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Nokia Lumia 920 review

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Nokia Lumia 920

Summary

Our Score

8/10

User Score

Review Price £450.00

Key Features: 4.5in HD IPS LCD screen; 1.5GHz dual-core processor; Windows Phone 8 OS; 8.7MP camera with 1080p video and optical stabilisation

Manufacturer: Nokia

What is the Nokia Lumia 920?

The Nokia Lumia 920 is technically one of the most exciting phones available but it has been supersceded by the Nokia Lumia 1020. Not only does it have features like an optically stabilised camera for blur-free night time shots and inbuilt wireless charging to do away with pesky cables but it also has the growing in capability Microsoft Windows Phone 8 operating system that's been imbued with a host of Nokia extras. However a smartphone isn't about any single feature but the device as a whole, so how does the Lumia 920 fare?

Nokia Lumia 920 - Design

Nokia has always had a pretty good eye for design and that was no more in evidence than on the company's last flagship phone the Nokia Lumia 800, which we thought the best looking phone of its time. Here then the company has simply taken that same design and made it a bit bigger.

The whole phone is hewn from one piece of polycarbonate plastic into which is set the slightly curved screen. To keep the whole thing looking as seamless as possible all the ports and slots are kept in the flat ends, with just the buttons ranged up the right edge. The unbroken effect it creates gives the phone a wonderfully premium feel, particularly thanks to the quality of plastic used – the colour is in the plastic so doesn’t scratch off like paint does.

However, what's less impressive is Nokia's choice of finishes. On the Lumia 800, all the colour options were available in a matt finish which looked and felt great. Here, though, all but the black model use a glossy finish. Not only will this look worse when it inevitably begins to pick up scratches but it's also more slippery, sliding off laps and the arms of sofas almost as readily as the glass backed iPhone 4S. Plus, it doesn't half show up fingerprints. Thankfully Nokia is still offering the Lumia 920 in a matt black version which looks superb and isn't as slippery.

Then there's the weight of the thing. Somehow Nokia has managed to make what is far from the largest phone on the market one of the heaviest. Coming in at 185g, this 4.5in phone is heavier than the enormous 5.5in Samsung Galaxy Note 2. We've asked Nokia just why it is the phone weighs so much but the company hasn't yet come back with anything specific, saying it's a combination of factors. It seems likely that it's the optically stabilised camera that is the main culprit, though.

With dimensions of 130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7 mm, it's not exactly the slimmest handset either.

All that said, we don't find the size or weight too much of a problem and actually like the overall feel of the device. The curved sides and back mean the phone fits snugly in the hand and it’s far from so heavy that it's uncomfortable.

The arrangement of buttons is also excellent. As the phone uses Windows Phone 8 the function of the buttons is identical to all other Windows Phone 8 handsets but here they're well positioned and easy to operate. Down the right edge are the volume, power and camera buttons while under the screen are touch sensitive buttons for Back, Start and Search.

The touch sensitive buttons are nice and responsive but it's the side mounted ones that really make it. They're well defined so are easy to tell apart by feel alone, they're easy to press and the low positioning of the power button makes it easy to unlock the phone without having to use two hands or shuffle your grip around.

Taking a quick tour of the rest of the phone, up top is the microSIM tray - which pops out at the push of a pinhole button - and the headphone jack along with the second microphone for noise cancelling when making a call. Meanwhile on the bottom is the primary microphone, the speaker and the microUSB socket for conventional charging and connecting to a computer. Plus, of course there's the main camera on the back and a front facing one above the screen. All pretty standard stuff.

However, what is missing is a microSD slot, meaning there's no way to upgrade the phone's storage. Thankfully you can get this handset with up to 32GB of built in storage, which should be enough for most people.

Also, without a readily removable backplate, you can't easily swap out the battery. Again, it's probably not an issue for most people day to day but both the latter points are key reasons why the Samsung Galaxy S4 remains such a popular handset – many would rather have the option than not.

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Martin Daler

September 5, 2012, 10:02 pm

"4.5in HD Amoled screen"
Other sites report IPS LCD...

Martin Daler

September 5, 2012, 10:10 pm

"With a resolution of 800 x 1280 pixels,"
should be 1280 x 768
See her for further help...
http://www.nokia.com/global/pr...

ElectricSheep

September 5, 2012, 11:44 pm

Better start writing that epitaph.

TrustedPhrontis

September 6, 2012, 1:31 am

32GB of memory, excellent. No microSD kills it dead for me. Shame my sons 900 seems really good; but no SD no buy.

nanite2000

September 6, 2012, 2:29 am

This is a preview, not a review. Why is it under the Reviews section?

