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Nokia 920: The bigger, better Lumia
Nokia Lumia 920
Member Name: ryanando
Nokia Lumia 920
Date: 01/12/12, updated on 18/03/13 (156 review reads)
Advantages: wi-fi sharing, 4g, camera is fab, good sound quality, colours
Disadvantages: doesnt come with wireless charging, a bit heavy, not a lot of apps available.
Smart phones. I've had a couple now. An Xperia X-10, a Samsung S3 and more recently I was asked politely by the lovely people at Ciao Towers to trial the Nokia Lumia 820. I felt slightly bad as I posted a borderline scathing review of a phone that while ok for those not used to smart-awesomeness was not quite as brilliant as I had hoped it would be, but alas, I could only give my honest opinion. Someone at Nokia ever so nicely noted my review and decided that I should be sent the bigger, stronger brother of this phone to try out instead and the lovely people at Ciao (you know who you are!), ever so fantastically, agreed to send one out (in red!) with a wireless charger for me to get to grips with! Let no one ever think those up in the shiny tower don't really read the reviews we post! To say that I had a giant grin on my face all day after that phone call would be a daring understatement.
My history with phones has been somewhat of a chain around my leg; sometimes getting me rather excited but mostly just ending up in chafing. I was fine with my text-brick with pay as you go minutes till I made an almighty cock up and ended up landed with a contract phone. Thankfully smart phones grew on me like a small yet persistent fungus since then. How sexy. So far the S3 has been the best one I've come to know, so I was eager to be bowled over by Nokia who had now loaded me up with a direct comparison to the 820 model as well as my S3. Let the fun begin!
===In the Box===
When I took this phone out of the box I was rather glad to see that with the red exterior, the phone actually looks quite sexy. The buttons on the left side look and feel a little less clunky than the 820 model, which really finish the phone off nicely. The back of the phone has a strip down the middle containing the Camera along with the Carl Zeiss and Nokia brands. The front of the phone also has a camera and a small "Nokia" written up in the top left hand corner. The 920 looks a bit better rounded off than the 820 did, not feeling like it looks as fat or clunky. When you stick it next to the S3 it still doesn't quite look as sleek but it also doesn't look a hell of a lot bigger. It's a few millimetres thicker than the S3 with it's protective rubber case off, stick the rubber case on and it's almost bang on the same thickness. As the S3 scuffs so easily it needs the case so Nokia kick their butt by not requiring a protective case on top of the phone.
The three touch screen buttons are the same as the 820 and there is a little added drawer in the top of the phone which your Sim slides into. That is once you use the "sim key" to open the drawer by pushing the thin end into the tiny hole on the holder to push the release button. Unfortunately the package I got had already been opened and the sim key had went missing. I panicked for a few seconds and then realised that a drawing pin fit into the tiny slot with no issues. I'd maybe worry a bit about using a drawing pin regularly as it might damage the button inside, but it's a bit of a relief to know that if you lose your sim key, you can still use anything else you have kicking about to open it.
Also in the box is a triangular charger and wire (which I'll go into more detail about later) and a pair of headphones. The charger doesn't match the phone (a missed opportunity from Nokia), but thankfully the headphones that come with the phone DO match the phone which is a bit of a plus. As such I have a lovely pair of red headphones to go with the red handset. Fantastic!
===Spreading out the Cake===
The Nokia 920 is slightly bigger than its little brother and a tiny bit smaller than the S3 at least screen wise. It is thicker than the S3 and that means that the phone is quite heavy. My S3 got on my scales and showed 153 grams with its protective jelly cover on (132 grams without). The 820 thumped down onto my scales at 176 grams. The 920's publicity information tells me it weighs even more than that! A whole 185 grams! My Scales, however, tell me that this weighs 187 but that's not too much difference and is probably just due to the Sim. Share the cake, 920!!
Did this cause an issue? To be honest, no. For some reason, despite being heavier than the 820 and my S3 it's hardly noticeable. Where it was the first thing I had noticed about the 820, the 920 seems to spread the weight out a bit better so your hand only really notices when you do a direct comparison, switching each phone into your hand. Bizzare. It's possibly something to do with a bigger surface area spreading the weight out more but I'm not sure how one would prove that. Either way, it seems to be a lot less noticeable than its cake-hoarding little brother and that can only be a good thing!
