Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone

Can Nokia give Microsoft's Windows Phone platform the boost it needs?

  • Review
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  • User Reviews (4)
  • Buy Now 1
Nokia Lumia 920
  • Nokia Lumia 920
  • Nokia Lumia 920
  • Nokia Lumia 920
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5
  • User Rating

    4.00 / 5 (of 4 Reviews)

Pros

  • Best in class camera
  • Excellent screen
  • Great design and construction

Cons

  • Thick and heavy
  • Limited Windows Phone app ecosystem
  • Average battery life

Bottom Line

The Nokia Lumia 920 is a superbly constructed smartphone that has an outstanding camera and an excellent screen. However, there's no mistaking the sheer size of this phone and the limited Windows Phone third-party app ecosystem can't match rival platforms.

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  • Orange Nokia Lumia 920 Heavy Duty Durable Trade... 9.95

Nokia's Lumia 920 could represent a last throw of the dice for the once dominant Finnish company, who is attempting to provide a valid alternative to Apple's iPhone and Google's Android devices at the top-end of the smartphone market. The Lumia 920 is superbly constructed, has the best camera on the market and comes with a excellent display. However, there's no mistaking the sheer size of this phone and the Windows Phone third-party app ecosystem can't match rival platforms.

A superbly constructed brick

The first thing you'll immediately notice about the Lumia 920 is its size — there's no getting around the fact that this is a huge phone. The Lumia 920 is thicker (10.7mm) and heavier (182g) than most other smartphones on the market. While we can appreciate the amount of tech that's packed into that shell, particularly the camera and its floating lens optical image stabilisation system, users who long for a thin and light phone are best advised to look elsewhere. The weight and girth of the Lumia 920 is very noticeable, even if you're coming from an already large device like the Samsung Galaxy S III.

Users who long for a thin and light phone are best advised to look elsewhere.

There's an upside to everything though and in the case of the Lumia 920 that comes in the form of superb build quality. We've always been fond of the construction of Nokia handsets and the Lumia 920 is certainly no different. We love how the device curves into your hands when it's picked up and you can immediately tell that a lot of thought has gone into the ergonomics. The single polycarbonate block curves nicely in your hand and the buttons on the right side are all well positioned for one handed use, though the glossy finish is very slippery. One downside to the Lumia 920's design is the lack of expandable memory, though the phone comes with a reasonable 32GB of storage. With 29.12GB available to store apps and files on, this should be enough for most users.

The first thing you'll immediately notice about the Lumia 920 is its size.
The first thing you'll immediately notice about the Lumia 920 is its size.

There are some small but appreciated design touches on the Lumia 920. The power, volume and home buttons are made from ceramic, which Nokia says will prevent scratches. It's only a small touch but one we suspect will be appreciated by plenty of users. We also love the centre-positioned headphone jack on the top and the visible torx screws on the bottom. This kind of attention to detail often goes overlooked on many other smartphones.

We love the overall look of the Lumia 920. Unlike most other smartphones on the market, the design is fresh and inviting. The bright colours on offer may not suit all tastes, but we quickly grew fond of both our red review unit and the bright yellow model we handled in a pre-release demonstration. For those who prefer more traditional colours, the Lumia 920 is available in black and white models, too. The black model has a more traditional matte finish.

The buttons on the right side of the Lumia 920 are well positioned for one handed use.
The buttons on the right side of the Lumia 920 are well positioned for one handed use.

It's one of the best smartphone screens on the market.

The Nokia Lumia 920 comes with a 4.5in IPS screen with a resolution of 1280x768, resulting in a pixel density of 332ppi. It's one of the best smartphone screens on the market. Colours are vibrant and eye catching and viewing angles are excellent, though black levels aren't as deep as most AMOLED screens. We found text, especially in the Internet Explorer browser, to be super crisp and clear with no visible aberrations.

Nokia says the screen uses "PureMotion HD+" technology, which aims to offer blur free scrolling. We've never considered this an issue on most other phones, but it works as advertised here, with smooth and slick transitions between screens on the Windows Phone 8 OS. We also found the Lumia 920 works extremely well outdoors in direct sunlight and can confirm that the screen does respond to your touch even if you're wearing gloves. This is a handy feature for those in cool climates, but it's not as relevant in Australia.