ChaosDefinesOrder

September 6, 2012, 2:24 pm

website back-end limitation

Ed

September 6, 2012, 3:46 pm

Funnily enough, we've just made an update that allows us to more clearly label our articles and we're just in the process of rolling out an editorial policy to make sure that happens. In other words, this and other first impression, first look, hands on articles will be clearly labelled as such from now on. They will, though, still appear in the reviews column as there are still some other back-end limitations in place, as ChaosDefinesOrder rightly points out. Sorry for any confusion.

Ed

September 6, 2012, 3:47 pm

Argh, how'd that get there. More haste, less speed...

Ed

September 6, 2012, 3:48 pm

Likewise.

ChaosDefinesOrder

September 6, 2012, 5:23 pm

Does it also fix the terrible comments system? ;-)

Ed

September 6, 2012, 5:44 pm

Chance would be a fine thing. We should be fixing it within the next couple of months, though.

AHYL88

September 7, 2012, 5:41 am

Hmm yeah, I agree it is annoying, given this OS and the Nokia 820 now supports expandable storage. Sure 32GB and some cloud storage is plentiful but, and this is the same thing I thought of with the Nexus 7, having cloud storage and a high but capped storage capacity should not be used as excuses to not include a microSD card slot.

J4cK1505

October 30, 2012, 11:52 pm

Looks like a pretty respectable handset, would like to see grey being replaced by blue however. And make all those colors smooth matte as opposed to fingerprint magnet gloss

Martin Daler

October 31, 2012, 12:38 am

Now this article has been re-released as a full review, maybe now is the time to correct that pesky screen resolution? See earlier post above (5 sept)

Ed

October 31, 2012, 1:49 am

Twist my arm. Done.

Martin Daler

October 31, 2012, 2:05 pm

...and would it be churlish to mention the size of the Galaxy Note 2 display? Should by 5.5 inches.

Leena

November 1, 2012, 3:52 pm

I would be interested in hearing about how Lumia 920 works as a phone, is voice quality good? In many mobile phones quality is so poor that it's unconvinient to discuss by phone.

mreman

November 2, 2012, 6:06 pm

I was planning on getting myself a red version , but the black one in this review looks so cool to me . And 32GB is more than enough for me .

Gary

November 7, 2012, 2:19 pm

I want to buy this sim free, is it out anywhere yet? Have found 2 places where it is on pre order for a week or more but still no phone! EE have it but am not paying for their overpriced service.

mother-goose

December 7, 2012, 7:26 pm

Lovely review chaps, thanks for this.

My overall impression is that it is a lovely physical device....but wouldn't it be nice if it was a Nexus device running vanilla Android?

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of Windows Phone 8 and I actually want a device (I think I'll get the HTC 8X if I go down this route due to the smaller screen and headphone amp) - the single biggest thing stopping me getting WP8 at the moment is the lack of Spotify - I'm a pro member and won't give that up. I suspect this is something that is holding a lot of people back - they've got apps they like in another ecosystem that aren't available on this platform yet.

Bugblatter

December 10, 2012, 8:03 pm

You've been promising to fix the comments system since just after this version was introduced. A couple of months ago you said it would be fixed in a couple of months. In the meantime the comments section has almost died.

Sorry to sound like I'm having a go; this has been dragging on though. The biggest killer is the delay in posts showing up; that's killing the comments far more than spam would. I've been posting here for years; it seems daft and insulting that my comments still have to be approved.

Ed

December 10, 2012, 8:08 pm

It is imminent, I promise. We've committed to another service and done most of the development work for the transition but emergency issues elsewhere in the company meant our developers were pulled away from finalising flicking the switch. Any time in the next week or two the new system should be up and running though.

Bugblatter

December 10, 2012, 9:44 pm

That's good news; the comments used to be almost as valuable as the actual review and it'd be great if we could get that back.

MattMe

December 11, 2012, 3:29 pm

"the fact that the homescreen is simply one long list, rather than pages of apps" - I've not used WP8, but I'm surprised that it doesn't support a similar way of 'zooming out', like on Window 8 (and RT) to display groups of apps, that you can label and quickly jump to.

Shannon Nanna

December 16, 2012, 3:56 pm

i love the colors of these phones, and the fact that AT&T carries them (and are compatible with 4GLTE). I have a hair salon in Dallas and our color scheme is exactly the same as all these phones. I could buy them all! (Of course, wouldn't that be nice, to have more than one you could use?!)

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