Unlike a lot of other phones the shell on this phone is not removable. You cannot access or remove the battery within the phone. So far this hasn't been an issue, however, I am concerned that if there ever is a crash that I won't be able to take the battery out to force the phone to shut down. So far this hasn't been an issue and hopefully will continue to be a non-issue but it would give me a little peace of mind if I knew I could easily access the battery. The shell has a shiny surface which looks very pretty, though it can end up covered in finger prints and smudge marks in the same way that a touch screen tends to. A quick wipe sorts it out but you may end up becoming slightly obsessive over it if you are anything like me who hates having smears all over the phone. The 920 comes in the same colours that the 820 does (Red, Black, White, Grey, Sky blue) apart from purple.
===Let's get physical===
As mentioned, the physical buttons are all in pretty much the same place as on the 820 (down the left hand side of the phone) though feel and look much nicer. The 820 buttons seemed a touch loose and felt like they were clicking. The 920 buttons feel firm (my favourite) and have a metallic finish that makes it just look better quality. Woo.
The top button is the biggest one and controls the volume push it and a small dropdown will appear on your phone showing you what volume you are currently at on the left and the ring setting on the right. Hit the top of the button to increase the volume and the bottom to decrease going between 0 and 30. On the right hand side it will show you if your phone is set to ring and vibrate or just to vibrate. Tapping the screen where it tells you this will let you toggle between the options. If you want to turn the vibrate setting off you will need to go all the way through the settings menu, into ringtones and turn it off there. At the moment I can't find an App that will allow you to create a shortcut on your start screen which is a bit of a shame as it does mean a lot of unnecessary fiddling to change a simple setting.
As well as the odd fiddling, you can push this button while on the lock screen and it will change your volume accordingly even if you have the security features enabled. More than a few times when I've taken the phone out of my pocket the screen has been nudged on and the sound has been popped up. I'm pretty sure the original point in a lock screen before it was really needed to protect your information was to prevent your phone doing stupid stuff in your pocket. Even in you have the security features enabled, you can still turn the volume up and down without question. Not a huge problem however I could see this causing issues at work where we aren't supposed to have our mobiles on. Most people keep them on discreetly... but it's hard to be discreet when your pocket decides that your volume really should just be on. Urgh.
The middle button is the On/off/lock button. While the phone is on but the screen is off, giving it a quick push will turn the screen back on, taking you to your lock screen. If your screens already on a quick tap will turn the screen off and lock the phone. Hold the button for a while and you will be asked to swipe down to turn the phone off. If the phones off, holding this button for a few seconds starts the phone up. Very simple to work, no issues here.
The bottom button is the camera button. If you hold this button in, your phone will give a small shake and load your camera up ready to take photos. This can be done regardless if the phones security features are on or not. If they are on then you won't be able to access more than the photo you just took, but this could potentially lead to pocket photos. Hopefully the fact that the buttons take a little strength to push will stop the million pocket fluff photos accumulating. I cannot find a way to turn this off so you'll just need to make sure your pockets aren't crammed full of button pushing junk. To be fair though, if you put a phone like this in your pocket with junk in it, you deserve photos of said junk!
===Not the gumdrop buttons===
As well as the physical buttons there are the three touch screen type buttons along the bottom of the phone to help you navigate your new toy.
The first button on the left is the back/toggle button. It looks like a little arrow pointing to the left. Hitting back frantically is my favourite way to get myself out of anything I'm looking at. If you do this too, you may end up confused as rather than stopping when you get back to your start screen, the phone must store some sort of activity history and sometimes ends up going past the start screen, into whatever app you used before that and then back to the start screen again. It's a touch weird but something you'll get used to. If you hold down the back button while you've got an app open, it will give you a little menu of open apps for you to select. That means you can switch between apps without turning one off and the other on. I'm not sure when you'd find that handy, but some of you might.
The middle button has a windows symbol on it and is used to flip your screen back to the start menu. If you hold the button down, it also enables speech recognition allowing you to give the phone verbal commands like "Call my gorgeous partner" or "Do the dishes". More than likely it will say no to both of those requests (unless you have someone in your phonebook called "my gorgeous partner") but you can but try! Usually my dulcet Scottish tones confuse the crap out of my phones and this phone isn't really any better. Out of "call Allan", "open whatsapp", "open phone", "open calendar", it only managed the last one. It didn't recognise the word China, it didn't have a clue what I was saying when I asked it to "open internet" instead opting to open the "smart shoot" app. Even more hilariously it didn't know any of the terrible slang words for a woman's parts, but rather fantastically took me to some eye-popping websites when I tried the same for men. Lunch time with my colleagues was productive at least, though they are both convinced that my phone knows my sexual preference and was simply trying to protect me!
