Nokia Lumia 920 Review: The Start of a New Era
Nokia was on top of the world. As the second-largest handset maker for much of the last decade and a half, it dominated by sheer scale -- a portfolio of high-, mid- and low-end phones that blanketed the world.
Then the iPhone came. And Android. Failing to see the shift to smartphones, it tried by continue adding better cameras and improved audio. What little experimentation it did with operating systems was confined to the dead-end Symbian platform.
Sensing a do-or-die moment, it went all-in with Windows, working with Microsoft to build a new range of products. Enter the Lumia. The first-generation of products, like the 800, had lukewarm sales. But its next generation, spearheaded by the flagship 920, stands out from the pack. With an unbeatable camera and top-tier display, it's the best Windows 8 device, period. But you'll have to make peace with a bare-bones app ecosystem.
The body comes in brilliant hues of yellow, red and other Technicolor iterations. The polycarbonate and glass exterior gleams, putting it in a class of its own. The iPhone is understated elegance, but the Lumia is fun splash of flash. Different styles for different tastes.
The materials and build are just as impressive as much as the design. But the phone is big and square and slippery to hold. The ceramic build can withstand the dings, dents and drops, but at the expense of more weight -- six and a half ounces of heft, in fact. It's one of the heavier devices.
The 4.5-inch IPS touch display is simply exceptional. Bolstered by PureMotion HD+ technology, you'll see nothing but crystal-clear images and videos, with crisp text and high-definition details. The screen quality is even better than the iPhone's famed Retina display. Whereas the iPhone features a 4-inch 1,136-by-640 resolution at 326-ppi pixel density, the 920 edges it out with a larger 4.5-inch, and more detailed, 332-ppi display. If you want to brag to your Apple-loving friends, that's the screen to do it with.
Nokia added innovative features like polarization and light-sensing technology to enhance the screen -- it adjusts the brightness to the perfect level. When I took it outside, the screen was just as clear in sunlight as indoors, and a fantastic canvas to watch movies, view photos and browse the Web. The iPhone has competition.
The 8.7-megapixel lens is really in a class of its own. Image-stabilizing technology, called "PureView," uses a "floating lens" to produce clearer and sharper photos than ever before. The mechanism works like a steady-cam, without the waist-mount, so bouncing is counterbalanced. In fact, you actually have to try to take a blurry photo. If you like to edit photos, you'll have three enticing options: Panorama, Cinemagraph and SmartShot to capture different types of shots. You can't find a better camera.
The Lumia 920 is one of the first devices to runs Windows 8, which is both good and bad. You can "pin" tiles to the homescreen for a simple view of what's important to you -- social media, weather, news and more. Tiles come in three sizes, each displaying varying amounts of information. If you like an efficient layout, live tiles is a really great feature. It catches the eye and works intuitively, for a cleaner layout that's less cluttered than Android and more interactive than iOS. But Windows is a distant third in app choices. You'll find major titles like Angry Birds, and social media apps like Facebook and Twitter, but if lesser apps are missing or supplied by bad knockoffs.
Zune is dead, so Microsoft uses a music store called "Taps." It's nearly identical to Xbox Music Store, so whether you buy music from the store or put transfer it from a PC, sound quality matches the excellent design quality: it's loud and clear.
The 1.5-gigahertz dual-core chip runs smoothly, and I didn't notice hiccups or lag. Unfortunately, the 2,000 mAh battery does not live up to expectations. I needed to charge in the late afternoon. But on the plus side, it's setup for wireless charging, if you buy a special "pillow" accessory. NFC lets you share data with a tap of two phones. And if you find a story that takes mobile payments, you can use it as an e-wallet, too.
Overall, the Lumia 920, along with the HTC 8X, is one of the strongest Nokia devices in recent years. The design is gorgeous, the display is fantastic and the camera is phenomenal. It has innovative features you won't find elsewhere else. But the big question will be if you'll take the plunge on Windows 8. If you want to see how Microsoft pans out first, I can't blame you. And there are safer options in Android and the iPhone. But if you're willing to give Windows a shot, the Lumia 920 is one of the best out there. ♦
IPS (PureMotion HD / Gorilla Glass / Polarization Filter / Light Time-Out / Ambient Light Sensor)
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October 30, 2012
Phenomenal Phone, Camera
I'm on Rogers, so I was able to pick up the Lumia 920. Coming from the Lumia 900, the 920 definitely has a few cosmetic differences. First, it's much bigger -- it has 4.5-inches over 4.3-inches so that's where the size comes in. There's also more of a curve on the back. The size of the black bezel is larger too and the top is thinner. Overall, it has a very nice feel to it.
The camera really shines. It's crisper than the 900. And when you shake the phone while taking a photo, the image stabilization just kicks in and smooths everything out -- it's just phenomenal. Once you focus the lens, shaking the phone barely moves the frame. You can definitely see a difference and photos come out really sharp. I can't rave about it enough.
In addition, you can install "lenses," which are program add-ons, such as Panorama, Smart Shoot and Cinemagraph for different effects. Photos can also be uploaded to SkyDrive, so they're accessible online.
The screen is very smooth too. You'll definitely notice it if you've used the Lumia 900. Apps are very quick to launch. You can pin them to the home screen. Other than that, if you're a Windows user, you won't find much else that's different.
One gripe I had with Windows is it won't resume apps when you re-launch them. It's kind of annoying to have to launch it again, rather than resuming.Was this review helpful to you?
107 out of 110 people found this review helpful.