The Lumia 920's screen displays vibrant colours and has excellent viewing angles.
The Lumia 920's screen displays vibrant colours and has excellent viewing angles.

Smooth user experience and great Nokia apps

The Nokia Lumia 920 is a fast and slick smartphone.

The Nokia Lumia 920 is one of the first devices to run the latest version of Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, Windows Phone 8. The first thing you'll notice is speed: the Lumia 920 is a fast and slick smartphone. We didn't experience any lag whatsoever when flipping between apps, scrolling through long lists or opening apps like the camera. Basic day-to-day tasks on the Lumia 920 are smooth and responsive. Scrolling, especially in the Internet Explorer browser, is smoother and faster than most Android phones we've used. All in all the combination of the Windows Phone 8 OS and the Lumia 920's hardware makes for a speedy and efficient device.

The biggest new addition to Windows Phone 8 itself is a new home screen interface with support for small, medium and large live tiles. There's also more colour customisation options, built-in Skype integration, a revamped backup system that now includes the ability to backup SMS messages, a 'Kid's Corner' function where only pre-selected apps can be accessed and the expansion of the People Hub with a new 'Rooms' feature that shares lists, calendars and photos.

The Windows Phone 8 home screen, Nokia Maps and Nokia Music apps.
The Windows Phone 8 home screen, Nokia Maps and Nokia Music apps.

The Windows Phone 8 ecosystem has some excellent core features. All users receive 7GB of SkyDrive Storage for free. The built-in, free Microsoft Office app handles Word and Excel documents with ease and is without a doubt the best office client on any mobile platform we've seen. The Xbox Music service, too, is decent value at $11.99 per month or $119.90 per year for unlimited music streaming. We did find it odd, though, that the Windows Phone 8 platform can't open a basic .wav file, such as the voicemail message service used in many workplaces.

In addition to Windows Phone 8's core features, Nokia provides some excellent pre-loaded apps which you won't find on any other Windows Phones. Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive are the most notable and convenient. The Maps application is significantly more comprehensive than Apple Maps on the iPhone 5 and even betters Google Maps on Android phones in some ways. It allows you to download a range of maps from entire countries to use when you don't have any mobile network coverage. In addition, Nokia Drive provides free turn-by-turn navigation in a clean and easy to navigate layout. The ability to download maps means the navigation service doesn't use any mobile data, just the phone's built-in GPS chip.

Nokia Drive offers free turn-by-turn navigation with the ability to download maps.
Nokia Drive offers free turn-by-turn navigation with the ability to download maps.

Nokia also includes the City Lens app, which uses augmented-reality to display nearby points of interest. However, we found it largely a gimmick and the same results show up in a standard search through the Nokia Maps app. There's also four photography app add-ons, which we'll get to in the camera section below.

Limited third-party apps

Despite Nokia's excellent bundled apps, one of the biggest issues with the Nokia Lumia 920 and more importantly the Windows Phone OS itself, is the lack of popular third-party apps. A visit to the Microsoft App Store will quickly tell you all you need to know but many apps we use on a daily basis on iOS and Android simply aren't available on Windows Phone.

The lack of quality third-party apps on the Windows Phone platform is an issue.

It's not simply about the number of apps here, but the number of important apps that have become popular on smartphones. A few examples include Dropbox, Pocket, Instagram, Spotify, Pinterest, Pulse News and Flipboard. These apps and many more may eventually come to the platform, but they're not available right now. Further, many of the non-official Dropbox apps we used were awful and attempted to masquerade as an official app, while the price of apps on the Windows Phone platform often seem higher than competing platforms. The lack of quality third-party apps is an issue that we suspect will prevent most average consumers switching from iOS or Android to a Windows Phone like the Lumia 920.