Lastly there is a little spyglass button which is your search button. This is tied to Bing search so it's up to you how useful you will find it. I can't stand Bing so this is a pretty useless button for me. If you don't have an issue with that search provider then you'll probably quite like this. You can hold the search button down from your lock screen and it will automatically unlock and access Bing. If I'm being honest I actually find it quicker to unlock the screen manually then tap the search button rather than holding it down. I do have quick fingers though. If you have your security features enabled, then you can still hold the button down to start Bing up but you will be asked to enter your password before you are allowed to access it. Yay for a touch of common sense!
When I got my S3, the first thing I fell in love with was the screen and the size of it. Sometimes size matters. The S3 is 4.8 inches, the Nokia 820 was a little smaller at 4.3 inches. The Lumia 920, however, comes in bang in between at 4.5 inches. The 820 had simple scratch resistant glass, whereas the 920 starts throwing punches at the S3 by having the same extra special and super tough Gorilla Glass 2 covering its screen. Now that makes things more interesting!
Not only does the 920 stand up to the S3 with its glass, it also has the same glare resistant layer that the 820 comes with meaning that every little shred of light that wants to ruin your viewing pleasure is rounded up and politely yet firmly told to eff right off. Nokia call this ClearBlack Technology. They aren't the only ones who have their hands on an anti-glare tech, but they certainly beat the pants off the S3 for having it at all. Sticking the two phones side by side in the light and looking at the same page is astounding. It's almost like turning the S3 off altogether when there's bright light. The Nokia 920, however, brightly displays everything you want to look at without any of that nasty sunshine getting in your way. Not that we get much of it anyway but hey ho! You can feel quite comfortable in moving to a sunny place knowing that it won't interfere with looking at your phone! Ciaoers can see the difference the anti glare makes in the photo I've uploaded with all three phones turned on and side by side. If you're reading this on dooyoo then you'll just have to use your imagination.
===Pure Dead Brilliant===
With the 820 there were downsides to the screen but the 920 fully makes up for the sins of its younger brother. Unlike the 820 it has a Pureview HD+ screen that basically is Nokia's way to make up for the crap displays that mobile users have had to put up with since mobiles started doing more than just calling. What it does I don't really know, but at the very least High Definition screen display is pretty much mandatory on decent phones these days! The S3 has it. It doesn't have a plus added onto it so something in me wants to say the Nokia screen has to be better. Maybe I've just fallen for a clever marketing gimmick though. I'm not tech-minded enough to really know! Either way the screen looks brilliant when watching videos and looking at photos so I cannot complain.
On the 820 I found the responsiveness to be a little less willing to play than my S3. How does the 920 hold up to being played with? Brilliantly. The 920 is just as responsive as the S3 is, meaning that sometimes I don't even need to touch the screen for it to know my finger is there. Brilliant. I've not had any issues with anything not realising I'm trying to touch it. It can also be used through gloves, similar to the S3, though that requires a bit of a push and (as with anything with gloves on) is a lot less accurate so I'd not recommend it. it IS, however, handy for answering calls on cold days! Yay
===Wireless Charging ===
One of the main things I got myself rather excited about when I heard about Nokia's new phones was the wireless charging capabilities. I was slightly surprised that the 820 didn't come with the charger that Nokia have so lovingly waxed lyrical about in their advertising campaign. The 920 doesn't come with the charger either. If you are intent on using this gadget then prepare to have it set you back a good £45-£50. There are deals out there through places like phones4u that will allow you to pick up a free charger when you get the phones but you'll need to keep your eye out for them. Despite the 920 not actually coming with the charger both Ciao and Nokia were awesome enough to send one along with the 920 for me to try out so I'll be reviewing that separately since it's technically an add on and doesn't actually come with the phone. I will say, though, that it works well and I'll be giving it five stars.
