Phone Review: The Nokia Lumia 920 – The Restart of the Nokia Era #NokiaLumia

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Let’s Begin, shall we?

For over a year, I had struggled to find the perfect replacement for my Nokia N9 smartphone – the first and only device from Nokia with the Linux based Mobile OS  -MeeGo.

From its beautiful design to its almost flawless performance to its Swipe User Interface swift reactions to its functionality, the Nokia N9 was just a badass. Well that was until I got on the 2 weeks Nokia Lumia 920 trial thanks to my mate Jesse Oguns (who by the way now writes once a week for 360nobs.com)

Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia Lumia 920

After using the Lumia 920 for 4weeks (still using it ;)), I must admit that Nokia now seems to have a true smartphone contender to win back most of the smartphone’s market-share lost after its dominant Nokia communicator days (ha! Good times) and it’s doing it with a Windows 8 mobile phone.

Dubbed by many Phone critics as the flagship phone of Windows Phone 8 due to its innovative and revolutionary features, the Nokia Lumia 920 mildly put is a well-crafted smartphone on steroids and this review is based on my experience.

nokia-lumia-920

A Quick Rundown of the Specifications

Dimension

  • Width x Width x Thickness (mm): 130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7
  • Weight: 185 g
  • Volume: 99 cm³

Display

  • 4.5 inch (58mm x 97mm) IPS PureMotion HD+ TFT LCD Super-sensitive touch screen with WXGA (1280 x 768) resolution covered by Corning Gorilla Glass

Photography

  • 8.7 MP PureView main camera with Carl Zeiss Tessar lens, with a two-stage capture key Auto focus, optical image stabilization and a 4 x digital zoom
  • Secondary camera with a 1280 x 960 pixels resolution for video recording calling and still image captures.

Software platform & User Interface

  • Windows Phone 8 

Power management

  • Maximum:  2G & 3G standby time – 460 h; 2G talk time – 18.6 h; 3G talk time – 10.8 h; Music playback time – 74 h
  • Wireless/inductive charging – it can be charged by being placed directly onto a charging pad and is compatible with Qi Inductive Charging

Processor

  • Dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 CPU

Memory

  • 32GB internal mass memory; 1GB RAM and 7GB Free Sky-drive Cloud Storage

The detailed specifications can be seen here – http://www.nokia.com/global/products/phone/lumia920/specifications/

Size – Does it really Matter?

Yeah I know that this review comes 6 months late, but special thanks to Nokia Connects for the review unit. The Lumia 920 seems to continue from where the Nokia N9 left off and even comes in a heavier and bigger size.

So unless, you have had a previous N9 like me, you might not even notice the massive difference in weight vis-a-vis the other phones you have used until you get that small ache in your wrist like the days of the 2005 Nokia Pe Mi Pada era.

The N9 & the Lumia 920
The N9 & the Lumia 920

Ok I Kid, yeah maybe the 185g size comes as a surprise in smartphone market where competitors are going for slimmer and light-weight phones, but it isn’t really a heavy device. Sure the iPhone 5 weighs just 112g and the Samsung Galaxy S4 weighs in at 133g and it’s even heavier than the much larger 5.5-inch Samsung Galaxy Note II; it’s not too heavy to hold, but it’s noticeable. For the men, you finally get to believe you have a well-endowed device that befits your manhood 😉

But trust me you will soon get used to it or completely choose to ignore it – maybe mainly because of the gorgeous Finnish finished design and features e.g. like the live (or dead) Tiles of the Home-screen on these devices – fluid and free-flowing transitions. The Live Tiles are quick and easy to set up and adjust. It allows for great personalization.

nokia_lumia920_tiles

In terms of looks, the 920 sticks to the state-of-the-art design signature of colored uni-body polycarbonate shell with glossy and matte finish tradition of the N9 and the Windows 7 Lumia 800 & 900.

