This has been the month for Windows Phone 8, since Microsoft’s launch, devices have been launching globally including here in South Africa. Last week we reviewed HTC’s 8X device and this week we review Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone 8 device, the Lumia 920.
From the moment you open the box to the moment you take out the Lumia 920 you feel the quality and design excellence of a Nokia product.
But does the device live up to the first impressions?
The first thing you notice is how beautifully rounded it is and how smooth the polycarbonate body feels. It is silky and sometimes slips a bit too easily out of your hand. But it feels solid.
The first thing that most people commented on was that it was heavy. And it is, it weighs 185 g and it does feel bulky to be honest, although that sense of “big” does go away once you start using it.
The hardware requirements for a Windows Phone 8 device are standard, so the 920 features a Snapdragon™ S4 processor and a 4.5 inch display. Battery efficiency is ok. It gives you a full day’s usage although you would need a charger on standby if you are a heavy user.
The display itself, according to Nokia, is the best screen they have ever put into a phone. It has Nokia’s PureMotion HD+ technology and a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels. It really is a superb screen, the colours are rich and vibrant and the Capacitive Multipoint-Touch makes the experience smooth.
The Lumia 920 has a 8.7 megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and a resolution of 3552 x 2448 pixels. Impressive specs and it does deliver impressive results. The photos are crisp and it shoots well in low light conditions. It also has Nokia’s Optical Image Stabilisation, which takes care of shaky and blurry pictures especially if you shoot video. Video recording is superb at 30fps in full 1080p HD.
The Lumia has some distinguishing characteristics that the other Windows Phone 8 devices don’t have.
This device features wireless charging, which basically allows you to charge your device using no cables. Nokia have a few accessories that include the “Fat Boy Pillow’ to various docking stations that will also allow you to stream music via Bluetooth while at the same time charging the device.
Another cool feature is their Nokia Lens App. It uses Augmented Reality together with your camera and compass to tell you what is around you. You simply lift the phone up and as you scan from left to right it starts displaying information like the nearest hotels and restaurants. Find what you’re looking for, touch it, and the map pops up to give you directions to the venue. It works really well, but Nokia will need to increase their local content quality as I found many restaurants missing or not included.
The Nokia music app included in the phone, comes with Mix Radio which gives users access to dozens of music channels and genres allowing you to stream music to your device for free.
Nokia arguably has the best maps on mobile devices. I was testing the Nokia Drive+ Beta and found it fairly accurate and easy to use. I would like to see traffic overlaid in the future and alternate route suggestions.
What is great about the maps, is that you can download any maps from anywhere in the world and it won’t cost you a cent. That is great value.
The Lumia 920 is the Rolls Royce of Windows Phone 8 devices. Just like the car, which is the Grande Dame or the Big Daddy of motor vehicles, it is beautiful, smooth, elegant but a tad bulky and heavy. But what an incredible drive it gives you.