Saturday, March 23, 2013

My two weeks with a Nokia Lumia 920

We finally managed to get a hold of a Nokia Lumia 920 for 2 weeks! For those that don't know, this is Nokia's current flagship Windows Phone 8 device. Coming from a Lumia 900 running Windows Phone 7.8, I was pleasantly surprised. From the build quality, weight, size, and screen; the first few moments had me smiling.

 I have used this phone exclusively, and you can read my thoughts after the jump!


Windows Phone 7.8 vs Windows Phone 8:
Visually, both OS' look the same, but that is where similarities end. Windows Phone 8 allows for more features like higher screen resolutions, newer hardware, multi-core CPUs and more. WP8 is what WP7 should have been. Even features, like micro-sd card support from windows mobile 5 and 6, are coming back.


Specs:
Unfortunately, the Lumia 920 DOES NOT include a micro-sd card slot, so loading downloaded store apps from the Windows Store PC site, not illegal downloads, is not possible. but lets see what the Lumia does have.


Connectivity

Connectors

  • Micro-USB Charging Connector
  • Micro-USB Data Connector
  • 3.5 mm Universal Audio Connector
  • Micro-USB 2.0

Wireless connectivity

  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Near Field Communication
  • Wi-Fi Channel bonding
  • WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Qi Wireless charging

Syncronization

  • Windows companion application
  • Mac OS companion application
  • Exchange ActiveSync

WLAN security

  • WPA2 (AES/TKIP)
  • WPA
  • WEP
  • PEAP-MSCHAPv2
  • EAP-SIM
  • EAP-AKA

Memory

Internal memory
16GB

Mass memory
32GB and 7GB in SkyDrive  


Data Network


Data bearers


  • HSPA+ (3G)
  • EDGE/EGPRS (2G)
  • FDD-LTE (4G)
  • HSUPA (3G)
  • GSM (2G)
  • HSDPA (3G)
  • WCDMA (3G)

Power Management


Battery model
BP-4GW  


Battery capacity
2000  mAh


Battery voltage
3.7  V


Removable battery
No  


Standby time (2G)
320  h


Talk time (2G)
7.5  h


Standby time (3G)
320  h


Talk time (3G)
9  h


Music playback time
52  h


Video playback time
5  h


Video recording time
2.6  h



Games and Apps:
Being the next step up in for Windows Phone doesn't mean you loose all your WP7 apps and games. Now while some apps and games are not compatible due to specific requirements being hard coded, such as screen resolution or specific hardware, most apps and games do work! I was able to bring over almost all my games and all of my apps.

With the upgrade to a Dual Core Snapdragon S4 at 1.5Ghz, I have seen shorter load times in many of my games, such as Crimson Dragon and Hydro Thunder.

A feature, that is carried over and expanded from WP7 is social media integration.Chatting through FaceBook, posting on Twitter, or Checking in is all handled seamlessly without the need of an additional app. With that said, it only keeps tabs on you and your contacts. If you want the full social experience, the respective app is still needed.

Also, with Microsoft's library of apps, such as Office, SkyDrive, Skype and more; productivity is easy and free.

LTE:
If you come from a Lumia 900, LTE throughput will be about the same. Now if you come from a 3G phone and live in an LTE are, then you are in for a treat. In certain areas of Las Vegas, I was able to get between 15 and 20 Mbps down! The average through the the entire city was between 5-10 Mbps. Tie that with an unlimited data plan, which I still do, and that helps to social media aspects of the phone work almost instantly.

Camera:
Quite possibly one of the strongest features of the Lumia 920 is not its OS, but its camera. The camera is quite possibly the best I have used from a smartphone. Low light is not an issue as even the smallest amount of light can light up your shot. Add to that 1080p video recording with excellent image stabilization, and  you have quite possible one of the best cameras to carry at all times. It's no DSLR, but it's better than many of the lower to mid range point and shoot cameras I have used.
The light source in this pic is roughly 20 feet behind me... around a corner!!!
 Vs the Lumia 900:
This is where it gets interesting. I have had my Lumia 900 for around 10 months now and think it's a great phone. The Lumia 920 is a much better phone. Take everything that was the Lumia 900, make it better, then pass it off to a rocket scientist to  expand upon that and you'll have a Lumia 920.

The 920 is a bit heavier, has curved edges on the edge of the slightly larger screen, and a curved backside. Because of this, it feels more natural in my hands.

NFC works great, but has some caveats. Mobile payments are not available yet, and will probably be based on the ISIS standard being tested in Utah. Even then, support needs to be added to WP8 and a secure sim needs to be picked up.Also, transferring between WP8 devices seem fine, but its more limited between different OS'. I couldn't transfer pictures or files between the 920 and my Nexus 7, but could send links and contacts.


Vs the Nexus 7: Gameloft comparisons
Gaming is getting better in the WP hemisphere. A week into my trial, Gameloft started releasing some of their better games for WP8. I'll just let these side by side comparisons from Asphalt 7 do the talking.
Welcome to Miami Nexus 7!

Welcome to Miami Lumia 920!
Nexus 7

Lumia 920
Yes, the Nexus 7 version does look better, but at the same time, this is Gameloft's first big push for WP8, so we can hope that Gameloft will get better.


Downsides:
As awesome as the Lumia 920 was, there were some downsides. After boot up, it took a good 3-5 minutes before it found my carrier. Now I did have a review unit, so it could have been a side effect of being passed around.

The curved nature of its design made it slip happy. The 920 has slipping off my desk, table, car, couch, shelf, you name it, it's slipped off of it.After 3 days the 920 has hit the floor more times than my 900 has in 10 months! Luckily the 920 is built like a tank, so there was no damage.

The last and most outstanding downside? We have to give it back...

Overall:
If you are tired of IOS but don't want to jump over to Android then Windows Phone 8 wants you with a Lumia in your hand! Unfortunately, since WP8 is a closed ecosystem like IOS, not many people would want to give up their Android devices for Windows, but some have. Personally, since I carry an Android tablet I much rather carry a WP8 device for communication. I don't like to place all my eggs in one basket and IOS and Blackberry are an instant NO from me.

Rating:
4 out of 5 Geegamons.
Had the Lumia 920 had a micro-sd card slot it would have rated even higher! None the less, it's worth it!


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