=== USB Charging===
This was one of my main issues with the 820. I work in an office (apparently even the crazies can get office jobs) and like many other offices we have data security procedures in place. As such we aren't allowed to plug data devices in to the computers which means that we can't use USB storage and the computers physically block them accessing their memory. When you are charging a phone Via USB, however, there is no need for it to access the computer. It simply needs to suck the energy out through a straw. The 820 wanted not only to suck the energy but to access the computer. Since the computer said no (as it tends to do) the 820 went in the huff and refused to charge. That made me go in the huff since we don't have any free sockets at work to charge the phone on. Boo. So, is the 920 a bit more of a grown up about it? I'm pleased to report that it is! Thank god for that. Given, it does take a long while to charge via my work computer (it's currently 15:55 and it's been plugged in since 13:40 and its only 43% charged at the minute) but that is the same for my S3 when it's plugged into computers. The only slight worry I noticed was that the phone was heating up quite a bit so that it was noticeably warm to the touch both front and back.
If all else fails, the 920 comes with a standard plug in charger. The charger is completely different than the one that comes with the 820 looks wise. Firstly the charger and the wire are white which I find slightly odd considering the phone and the accessories all come in a choice of colours. The charger plug has a USB slot in the bottom to plug your wire into. I'd think for future Nokia should look into either matching the chargers to the phone or making it black. White is very hit and miss and can look messy and cheap when plugged in.
Where the 820 charger was black and had a fancy moveable top pin making it more compact and easier to store away when not in use, this triangle is set in place. No swaps or changes. It's also not got anything to really get a grip onto so taking the charger out of the plug socket is actually quite difficult. Someone with a bit more limited mobility in their hands would definitely struggle taking it out of the socket. Looks aside, though, it works very well, charging the phone up to full within a couple of hours. The only issue I have with it is how it looks and that's only really caused by knowing that the 820 actually comes with a much more practical charger. No real issues though, just me being picky about looks!
===Setting it up===
It took a good little while for the 820 to get going so I was dreading going through all that again. The 920 set up, however, was made a lot quicker by knowing that the phone will give you the option to sync your Google contacts. As soon as I pushed my Sim Card into place, the phone danced into life with around 30% battery already on it. It will take you through a really easy start up process asking you to register the relevant accounts. If you don't have a hotmail or other Microsoft account you will need to make one (which I found a touch annoying on the 820 but having already set one up for that, it was a lot quicker this time round)
The only bug-bear that seems to have followed suit from the 820 is the contact information. I regularly use my hotmail for emailing since it's the same email address I've used since I was about 13. Even Google mail hasn't managed to win me over yet. I also used to use MSN chat quite regularly up till about 3 years ago when I just got too busy. All my MSN chat contacts are stored in the hotmail account information since they are linked. Soon as you sign in (which you'll have to do if you want full use of the phone) your contact info will Sync. Thankfully you can filter your contacts so that all those old details don't keep showing up in your contacts list. Unfortunately, the "people" tile on your start menu will still use the contacts to rotate photos about meaning that three or four of my ex's are still circling round on my phone. To sort it, I'll have to download MSN, log in and delete everyone. Big sigh!
My main concern, however, was the up to date contact information held in Google and as I've mentioned the phone (thank god) allows you to use Google for your contact list. This will make a switchover from an android phone a hell-of-a-lot less daunting.
Stating the phone up is much the same as... I popped all three phones beside each other and (with a little help from my partner Allan) turned them all on at the same time. The S3 came first, being fully loaded and ready to used the quickest. The 920 came second taking about 20 seconds longer than S3 to load. The 820 was last giving a bit of a shocking performance but notably not too far behind the 920. Basically the Nokia phones almost took the same time to load which was much longer than the S3. Fail.
===Windows without Safety glass===
The 920 is a Windows 8 phone. If you read my 820 review, you'll know that I despise windows 8. Now, don't get me wrong, I love windows 7 and various other incarnations of this operating system. Allan hit the nail on the head when he said that every second version is good and the other is terrible (vista: pants, windows 7: fab, windows 8: pants and so on back through most of the other versions).
With the problems I had with the 820, windows 8 only acted as salt in the wounds. The 920, however, is making it seem not terrible. Being incredibly honest I still think Nokia would do well to ditch windows 8 and go with an android system if only because it leaves the field open for a much more user friendly experience complete with being able to completely individualise the phone.
Your main screen is full of little squares that you can alter the size, colour (as a blanket, not individually and on most, not all) and position of to do your best to make it your own. Other than that you can choose if the background is black or white. You can't choose a photo to be your background for anything other than your lock screen and a lot of the apps for the system have very clunky and unsexy finishes to them. I would hope this is just because it's a fairly new operating system. While not an issue with Nokia's tech, it is the system they have chosen to go with and one that I feel isn't as good as it could be. I would hope that future versions of windows will deal with the over simple look as it is enough to put a lot people off. One girl in my team after being allowed to play around on it told me she felt like she was playing with a kid's toy rather than a real adult phone because of the look of Windows 8. That aside, because the 920 just works, Windows 8 is less of an issue and just a bit more of a dull, impersonal way to work your phone.
