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The Nokia Lumia 920 – Review

When it comes to Nokia, most of us think of the glorious times, Nokia had
once in the mid to late 90’s with their legendary phones 6110, 6210, 6310
and initially with the communicator series. Also other phones of Nokia were
innovative. With the iPhone release in 2007, the fall of Nokia has begun.

So why to check out on Nokia then now with the Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8 which is said to be ‘lame’ and no alternative to Android and iOS?

Well… I am sort of this guy who likes the challenge and also be one of those who do not go mainstream at all costs. I am an iPhone-user, true and my iPhone 4 has served me well (and still does!), but the contract was nearing end and as I still intend to keep this contract and the enhancement allowing me to claim a new device, I was in the situation to choose between iPhone 5, the Galaxy Note 2 and the Nokia Lumia 920.

So what we see, is, that all these devices are from each OS camp. After some haggling and testing I decided that the iPhone 5 is no option for me because the ‘new’ innovations Apple has put into the new iPhone 5 did not convnce me to fork out about 300CHF for the 64GB version.

Okay, have a look at the Galaxy Note 2. The Note 2 is a gorgeous device, no questions asked. How do I know? My brother also has one and it really IS classy. However in y opinion, Samsung has used a bit too much plastic which robs it of it’s 100% sexy-to-touch status. The other components are average cost. The more important factor for me.  That’s why I was not willing to fork out 150 CHF for the 16GB version as the 32GB version was and still IS not available.

So the last contestant, the Nokia Lumia 920, which also earned some very good critics, got into my focus and with Windows Phone 8 I saw a new playground for my testing urges. So I got me the last available black 32GB version of the Lumia 920. Why the black version? Why the Lumia 920 at all where the body is also only plastic? Why a phone without the possibility to take out the battery and to pop in some more memory using MicroSDXC cards? Let me say it this way: I am using an iPhone… so I’m used to it although a small memory still is bothering me.

Well, the Nokia Lumia is a 4.8 inch smartphone with a 190g heavy polycarbonate body. However if you touch the matte black body of the lumia, it doesn’t feel like cheap plastic at all. When you take the phone in your hands you feel something worthy in your fingers. The display is one of the best i’ve seen so far. High-resoluted, although no Full-HD, it still serves well and it’s still usable in the daylight with almost direct sunlight imposing. What about the initial setup?

Well. After some haggling and studying of the manual, you can set up your device by either creating a hotmail/Windows-Live account or use an existing one. Thanks to my prvider, I was able to set up mine using WLAN access provided by my provider also. The SIM network connection is not mandatory but supportive in the setup process. That’s why I scheduled the setup process until I could pop in my SIM card from the iPhone. The setup process took about 20 minutes in total and then the tiles have shown up. First impression: It is sort of… simple. While Apple and Android use nifty icons to represent the corresponding program/App, Windows Phone 8 uses a sime one-coloured tile that keems some information in it (if supported) or at least a single-color symbol. Sometimes ‘less is better’ works out well but in this case, the surface looks a bit dull for my taste. But the upside of this design-aspect is a slightly-improved battery runtime.

The menus inside the Apps are mostly to slide from left to right and are seamless (so you only know by dot indicators where you actually are and how many menus you have to scroll by). Some other tiles and Apps are using your actually recorded media for display (like the photo App). Other Apps use the tile as information center (such as the mail App which (if the tile is expanded enough – Yes, some Apps/Tiles can be expanded in size from 1×1 to 2×2, 1×4 or even 2×4 grid size – show the actual unread mails with subject and the first words of the mail body.) or live update screen for device status. The battery App for instance shows the actual charge status of the battery (not that the status bar wouldn’t but the status bar hides, while the tile doesn’t!). What’s given to you on iOS using jailbreak and Cydia, namely the BOSSMod with it’s ability to switch phone functions on and off with two touches, is standard with Windows Phone 8 and some (free) Apps. So Users who want to control their phone from the home screen without big haggling thru the system controls menu, have some little quick helpers at hand.

And what about the camera? Well…. surprisingly, the camera in the Lumia 920 has been said to outwit the iPhone 5 camera by far and believe me, Nokia didn’t exaggerate and the taken photos look great. Even FullHD(!) videos are great to look at. So the camera abilities are also great and do not reveal any negative surprises.

The final aspect is the battery runtime. How can the Lumia 920 perform in the classic environmnt. What are the minimum and maximum limits?

Okay, so when you tease the CPU inside the Lumia 920, you can expect the Lumia 920 to ask for juice within approximately 4 hours. The average scenario (Webbrowsing, some calls, SMS, Photoshooting, Video recording and gaming) lets you use your companion for a good 12 to 16 hours depending on how much you use the corresponding apps.

But when it comes to general stamina, where all functions are reduced to minimum (flight mode and energy saving enabled etc.) the Nokia Lumia 920 surprises with an uncommon long standby time of a good 34 days which is outrageous for a quadcore CPU and a modern GPU. I will hand over some pics later on. Great stuff and good work here.

34 days of stamina…

…impresses much but you have to… 

…switch off everything (WLAN, GSM, LTE)!

To compare it to the iPhone 4: Minimum functionality: 5days maximum until the iPhone cries for juice. The average usage ends up in 8 to 12 hours run time and when teased, the iPhone is willing to cope with it for a good 3 hours…

So how does the Nokia Lumia work on the WLAN? There we use Spwwdtest.net which offers reliable speed tests. And to take it from here: It performs well. 50Mbit/s are necessary at minimum if we speak of a LTE-capable device where speeds up to 140 Mbit/s are possible. The Lumia 920 offers quite good performance here together with the IE10 mobile. Websites are displayed really fast.

Good 50 MBit/s Downspeed

…and 10Mbit/s Upspeed are good values!

As you can see, the Nokia Lumia isn’t bad at all. Unfortunately most users rate it down for using WP8 instead of iOS or Android. But it’s not only the OS alone that makes a phone worthy. It’s also the componets used and how the OS is used in conjunction with the device. Nokia and Microsoft did a good work here and actual sales statistics proove me right when writing this. The Lumia 920 is one of these Phones that brought Nokia back on tracks after some years of  misery.

And for those who still doubt Windows Phone 8… give it a try! You won’t be disappointed!

February 18, 2013 Netspark - 1075 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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