Whether-or-Not-to-Buy: Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 920
If you are looking for a Windows Phone 8 device, look no further than Nokia Lumia 920 (Check at Amazon or Best Buy). Two of the major handsets running Windows Phone 8 are Lumia 920 and HTC Windows Phone 8X. Here, we will have a deeper look at Lumia 920 and see why it is a very good buy.

The Technical Specifications


We will begin with the technical specifications of the device.

Feature Value Notes
Display 4.5 inch LCD (IPS) Capacitive touch; 768×1280 pixels (WXGA HD+) Larger than Windows Phone 8X
Pixel density 332ppi Better than the iPhone’s Retina Display
Screen protection Corning Gorilla Glass 2 Highly scratch-resistant
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus (MSM8960) at 1.5 GHz (dual-core) The same processor used in Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE version, and HTC Windows Phone 8X
GPU Adreno 225  
RAM 1 GB  
Storage 32 GB  
MicroSD? Not available  
Connectivity HSPA+ at 42.2 mbps; LTE category 3 (50mbps up/100mbps down)  
Battery 2000 mAh (10 hrs 3G talk time)  
Camera 8 MP with Carl Zeiss optics; front-facing 2.1 MP Uses PureView technology and floating lens technology
Dimensions Height 130.3mm (5.13 inch) Pretty heavier than high end smartphones like iPhone 5, Windows Phone 8X, and Galaxy S3
Width 70.8mm (2.79 inch)
Thickness 10.7 mm (0.42 inch)
Weight 185 g (6.53 oz)
Other Features NFC, Supersensitive touch screen, Wireless charging, PureMotion HD+, PureView camera, etc.  


What do you feel after looking at the tech specs? We will look at the pros and cons of the device now.

1. The Build & Durability


Nokia Lumia 900 was the previous version in the Lumia series, and there were smaller Lumias too, with lower hardware specs. Lumia 920 is much heavier than all other Lumias. At 185 g, it is probably the heaviest of high-end smartphones. Windows Phone 8X and One X are only 130g, iPhone 5 is 112 g, HTC Droid DNA is 142 g, Motorola Razr Maxx HD is 157 g, LG Optimus G is 145 g, Google Nexus 4 is 139 g.

The huge Galaxy Note II with one inch larger display than the Lumia 920 is only 183 g. As you can see, there is no high-end device heavier than Lumia 920. It is the major disadvantage of the device.

The quality of the build is just perfect (as always among Nokia smartphones). Don’t take my word for that. Just look at this pretty amazing video created by PhoneBuff here:

Also check out the drop test video and the actual “cracking open the Lumia 920” video that follows this one.

Here’s another video by MobileSyrup that does fastball test on Lumia 920 and Samsung Galaxy S3 (which shatters, as expected):

Lumia 920 is a sturdy, durable device, albeit a little too heavy. But still, it is more durable than even the iPhone. Haven’t you heard about iPhone 5 shipping with scratches at the back?

If it is durability that you are asking for in a smartphone, then nothing gives it better than Lumia 920.

2. Display


Lumia 920 bright display


It uses LCD with In-Plane Switching (IPS). The screen has a wide viewing angle, just like iPhone 5’s display and gives natural colors. If you are confused about the Retina Display gimmick, don’t be. With this 4.5 inch display, Nokia has packed more pixels than iPhone 5’s 326ppi. Lumia 920 has a 332ppi screen, and as such gives unnoticeably smaller pixels.

The resolution given is 1280×768, which is slightly better than Windows Phone 8X’s 1280×720. And hence, the aspect ratio is 15:9.

Forbes’s hateful review of Lumia 920 talked a lot about the battery consumption of the device. One thing to note about the display is that it can consume a lot more battery than Lumia 900’s AMOLED panel. Lumia 920’s brightness factor is at 600 nits (brightness unit), while iPhone 5 stands at around 500 nits, and HTC One X, slightly above 500 nits. Screen on Lumia 920 is really bright, and it is in the order of some HDTVs. Also, it comes with new technologies, such as PureMotion HD+ and Nokia ClearBlack.

Due its screen brightness, Lumia may tend to consume a little more battery; however, if you place the display at the low brightness level, you can save much more battery.

PureMotion technology is a very important one. In regular smartphones, the display response time is in the order of about 23 milliseconds, while PureMotion in Lumia 920 gives 9 milliseconds. This extra-fast response time gives Nokia 920 display that extra edge. It looks much smarter than any other smartphone display, and does not blur on fast swipe actions.

Another important aspect of this display is the ClearBlack technology, which gives much better black levels on an IPS LCD panel. Although it is still not in the order of AMOLED’s perfect black levels, this is a great improvement indeed.

The touchscreen is extra-sensitive. You can use it with gloves on. This makes the smartphone kind of optimized for cold atmosphere where you may walk around with gloves.

Supersensitive touchscreen on Lumia 920


3. Camera


We did touch a little bit on the 8MP camera on the smartphone in our introduction to Lumia 920 article last year. The PureView camera on Lumia 920 uses its gyroscope to obtain image stabilization. It is hence called a floating lens technology. The gyroscope can provide stability to the camera app even if you shake slightly during image capture. This is the reason why the camera takes shake-free pictures with Lumia 920.

In low light conditions, as promised, the camera performs really well. Also, the

Read further: Nokia faked a video (supposedly taken by 920), and got caught by the people at the Verge.

color and contrast of the pictures were of amazing quality. In a camera comparison by CNET, Lumia 920 performs better than Windows Phone 8X on most of the tests, and slightly worse as compared to iPhone 5. However, in low light conditions, Lumia 920 performs much better.

4. The Processor


Qualcomm Snapdragon

Have you read about what processor to look for on smartphones? In the current market, Lumia 920 doesn’t ace it, but it’s pretty close! Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960 processor clocked at 1.5 GHz is a very fast processor. Snapdragon chip also has the LTE baseband built in, as Qualcomm is the industry leader in providing LTE baseband in the US.

This is the reason why Samsung Galaxy S3 uses the exact same processor in LTE markets, while it provides its own Exynos quad-core SoC on regular markets. There is no performance drop on Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor. It performs with the same agility of a quad-core Cortex-A9 processor.

5. Battery & Wireless Charging


Nokia Lumia comes with a 2000 mAh Li-ion battery that is expected to give around 10 hours talk time on 3G. There are a few tips that Nokia gives to save battery. It is important to follow these tips to get full power from Lumia 920’s battery.

Last year, in a review, Forbes mentioned how pathetic the battery was and how it did not last long enough to do most tasks. In our tests, we did not find any such issues. On proper full charge, the battery will definitely last a full day of usage. Also, a firmware update rolled out by Nokia in December last year, gives battery improvements.

The battery can be charged wirelessly with an induction pad that Nokia ships with the device. The charging pad is actually very convenient to use, and it can charge the phone as quickly as the regular wall charger does. Not only that, you can get charging accessories from other vendors, such as this JBL speaker that can charge your Lumia 920 through an NFC connection.

JBL Wireless charging speaker




Lumia 920 is an amazing phone. There is no downside to buying this smartphone, let alone its bulky build. It is the heaviest smartphone out there, and also it doesn’t come with an expandable MicroSD slot. Also, as in all Nokia devices these days, you cannot open it up to take the battery out.

Other than these minor issues, Lumia 920 aces in every aspect. For a mere price of 449 dollars, contract-free, you are getting one of the best Windows smartphones out there. HTC Windows Phone 8X is also an amazing choice, but Lumia stands one notch above it.

[Image credit: Nokia, Wmpoweruser.com, Qualcomm]

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