Forget for a moment that you are looking at a piece of tech-crazy stuff here and you may remember that this is supposed to be a phone. As such the basics will really make or break the gadget regardless of how many bells and whistles are attached. So, let's have a look at what they are like!
The phone works perfectly. It's perfectly audible and it's easy to make and receive calls. Simply tap the phone tile on your start bar (assuming you've kept it there) and you will be greeted with your call history. Each name will appear with a little phone beside them. Assuming the person you want to dial is there, tap the phone and it will dial them. If you prefer just to look at their contact information, tap their name.
If the person you are looking for isn't in your call history there are a few small pictures at the bottom which will open up separate menus: Voicemail, Keypad, People and Search. The Keypad will allow you to dial manually, while people will take you to your contact list. Search will allow you to search through your history to find someone. Simple.
As for receiving calls, simply swipe the screen upwards to answer. I actually found it a bit easier than my S3 to answer as you could swipe any part of the screen rather than having to specifically slide a bar along. It's plenty loud and clear when you do take or make a call and that is what matters!
The Internet functionality is acceptable. It does lock you firmly into using internet explorer for your browser needs as there are very few if any other browsers currently available for windows 8. While the 920 browses a bit faster than my S3's inbuilt browser, the browser itself sometimes messes with the fonts and layouts of pages. Ciao, Dooyoo and Hotmail all seem a little bit scatty at the best of times via this browser. Most other pages seem alright especially if you select the option to have the phone display desktop sites as default. That can, obviously, make it a little more heavy on the data allowance so please be careful if you do decide to do that. The phone is 4G capable so if you are on a network that provides it, you could be getting superfast internet on this device. The S3 model I have is NOT 4G as I got one of the earliest versions, though if you were to be getting an S3 now, they have updated them to get 4G. Nokia still holding its own then.
You can even use your phone to broadcast a Wi-fi signal meaning you can connect other devices to the mobile internet via your phone. I done this in the hotel I stayed in this weekend as I was having trouble accessing their own wi-fi and I have to say I was surprised how fast it was. Obviously that could eat your data allowance. I only felt comfortable doing it because I'm on a free all you can eat test drive for the next month or two. Either way, a really handy thing that you may not even realise the phone did!
===Texts and layouts===
I have no problem typing on the keyboard on this phone. The 820 being slightly smaller was giving me slightly more typos than usual, but the 920 is as accurate as my S3. The only downside is that if you DO make a typo you cannot move the cursor where you want. You can only move it to the space between words or highlight a whole word meaning that if you do just need to delete or add one or two letters, you can't do this. You need to delete the whole word and start again. I can't find any settings that stop this happening so for now it's a bit of a pain in the butt if you make a typo.
Text messages are lumped in with a chat function which, to be honest, I find a touch messy (and irritating if you don't realise it's turned on) With the 820 it obviously hadn't set up properly but the 920 did and it basically allows you to chat with contacts that are logged in on MSN or Windows live (whatever they call it now). If you allow it, it will also pull your Facebook chat contacts and allow you to chat with them via your phones text function. As it lists everything like a text message it gets a bit confusing for me when people who don't have my number appear with a text message. Some people may like this function; I'm a bit anti-social. I've also made a point of turning it off after being woken up at 4:30 AM by a message from a contact who I'd not spoken to in absolutely years.
To be honest the layout of the operating system and menus within the phone is one of my main issues. I don't dislike windows, but I dislike their new system and unfortunately you can't get away from the fact that this is what the phone has to use to get stuff done. Menu's look messy with parts of the next menu's appearing down the side of the screen and occasionally the over simple look just makes me yearn for something a bit better looking. Due to it being a newer system some of the apps available are clunky which is not the fault of the phone, but it is relevant till better apps come along. I no longer use a Facebook apps available as currently they all look terrible, preferring instead to just log in through the browser to the full website.
Allan, on the other hand, quite likes the simpler looks and really likes the hotmail app (for example). I prefer the browser version on the S3. It really is down to personal taste and personally I think it's not as nice as it could be. My biggest nuisance with the layout is that the information bar (clock, battery, signals) tends to hide when you are browsing the internet. My S3 has a constantly visible clock so I can get totally engrossed in whatever I'm reading and still be conscious of the time (required when you work where I do). I've constantly been losing track of time because the clock disappears when you are browsing the internet and as such I can see a very unhappy manager at the end of the month because of going over my break by a minute here and there (seriously).
