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Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 4G smartphone review

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lumia9201Nokia’s Lumia 920 is the company’s new flagship device for a couple of reasons – it’s running the new Windows Phone 8 operating system and it’s also 4G.

A follow up to the well-received Lumia 900, Nokia’s Lumia 920 takes it up a significant level.

Apart from Windows Phone 8 and 4G, the other standout features of the device include a bright polycarbonate casing and an excellent 8.7-megapixel camera.

DESIGN

The Nokia Lumia 920 has sealed polycarbonate body which means there is no way to access the battery or a memory slot.

Like the iPhone, the Lumia 920 has a SIM card slot on the top edge which can only be opened with the supplied ejector pin or a regular pin or paper clip.

There’s also a headphone jack along the top edge. On the right edge is the volume up and down, the on/off/lock key and a dedicated camera key that switches the device to camera mode and also activates the shutter to take your pictures.

The Nokia Lumia 920 4G smartphone running Windows Phone 8

Speaking of the camera, the lens with Carl Zeiss optics is located close to the centre of the device on the back.

This is a more intelligent location for the camera because it avoids the problem of accidentally getting your fingers in photos, as is the case with the iPhone and Galaxy S III whose lenses are closer to the edge and the corner.

On the bottom edge of the device are speakers and a microUSB sync/charging port.

The Lumia 920 has a responsive 4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ touchscreen display with three virtual keys on the bottom edge – back, home and search.

The device is 13cm long, 7cm wide and just over 1cm thick. The first thing we noticed when we picked it up for the first time was the weight.

The Nokia Lumia 920 weighs a hefty 185g

Nokia’s Lumia 920 weighs in at 185g which is quite heavy when compared with the Samsung Galaxy S III (133g) and iPhone 5 (112g).

Our theory is the added weight comes from the display and the added Carl Zeiss optics.

But it’s not like the device is going to giving you a sore arm from carrying around so the added grams are not a major roadblock.

WINDOWS PHONE 8

You can’t talk about the Lumia 920 without talking about Windows Phone 8 – it is one of the major new features of the device.

In terms of speed and look and feel it offers quite a change from Windows Phone 7 but there also a lot of features that are exactly the same.

One of the best new features is the ability to resize the tiles on the homescreen to suit your needs.

For example if you’re a heavy texter you can make your message tile take up the whole width of the screen.

Other lesser-used tiles can be shrunken down to take either half or a quarter the width of the screen.

The Nokia Lumia 920 has its camera lens in the centre of the device instead of on the corner or near the edge

These tiles are also “live tiles” which means information can be seen on them without the need to open the app.

On the subject of apps, the Windows Phone 8 system has a rapidly expanding app library including all the biggies – Facebook, Twitter, Angry Birds and many others.

Windows Phone 8 is also ideal for Windows PC users and allows them to stay connected to their Microsoft Office documents on the go – Word, Excel, Powerpoint – as well as seamlessly connecting to Outlook email and corporate email accounts with Microsoft Exchange.

There is also a way to hive off a section of the device for your kids which is useful if you have a habit of handing off your phone to your child so they can play without the risk of them accessing any of your own content or settings.

Rooms is also a helpful new feature which allows users to create a private messaging area like a chat room.

Windows Phone 8 can also tap into the Xbox Live ecosystem so if you’re an Xbox gamer you’ve also got on-the-go access to your online friends and your gaming information.

FEATURES

There are a few pro-loaded apps like Nokia Drive (GPS), Nokia Music, Local Scout which can suss out nearby restaurants, shopping and attractions.

Nokia City Lens is an augmented reality app that allows users to see, through the device’s camera, information and ratings about restaurants, hotels, shopping, transport and sights.

City Lens is an excellent travel app to explore areas where you’ve never been before and still have the same information that the locals would.

But in the line-up of features, it is the Lumia 920’s camera that steals the show.

The Lumia 920 includes Nokia City Lens - an augmented reality app that provides information about your surroundings

Nokia’s devices have always had decent cameras and the Lumia 920 continues that tradition and, in fact, takes it to a new level.

The 8.7-megapixel camera and the Carl Zeiss optics work together to produce some impressive images with excellent colour reproduction whether you’re just centimetres from the subject or shooting a landscape.

On the video side the Lumia 920 captures full high definition 1080p as well.

PERFORMANCE

One thing users will notice with the Lumia 920 is how much faster it is when compared to the previous model.

That’s courtesy of the dual core 1.5Ghz SnapDragon processor which powers the device and the Windows Phone 8 operating system nicely.

Theirs is hardly any lag opening and closing apps and moving between screens on the Lumia 920.

Battery performance is also above average and easily lasted the entire work day. Often we didn’t need to reach for the charger until 24 hours after the initial charge.

But the battery life is also dependent on how often you’re using Telstra’s 4G network. We found the battery took a bigger hit when we were in 4G range for most of the day.

An image taken with the Lumia 920

There is 32GB of internal memory and Nokia, and Microsoft through Windows Phone 8, is steering users to the cloud for an extra 7GB on SkyDrive.

VERDICT

Nokia’s Lumia 920 is a feature-packed device that is worthy of consideration alongside the iPhone and Android devices.

The Lumia 920’s ability to link users seamlessly to their Microsoft/Windows/Xbox ecosystems will appeal to a wide range of users as will the increasing number of apps.

Nokia has always made excellent hardware and the Lumia 920 is no exception and, with Windows Phone 8 operating system onboard, it is good enough to compete alongside the more popular smartphones on the market.

Nokia Lumia 920

Price: $829 or on a Telstra plan

www.nokia.com.au

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