Many people like to cite how Nokia likes to recycle the Nokia N9 design for its Lumia Windows Phone flagships. I personally think that if a design is winning or popular, then why not build on that success. The Lumia 920 is Nokia’s flagship Windows Phone 8 device which at this point is exclusive to AT&T in the U.S. While some may question the business decision over exclusivity, what Nokia is promising about the 920 is a pretty tall order. Nokia made many promises with the Nokia Lumia 900 that didn’t come to fruition so considering all that, does the 920 exceed the 900 in terms promises? Does it exceed its promises? Find out in the full review!
The Nokia Lumia 920 continues the design trend set by the N9 by setting the entire body in a polycarbonate enclosure. Color options come in both glossy and matte options and they are a breath of fresh in the usual black or white color gamut. Unlike the 900, the 920 brings back the curved screen like the Lumia 800 had. Because this carries a bigger screen (4.5 vs. the 4.3 inch screen on the 900) and includes a 1/3 inch sensor for the camera which also adds a little more weight to the 920. Now to address the weight issue, it really isn’t apparent in the day to day. If you hold the phone in your hands and start texting, the weight becomes apparent and you feel fatigue. Carrying the phone around though, it not really that much heavier than the 900.
On the front above the 4.5 inch screen, you have a 1.3 MP camera while below the screen you have your standard Back, Home and Search capacitive buttons. On the left side you have nothing while on the right side you have your volume rocker, sleep/wake/power button and dedicated camera button. On the top you have your SIM card tray and 3.5 mm headphone jack while on the bottom you have a Micro USB charging port in the center of two stereo speakers. The back of the 920 is very minimal and only has the 8.7 MP Carl Zeiss PureView camera with a dual LED flash. The polycarbonate process this time around is much improved which means the 920 should be able to take more of a beating that 900 could. I dropped the 920 twice during my review period on both tile floor and asphalt and the 920 walked away like a champion.
The Lumia 920 has a 4.5 inch curved Gorilla Glass 2 “PureMotion HD+” display with a resolution of 1280×768. Nokia calls it “higher than HD”. The screen technology all lends itself to having the high screen refresh times which also reduces motion blur. Other display technology included is Nokia’s Super Sensitive Touch display which allows you to use the display with gloves on or using your fingernails. The display also adapts very well to light outdoors. The display is absolutely blow away and while you will miss the deep blacks (this panel is LCD and not AMOLED like the 900) the experience is still paramount. I wish Nokia did use an oleophobic coating for the screen. It would help reduce fingerprints.
The Nokia Lumia 920 packs a lot in its polycarbonate body. It’s powered by a 1.5 dual core Snapdragon S4 processor and has 1 GB RAM. It has 32GB of internal storage with no Micro SD card expansion. The S4 processor does a lot for apps launching and navigating the OS. Everything is buttery smooth. I did notice some warmness when you play intensive games or your phone is left searching for a signal. Also inside is a gyroscope, magnetometer, NFC, Wireless Charging, and Bluetooth 4.0. The battery is a sealed one and its 2000 mAh. My experience with battery life was the following. During my review, the 920 got an update codenamed “Portico” which fixed the rebooting issue and fixed the camera daytime performance. Prior to that update the 920 was draining out completely in about 5 hours which with my usage just not acceptable. This was even with turning off NFC and the hyper-sensitivity screen sensitivity. Post Portico update though, the battery life has improved by a lot. Now I can get through the day easily.
The paramount feature of the 920 is the camera, or better yet the low light performance. The 920 carries an 8.7 MP PureView lens with BSI and OIS (optical image stabilization) and I can say that I am a believer in the low light performance. I took many photos that you wouldn’t even believe were taken is semi dark environment. You can photo samples below. The daytime photos did come off pretty soft lending to some blur but the Portico update fixed that issue as well. I will have two galleries, one before and post Portico update.
Daytime or inside
Daytime or Inside
Windows Phone 8 allows for 1080p Video recording at 30fps and the Nokia 920 handled it very well. You can catch a video sample below.
The Nokia Lumia 920 of course runs Windows Phone 8 but it needs to be said that when you get a Nokia branded Windows Phone, you get the entire suite of Nokia applications:
Cinemagraph takes several photos and stitches them together into an animated GIF. You have your own GIF maker right on your phone. The GIF’s aren’t too large, hovering around 9-11 MB. You then have the option to share them out to various social networks as well as save them to SkyDrive.
Panaorama is another Nokia application that allows you, as the name suggests, take panoramic photos with your Lumia. I have to say the results turned out pretty well.
Nokia Drive+ Beta is your go to GPS and mapping application that comes with all Nokia Lumia phones. You have the option to download maps for offline use and well as have voice guided directions. Here in Las Vegas, the downloaded maps for Nevada was 80 MB. It isn’t always perfect but considering it is free, how could you go wrong.
City Lens is Nokia’s augmented reality app which allows you to view places around you from where you currently are just using the camera and accelerometer. I think it’s pretty gimmicky but it does have its uses.
The Nokia Lumia 920 runs on AT&T’s LTE network and the speeds were blazing. I saw anywhere from 20-30 MB’s down and 8-14 MB’s up. LTE in this area is just amazing and if you find yourself here in Vegas, you won’t be disappointed. Phone quality was superb and I didn’t have any dropped calls or ghosting.
So is the Nokia Lumia 920 worth your money? For $99 dollars, which Im still surprised AT&T is offering it for, you get an amazing package. Amazing HD screen, awesome camera, Wireless charging and awesome support from Nokia in regards to apps and updates. Yes the app ecosystem continues to come into its own but as a far as a phone is concerned, it is a beast. If you are on AT&T and are looking for something high end, the Nokia Lumia 920 will meet all your needs and more.