The Camera is something that I've been excited about since I was told I was getting to try one of the Nokia phones out. They have made a rather large song and dance about it in their advertising strategies and so have quite a few other reviews from various sources. Imagine my disappointment at getting the 820 and finding out they didn't funnel all the cool stuff into the camera to make it awesome. Now imagine my excitement when I found out I was getting the 920 that DID come with all the camera software to make your knickers sodden (and take a fantastic photo of it!).
Both the 820 and the 920 come with constant name dropping around the lens of the camera. Carl Zeiss meant nothing to me until recently. They are one of the leading manufacturers of lenses and camera related wonderment and have been since around 1816. Ok well a little later than that since that's when Zeiss was born (November 11th to be precise) but the company definitely went on to make an impression on the world due to the quality of their products.
While the Lens helped the 820 beat the ass off of the S3 in regards to a much better lighting balance, it fell flat on its arse when it came to reducing blur and making photos a delicious feast for your eyeballs. The 920, on the other hand, has "pureview" technology to back up the lens, tag teaming the S3 into the ground. The "pureview" thingymajigger basically stabilises your image so even when you accidentally fall over mid picture due to too much alcohol, assuming your phone survives, the picture will be not too shabby. I haven't actually tested that mind... maybe I should. Where's the tequila?
Drink induced shakes aside, it really does kick the absolute faecal matter out of the camera on the S3. Not only does it take low light situations and illuminate them perfectly, but everything is also in focus and very detailed. The megapixel count is 8.7 for the main camera (a whole 0.7 megapixels more than the both 820 and the S3) and it seems to make all the difference. I would go as far to say that the photos coming out of the 920 are actually better than my 14 megapixel camera! I took a photo this morning that blew my mind. Picture the scene: Trudging gracefully (ahem) across a gravel car park with a bag full of lunch and de-icer spray in one gloved hand. I pull the camera out with my other gloved hand, start it up with the quick buttons, the phone was bouncing around and swinging back and forward. I take a picture of the tree line and the lovely blue sky behind it expecting that it will be blurry as hell when I get inside and look at it... and then something amazing happens. I check the photo inside and other than being a bit squint (my fault entirely) the photo is bloody perfect. No blur, the colours of the trees are still showing despite being sillouhetted slightly by the bright sky behind. Detail, detail, detail. I was actually gob-smacked.
You can also edit your photos easily without having to go through an app. Your gallery gives you the options to crop, rotate and "fix" your photos. The crop function is actually better than the one I have on my computer, giving you a grid to even stuff out and make sure you are cropping exactly what you want. The rotate function spins the photo round 90 degrees at a time and the "fix" button sorts out any dodgy lighting that may have creeped into your photo. Those sillouhetted trees were sorted right out with that function, bringing out a gorgeous spectrum of greens, browns and reds without killing any detail at all. Nokia 920, I am almost ready to declare my love for your camera.
With my S3, despite the pictures being alright, when you put them on a device with a bigger screen (laptop or desktop) the photos lost all definition and blurring started showing up where it hadn't on the phone screen. Do the amazing pictures from the 920 hold up to being enlarged? When viewed on the computer they look perfect. No blurring or deterioration due to stretching. That's it. I'm done trying to hide it. I love the camera. Sigh. The only slight issue I had was that it takes the photos in that really weird long shape that a lot of phones do, but even that is knocked firmly on the head by the fact the "crop" function has preset photo sizes, the normal 6x4 being one of them. Lots of Kudos. The only improvement I'd make would be a setting on the camera to automatically take photos at the size you prefer. As it stands you can make it slightly shorter but still not quite 6x4 (normal photo size). That, however is a tiny niggle.
===Back to front===
For the front-facing camera you get 1.2 megapixels. Nokia's own specs say its 1280x960 pixels (they avoid defining it in megapixels) which is 1228800 pixels. A mega pixel is 1 million. A lot of sources say 1.3 but that's a bit of wild rounding up there. It's wildly better than the 820's 0.9megapixel front facing camera. Still a little short of the S3 1.9 (probably closer to 1.8) megapixels. The quality however is fine for what you'd use it for. I'm never sure why they don't include a decent front facing camera with phones. I assume it might be something to do with slowing phone calls down, but surely there would be a way to turn the resolution down automatically for calls allowing people to take good photos with the front facing cameras? Maybe I'm just being crazy though and since I don't have any know-how on the making of stuff in general, I'll leave it up to the boffins at Nokia.
