Nokia Lumia 920 First Impressions

When the Nexus 4 was announced, I decided that would be my next phone, so I liquidated as many other phones as I could to get the cash together. This included my Galaxy Nexus (since obviously I would be replacing it). I chose to keep my Nokia Lumia 800, partially because it was a gift from a friend, and partially because I knew I could get more for my Galaxy Nexus than I would if I sold the Lumia 800.

Although my Nexus 4 is backordered, I was able to get a Lumia 920 to use through my work at RadioShack. I had been using my Lumia 800 primarily for about a week when the Lumia 920 arrived, so I was able to get a reminder of how the user experience of Windows Phone 7.5 was just before updating to Windows Phone 8.

Lumia 800 and Lumia 920

For starters, the Lumia 920 is almost exactly like the Lumia 800, only bigger. It’s the same unibody design and awesome ‘solid’ feel, and has a curved glass screen, too, which is awesome. At first, the Lumia 920 felt huge in my hand, but after a few days, I’m used to it. It’s still quite hefty, but coming from the Galaxy Nexus, I’m glad to finally have a phone that FEELS like I have a phone in my hand. I never quite got used to that empty plastic feeling of the Galaxy Nexus.

I won’t go through the whole hardware – you can watch my video for RadioShack to get the full walkthrough of all the buttons and specs and whatnot.

The Screen – holy crap. This screen, which Nokia ridiculously calls Pure Motion HD+, is beautifully vibrant, with extremely crisp colors and very little pixelation, if any. I can see it clearly in direct sunlight, something my Galaxy Nexus never did well, and it’s REALLY responsive. I know Nokia makes a big to-do about the super responsiveness, but I’ve actually found it to be TOO responsive. Luckily you can tweak this in the settings.

The Speaker – typical Nokia: blow your eardrums out at 2, yet it goes up to 30. Ridiculous for a built-in speaker these days. Audio through the headphone port is good. Nokia included some equalizer settings and Dolby Digital, but honestly, I couldn’t tell much difference with it enabled/disabled. Doesn’t matter – it’s still awesome, either way.

Nokia Lumia 920

The Camera – now THIS is what I’ve missed while I’m in Android-land. The HTC One X’s camera is easily my favorite Android camera thus far (LOVE the Sense camera experience). The Lumia 920’s camera trumps the One X in terms of quality, especially with objects in motion and low-light. The real kicker here is shutter speed and low-light performance. I have an 18-month old daughter – she’s incredibly difficult to photograph, because she doesn’t stop. As you can see in the photo below, sometimes, she does stop. And she’s beautiful when she does. This photo was taken in a room with the curtains closed and only a single lamp on. If I’d taken it with the Lumia 800 or the Galaxy Nexus, I wouldn’t be showing it to you, cause it would’ve been a black blob on a tan background.

BabyGuru

Windows Phone 8 – having used Windows Phone 7 for a week or so, switching to a Windows Phone 8 device has been awesome. They’ve improved the setup process – you can use WindowsPhone.com to easily re-install most of your apps remotely, which is awesome. It’s still a bit of a pain to figure out how I wanted my Start screen to look, with all the options. You can read more thoughts here.

The Battery- this has been a mixed bag. At first, I was draining super-quick, but I disabled NFC, and thanks to a tip from @NokiaCaresUS, I killed Nokia Drive+/Maps from running in the background. This seems to have solved the issue, for the most part. Easily getting through a solid day. I don’t have a Nokia wireless charging pad, but I do have a Duracell/Powermat one. They told me it wouldn’t work, but it does, mostly. It seems as though if the Lumia’s battery is nearly dead, it has trouble with this mat. Otherwise, it works great.

From a hardware standpoint, Nokia has delivered their standard superior quality on the Lumia 920. It feels like it will last for years, the screen is brilliant (if absurdly named), and while it’s hefty, it’s a good heft. A heft that says ‘you’re holding a quality tool in your hand, there.’

 

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