For a long time now we here at The Freshmethod Blog have been talking about how great we think Windows Phone 8 is going to be and so on and so forth. Well, the time has come and Windows Phones are upon us so I have taken it upon myself to get my hands on the new Nokia Lumia 920. (Oh the sacrifices I make for my profession.) Bearing in mind they have only been available for a very short time I thought it might be interesting to note down my impressions of the phone and see if it really lives up to the hype.
Confessions of a Windows Fanboy
I think everybody who has read a few of my blog entries here knows that I’m a bit of a Windows Fanboy. If you didn’t then you do now. That being said I own an iPad, I used to own an Android powered HTC Desire and I previously owned a Windows Phone 7 handset so I think I have a pretty broad experience. Of course, there was always very little chance that I wasn’t going to like this phone. I mean seriously, I have been drooling over pictures of this phone for months. Not to mention the fact that I have read almost every piece of literature available on it so I was always going to have a pretty good idea of what I was in for when I got it. Now that we’ve said all that, let’s get down to it.
Review For People On The Go
I like it.
Let’s start out with the things I like about this phone. The first thing you notice about the Lumia 920 is the screen. It is big and it is beautiful. The colours are bright and crisp and the 4.5″ screen is great for actually using your phone for things like email or web browsing. Thanks to the 920′s snazzy new Snapdragon processor everything flows very smoothly across said big screen. I mean incredibly smoothly. There is no lag, no waiting. Just pick what you want and go for it. It has long been that the Windows Phone operating system is the fastest of all the next generation smart phones the Lumia 920 gives me no reason to doubt this. Of course I have only had the phone for a week so this may change over time but so far I have had no problems and it isn’t for a lack of looking. I have installed far more applications than I need in an attempt to slow the system down but to no avail.
The big draw card behind any smart phone is the applications that are available for it. Windows Phone doesn’t yet have the market share of Android or iPhone and as such it doesn’t have the same amount of apps written for it. This has the potential to start a vicious cycle so in an attempt to stop this Nokia and Microsoft have written some very nice, exclusive apps. There are far too many to touch on here but I think special mention needs to be made of Nokia Drive – a GPS navigation app, Nokia City Lens – a very cool augmented reality app that uses the phone’s camera as a means of pointing out nearby places you might like to visit, and the Microsoft Office Suite which is fairly self-explanatory. I have found being able to read Microsoft Office documents very handy when I am out and about. It makes my email all the more useful because I can read almost any and all attachments. I also love the way that Office ties in with my Skydrive. If you don’t know what Skydrive is, it is basically storage on your phone that can synchronise with online storage as well as any other device you have Skydrive installed on. It allows you to save a document on one computer and open it on your phone or iPad or laptop. In short, it is brilliant. If you are familiar with Dropbox or Google Drive then it’s basically Microsoft’s version of the same thing.
For most business people, the most used feature of this phone (even more than the actual phone functionality itself) is probably going to be email. The built-in email client is quite good and setup is just as easy as any other phone on the market. So easy in fact that it almost doesn’t warranty talking about. Setting up email on my phone was literally so easy that I got a small shock when I started receiving email. It felt like I had missed a step somewhere but there were my emails. Staring at me as if to complain that I hadn’t replied to them all yet.
No review of the 920 would be complete without talking about the camera. This is one of if the the main selling feature of the camera and like almost everything else about the phone it is very nice. The camera is actually mounted on springs to help stabilise those shaky hands and there is inbuilt image stability software just in case the springs aren’t enough. By far my favourite feature however is the ability to adjust focus.
As you can see it makes a big difference.
Well, I guess I have to point out that this phone isn’t flawless. There have been some minor gripes about the phone being too slippery which causes people to drop it. I haven’t noticed this myself but there are one or two things I found a little frustrating. Of course, the lack of apps is a little bit annoying. When I get a new gadget the first thing I want to do is play with it. I don’t really care what I am doing specifically, I just want to be doing something with my new toy. This becomes a little difficult when the phone is very limited in its customisability and there are comparatively few apps to download and play with. Don’t get me wrong, there are hundreds of thousands of apps in the app store but they aren’t all necessarily any good. I know all of the phone manufacturers love talking about how many different apps you can run on their phones but the truth of the matter is it’s not quantity but quality that counts and almost every good app comes out for iOS and Android but not necessarily Windows Phone. It’s not a disaster but it is annoying.
The real gripe I have is the battery. I still plan to do more testing but so far I have found the battery to be a little disappointing. Before I got my 920 I read a review that raved about how great the battery life was and indeed if you turn off unnecessary services like cellular data when you aren’t using them the battery does a good job. If however you decide you want to play a game on your phone you can almost watch the battery life drain away before your eyes. Some people have resorted to resetting their phones which has given them some relief and I have done some testing with a benchmarking program and while my battery seems to be doing much better than it was, it’s not amazing. One thing that everybody mentioned about the phone was how big and heavy it is. I didn’t find it over the top myself but I had thought that the extra size and weight was to allow for it to work longer. Sadly I was mistaken. I wouldn’t say it is any worse than an iPhone 5 for example but it’s certainly no better.
Ultimately, I love this phone. It’s fast, it’s easy to use and it is designed for business. The battery problem is nothing new for smart phones and I truly believe the lack of apps will sort itself out eventually. While I always recommend people talk to their IT professional if they want advice on what phone is best suited to their needs, I would have no trouble recommending the Nokia Lumia 920 to people.
Until next time,