Not taking into account the front facing camera Nokia have blown the S3 out of the water with the main camera. The photos are phenomenally better. So how is the video? As good as the camera. The videos are clear and in focus, I even noticed that when moving away from objects the camera will refocus for you. There's no blurring or shaking evident either which is fantastic. Sound wise it picks everything up. The front facing camera isn't as great as the main camera but only because the main camera is brilliant. The front facing camera gives more than acceptable images for video calling which will probably be it's main use other than the occasional Myspace style photo. Ahh remember Myspace? No, me neither. Point being, I'd happily record stuff with this video camera. The quality is fantastic. The only slight issue is the zoom. You can set your zoom before you start filming but you can't adjust it during filming. Zooming in starts to take the quality away from the video too for things that are further away. Still, the video camera is fantastic for close to mid range filming.
With my S3 there are approximately one million security features that you can choose from. It lists how secure each function is and lets you, the user, make the choice. With the Nokia 920 (and the 820 for that matter) there is one security feature in the form of a PIN. The choice you have is to either enable it... or not. A PIN is fine and it does the job, it's just an issue, again, of what I prefer and that tends to be having a choice. As well as that small gripe, locking the screen doesn't stop the push buttons all doing their thing which really seems pointless. Still secure... but pointless.
===Cat on a hot, Tinny roof===
Nokia has included some cool apps to play with on both the Lumia phones. Both the 820 and the 920 come with free access to Nokia's own music hub and radio channels. Fantastic if you want to download, or stream music. Again, be careful with your data allowance if you're going to do this. You can, obviously, put your own music onto the phone too. With the 820, the sound quality was abysmal in comparison to the S3. How does the 920 hold up? To find out, I loaded up the songs I tested the 820 with to see if the same issues were apparent. They weren't anywhere near as bad as before. It's a loud little phone too so you could totally turn it up full blast and be quite annoying with it. Fabby!
To add to your editing capabilities for you photos, included with the 920 is a tile called Creative Studio. This is an interesting little app that allows you to alter the colours and lighting of photos you have stored on your phone. When opening the app it will present you with all the recent photos, giving you the option to do a more detailed search of your photo albums at the bottom. Simply pick the one you want to work with and tap it. It then brings the photo to the forefront and loads 8 preset colour options like ivory (essentially sepia toned) and silver (black and while. The original photo sits in the middle and you can scroll up and down to see the photo with the preset colours applied. You can choose any of the versions to go into more detail with too. Tap on the photo you want to start with and you then have the option to change the colour balance, brightness, clarity and vibrance of the photo you have selected via a sliding bar on screen. You can save your alterations with a tap of the save button on the screen when you are happy with what you have and it will pop it in a "saved pictures" folder under your "Photos" tile. This is quite a handy little thing as it means you can tweak your photos easily. A good app from Nokia!
The 920 comes with a few little apps to make your experience of the phone that little bit more interesting. CityView is one that they have been advertising and basically allows you to find attractions, shops, restaurants and the like by looking through your camera lens. The view you will see is augmented with little tags when you are facing in the direction of an attraction telling you where it is. Clicking on the tab will even give you a map to follow. Cool.
Another interesting one that's added to the 920 is the Cinemagraph tile. It's a bit of a weird one. Basically you can film for a few seconds, and then choose which parts of the film to animate. As an example, I filmed my hand with my middle finger curling up and straightening out. The cinemagraph lens allowed me to select the area which my middle finger moved through and "animated" it while keeping the rest perfectly still making a little cycling animation out of it. You simply rub the parts you want to stay still or move (select the options on the side). My attempt looked terrible but then I wasn't really trying to make a masterpiece! Some people may enjoy playing around with this. I probably won't ever use it, but it's a fun quirky thing to try out!
The phone has it's own built in 32GB memory. You cannot add your own micro SD card but to be honest you probably won't need to. 32GB should be more than enough for most people. The only issue I have with the lack of micro SD is that if you do come to switching your phone, it was much easier to remove the SD card with everything stored on it and plug it into your new device. You can't do that here, meaning not only that I couldn't transfer the photos from my S3 to the Nokia, but that I won't be able to transfer it back quickly if I want to. You'll need to plug it all in to your computer, dragging dropping and generally fiddling round if you ever come to change time. Thankfully you shouldn't be doing it as often as I've had to recently through testing out phones though. This won't be much hassle if it's a once in a blue moon occurance. You can also upload everything you own to the windows "Cloud" server that will allow you access to it no matter what device you are on as long as you've got access to the "cloud".
