Nokia Lumia 920 Review – Solid Camera & Fab Business Phone

It’s been a little over a week since I picked up the new Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone from AT&T and I’ve been putting it through its paces. Whenever I get it out people ask me what I think, so I’ve consolidated those thoughts in this post that I hope you find useful when thinking about buying one.

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The major selling point for the Lumia 920 is the camera. I was given the Lumia 900 when I worked at Microsoft so I could evangelise about it and I found the camera to be lacking.

18 months ago I’d  picked up the original Samsung Focus and the camera was faultless. It did me proud through the birth (not the ACTUAL birth) of my daughter and her first year on the planet. When I got the Lumia 900, it took so long to take the picture the adorable thing Maggie was doing was over and she’d invariably left the room!

I can happily report that the Lumia 920 has got its camera act together and it takes good photos. I have a Panasonic Lumix G2 with pancake lens that takes amazing photos. So it should, it’s an expensive camera. The 920 is a phone with a camera, so don’t expect Leica quality.

Let me take you through a few photos I’ve taken. The coffee cup above was the first photo I took and it’s not bad. Notice the slight blurring of the background. Nice!

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This photo is of Maggie enjoying a bath and is actually cropped from a much larger photo using the phones editing tools. You’d expect more degradation but there isn’t. I used the magic wand auto-fix button too and it’s really brought out the warmth in her face.

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Not a fan of this one though. I think the flash went off – you can manually override that – and she looks a bit washed out (poor thing).

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The phone has a much heralded image stabilization functionality which did it’s job here as my sister-in-law Colleen took this in the back of a moving car. The colours are spot on and it’s quick enough to capture Maggie’s cousin, Julia, catching flies.

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Low lighting shots are supposed to come out amazingly well, so I took this in a bar – yes that’s a whiskey cocktail – I had to auto-fix this and it’s turned out to almost have Instagram-type qualities.

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This homemade pizza, again, is pretty much true to what it looked like on the table.

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And this leg of lamb looks almost better than how it tasted…………..I said almost!

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Another low lighting shot. Captures the essence of the scene, although the lights are a little overexposed.

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And finally an outdoor shot showing an accurate reflection of this giant wreath and the lights adorning it.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any sunshine in Seattle since I’ve had the phone for me to see how that effects the photos, but judging by these I suspect it’s pretty good.

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I have the red one!

Weight and Build Quality

Now I nearly didn’t buy this phone because all the reviews I read said it was too heavy. Well it’s not as heavy as they make out. It feels solid in the hand and solid to me signals quality. It feels about right in the hand for a phone that packs so much functionality.

It’s not flimsy and the new home screen tile lay out, where you can size live tiles big or small means I can now reach the apps I want most of the time with the phone in one hand.

I couldn’t do that with the 900.

The other thing is that the 900 scratched if you blew on it. The 920 and its Gorilla Glass has already been dropped by me three times and there is not a blemish to be seen. Watch this video to see how it reacts to a sledge hammer and knife test!

Office 365 is The Business

When I started my Social Media Consultancy this summer, I was determined to make sure I had the best productivity tools going. I looked at some free email and document software but nothing compared to Office 365 and I was very happy to pay a massive $7 a month for Exchange and SharePoint.

Now I’m even happier because on the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone I can access SharePoint from it to download docs and presentations on the fly. Gives me great confidence to know that wherever I am I have access to everything about my business, even if I don’t have my laptop or tablet with me.

Office 365 on the Lumia

Entertainment for Everyone

I’m not much of a gamer so I’ve not used Xbox or SmartGlass yet, but I have been sparking up Nokia Music which seems to have tons of free tracks you can listen too, plus the sound if pretty good through decent earphones.

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Battery Life is Not Fabulous

You need to know that, at least in my case, the battery will not last the 15 hours I want it to as a heavy user.

On one day I got up at 7am checked email, posted some updates and checked Facebook and Twitter, then listened to about 90 minutes or so of music, more surfing, some emails, 30 minutes of calls etc and by 5pm the battery died.

On other days I did less fancy stuff like listening to music and it got me through the day, so just don’t expect it to use everything it has to offer in buckets and still have any battery left at the end of the day.

To be honest I’m not sure many phones that pack power like this can keep going for 15 hours with heavy use, so I’ve bought a spare charging battery – you can’t change the battery in the Lumia 920 – and will take a USB cord with me everywhere I go with my laptop to charge it if I need to.

Killer App for Kids

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One of the coolest things the phone offers is a safe place for children to access apps and games etc without getting into all your stuff. My wife has found Maggie on the verge of resetting and wiping her whole phone before, so this setting is a godsend to any parent who wants peace of mind when handing over the phone for a bit of play time.

Conclusion

The Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone is doing it for me.

It’s sharp, solid, packed with power, super-quick, and while it might not have as many apps as the Apple or Android ecosystems, it has what I need to to do what I want to do and that is to work, play and be entertained.

I’d like to see some kind of update that helps extend the battery life, but other than that, Microsoft can be very proud of this consumer product.

And I’m not just saying that because I worked there for 7 years.

I’m saying it because it’s true!

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2 Comments

  • Ngan Tengyuen

    I bought a Lumia 920 and all I can say this is a very good smartphone with the potential to replace a compact digtal camera in the near future. No regrets, windows phone 8 will only get better as time goes by.

    Reply Posted 6 years ago
  • Andrea Powell

    A week and a half and I still love mine!

    Reply Posted 6 years ago

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