In addition, the Windows Phone services available on the Lumia 920, such as Xbox Music, strongly appeal to those who are already ingrained in the Microsoft ecosystem. If you've got an Xbox, use a Windows 8 PC and have a Windows Phone 8 device, these services are a great option. For everyone else, like those who might use a Mac, an iPad or an Android tablet, the incentive to use these services is significantly diminished. A good example is already established services like Spotify that this author uses daily. This isn't available (yet) on the Windows Phone platform yet it's readily usable on an iPhone or an Android device. To switch to the Windows Phone platform and the Lumia 920 requires a compromise that many everyday consumers may not appreciate.

None

Best in class camera

Much fuss has been made about the heavily marketed camera on the Lumia 920. While there has been a lot of hype, most of it is deserved — the Lumia 920 is without a doubt the best camera phone on the market.

The Lumia 920's camera is able to capture more detail than most other camera phones.

The camera uses what Nokia calls floating lens technology and combines that with an f2.0 aperture and a backside illuminated sensor. Nokia says the lens sits on tiny springs which minimises movement when you're capturing images and video. The results are best seen in low-light, where the Lumia 920 is able to capture more detail than most other camera phones we've reviewed. Minimal image noise, excellent colour reproduction and accurate detail are highlights, though the overall colour tone can often appear more neutral than most other smartphone cameras. Video recording is also excellent, and the optical image stabilisation works a treat here, too.

A photo we captured with the Lumia 920 (click to enlarge).
A photo we captured with the Lumia 920 (click to enlarge).

We did note that you really have to keep your hand steady when capturing images with the Lumia 920, despite the use of optical image stabilisation. For best results, we recommend using the on-screen capture button rather than the physical shutter key on the right side of the device.

The camera app itself is fast and is aided by plenty of settings to tinker with. Nokia's multiple camera modes, which it calls lenses, are impressive. There's a panorama lens to capture panorama shots, a cinemagraph mode that captures movement and turns still shots into a GIF file and a SmartShot lens that captures multiple photos and then allows you to remove elements from an image, like someone walking in the background of your photo. These are all valuable additions, but they open in a seperate app to the camera despite being present in the options menu, which is annoying. There's also no way to immediately share a Cinemagraph image, from the app, which seems like an oversight.

Capturing a Cinemagraph image.
Capturing a Cinemagraph image.

The Nokia Lumia 920 is a 4G phone that's exclusively sold by Telstra in Australia. It offers reasonable battery life compared to other 4G phones we've tested, but we still couldn't push through a full day of use. We experienced around 13 hours of battery life per day on average but if you're a moderate user then you should be able to get through a full day.

One nice touch is the fact that the Lumia 920 has wireless charging built-in, though you'll have to purchase some optional accessories to make full use of it. There's a wireless charging pillow by Fatboy, a Nokia-branded wireless charging plate and a JBL speaker that will charge the phone and enable one-touch Bluetooth pairing using NFC. Because these accessories all work on the Qi wireless charging standard, they will be compatible with future models and should even work with non-Nokia smartphones that feature Qi wireless charging capabilities.

The Nokia Lumia 920 is available through Telstra in Australia.

Related content

Telstra opens Lumia 920 pre-orders
Telstra announces Nokia Lumia 920 pricing but no firm launch date
Microsoft banking on Windows 8 to boost Windows Phone
IN PICTURES: Windows Phone 8 Sydney launch
Nokia Lumia 920 vs. Apple iPhone 5: Head-to-head
iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S III vs. Nokia Lumia 920
Top rated Windows Phones

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Fer

1

The best smartphone is nokia lumia

Geek

2

Pure View, Pure Motion, Pure Power = Nokia Lumia 920!!!

Dez

3

I always find it interesting that users of other mobile device platforms have to comment on the lack of applications that aren't available on different platforms because their platform doesnt support that functionality by default.

There is no real need for dropbox, spotify, etc on the Windows platform because there are built in options already availble in the operating system that provide similar functionality.

I know its a personal choice of application, but I prefer SkyDrive as it provides better functionality and value for money. Yes there is an application available for dropbox if people wish to use it, but I found it pointless when my office applications could automatically save and open on SkyDrive from my mobile device, or any other windows or web device. And if I like the Dropbox save to a particular folder on my desktop/laptop functionality, then maybe you could consider the capabiltities provided with SkyDrive and Mesh to select any folder to be uploaded to the cloud service. It makes life a lot easier.