The first thing I did when I got this phone was adjust the brightness settings. I popped it right up to high and dazzled myself for a few days. When the brightness is on high, the battery almost floods out of the phone. Overnight the battery lost 9% of its charge going from 99% to 90%. Since I've gotten up this morning at 8:10am I've not really done a lot on it. I've sent a few messages on whatsapp, checked my emails and browsed online for about half an hour collectively and its currently sitting at 48%. I'm writing this section at 13:40pm so that means it's lost 42% of its charge in 5 hours and 30minutes. I'd accept that if I was doing more, but it really feels like the battery has just oozed out for doing not much.
After turning the brightness down to "medium" at 13:40pm I threw myself into some heavy browsing. I also realised at this point that medium brightness was more than bright enough. The battery lasted till 16:58 when it drained its last drop, meaning that I lasted 3 hours and 18 minutes heavy browsing with half a battery. So heavy browsing on a full battery all day will last you about 6.5 hours. As it stands though, this phone lasted 8 hours and 48 minutes. A wee bit worryingly the phone got really hot in the last hour of browsing, googling and Nokia Maps'ing.
You do have a battery saver option that will start shutting down apps when the phone is in idle and stop your emails from syncing automatically. You can choose to have this happen all the time, only when the battery is low, somewhere in between or not at all. Obviously it's up to you to decide when to use it. If you do use it all the time you may not get notifications from emails and other messaging apps. I had the battery saver set to come on when the phone was on low battery.
At the moment the price is a little high. Very few networks have it (Orange, their new name Everything everywhere and T-mobile) so there isn't a lot of competitive pricing. With my S3 I pay £31 a month and get unlimited texts and calls and 1gb of internet. A similar package with EE is £41 a month plus a £19.99 down payment for the handset. T-mobile are even more steep at £99 for the handset and £41 a month but you do get unlimited data allowance. I have noticed, though, that you can claim a free wireless charger (worth about £50) with the phone if you get it through phones4u. Is it worth it? I'd not want to pay that much for it myself. In my opinion its coming in equal to the S3 so I'd expect to pay an equal price for it. I suspect that the price may start to go down a little when the phone is available on more networks though.
The phone has so many features so I know this has been a mammoth review. As such, I'll be polite! Here's a very quick breakdown of the good and bad points I found when using the 920:
Choice of Colour
4.5 inch screen
Gorilla glass 2
Weight spread out better
Loud ringers/ good vibrations
8.7 megapixel Camera
Pureview tech is fantastic
Photo Editing is easy and effective
Wireless Charging (if you get the pad)
Can be charged from secure computers
Good sound quality
Price a bit high
Charger hard to get out of socket
Chargers don't match phone
Volume and camera buttons still active when locked
Keyboard needs tweaked
IE the only browser available
Operating System Looks very childlike/ messy
Security options limited
No battery access
Info bar that hides the time
Heats up occasionally
A shortage of apps (for now)
This is a toughie for me. It's very obvious I dislike the operating system and there are a few poorer points of the phone related directly to that. Having to go out of your way to download a bunch of apps to make the phone more user friendly is a bit of a pain. Mostly it's just small tweaks here and there that haven't been thought through when putting it all together. There are also some fantastic points of this phone, the camera being the main one. I never expected I'd feel comfortable getting rid of my actual camera in place of carrying a phone around, but the 920 firmly planted the idea in my head and surrounded it with comfortable fluffy stuff. For the basics (Calls, texts, internet) the 920 performs perfectly, with no crashing. I'd say that this phone would come down to preference on looks of the operating system and the handset.
If a magical Christmas elf came along and paid off my current contract and then offered me a choice between an S3 and a Nokia 920, I honestly do not know which I would prefer. If the same elf offered me a Nokia 920 with an android system, I'd choose that in a second. Either way, I'd say that the 920 is definitely punching its weight and that any issues are small at best and if they were to work out all the kinks, I'd have no problem justifying the current cost and even looking past the windows 8 system. Definitely a good contender to the S3 here with much more good points than bad. Well done 920!
Summary: Nokia is finally throwing punches at its contenders
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