Review Price £450.00
Nokia Lumia 920 - Introduction and Design
IntroductionThe Nokia Lumia 920 is technically one of the most exciting phones available right now. 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 excellent 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 - DesignNokia 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 4/4S. 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 S3 remains such a popular handset – many would rather have the option than not.
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