It occurred to me that the Lumia 900 review would be one of the more important critiques of a product that I write this year. For those of you who don't know the backstory here, the new LTE-equipped, AT&T-bound smartphone represents what could be the beginning of a new era for both Microsoft and its partner Nokia in the mobile race — at least in the US. The 900 is a culmination of all of Microsoft's work with Windows Phone 7 (now 7.5), and Nokia's hardware design and execution, packaged in the hopes that the American consumer will suddenly notice that not only does Windows Phone exist, but it's worth buying into.

Even AT&T has gotten into the spirit, claiming launch expectations that seem to far exceed the warranted excitement over this phone. But it is an attractive offering in many ways. Stylistically the Lumia 900 looks like nothing on the market. It offers LTE service that — where you can get it — is shockingly fast. And most importantly, the top-tier, flagship device is being offered at a wildly discounted price: just $99.99 for new subscribers.

So does the phone have what it takes to court buyers away from Android and iOS, and establish a beachhead for Microsoft and Nokia? I'll unravel those questions in the review below.