Nokia Lumia 920 Review

Lumia 920

First Impressions

It’s hard not to talk about the Lumia 920 without comparing it to its younger sibling, the Lumia 800, especially as they’ve so much in common! For starters, the Lumia 800 was Nokia’s first entrance in to Windows Phone 7.5, and the Lumia 920 is the first one in Windows Phone 8, and they even look similar too. One thing, the Lumia 920 is not similar on is, well everything after that to be honest.

The Lumia 920 is definitely not a light phone at any stetch, but I have to be honest, the press the phone has been getting has been very over exaggerated to say the least, the phone definitely feels solid in your hand, but how’s that a bad thing, its far from a brick like it’s been called. The additional weight of course is due to the exceptional camera and from what I’ve been finding, very impressive battery life!

Circling the phone you will find the headphone port up top, along with the microSIM card slot tray accessible using an included ejection tool, like the 800 all buttons are on the right including volume rockers, lock button and camera button, and one thing I am thankful for after owning a Lumia 800 is that the charging/syncing microUSB port is on bottom and without a stupid door, although with Wireless Charging and Software Updates now working via the phone (finally) you’ll hardly be using it anyway!

Design

The Nokia Lumia 920 is definitely a gorgeous phone, it brings back that iconic design from the Lumia 800 (and 900) and combines everything Nokia have learned (not putting a door at the top) and it makes for a really attractive professional looking product … unless you pick the quick frankly disgusting yellow one. One thing many people may not like that have previously owned or have a Lumia 800, especially 900, now is that they really won’t see much different, the phone is essentially the Daddy version of them phones, having said that people are flocking to the iPhone 5 which looks identical to all iPhones in the past plus an extra 0.5 inch, so what the heck eh! The phone features the same annoying but you get used to sharp edges, which aren’t sharp as knife sharp but if you hold it in a certain way you may feel a slightly uncomforted from it.

Whilst I think HTC’s Windows Phone 8X beats the Lumia 920 on design principles, it’s rather close in the competition of design, especially as a lot of the 8X design principles kinda make you think of Lumia anyway, ironic but true. There is no competition however when competing against the rather dull and cheap looking Ativ S, or any Samsung phone by that matter.

Display

The display on the Lumia 920 (and the 820) yes are wider looking than those of the Ativ S or 8X out their, and thats due to the fact they share the same aspect ratio as previous Windows Phone 7.5 devices, whilst the 8X and Ativ S have a 720P (1280×720) display resolution, the Lumia 920 has QXGA (1280×768) which not only means great clear display with PPI higher than the iPhone Retina Display (326PPI), the 4.5 inch display on the Lumia 920 works out at 332PPI. The display on the Lumia 920 is so refreshing, its just beautiful and a breeze to use. One feature of the Lumia 920 is what Nokia call ‘PureMotion HD+’ … yeah whatever Nokia. What they essentially mean aside from the higher than HD display resolution is that Nokia have packed the Lumia 920 with the highest refresh rate on any smartphone which whilst I can’t notice much difference from the 8X, its good to have.

The Lumia 920 also has Super Sensitive Touch … ah so many trademarks, what this means is you should be able to use the display with not just your fingers, but anything really, although in our experience we found this to be a bit of a gimmick, couldn’t get it working honestly with anything, tried it with forks, nails, pens (standard BICs), and the display just wasn’t interested so don’t know what’s going on their. Winter’s coming up so we’ll try it with gloves then, but for now we recommend turning it off in the Settings. (Settings > Display+Touch + Normal)

Camera

Rear 8.7 Megapixel

Photo taken and uploaded to SkyDrive, click for larger image!

The Camera on the Lumia 920 really is leaps and bounds from anything in the competition, nothing shines as much as this Camera … when used correctly. I have to judge many blogs and videos I’ve been seeing comparing the Camera against the iPhone 5 or the SIII, any results making them win is false, they must be. The Camera on the iPhone 5 is the same as the 4S with small adjustments and the SIII camera was previously compared against the Nokia with much poorer quality. To use the Camera correctly on the Lumia, and any Windows Phone you must remember to focus by half pushing the button down, then after the beep push fully to take the photo, do that and expect flawless photos. Whilst pictures do speak louder than words, we really can’t fault the camera on the Lumia 920. The video recording is 1080p, which is a funny topic to talk about, as most quality on smartphones kind of looks like a 720p recording upscaled, but we have to say on the Lumia 920 its incredible for a smartphone, occasional focusing, but incredible for a smartphone.

