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Nokia Lumia 920 Review
Technology should make our lives easier
• PureView camera takes impressive shots
• Windows 8 OS
• Large, bright display
• Quite heavy
• App ecosystem is very poor
Nokia needed a device that would work with Windows 8 phone and this was what they developed in that short space of time. The Lumia 920 is a very well-crafted phone, even with the added weight. The PureView camera almost makes it worth buying, if there was any apps to share your photos on.
Nokia were bummed out the Lumia 900 getting Windows 8 installed, and so they set on making a new phone, and the Lumia 920 was developed in quick fashion. With Nokia’s poor few years in the smartphone market, they need the 920 to be a banger or they may be out of the business.
At 185g the Nokia Lumia 920 is a rather heavy device, especially against the iPhone 5 that weighs a measly 112g. Some may say that is because Nokia have a better design that isn’t capable of being cracked, that may be true, but the back on the iPhone 5 is pretty hard to crack too.
However, the design seems pocket and hand-friendly, at 4.5-inches. It isn’t as big as some of the Android phones out today, like the HTC One X and the Samsung Galaxy S3.
The different colours and premium build quality make up for the heaviness of the phone, at least in our view, after a few days of using the Lumia 920. We found that the Lumia has a rubbery texture on the back that makes gripping the phone a lot easier.
Display wise, we have a 4.5-inch IPS TFT screen with a 768x1280 HD resolution at 332ppi. The Lumia 920’s screen does look very good, brightness and saturation levels are very good without being painful. Text and images look crisp and video playback is fluid with a lot of colour.
The Lumia 920 comes with a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor backed by 1GB of RAM. In Android terms, this may be seen as a rather poor amount of processing ability, but due to Windows smaller power output, Nokia doesn’t need to add quad-core capabilities, although this would’ve vastly improved the service.
There is an Adreno 225 GPU to help with graphical output, there is no RAM asserted to the GPU, so that means gaming may slump if it is too graphically intense or too much information is being passed over without a storage point.
We found speeds on the Lumia 920 to be snappy but not as snappy as the HTC Droid DNA, Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5. It simply lacks the quick pace loading speeds that we’ve grown accustom to with our Android and iOS devices.
Windows 8 phone OS is very good, it brings a new flavour of operating system with live tiles and the metro UI. Apps are very fluid, they have live information and can be changed in size and position.
What we found really great about the operating system was the lack of homescreens, it is simply a scrolling-to-find experience which we enjoy a lot more. Again, this is Windows changing mobile computing.
One problem with the operating system was load speeds, on top of some of the Nokia apps, we found it to be slightly clunky and in places slow. We haven’t had a freeze yet, but we have seen the phone somewhat poor in some areas.
The one major downside to the Lumia 920 is the apps store. Unlike Apple and Android, that have huge apps stores with thousands of developers, the Windows Store is still only in the baby stages and it looks abandoned.
To a native Android or iPhone user, you will be quite saddened by the poor amount of apps on offer. Not only does Windows not provide a competitive solution, it provides no solution.
We suspect you will be waiting a year or two until you can truly say that the Windows Store is on the same level as iOS or Android Store. With no dedicated Twitter or Instagram app, you can tell it will take a while.
The PureView camera is an 8-megapixel beefy giant that can take pictures of up to 3264x2448 pixels. It has a Carl Weiss lens and is built the same way the Lumia 900 was.
That gives us a very professional camera with a few new features, like a spring that will keep images still and software improvements for low-light conditions.
While we wouldn’t say it is incredibly better than the iPhone 5 or Nexus 4, we can say that it is better than both of those and the rear camera does impressive shots.
The front facing camera is a 1.7MP 720p capable shooter that is good for Skype chats. We wouldn’t recommend it for taking photos though.
Nokia was renowned for their brick, never-ending battery life phones back in the day, but now as they try to compete with Apple and Samsung, they’ve needed to up the stakes.
Unfortunately, they’ve lost that brilliant battery life with these new phones, and the Lumia 920 is capable of around six to eight hours of consistent battery life.
Good news is that this phone comes with wireless charging capabilities, although you are going to have to fork out some more money to buy this cool accessory.
The Lumia 920 has 32GB’s of internal storage and comes without any way to expand on that. We find that for most users, this is a fair amount and will allow them to have a years’ worth of music, some videos and some apps on the device without topping the regulation.
Nokia have built a beautiful, if somewhat heavy phone in partnership with what we see as the most elegant operating system. The problem really is that operating system doesn’t have that many apps or developers willing to adopt the platform. Until that changes, it cannot be as recommended as our Android and Apple rivals.
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