Model: Lumia 920 – Red
Platform: Windows Phone 8
Release Date: November 2, 2012
I was an early adopter of Windows Phone 7 and picked up the Dell Venue Pro as soon as Dell had it available about 2 months after WP7’s release. I was super hyped prior to getting the phone but became disappointed quickly after a couple of days use. The hardware was buggy, the camera took horrible pictures, and of course there were hardly any good apps. I was jealous of my Android and Apple compatriots. The only saving grace for me with the phone was the ability to get achievements on my Xbox gamertag. So why did I double down and pick up a Nokia Lumia 920 with the new Windows Phone 8 OS? I dug the hardware specs, liked the love Nokia was getting for previous Lumias, and I can still get achievements for my gamertag. The price also didn’t hurt as AT&T is offering the phone for $99 on contract and came with a $50 wireless charger. Unlike my disappointment with my last phone, I am still in love a week in with the 920 and I am going to tell you why.
The 920 is a beast of a phone. We could bore you with numbers like it weighs 185 grams or that it is 5.13 in by 2.79 in and nearly a half-inch thick. It is large and those with tiny hands will notice. But after a small amount of usage the size is hardly noticeable because we are only talking about a handful of grams and a couple of millimeters. There are those that believe size matters but the features the Lumia 920 brings to the table is worth the extra 70 grams in your pocket.
The screen is 4.5 inches of crisp visuals. Opting for IPS LCD display at 1280 by 768 resolution creating a 332 ppi density backed with PureMotion HD+ technology covered in Gorilla glass, Nokia creates a display that looks clearer, crisper, and smoother than most other phones on the market. The only drawback is that blacks aren’t as deep as they were on the previous iterations of the Lumia. The screen also supports multi-touch and seems extremely responsive when compared to older phones. One of the advertised points was to be able to use the phone with gloves and the 920 will make a lot of winter smokers happy as it works as advertised. It is not only gloves though, as stylus type devices will also register but it can be a bit hit and miss with recognition quality for non finger sized objects.
The screen is cased in a plastic like polycarbonate casing with no removable pieces like battery covers. The casing is surprisingly durable and has stylish yet industrial look due to the squared off borders on the top and bottom of the phone. The finish on the casing depends on the color; the white, red, and yellow have a glossy coat. A headphone jack is on the top of the phone next to a SIM card slot. The bottom consists of the mini USB 2.0 charging/data port alongside 2 small speakers that turn out to output a nice loud sound as long as they aren’t covered up. The right side of the phone is the action part with the sound, lock/power, and camera buttons. The typical Windows Phone touch buttons back, windows, and search can be found at the bottom of the screen.
The biggest feature of the Lumia 920 has to be the camera. PureView technology is the buzzword. The two big things in the 920’s camera is the image stabilization and the lens ability to capture more light brightening up the picture. While only 8 megapixels compared to the 41 in Nokia’s previous PureView Phone, the 808, the Lumia 920 features some of the best picture taking ability in a smart phone. Going from the Dell Venue Pro to the 920 is like jumping from the Polaroids to digital cameras. While in college, my friends would often times share notes by taking pictures of them with their iPhones. Any attempt with the Dell Venue Pro was futile because they would be both dark and blurry. The 920 does not have this problem and is the perfect mobile camera for those that like to take pictures in dimly lit places like bars when out with friends.
The other specs in the Nokia Lumia 920 are nothing to sneeze at either. While lacking expandable storage, the 32GB built-in storage is more than enough for most people and more than most phones have built in. With 1GB of ram and the dual core 1.5 ghz Snapdragon chipset, the 920 runs Windows Phone 8 as smooth as butter. Gone are the small hitches that would plague the Windows Phone 7 phones when transitioning between apps and screens. Another great 920 feature is that it comes with wireless charging built-in. If you were to pick up the lower end 820 model, you would have to buy a shell-like accessory to enable wireless charging.
The Windows Phone 8 operating system will be instantly familiar to anyone that used Windows Phone 7 and even the new Windows 8. Live tiles is the name of the game and WP8 ups the ante. 7 was limited to tiles that were the same size and very few apps made use of the live part. 8 allows you to select between 3 sizes of tile that when mixed up among the live tile apps can surprisingly create a unique customized screen. The live tiles difference is really the best example of the biggest thing that is different from Windows Phone 7 and 8. That thing is that everything is much more customizable and full featured. It feels like the same OS but multiple times better and personable.
The Nokia Lumia 920 is a top of the line smartphone experience at an price point that is made to move units. Its hardware is competitive with all the top phones and at some points exceeds them. The Windows Phone 8 operating system works great and is really what Windows Phone 7 and 7.5 should have been.