I’ve been using Nokia’s Lumia 920 for over a week now. I now dare claim it’s the best Nokia smartphone ever. Even though I’ve critised the way Nokia announced to give up the Symbian platform, it now seems obvious Windows Phone is a far better choice for them.
Lumia 920 has many strengths. It has a good camera with optical image stabilization which produces better images than Lumia smartphones so far, and a bright 4,5-inch display which also supports touch screen operation with winter gloves. I tested, it really works. It’s an important thing for anyone living in the northern parts of the globe.
The camera has improved compared to Lumia 800/900 when taking photos in low light. It produces the best results when not using the so called “flash”, which really means a dual-LED lights. But with the optical image stabilization, the photos shot in dim lightning have improved. However, don’t expect the same quality as the other Nokia PureView device Nokia 808. The technologies behind these models are very different.
The camera app is not as sophisticated as Nokia’s Symbian devices have had, most likely due to limitations by Microsoft or limited time for WP8 development. However, it has the most important settings for disabling ”flash” (LED lights), setting ISO sensitivity and exposure, etc. There’s also a macro mode, and you can set a manual focus touching the screen. However, Nokia 808 PureView is a far more advanced camera device in this sense.
I haven’t tried video recording a lot yet, except to test the optical image stabilization really works. It reduces the shakiness of videos when holding the device on your hand. There are lots of 1080p video samples in reviews online.
I’m not still quite sure about Windows Phone 8 (WP8) and the promises Microsoft has made.
In addition to user interface improvements, WP8 supposedly improves multi-tasking, even though it’s still a bit unclear how it will realize in apps. Microsoft claims there’s better multi-tasking for apps taking advantage of Bluetooth and GPS, but for example Sports Tracker still closes from the background. I hope it gets better WP8 support in the near future.
WP8 is mostly fast and fluid on Lumia 920, but randomly it gets a bit slow and user interface animations don’t run smoothly. I assume this has something to do with many apps on the background, and I expect Microsoft and Nokia to fix it in the near future.
There also are some apps not available for WP8 yet, such as Skype and Spotify. Microsoft is working to improve Skype integration with the operating system. Spotify then again was one of the few apps on WP 7.5 which was allowed to run native code, so it needs an update for WP8.
Overall, Nokia Lumia 920 feels and looks very nice. I especially like the crisp colors, such as red and yellow models. It has about the same kind of unibody design as Lumia 900 with a glossy back cover. I’d personally prefer the matt cover in Lumia 800, but this is not bad either. Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8 blend in each other very nicely.