One important thing to note about the camera on the Lumia 920 is that its PureView, ugh what does that mean! The Camera on the Lumia 920 actually takes an odd sounding 8.7 megapixel resolution image, a resolution perfect to fill the Lumia 920 perfectly, something we did notice on the 8X. The 8X actually defaults to 6 megapixels to fill the 16.9 display, 8.0 megapixels on the 8X actually shows a 4.3 resolution square on the phone, so the Lumia 920 camera really is incredible.

Front 1.3 Megapixel

Whilst the rear Camera on the Lumia 920 is absolutely incredible, the front facing camera is not. It’s hard not to compare it against the 8X which has a brilliant front facing camera. The camera is not terrible, its just when you switch to it on a phone with the rear camera the 920 has, it’s incredibly noticeable, its a shame, but yeah. The 720p video on the front facing camera though isn’t that bad, so maybe a software fix could make the front facing camera a bit better, the images are colour correct, just not very sharp thats all.

Windows Phone 8

The real highlight of the Nokia Lumia 920 is the operating system its running, Windows Phone 8 is just incredible, and it’s incredible to finally be able to check out it’s true flagship. One thing I was impressed about with the new tiles was how even small tiles showed notifications, and how much I found myself wanting large tiles for things like music and news basically just because of how much you get out of it, happily surprised don’t get me wrong.

Now this isn’t going to be a review of Windows Phone 8, that’s another blog, but suffice to say I’m very impressed, its quick, its fast, 95% of things are working instantly out of the box, love it! Look out for a full Windows Phone 8 review however in the coming week or so. One thing I will say is some, only some, apps that I’ve previously said have crashed have mostly been patched and updated which is good and had no problems with games and most apps I’ve been using all these years on Windows Phone 7.x.

The People hub is massively improved, now supporting FaceBook filtering when adding statuses, I haven’t had a chance to check out Together yet, but it looks pretty awesome. Messaging finally supports full Emoji in the keyboard, and there’s a lot, similar to iOS there’s a Recent section so the commonly used icons will show up, and the keyboard is incredible using the new autocorrect that goes beyond autocorrect, it even estimates your next word, and using this a while it does actually learn what you type, love it! Mail will also finally support either theme colour, whether white or now black. Trust me though they is so much more I could talk about Windows Phone 8.

Music

One of the big features highly publicized about the Windows Phone 8X by HTC was the inclusion of Beats Audio, which in the 8X surprised us all, this was mainly thanks to the rare inclusion of dual amps in the 8X from the earphones and the speaker, which even itself created some incredibly clear sound. This has been something many have been turning away from the Nokia Lumia line for, whilst compromising on storage, some people care more about the quality itself.

Dolby + Equalizer

Thankfully the music quality on the Nokia Lumia 920 is not the sound replicated from turning off Beats on the 8X, and that’s mainly due to the fact it has not only Dolby Surround built in, which ironically was last seen on Windows Phone by another HTC , the HTC Surround. However, Nokia have thrown in that one extra piece of juice that makes it nicely catch up with the 8X sound quality, and that’s something we’ve been wanting on Windows Phone since day one, a Sound Equalizer!

The Equalizer offers many set pre-sets you’d expect such as Bass Boost, Rock etc, but the best thing to do we find is to create you’re very own custom preset, by setting the highest one at the true top you then finally get Beats competitive quality on the Lumia 920.

Its not yet clear if the same additions will be available for the Nokia Lumia 820.

Apps and Eco-system

Ok, the apps are still coming, today we just got Angry Birds Space on Windows Phone, but Angry Birds Star Wars will be simultaneously released on iOS, Android and Windows Phone so that’s good. The apps in most part are here which is awesome, and ones that aren’t have very worthy alternate versions, one very noticeable addition when comparing this against the HTC 8X is the use of the Nokia Collection of apps. Whilst we don’t quite understand why Nokia Counters!!!! doesn’t run on the 920 yet, and even other Nokia titles, we hope they do finally realize they’ve a big phone out their being purchased by millions.

The eco-system of Windows Phone is finally here though thanks to Windows 8 and the integration Microsoft have been created really shows now, and Windows Phone 8 works seamlessly with Windows 8 and other Microsoft core services including the Windows core itself now, which all in all makes for an incredible not only user experience, but integrative experience. All in all the eco-system is here, not perfect, but definitely here!