The built in search for music and integration with the marketplace to then add the music to my list and/or purchase it is a huge advantage over running 3 different applications on other devices. Why would I want to use Shazam, Spotify and iTunes? I often amaze other platform users of how quickly I can search for a song that is playing, add it to my playlist and/or download it to my collection.

So these app providers would most likely class Windows as a low priority platform as there is already functionality available and they can focus on the other platforms where there is a bigger need for the apps. So do we define a platform by its lack of out-of-the-box functionality, or by the additional applications availble for purchase to provide the same functionality?

I often think reviewers miss these points because they only use the phone for a short period and dont get to fully appreciate the ease-of-use that other platforms might provide. So rather than judge a phone or operting system by its lack of 'named applications', how about consider why the application is missing. Maybe there is better alternative already on the phone and its a lack of user education and experience that is the problem?

john

4

are apple & google your enemy?...920 is gud bt nt the best....

Malik

5

It's all well and good if you are already in the Windows platform to not want to/need to use any other applications, but how is the Windows Phone market going to grow if these popular apps are not available on the platform in a timely manner? What is to convince people to switch to a Windows Phone if their currently used streaming service does not have an app for it, yet that app is available on the other platforms? Windows used to always be about having choices and hopefully the store will grow to offer the choices we are used to having. Same goes for Windows RT.

jack

6

The city lense works best in areas you dont know...
Also as the 3d mapping of additional cities occurs you will find these tags attached to the buildings
like a street sign. There are a few cities that have been completed but you will find this will only get better. So the maps for now are visually better, the 3d modelling and city lense will enhance this experience in mapping and city lense.

ausadl

7

no thanks ... don't have strong pockets for this heavy one

dom

8

This must be a paid ad for WP8. WP* has so many issues not mentioned here. Randon reboots and very poor batery life and very slow OS.People are not buying the lies from this article.

vancian

9

Great lowlight camera, great interface, great camera. Nokia nailed it.

sailenet

10

The reviewer is incompetent twit.

GirthDiggler

11

And "Sailenet" is iNaive. Knees getting soar from blowing Jobs? Oh wait he's dead.

Pete S. Sydney

12

I've had my 920 nearly a week so far and I have to say I love it. The heavier / thicker factor soon becomes not noticeable. I was on Android with a HTC Desire, and just needed a change. I very much like the cleanness & functionality of Win 8. I don't need a million apps, the camera is great, and the thing looks superb. Nokia are on a winner here & I encourage people to be open minded and check it out, and not hate just because it's Nokia / Windows.

David

13

Hi Ross,

I phoned Telstra and they told me they had a bunch in the main Melbourne store. Then after going into the centre of the CBD was told they all sold at the start of the day so the stocking computer was obviously not real time. They told me they only had about 40 for sale in the store. They put my name down on a list that looked like a hundred+ people had done so before me.

I went into a few other stores on the way home (including the JB Hifi in the Docklands), and phoned Bendigo and Ballarat telstra shops. Much the same story they had all sold out - frustrating. Many of the stores seemed to only have a handfull for sale Tuesday and thus the obvious sell out.

Oman99

14

I love my 920, but I have to RETURN IT! because it will not play my voice mail attachments (.wav files) sent to me from work. This is a TERMINAL issue for me. Also a big problem is that it has NONE of the Apps I'm used to on my I-Phone. None have migrated to the w8 Mobile platform (yet). Maybe I'll look at this one again in a year and see if these issues have found a solution. As a Smart Phone it's dumb, as a Phone Phone, it blows I-Phone away with it's voice quality on calls.

antonio

15

i want lumiaaa http://versusio.com/en/apple-iphone-5-vs-nokia-lumia-920 forever nokia!