The Lumia 920 is a solid, well-made device with exceptional attention to details. Although my review unit came in matte Black, it is just as exquisite as its 5 other vibrant and colourful variants it comes in – glossy yellow, glossy red, glossy white, matte cyan and matte gray.

My 1st downside of the Nokia Lumia 920 is that it does not support microSD expansion. It does come with an internal storage capacity of 32 GB and a free 7GB Cloud Storage. Guess Nokia still can’t satisfy those of us who revel in massive storage and will even opt for an iPod 160GB Classic over the sleeker iPod Touch.

A Screen that DISPLAYS Better than my LG LED TV???

I used to think that the iPhone 5’s Superb Retina Display was the #datizall of displays until I played Angry Birds Review Day 1 on the 920. Let’s just say I didn’t get much sleep but the upside was I broke all my previous Rio records set on the Chrome and on Facebook in one night.

With its gorgeous 4.5 inch curved glass display running at WXGA (1280 × 768) resolution with an aspect ratio of 15:9 using enhanced IPS screen technology, which Nokia calls PureMotion HD+, it has a higher pixel density than even the iPhone 5.

It is truly the most responsive display out there with less than 9 ms average transition times that reduces motion blur with a scratchproof interface thanks to the Gorilla Glass used.

If I thought the 920 was gorgeous indoors, outdoors seemed to be its natural terrain. As if let loose to roam the wild, the Lumia 920 was so impressive – reacting and adjusting rapidly to light changes; displaying clearer and brighter images. The ambient light sensor seemed to always improve both the contrast and colour settings depending on whatever surroundings I found myself in.

Watching Youtube using the free Youtube Lite app was magical; it’s a fantastic canvas to watch movies, view photos and browse the Web. In short, fonts/text, images and HD video look very sharp on this smartphone.

nokia_lumia920_youtube0

Say Cheese – Lights! MAGIC Camera! Action!

After using the camera on the Lumia 920, I would really love to see a viral musical video being shot using only the 920. I do believe it would be awesome. My niece and I were fooling around using the Cinemagraph and Panorama apps while I was on holiday and boy were we in for a treat.

The 8MP camera with its Carl Zeiss Tessar lens really lives up to the hype – a complete joy to use for taking photos – simply point the lens to the object or person and tap the phone-screen to focus and shoot – the Nokia PureView technology handles the rest – capturing blur-free images and videos even if the camera’s shaking or in low light – all thanks to its Optical Image Stabilization.

The shots are amazing whether indoors or outdoors, during the day or at night. Its low-light capabilities were simply awesome thanks to the magical “flash assist light” allowing for those stunning shots in low light.

lowlight
Photo taken using the Nokia Lumia 920

Performance – How does the Lumia 920 measure up?

Dear Blackberry users (myself inclusive) – The Lumia 920 reboots faster than you can ever imagine. It’s like the BMW of the smart-phones. It performs like it was on crack. Everything works so smoothly …no lagging.

It’s swift execution of tasks was a joy to behold, from sending to reading/downloading emails with massive attachments quickly in 2G, 3G and 4G (tried this while in the UK) connections. The 1.5GHz Qualcom Snapdragon Processor is really a little beast easily allowing you to navigate seamlessly through websites, apps and games; the RAM also seems to be really adequate.

The battery life is standard Nokia, nothing new, nothing really special. Even with heavy use, it’s bound to take you through the day. Quick tip, be sure to turn on the battery saver – a lovely feature that allows me to charge almost every 24 hours if on 3G and WiFi mostly.

The classic Nokia layout (the new classic that is …after the Nokia N9) is evident with the buttons, port and SIM tray arrangement.

The Windows Phone 8 seems to have found a real good home on the Lumia 920. There is an exclusive range of Nokia Apps making the experience amazing and most of your favourite apps are now available for download. I’m still waiting for one of my favourite apps – the Spinlet music app to hit the store

The Extra-Cool Factors

The People Hub: The People hub contains everyone from your social media site – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and synched contacts from Outlook and Google. It’s an awesome Hub that keeps you updated about your friends and their social media activities.