Battery Life

5 Things to do to get best Battery Life

  1. Disable NFC when not in use (Settings > Tap to send > off) This will lead to Tap to send not appearing on Send dialogues and you won’t be able to receive NFC connections, when you do, enable again.
  2. Disable Super Sensitve Touch, this really kills battery (Settings > display+touch > Normal)
  3. Disable Bluetooth when not in use (Settings > Bluetooth > off) This will lead to Bluetooth not appearing on Send dialogues and you won’t be able to receive Bluetooth connections, when you do, enable again.
  4. If not in 4G coverage, lower highest connection rate to 3G (Settings > Mobile Network > ‘Highest connection speed’ set to 3G)
  5. Wireless Charging

Whilst it took me a while to figure out these tips, they have proved to be very useful on maintaining the best battery life, you can also check your battery life very easily by downloading a Battery Tile application, as Microsoft have finally opened the API to battery access in Windows Phone 8!

Battery life on the Nokia Lumia 920 has actually been surprising, getting through a very tough long day of 8am till pretty late times of 2am and still maintaining 30-40% charge … ok 20% on a gaming day. So it’s pretty fair to say that we’re more than impressed with the battery life on the 920, and if you meet the guidelines set above, you’ll be rolling all though your day with the Nokia Lumia 920.

Overall

If you are out their looking for the most beastiest and best Windows Phone 8 devices out there, the Nokia Lumia 920 is pretty much the phone you’re looking for, especially as it’s priced equally to the HTC 8X in some regions kind of make the purchase a steal. With an incredible camera, display, double the storage, all in, yes quite a chunk, but still a worth while chunk of sturdy material proved to withstand almost anything you throw at it!

Pros

– The Camera is incredible, possibly the best shooter out their, shooting incredible photos and video, even if the front facing camera does let it down a bit.

– The durability of the Nokia Lumia 920 is just incredible, the build quality of the poly-carbonate and Gorilla Glass 2 make the Lumia 920 probably the most durable phone without a case out there!

– 32GB is just the right internal storage

– The aspect ratio of the display on the Lumia 920 means less boarders we’ve been seeing on 16.9 resolutions from 8X and Ativ S.

Cons

– Quite a selection of OS bugs, which whilst we do expect to be fixed in an update are a tad annoying, although there’s considerably less bugs than the Lumia 800 had at launch
BUGS WE’VE HAD: Heat on top of the phone near the Camera, Messaging chat offline, Resets (we’ve no experienced), Random freezing to the extend of hardware reset (Volume Down+Lock button for 10 seconds))

– Why pick IPS technology, this makes Nokia’s world-leading ClearBlack technology seem worthless, compared against a Lumia 800, the blacks just aren’t the same

– The size and weight of the phone isn’t as insane as many made out, but does take a bit of getting used to … buy some new pants

….fussy things I know but we had to have something

Price

£520 – SIM Free

£399 – Pay as You Go

From free on Pay Monthly*

Selected 3G plans only, due to EE’s rather ridiculous pricing strategies, it costs a hefty £149 up front then £36 a month for 24 month giving you only 500MB of 4G which could be used up in around 20 minutes.

Summary

– The Lumia 920 really is the Windows Phone 8 device to look out for, and we can see a refreshing comeback from Nokia with this phone, whilst it has some on launch bugs, once they are fixed, apps come crashing in, this phone really is everything you could want in a phone, and for that we have to disclose the early morning hurt and give this phone the credit it deserves.

Published by R-Tech

R-Tech is the source of all the latest Technology posts on RKUK Media.

10 thoughts on “Nokia Lumia 920 Review

  1. You are confused with camera – Nokia 808 has the 41 MP sensor
    920 has the 8.7mp and OIS
    I dont understand the “ugh” about their naming …. at least its something
    everyone will remember if not completely understand. pureview puremotion HD+
    and it is a better technology so naming it in simple terms is easy.( same as clearblack)
    if you are interested you can ask?

    1. The camera has been reported to take a much higher than 8.7 megapixel image and remove the deferring pixels, we’re very aware this isn’t the Symbian Nokia 808.
      As far as ClearBlack goes, Clear Black works so much better on the Lumia 800 and 900 compared to 920.

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