MBJ

16

I've had my Nokia 920 since the summer and I love it! When a coworker saw the photos that I could take with it he decided he had to have one. The weight of it in my purse or pocket let's me know it's there without a frantic search. I have loved every Nokia phone I've ever owned and will never be lured to the dark side as long as they are available.

Peter of Brisbin

17

I have been using smartphones for years. But the one issue that all reviewers miss is the main reason for having a cell phone...how good is the phone as a (gasp) phone? I watch my co-workers running around the office trying to get a signal, or complaining that they have just lost a call. So, what is the reception like? I have a Palm Pre 2+ (yes snigger) that allows me to sit at my desk, and all the other desks in our office and make and complete phone calls while all the other users have to go outside!
We are forgetting the real reason for cell phones...communication. So how about a few comments on the capability of the phone in problem areas for all new reviews.

Guy

18

If you take a WAV file and drag-n-drop it to the phone's "rintones" folder via USB, it will convert it to WMA. Otherwise use phoneconvert to convert it to mp3.

Florence

19

has anyone got a virus protection for this phone yet...please help me out...

ABHAY TIWARY

20

Stop Nokia Lumia Music Player..
Watch solution at forllowing youtube video:
http://youtu.be/uTyhAdTJMpI

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John

4.5

1

Pros
camera
Cons
battery
• • •

The phone is great, very solid, good quality and I really love it! However, after 3 months of usage my Nokia 920 stopped working properly(battery issue) so I reported the seller DutyFreeCentral regarding this issue and asked for replacement.
I was prompted to sent it back to the seller and since then I was waiting weeks after weeks with no luck till now...
From time to time Customer service replied to my messages stating that they're working on it, sometimes they just ignore my requests to send the status update.

On the one hand hardware issues like this one cannot be managed by reseller, but on the other hand my phone is on warranty so it's still seller responsibility to provide replacement or get it fixed in reasonable time.

I would not recomment DutyFreeCentral to anyone because they don't take care about their clients.
If you're looking for a service with reasonable resolution time then you shoul not go with DutyFreeCentral.com.... Service Desk from this company is useless, they don't meet customers expectations.

Company rating (especially support) is very poor, but on the other hands they sell cheap/inexpensive products online with good prices.
Overall feedback is negative, I wish to have it changed to the positive one but company does not communicate with me. They do not reply even when they get prompted that I have to open a case in ACCC.

Cheers
DutyFreeCentral.com case ##127720##

Robert

5.0

2

Pros
Nokia Drive with speed alert, Great
Cons
Some music player differences to get use to
• • •

Once I read the manual and found how easy it was to use. I recommend that you should read the how to use information as I though that having a Nokia Lumia 800 it would be easy but not so. Its like getting into a Rolls Royce and find the difference.

After setting up Nokia drive I wondered why when driving the phone would beep now and then. I suddenly reliesed that it happened when I exceeded the speed limit in the area and it changed at all the speed signs.

Still find out about all the phones fetchers.

Jose

5.0

3

Pros
Build quality, camera, device ecosystem
Cons
Quality apps are still thin on the ground
• • •

I can't speak for Oman (the other user reviewer) but this phone absolutely meets all my requirements. The camera is superb (the shots are a bit soft, but colour reproduction and night performance simply can't be beat). The screen literally made my iPhone using friends gasp - it is that big, bright, and beautiful. Having said that, some of them also had reservations about the size of it but that's personal preference - all agreed that it is an absolutely gorgeous phone. The red 920 that I got is bold and attracts attention, but it's never garish and is all-around a very classy device.

In terms of "device ecosystem" - let's be honest, Microsoft is the only game in town that has the whole "triple screen" thing going right now. Apple still treats AppleTV as a hobby, and the Google Q is DOA. But a Windows 8 tablet, plus a Windows Phone, and an Xbox is a multimedia powerhouse.

My only gripe is that quality apps are still thin on the ground. I keep an iPod Touch around the house for some of the speciality apps that just aren't available yet on WP8, but I've definitely noticed in the past month that developed interest is picking up. Especially with a unified Windows NT platform underlying Microsoft's mobile strategy, things are only going to get better.

Do yourself a favour, go to the shop and try it yourself, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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