Nokia Maps: So I tried to use Maps while on the subway-train with no single network signal and guess what …it worked. No WiFi, No Mobile Internet, it still gave me the required voice directions required. Pretty cool huh and should come in handy in all those poor-signal locations.

Nokia City Lens: Qualcomm’s Augmented Reality has been perfectly implemented on the Lumia 920. For those who love to travel, this is the app for you. It’s sure to lead you to the nearest restaurant or club across Lagos, Johannesburg, New Delhi  London, New York or anywhere else. The City Lens lets you discover what the city you are in has to offer by looking at your camera’s viewfinder. City Lens is integrated seamlessly with Nokia Maps.

nokia_lumia920_city_lens1

nokia_lumia920_city_lens_famous_places nokia_lumia920_city_lens_famous_places2

Office 365: The Office hub allows you to read, edit and create some (word & excel) Microsoft Office documents.

Tap and Send: The pre-loaded Tap and Send app lets you pair and share media with friends with compatible phones.

First of its kind Touchscreen: The 4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ IPS display is one of the first that allows you to use it while wearing gloves.

Reasons why the Lumia 920 can’t score a perfect 10

  • Heavy in the hand – my perfect size (and weight) for a phone is still the S.I. Unit – The Nokia N9
  • It lacks a file manager.
  • It does not have a notification LED to alert users in case of missed calls, messages or emails.
  • For music fan(atic)s like us, seems like we’ll still be going about with the Lumia920 and iPod – The music sound quality is at best average (not as good as we would have hoped for and not bad either). There is the conspicuous lack of FM Radio features. Although there is a pretty decent free Nokia Music service
  • Fewer Apps than Google Play and Apple stores
  • WiFi disconnects once phone goes to standby mode cutting off downloads and any other Internet activity going on.
  • Like any Windows system, there are a few bugs: 3 days ago, my Nokia Lumia 920 wouldn’t charge or come on. Here’s a quick fix in case it happens to you
    • Press and hold VOLUME DOWN & POWER button for 10 seconds.
    • Connect to charger after you see the initial ‘NOKIA’ Logo flash on your screen.
    • You will now be able to charge and reboot your phone successfully!

Will you be picking up a Nokia Lumia 920?

The Nokia Lumia 920 is the best excuse for switching to Windows Phone 8 right away.  It is the best Windows Phone PERIOD!

The Lumia 920 is sure to win back those long-time diehard Nokia lovers who left because Nokia seemed to stop competing innovatively. It is a superb piece of work from the Finnish phone makers.

All I can say is WELCOME BACK NOKIA.

Reviewer’s Rating: The Nokia Lumia 920 scores a 9/10

 

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Oyeakd

Oyeakd

Slick with his tongue but even slicker with his mind, Oye AKD’s huge MP3 library spans over Terabytes. One of the last of his kind, he collects everything from Comics to Stamps to Gadgets to DVDs. Follow him on Twitter @oyeakd as he takes you on a 360 Degrees Journey into Music and everything else related to HipHop

10 comments

  1. I absolutely love the Nokia 920. Mine comes in Red. The only negative i have is that i cant sync my iTunes on windows pc to the phone 🙁

  2. Ok first, fm radio exists in the phone and will be activated in gdr2 update, also sleeping screen and tap to awake, so this also solves the notification led, and last since the beginning of 2013 an update rolled out solving the WiFi disconnecting issue , phone rocksss all apps are available

    1. Double tap to wake is on the newer 92X phones (925, 928) because they have OLED screens. The 920 has an LCD screen and so, can’t have the double tap to wake

      GirlGeek

  3. No, check again, Nokia Asha 501 is an LCD and has tap to wake and screen glance, Nokia found a way to make it possible to activate these features on LCD, and many have reported about actually seeing and trying the 920 with the glance screen and the double tap to wake

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