Nokia and Microsoft unveiled their latest Windows Phone Smartphone the Lumia 920 to a packed out threatre in New York last night. Nokia is pinning the future of the entire company on this handset and Microsoft is hoping it will make their mobile operating system cool and something worthy of dumping an iPhone for – have they come up trumps? Let’s find out.
We have to admit we’ve always thought the Lumia range of handset are incredibly stylish – while the iPhone is restrained and a tad boring nowadays – the Lumia on the other hand looks fresh, funky, and a lot of fun. If the iPhone was a car it would be an Audi or BMW; functionality over form. The Lumia 920 on the other hand would be an Italian sports car; showy, ostentatious and loud.
Design: “Fresh, Funky & Loud”
One of the reasons why the Lumia is a compelling alternative to the iPhone is it’s one of the few competitors that can compete with build quality of Apple. The polycarbonate unibody design is reassuringly solid and has been designed to make it better than most handsets when it comes to keeping a good signal.
Clearly Nokia isn’t trying to copy its competitors and that’s part of the appeal of the Lumia. Whereas a few years ago the iPhone was the coolest tech gadget around – sadly it’s just not that cool anymore. The Lumia’s design philosophy is all about being different; standing out from the crowd.
Clearly Nokia has gone to great lengths to make sure the Lumia stays brand-new for longer. You’ll find it certainly feels very solid, and the ceramic keys and plating are supposed to be more or less invulnerable to scratching and wear and tear.
Nokia’s R&D department have gone to great lengths to make the 920 their most durable handset yet. Their tests included dropping it, splashing it, and even putting sun tan lotion on it to see if the colours would fade. The overall result is a solid build that feels like it could take a knock or two. Though, of course, we can’t say for sure until we get our hands on it for a proper extended test.
The main selling point next to the design of the Lumia 920 is, of course, the camera. The new PureView system means the internal parts of the camera are actually “floating” in air so when the phone is being moved around the photo or video you take shouldn’t come out all shaky and blurred.
This also means the lens can be opened for longer so should improve its capabilites when it comes to taking pictures in nightclubs and other darker situations. The camera itself is a 8.7 megapixel camera capable of filming in 1080p and comes with the impressive Carl Zeiss optcs.
“Nokia PureView continues to deliver cutting-edge technology to make it possible for a smartphone camera to take the kind of images usually only seen on a standalone SLR camera,” said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices.
“With the Nokia Lumia 920 we have made it possible to shoot pictures and video at home, outdoors, in a restaurant or even at night, and come out with professional-looking results” she added.
“Better Than HD” Display
The handsets features a 4.5-inch screen running at WXGA (1280×768) resolution using “Nokia PureMotion HD+” technology that promises to offer an experience “better than HD”, with a curved glass display that delivers blur-free motion from video and app scrolling thanks to “PureMotion HD+” processing technology.
The display also uses ClearBlack, a new automatically activating system for adjusting brightness, colour and contrast to compensate for lighting, intended to deliver a clear viewing experience no matter how bright the sunlight is. Nokia also claims it is the brightest smartphone screen ever and has an impressive pixel density of 332 ppi – which is a just a bit hight than the current iPhone 4S.
Charging of The Future
One of the most innovative features you’ll find on the Nokia Lumia 920 is the inclusion of wireless charging. Now we haven’t reached the point where your phone can be in your pocket and still be on charge – but you can just plonk the phone on the base station and it will charge without the need to actually connect it. A perfect hassle-fire system.
Nokia Lumia 920: Performance
Nokia has made sure they haven’t skimped on the battery and processor; you’ll find a 2000mAh battery which is the biggest battery they’ve ever used in a smartphone and they have included a dual-core snapdragon processor, clocked at 1.5GHz and comes with 1GB of RAM. The reason why they didn’t include a quad-core was to help with power efficiency.
Quite how long the phone lasts on a single charge we can’t say – but we’re almost certain it will be one of the best as a lot of new Android handsets are using quad-core processors which are notoriously thirsty.
The Best of The Rest
The Lumia 920 come with 32GB of on-board storage, but importantly doesn’t offer any form of expansion via SD card. Other notable features include NFC, Bluetooth 3.1 and it will be 4G compatible.
Nokia Lumia 920: Verdict
From what we’ve seen of the Lumia 920 is the most accomplished handset ever created by Nokia – factor in its running Microsoft’s latest Windows Phone 8 software and you’ve got a software/hardware combination that can easily stand shoulder-to-shoulder with anything from Apple and Android.
Our only concern is if it doesn’t sell it could be the last smartphone Nokia ever makes – and from a consumers perspective are you willing to jump ship if the future of the company isn’t that secure? We have our doubts.
There’s no details on price or release date – but we’d expect it start landing in shops around late October to coincide with Window 8. If you’re bored of your iPhone and want to stand out from the crowd there’s probably no better alternative – let’s just hope consumers are willing to give it a chance as from early impression this is a great phone with the specs and looks to match.