December 18, 2012
Very good experience
I have the best experience with the Lumia 920. Great picture quality (day and night), lovely GUI with the live-tiles instead of static icons, fast response touch-screen and great integration to social networks. Once you switch off background tasks and NFC, battery lasts for a full day at heavy media use. Battery charges fast even on the wireless pad (like from 25% to 100% in about 90 min.). As a designer I love the typography (emails render beautifully), layout and consistent feel. Opening an attached PDF or MS Office document -- no problem. I am not an application addict so I don't care of not having as many apps as other platforms since all the 'bread and butter' apps are available. Love Nokia maps, virtual city lens and the navigator too. No regrets.
What bothers me: simple things like setting up song playlists are impossible to do, not intuitive at all, and in order to organize phone contacts you need to know to disable e.g., facebook contacts if many people should not appear in the 'people hub'. I wished there was a separate, good-old phone list.
The volume for alarm and music are linked, not so good if you need a loud song to make you wake up.Was this review helpful to you?
24 out of 25 people found this review helpful.
October 30, 2012
A Phone of Many Firsts
I've been waiting for this since seeing the videos of its camera. My initial impressions are that it's gorgeous. The phone itself is a little bit on the heavy side. But the polycarbonate body is solid. It'll take the bruises of everyday use.
The PureMotion display is just awesome. One of the best touch screens I've ever used. The 8-megapixel camera is a joy to use as well. It takes crystal clear pictures every time. With SkyDrive, your photos, songs and files will be synced -- sort of like the iPhone.
The wireless charging is great. I just lay it on the pillow when I go to bed. And if feels like we're going to sleep at the same time. The call quality is decent too.
I found Windows 8 to be a little more difficult to use than Android, but it's nothing that takes away from the innovation of his phone. Overall, I'm very satisfied and highly-recommend it to anyone who values a great screen, camera and design.Was this review helpful to you?
82 out of 86 people found this review helpful.
January 16, 2013
Quite a pleasant surprise
Fast Internet access
very responsive touch screen
Got the iPhone 5 (work issued) and the 920 within days of each other so I had no particular bias for either.
This unit flat out rocks and compares favorably to the iPhone. And its half the cost of an iPhone at the ATT store which is a real plus.
The anti-MS crowd will state that this is no good and fawn over the iPhone but I see them as pretty darn equal except for the 920 having a bigger, badder screen.
Get it... you will not regret it.
A bit heavy -- not for a shirt pocketWas this review helpful to you?
15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.
November 06, 2012
Issue with weight - a non-issue
- Nokia apps
All in all a great handset and probably the best you can get on the market today.
The issue with weight is a non-issue. I've got a iPhone 4s. With a bumper it's about 190 grams and that for sure is no problem.Was this review helpful to you?
37 out of 43 people found this review helpful.
February 03, 2013
Flaws and Gripes
I picked up a Lumia 920 a few weeks ago. For the most part I'm happy with it. Windows isn't bad, but I think it still has a ways to go to catch up to Android.
The most annoying thing is that the body isn't fitted properly. When I lightly press on the case -- between the camera and power keys -- the phone squeaks. Since it's not fitted right, dust gets inside the phone too -- in front of the camera and the earpiece -- which makes the proximity sensor malfunction. Argh. The screen goes black and the speakerphone won't work during calls. I can't even hang up on a call now.
Now the somewhat annoying part. I can't send a photo through Bluetooth unless I turn it on right before sending. That's a pain in the butt. I want to be able to share stuff without having to go to connection settings every time -- for each and every photo. I miss Android's pull-down menu.Was this review helpful to you?
33 out of 39 people found this review helpful.
October 30, 2012
Few words about resuming the app. I previous user didn't do his homework otherwise he wouldknow that wwhen you press back key you will resume app and when you click on tile you restart it
SameWas this review helpful to you?
36 out of 43 people found this review helpful.
December 04, 2012
Best mobile phone ever
I have used this mobile phone 2 weeks, its the best phone ever.. I had Iphone 4S before and this phone is SUBERB!
I strongly suggest you buy it!
There was no SD-card slot but 32GB + 8 GB at cloud should be enoughWas this review helpful to you?
23 out of 28 people found this review helpful.
January 22, 2013
- Feels solid
- Blazing fast interface
- Easy to use
- Windows 8 on the phone makes sense
- A little bulky at times when using as a traditional phone, but this really isn't a con as the feel of the phone is still a solid well-built feeling.Was this review helpful to you?
17 out of 21 people found this review helpful.
January 13, 2013
Brilliant Design, Underrated
Excellent camera, plenty of storage slick and innovative Windows Phone 8 OS, fast.
That fanboys won't give this sleeper a chance and it will slip under the radar.Was this review helpful to you?
13 out of 18 people found this review helpful.
May 21, 2013
Grest phone UNTIL !
Love everything about the phone. The tiles and photo storage. I liked how every worked with each other. all social flowed together. Liked links and screen was the bomb. Liked everything it did. UNTIL
I have had my 920 for four days. Tonight 5/20/13 I put in the power charger and ate watched tv. went to check phone before I went to bed. It was dead. Black screen will not power up. Can't remove to power up battery nothing. Son needs to call for ride from air port. phone is my business life line. I have never had a phone do that. so back to LG tomorrow. I just Can't afford this. I love the phone. was about to convert all six business phones. Not now. we need phones that work. Sorry love the phone while it worked...Was this review helpful to you?
0 out of 0 people found this review helpful.
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