It appears Lumia 920 is surely very popular. It even crashed servers in Australia due to its popular demand yesterday. A Reddit user has posted a review of it.
Hey everyone! As you know I was answering a lot of questions about the Lumia 920 these past few days since I was fortunate enough to pick on up in Canada on Tuesday. After having the device for half a week I’d like to outline all aspects of the device and what I’ve come to know it by. I will touch the good aspects which make me love the phone, the bad aspects which make me hate it, and a few other random things. I’m going to start with the bad however, that we at least it ends on a positive note.
As a quick introduction of myself, I’m 22 years old, live in Canada and recently graduated with a BBA Marketing, and BBA Finance. I’m now working as a Marketing Manager for a SharePoint software solutions company in Seattle/Dubai. I’ve been looking forward to this phone ever since they announced WP8 (Apollo), and even more so once Nokia unveiled it in early September. For the past two years I’ve been using a Samsung Focus which I purchased on released day back in 2010–so I’m one of the original WP users, and even had my fair share of WinMobile devices before that such as an HP iPaq.
The not so great:
(1) Cable Placement. Compared to the focus, it’s annoying to have the AUX at the top an micro-USB at the bottom. I tend to travel a lot and always play music off my phone in the car. I use both AUX/USB to play the music and charge it at the same time. This is really annoying to have cables coming out of both sides of the device and extremely difficult to try and play anywhere a car nicely without it flopping around because it’s sitting on a cable.
(2) Volume. I know everyone was asking about this, and now I finally get it! At the place I’m staying at right now I’ve been having to use the alarm on my phone to wake me up. On the Focus, I would set the audio to ‘5’ and it would most definitely wake me up! Last night I had my Lumia 920 set to ’10’ and I managed to sleep right through it and miss an important company meeting this morning. Not impressed by the least. When listening to music its between 15-30. Although this was normal for me on the Focus as well.
(3) Speaker Placement. When watching videos on the device and using external speakers it just doesn’t feel right. Both speakers are at the bottom of the device and produce one-sided sound. I actually find this distracting to listen to at times.
(4) Speaker Quality. I tend to like high-end audio devices–such as this amp and Tannoy speaker set just for my desktop computer. The speakers on the Lumia 920 produce little to no bass which produces an unbalanced sound. Although I would never expect a small, portable device to perform well in this aspect, when comparing to the Focus, or various other mobile devices it comes up short. The result is a slightly ‘tin’ sound.
(5) Device size. It’s quite large. Even in comparison to the 4.1" Samsung Focus, which is already a nicely-sized phone, the Lumia 920 feels almost like a mini tablet instead. Although this isn’t all bad here, I’m including it in this section because sometimes it is just hard to pick up or hold with one hard. Sometimes it even hard just to get it out of my pocket, then fear dropping it once I do get it out.
The ‘I don’t really care about':
(1) Device weight. This is the one aspect everyone has been talking about with this phone. But you know what? I actually couldn’t care less. It’s not like I’m not worried that I can’t walk as far as I could with a lighter phone because its weighing me down. Phone weight is something that one company (cough, Apple) seems to make important to their users. To me, the weight of the phone isn’t important because that’s not its core function. Unless it does actually have the same weight as a brick, then I won’t ever care. And remember, I went from the Focus to the 920. And the Focus was the lightest WP.
(2) Top of the device flexes. Most of you will not have known this, and it actually took me three days to finally confirm this. But if you hold the device at both the top and bottom and squeeze a bit the top of the device, just about the front-facing camera will flex a bit. Why don’t I care? Because it took me three days of trying this on and off to finally actually notice it, and the fact I have to hold the phone in such a specific way to even see this effect. By no means does it take away from the solid feel of the phone, and it doesn’t feel any cheaper because no one will ever know unless you tell them.
(3) Vibrate. Its very quiet, and doesn’t seem very powerful to say the least. I will say that if you’re in university and your phone vibrates in class someone on the other side of the room of 100 people won’t be able to hear the 920, so that’s good at least. Even in a small room I don’t think someone will hear it very far, and I’d actually rate it as the quietest vibrate out of any phone I’ve used anyway.
What works well:
(1) Aesthetics. The phone is gorgeous. It’s simple yet elegant. Similar to the look of the 800 and 900 the 920 maintains a really simplistic, minimal look that is of high-quality and class. I have the matte-black model of the phone and I can say the brushed poly-carbonate exterior is soft, smooth, and isn’t cold to the touch like an iPhone. The front of the device has a very professional glossy screen.
(2) Screen. The screen on this phone is truly amazing. With the resolution of a 15.6" laptop in a 4.5" screen the pixel density (332ppi) creates an awesome user-experience. Web pages are amazing to browse on this phone because you can see everything without having to zoom in much, if any. The color representation isn’t as good as the Focus, although this is just differences in screen technologies. With that said, the AMOLED screens tend to have way higher contrast as well. For a high-end IPS panel the Lumia 920 seems to pull it off. The colors are quite rich, and the ‘black’ portions of the screen doesn’t have insane backlight leak like a cheap HP laptop. When viewed directly on actually you can’t even notice the edges of the screen–similar to AMOLED. The refresh rate is also noticeable! at 60hz with the 1.5 dual-core processor scrolling is a bit more fluid. Sometimes refresh rates are hard to nice if you’ve never seen the difference. As I actually use both 60hz and 120hz monitors when working my eye has been taught to see the difference (and yes, 120hz is truly the most epic computer experience you can get).
