most obvious difference between the iPhone 4S and Nokia Lumia 900 is size.

The Lumia 900 weighs in at 5.6 ounces, measures 5.03 inches long by 2.69 inches wide, and is a mere .45 inches thin.

The iPhone 4S is smaller, measuring 4.5 inches long by 2.31 inches wide, and comes in slimmer with a .37-inch profile. It is also somewhat lighter at 4.9 ounces.

In addition to being bigger and heavier than the iPhone, the Nokia Lumia 900 falls short on the 4.3-inch display, which at 800 by 480 pixels, is not as crisp as the iPhone's 960-by-640, 3.5-inch retina display.

However, the display on the Lumia 900 has one big advantage over the iPhone. Nokia uses Corning Gorilla Glass, which will keep it scratch-free a lot longer than the notoriously fragile iPhone face.

Since both smartphones operate with a touch screen user interface, the clear winner here is the Lumia 900.

Both the iPhone and Lumia 900 will easily fit in a shirt pocket. However, a few tenths of an inch doesn't necessarily tip the scale for all smartphone shoppers. The deciding factor is often hardware, speed and features.

For speed, the Nokia Lumia 900 beats the iPhone, running at 1.4 GHz, with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, and runs Windows Phone 7.5 OS.

The current iPhone 4S only runs at 3G speeds, on Apple iOS 5, although that may improve with the expected fall release of the next-generation iPhone5 and iOS 6.

If you like to store a lot of videos, music and photos on your smart phone, Apple's iPhone gives you three choices for storage; 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. The Lumia 900 only offers 16GB. But this is not necessarily an iPhone advantage. Personal data can be stored on a Micro SIM card on the Lumia 900, which is not available on the iPhone. Both devices have cloud storage.

There are some additional differences in standard smartphone features, but both have Bluetooth and quality built-in cameras. The iPhone has slightly better battery life, but it should not be a deal-breaker.

While there are advantages to both the iPhone and Lumia 900, if your life revolves around other Apple devices and iTunes, the iPhone will fit into your personal network with ease. And if you already have an iPhone 4S and have formed some kind of personal relationship with Siri, you will miss her if you switch to a Lumia 900.

If you're a Windows user and are willing to trade off the sharper, iPhone retina display for the virtually indestructible Corning Gorilla Glass on the Nokia, and faster 4G speed is a top priority, you will not be disappointed with the Lumia 900.

Sources and more info:




2012 MacBook Pro redesign may mark the end of the entire MacBook Pro line

'True Blood' season finale: Wishing Vampire Bill was dead

Current seniors face immediate health care cuts under Romney-Ryan plan

Supreme Court rejects Montana Citizens United corruption challenge