The Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone (Review)
The Nokia Lumia 920 is a large-screened (4.5″) smart phone. It’s larger and heavier than standard smart phones. Oddly, it doesn’t feel too cumbersome but I do notice its presence more in my pocket compared to my personal iPhone 4. I would definitely know if I lost it or if someone picked my pocket.
Windows 8 adopters will love the Windows 8 style interface. The live tiles work exactly the same on the phone as they do in the tablet or on a laptop. Of course, you have the obligatory swipe and tap interface that you’ve come to know through smart phone technology.
Navigation is easy if you’re used to smartphones or Windows 8. If you’re switching from an older Windows phone, from Android or from an iPhone, you might experience a little trouble. The Windows 8 interface is nothing like Apple’s iOS, regular Windows phones or Android phones. It’s as different as Windows 8 is from anything previous to it.
However, if you give it a chance, this interface works great on a phone. The tiles are large, so that you will rarely tap the wrong one. The phone that I reviewed worked without hesitation or lag. You can multitask on it, even during a phone call, so if your significant other calls you and asks you to look up a recipe, a phone number or search for a location, you can do that while speaking.
I attempted to pair the phone with my Apple Wireless Keyboard via Bluetooth and the phone “saw” the keyboard, prompted me for the keyboard PIN and the phone PIN but for some reason, I could never connect them. I’m sure it’s my fault and not the phone.
The phone did not find the Rocksteady XS Bluetooth Speaker that I recently reviewed. That’s a disappointment. It never found it while scanning. The phone did find my two Roku devices, my iPhone and my daughter’s friend’s Samsung phone.
The Wi-Fi connectivity is excellent and seems to have a long range. I could still connect to my home Wi-Fi from outside with no lag or hesitation, which is something I can’t do with my iPhone, which has a very limited range.
Now, for the really cool part, the phone’s camera. I know, it’s weird to say it but I love the camera. If you know my writings at all, you know I’m a photographer who’s crazy for cameras, camera apps and funky effects.
For example, here’s a photo of my mouse, mouse pad and St. Patrick’s Day refreshment as I’m writing this review. Yes, that’s a wireless mouse and a SouthPark mouse pad. And of course, my Guinness Extra Stout*. Don’t judge me.
Notice the clarity and good depth of field, though the bottle was less than two feet away from the lens. For us Lomographers, the camera alone might be worth it. The most impressive part of this photo is that the camera used flash but didn’t “blow out” the bottle nor does my computer screen look lightning white in the background. I’m very impressed with the quality of the camera, lens and flash. The same quality of photograph might have taken me several shots to get all of the balance I got on this one the first time.
The Nokia Lumia 920 is a fun phone to use and was named Engadget’s smart phone of the year. Impressive.
The one feature that many reviewers fail to mention is how to take a screenshot with the phone. That’s not a camera shot, it’s a screen shot of whatever you can see on your screen. On some phones, it’s a very awkward, three-handed task to perform. On the Lumia 920, it’s easy–my 11-year-old daughter showed me how.
Press the Home button and the Power button as the same time. If you successfully took the screenshot, your phone will make an old-fashioned camera shutter sound. You won’t find your screenshots in your Camera Roll, though. They’re saved under Photos->Albums->Screenshots.
You can send your screenshots or photos to your SkyDrive account with a tap. You can also share your masterpieces on various social networking sites, if you dare.
Charging the phone only takes a couple of hours, even when you’re down under 20 percent. My daughter wanted to test the phone but it was low on power, so I plugged it in and it only took about 2.5 hours to fill it up to 100 percent, where it still is hours later–after her playing, I mean testing, and my working with various aspects of the phone.
Mind you, this wasn’t a few hours review. I have lived with this phone for about two weeks and feel that I’ve put it through its paces. I’ve charged it several times, run it nearly out of power, taken photos, uploaded to my SkyDrive account, worked with Internet Explorer, updated apps from the Microsoft Store, installed apps from the Microsoft store, opened almost every app and setting on the phone and made a few phone calls. It is a phone after all, so I felt obliged. Don’t worry, Nokia, no international or toll calls.
As for price, I can’t narrow it down for you. I’ve seen prices from $19.99 up to over $600, so my best advice is to shop around for the best contract and phone price combination.
So, you’re probably wondering what I think of the phone that grabbed Engadget’s coveted Smart Phone of the Year award. Well, I like the phone but maybe less than Engadget did.
What I liked:
I like the Windows 8 interface but that’s really not an aspect of the phone per se. As for the functionality of the hardware, I like the range of the bluetooth and of the Wi-Fi. They are both high-powered and very stable. I love the camera with its 8.7MP Carl Zeiss Tessar lens, which I’d never be able to afford on a standard DSLR or SLR.
Power consumption is very good under the harshest use conditions and power up time is incredible. Power management on this phone is probably the best I’ve ever seen on any smart phone.
What I didn’t like:
The size and weight. Sorry, it’s just too big. It doesn’t fit into my pants pocket very easily. During the cooler days, it’s fine in my coat but I’m always aware of its presence. To me, phone gadgets should be small so this one doesn’t fit well for me in that category.
Hipsters will have to wear cargo pants or cargo shorts to carry this one around. Skinny jeans just wont’ do it, so maybe this isn’t the phone for hipsters. And due to the size and weight, vegans might need to have the occasional cheeseburger to lug it around.
Overall, I like the Nokia Lumia 920. It’s hard not to like it. It’s a solid phone with a lot of good features despite its size and weight.
Recommendation: Get it, enjoy it but buy a trailer to haul it around.
*I also had my wife’s excellent corned beef with cabbage today too.