(3) Camera. Outstanding. I’ve always been a skeptic of mobile cameras, and I probably always will be. To me, the sensor size is too small to capture enough light to make a decent picture decent. To that, full frame DSLR’s all the way! Or at least a point & shoot camera over a phone right? Well, maybe not anymore. Although I would not replace any of my actual cameras for the one on the Nokia, I can certainly say the 920 is the first mobile devices that its been close enough for me to consider that. And in many situations, I probably will give up taking a small point & shoot where I don’t need an DSLR. The quality of photos the 920 takes is truly amazing. They are crip, clean, and mostly-importantly: sharp. To really show you what I’m talking about. check out this picture that was taken in a 100% black room around 2AM last night. This was using the flash and flash-focus assist. It looks like daytime, that is all I really have to say. And even when taking pictures of dark places in low light, the finish picture is about 60% brighter than when it shows on the screen right before you take it. Most mobile devices produce a darker pictures lol.
(4) Call quality. Actually really good! And its easy to hear in loud places as well. I made lots of call in public the last few days and had phenomenal results. Way better than the focus for sure.
(5) Front-facing camera. Amazing to have finally! By no means is this camera the quality of the rear one though.
(6) Flashlight. For all of those out there that use flashlight apps, be prepared to be blinded. The dual-lumen LEDs on the back of this thing will even burn through sunlight I’m sure. I’ll say they are somewhere near the 50-70 lumen mark, which is insane for a phone.
(6) Hardware performance. This one is hard to report on without bringing the aspect of software in, and I’d like to just focus on the device itself here. I can say that it is even more responsive than the previous WPs and responds well.
(7) Nokia Apps. As with the 800/900 Nokia has included a bunch of applications on the phone, all of which I have found useful. Specifically: Cinemagraph, Creative Studio, Nokia Maps, Nokia City Lens, Nokia Drive, Nokia Transport, Panorama, and Smart Shoot. Of these, Nokia Maps, drive, and city lens are the most useful.
(8) Signal Strength. In comparison to other phones and devices, the Lumia 920 gets better signal strength. We compared the 920 to both the 900 and a hotspot I have and the 920 score 1-2 bars more on average with LTE.
(9) Battery Life. This question is going to be extremely difficult to answer. As I’ve mentioned above I travel a lot, and work from many, many places. During this time I have always had time to recharge my phone on the way to ensure it’s always topped off. So as someone that isn’t away from the charger all day like most, it’s hard to express. The best test for this is going to be this upcoming week as I’ll be down in Las Vegas for a conference and WILL be away from chargers most of the day.
What I’ve noticed: the battery life is ‘reasonable’ for everything that the phone has it in. I mean, I’m running it on LTE with almost all features turned on except Blutooth and WiFi. That’s a lot for a phone to go through all day, and I have a lot of background apps pushing content, and have seven email addresses set to sync ‘as items arrive’. I’m also always on it sending/receiving calls, and its always in front of me helping me work.
With all this said, I have only had one instance where I was actually really low on battery. On Thursday I took my laptop and went to starbucks for a fairly long period of time after running a bunch of errands in the area. The phone was off the charger from around 2:30PM until 11:30PM and had run down to around 18% or so. During this time I probably talked for about an hour on the phone, sent/received many, many text messages, answered emails, browsed the web, and read updates on various stock/investing applications. I didn’t play any games, and had WiFi off the entire time. For me, this is pretty normal of a phone, and the Focus was no different. I don’t expect smartphones to last the entire day perfectly, I would expect them to start at 100% when you leave in the morning and grasp on to their life in the last 10% when you get back home. This is one of those phones I think. It will get you through the day just fine, but not much more then that.
I’ll update this battery section again throughout next week while I’m in the states.
(10) Although this is software related, I feel this need to be posted. WP8 Music services are absolutely astonishing. I use Zune pass, and have now for the past year and a half (ever since it was available in Canada). With WP8 however, Zunepass just got a bit more epic with cloud-synchronization of music. What does this mean exactly? I can download music on either my Win8 desktop, Win8 laptop, or WP8 and automatically have it download and sync to all of my devices. I pay only $10/mo and have access to millions of songs of which I can download as many as I’d like. I can stream music to any of these devices from the cloud, or download them for offline use and saving data. Not many people know about Zune Pass (XBOX music) these days in comparison to say, iTunes method of music. The fact is though, this is the only affordable way consumers can have music, and the only true easy way to do it. I was first impressed with Zunepass as a service to begin with, and now I’m blown away by the ability to share unlimited music. –and keep in mind too, you can easily transfer songs to your friends with tap-n-send, and as long as they have Zunepass as well, they are good to go.
I really don’t like reviews because they always push their views onto consumers. I hope what I’ve done in simply provide a perspective on the device which you can take and form your own opinion. And again, if anyone has any questions about the device I’ll do my best to answer them below. And is any of you would like, I can do another review on the actual software of Windows Phone 8 in comparison to 7.0 and 7.5 in another post. [via reddit]