Nokia Lumia 920 Review: Almost Perfect
Ah yes, it is that time once again. While too soon, I never turn down the opportunity to camp an AT&T store to be the first of my kind! And so, the Lumia 920 and all of its awesomeness now belongs to me! Small blessing folks, small blessings!
So what of it? Is it as special as the pundits made it out to be? Perhaps, depending on who you are. Lets start out with the boring part (to me at least,) the technical specs. Weighing in with a 1.5 GHz Dual Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, 1GB of Ram, 32GB of storage, 4.5 inch PureMotion HD+ display clocking a nice 1,280 x 768 resolution and 332 ppi, 8.7 mp PureView camera, Bluetooth 3.1, NFC, wireless charging, software EQ and Dolby Audio and a monster 2,000 mAh battery.
Wow, did you get all of that? If you’re the kind of person to go gaga over raw hardware specs, then the Lumia 920 definitely has something for you. I say boring only because the Windows Phone eco system never really needed to win the spec race to stand on its own, but I have to admit, it does feel nice to be own a front runner device for once. I can also tell you first hand, the dual core antics of the processors definitely makes itself known. I couldn’t image the experience getting any snappier, but it sure does fly! Niceties like NFC, wireless charging and a battery the size of Ohio are all more than welcome! My favorite piece of hardware on this device is without doubt the display. Technically its just about the best looking display on the market, but mostly, I really appreciate its beauty in every day use.. Text is super clear and crisp, while colors simply pop, even in direct sun light! The display gives the device a character on its own.
My second favorite hardware component is the now famous PureView camera. Nokia took some heat a while back for misleading the public on just how good the image stabilization was. What ever PR firm Nokia decided to hand off the task to, thought it would be smart to record video using a SLR and pawn it off as if they were using the camera on the Lumia 920. Wow! None the less, the video quality if good! Very good at that!
Image quality is definitely on par with the hype surrounding the camera. Day time and high light images were all stunning considering they were taking with a cell phone, but the better part of the equation was the low light performance. Nokia did stress the low light capabilities of the PureView camera since they announced it, I am happy to say it delivers.
Hardware aside, the Lumia 920 continues to impress with its unique design. This is the same mold we’ve seen in the Lumia 800 all the way up to the Lumia 900. Nokia is holding on to this design for good reason, it is beautiful. If you’ve never held a Lumia 900 before, holding the 920 for the first time will be a treat for sure. The device has the most solid feel of any device if have ever used, thanks to its single piece polycarbonate body.
Weighing in at 185g and a peak thickness of 10.mm, I’ve heard folks complaining about the weight and thickness. I often wonder if these people actually held the device. I have asked multiple people (including avid iPhone users) if the device felt too heavy or thick, surprisingly everyone said no. The general consensus was it felt really good in the hand, not too big, not too small. Personally, the weight and thickness of the device adds to the effect; the effect of holding a premium device. The Lumia 920 also comes in some very bold colors, red, cyan, yellow, white and black. There is pretty much a color for everyone.
Windows Phone 8 completes the package. The Windows Phone brand has come a long way in a relatively short period of time, Windows Phone 8 continues to push the brand. With tons of new features like Live Tile resizing, Family Room and even the ingenious Kids Corner to name a few, the OS is stronger and more feature rich than ever before. It really is a joy discovering neat little changes made to WP8 in comparison to WP7.5. Check out this video from Joe Belfiore if you need a bit more information on exactly what is new in WP8.
Still, in all its perfection, the Lumia 920 has one flaw! APPS! This has been becoming less of a problem over the last year in the Windows Phone eco system, but it is still a real problem. My first day with the phone, I ran into seven people who surprisingly knew what it was, asked to play with it and fell in love. Out of the seven, five of them asked about Instagram. Because Microsoft said nothing about the app making its way to the platform, I had no good news for them. It was a shame to see the disappointment in their face, it was literally one app that stopped five people from enjoying the best device and experience on the market. Remove Instagram and put in its place any number of popular apps, and you can see the problem. Lets not be fooled, there is still well over 100,000 apps in the Windows Phone store, although quantity if an issue, quality is not.
Nokia has also been doing their fair share of work to bridge the gap, Lumia devices enjoy a bevy of exclusive software. Although a bad thing for the platform as a whole, it is still a great thing for Lumia 920 owners. Some of the stronger titles include Nokia Maps (which has replaced Bing Maps in all Windows 8 devices,) Nokia GPS solution “Drive” and even Nokia Music, which offers a good deal of free streaming content.
The Lumia 920 stands out as a winner among winners. It’s cutting edge hardware spec will do enough to satisfy the Android lover in your life, its beautiful design will more than lure the iPhone purest and Windows Phone 8’s stability and elegance is enough to invoke envy in all. The Lumia 920 is not as “special” as it’s predecessor, mainly because we know the story already, we know what is at stake. However, the Lumia 920 is almost perfect because it rights almost every wrong, “one up’s” everyone else in the process and does so with a $99 price tag. Ladies and gentleman, this is the best phone on the market.
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About The Author
It’s unfortunate that the fate of an entire OS will hang on the availability of an app… let alone one that is a complete waste of life like instagram.
Sorry we’re all entitled to our own opinions, and I simply do not get instagram.
I’ve come to wonder about situations like this when a dev simply WILL NOT offer their app on another platform. Is it money? Is it them holding out to get money from the OS maker? Are they being paid by another company to not offer on all OS’s?
So I’m at my att store now… No 920 in stock and they only got 8 of them on launch day. I literally walked around the store for 10 minutes before I even found the 920 display.. I passed right by it at first.. No big signs or anything really to advertise it… There’s a big picture of a WP phone then in real small lettering it says about the new 920. And oh yeah, they had no charging plates for launch day… Wow, somebody really messed up the launch…
Loving my cyan 920. Arrived today with the free charging plate!
I don’t care about Instagram…..but the one app I’m missing is an official Dropbox app.
and, no more custom ringtones on windows phones or am I just missing it? I had them on my surround and I imported the music files onto my 920 but they aren’t available to select. Must have missed that somewhere…
Ah…I see now. To add the custom ringtone files I already have (that worked on the Surround) I have to connect the Phone to my computer using USB cable – then in File Explorer you can open the Phone memory and they have a folder labeled Ringtone Files. I put my ringtone files in there and then when I disconnected the 920 I could assign my custom ringtones to specific users. Yay!
I’m familiar with Box – we use it at work. For personal stuff I use Dropbox and Cubby. Unfortunately I already have a bunch of stuff in Dropbox that I’d like to be able to access and I’m disappointed that they haven’t released their own Windows Phone app. There are some “dropbox reader type” apps – some work with some files, but I haven’t found one that’s ideal.
tried lots of ways to assign ringtones to different members of my phonebook none of them work for some reason, the ringtone shows on the phonebook members details, but doesn’t work. I hooked the 920 to my laptop and looked at the ringtone file, which was empty. Anyone help me to get it right please? Also can I get rid of Bing? Or does it have to stay?
The biggest flaw with WP8, to me, is music syncing. It is a total mess when compared to the way Zune Player worked. Hopefully there is a big update coming.
I can’t tell you how many people ask specifically about Instagram. Every day more and more people sign up and use the app/service. Microsoft absolutely needs to have this app confirmed for the platform in the next month.
I think Windows Phone OEMs should all go in together to pay for Instagram and a couple other high profile apps development. It’ll benefit all of the OEMs and it wouldn’t be Microsoft paying devs to support the platform.