Nokia Lumia 920 review: hands-on first impressions

News Marc Flores 13:54, 7 Sep 2012

We take a look at the Nokia Lumia 920, the company’s first Windows Phone 8-powered flagship handset ahead of its as-yet-unscheduled release date

The Nokia Lumia 920 is the first Windows Phone 8-powered flagship handset from Nokia.

Launched on Tuesday, the Lumia 920 aims to pick up where the Lumia 900 left off with the addition of a new processor, an improved display, tons of built in services, LTE-support, and, of course, Windows Phone 8.

There’s a lot resting on its shoulders, however, and already signs from investors aren’t good – Nokia share prices slumped 13 per cent following the launch. Markets are fickle though and it’s the consumers that Nokia has to win over. Once that’s done, then the markets will follow.

So what’s it like? Will this be the handset that propels Windows Phone from a non-entity to an actual contender? Find out below in our first-look hands-on review of the Nokia Lumia 920.

The Nokia Lumia 920 has evolved nicely from its predecessor, the Lumia 900. From a distance, it's unmistakably a Nokia Lumia device, but once you get up close, it's pretty clear that it's not exactly like any Lumia you're used to.

The Lumia 920 is glossy all around -- we're not exactly sure that it will come in any matte finishes since all the demo units were glossy -- and it's a more homogeneous piece of hardware compared to the Lumia 900.

Picking up the Lumia 920, we noticed a few distinct differences compared to the device that came before it. First, as mentioned earlier, it felt a little slippery. Although the glossy finish isn't our favorite thing -- it tends to pick up tons of fingerprints and is very slippery -- it doesn't look bad, either. Especially the new red and yellow finishes.

Secondly, the way the glass melds into the body is reminiscent of the Lumia 800 design. Instead of a flat piece of glass, there is a 2.5-degree curve that eases its way into the polycarbonate body. It gives the Lumia 920 a more svelte and natural feel.

The Lumia 920 also has a sharp display. We overheard that the resolution was 1280x768 pixels, and Nokia calls it a PureMotion HD+ display. It's just as rich in contrast as the 900, and we're told that viewing in direct sunlight is even better than before. Animations and screen transitions are also smoother, so you get less of the motion blur associated with quick scrolling on a screen.

Perhaps the biggest deal made about the Lumia 920 is its PureView camera. At 8MP and a floating lens mechanism, the Lumia 920 can take detailed photos in low-light conditions and removes most motion blur from images and videos.

Nokia says that gyroscopes are used to keep the lens and sensor elements stable. During a personal demo, a Nokia engineer shook the phone while taking pictures and shooting video and it worked almost perfectly.

Compared to the iPhone 4S and Galaxy Nexus, the Lumia 920 was leagues ahead in terms of low-light capture - which was again emphasized during that same demo.

Overall, the device is impressive, but our mind kept wandering to other devices and platforms. While the handset itself is great, it's still hard to tell just how big a hit Windows Phone 8 will be.

And the iPhone 5 is going to be announced next week. Will Nokia's sleek design and incredible camera be enough to pull users away from Apple's wildly popular iPhone? We'll have to wait and see, but wecan say this: if the next iPhone turns out to be just a mild update to the current version, which doesn't seem likely, the Nokia Lumia 920 could very well be our next smartphone purchase.

Perhaps it's unfair that we're comparing the Lumia 920 to the current iPhone 4S, but based on our brief time with the Nokia handset this week, that's all we can really do.

This Nokia Lumia 910 first look was originally published on our US sister site Know Your Cell.

Sponsored Links