Before I get into this review I would like to say I know that this review is very late but there is a reason for this. We have been trying to source a Lumia or other Windows phone for quite some time now to allow us the chance to review something other than Android and iOS. It did take a long time and now thankfully we today can bring our very late review of the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 handset. It is also worth pointing out that the 925 review isn’t far behind this one so hopefully now we can keep up to date in the Windows Phone scene as well. A big thanks to Dialaphone for supplying this unit.

Build/ Design

The first thing I noticed even when holding the boxed up Lumia was the weight of the device (185g to be precise). I then opened the box and held the Lumia alongside my Note II and to my surprise the Lumia was actually heavier even with it being a lot smaller. You may think that is a good or bad thing depending on what you like in a device, some people prefer to feel there device while others prefer thin and light.

The Nokia Lumia 920 is constructed from a 130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7 mm polycarbonate uni-body shell that really helps set the device off and gives it a premium look and feel. The design itself actually follows on from the older 800 and 900 Lumia variants so it’s nothing new.  If you look at the 900 and the 920 from the front you will be hard pushed to tell the difference but the new 920 has a smaller bezel above the screen and a larger below it. As you can see from all the pictures above the design is really nice.

The device itself has lovely rounded edges making it really nice to hold presuming you have big enough hands. All the buttons we need are located on the right hand side of the device that include the volume rocker up top, followed by the power/lock button in the centre and the camera shutter button near the bottom of the device making it really easy to access them all. The actual layout of these buttons is pretty similar across all Windows Phone’s and was a welcome change to myself while using the device. The left hand side of the device features nothing other than a beautifully smooth curved edge for you to marvel at.

On top we have a centralised 3.5mm headphone jack given this position as Nokia claim it makes it easier to slide the device into your pocket while the headphones are plugged in. I cant really comment on this as i have never really had a problem on any device iv used thus far. On one side of the jack there is the micro-sim tray which like most these days requires a tool to access and on the other we have a noise cancelling microphone. As you can imagine by the presence of the sim slot this inevitably means that there is no access to the Lumia’s 2.oo0mAh battery and you’ll be said to know there is no micro-SD slot either to expand on the 32GB of storage.

On the bottom of the device we have the micro-USB port flanked on either side by some nice looking speaker grills and two exposed screws. It is worth noting that the exposed screws actually look good on this device and help continue the premium look. The rear of the device features a centralised 8MP camera lens, sliver plate surround and dual LED flash with the Nokia and Carl Zeiss logo etched in.


Nokia has put some effort into the display and this is definitely the stand out feature of the Lumia 920. Nokia seem to have marketed the display well with buzzwords like PureMotion HD+ and ClearBlack being mentioned in advertisements. The 920 features a 4.5-inch IPS TFT screen that provides a crisp and bright display. It also offers an HD resolution of 768×1280.

The result of this extra effort put in by Nokia is a very sharp and smooth looking display. The panel produces some really strong colours which i would have to say is up there with the best I have witnessed on a smart phone thus far, the colours do not seem washed out at all and black is really black. Images and videos look stunning on this display, something that any good smart phone these days should be able to produce. The viewing angles are also perfect with no angle making it to difficult to view and the display also performs perfect in direct sunlight.

I would go as far as saying that this display looks and performs as good as the iPhone 5 display and really compliments this lovely device.


Another part of the Nokia Lumia 920 that was strongly marketed was the camera wich carried with it the PureView moniker made famous by the Nokia 808. Although the 920 doesn’t have that ridiculous 41 mega-pixel camera it still offers a good alternative. The Nokia Lumia 920 carries on the Finnish firm’s history of top of the line smart phone camera’s with the 920 featuring an 8MP, Carl Zeiss lens.

The camera itself will never let you down when you need to get a picture quickly with the physical shutter button on the side of the 920 you can access the camera app quickly and efficiently. The shutter button also gives the Lumia 920 a more camera like feel and allows you to take pictures a little easier as your not stretching your finger onto the display and tapping a button.

The actual camera app itself is very easy to use and self explanatory, there aren’t loads of options to choose from and you will notice this when you hit the the three dots in the bottom corner to expand the menu area. When you do so you will see two options; photo settings and video settings, along with the four icons – lenses, flash, front-facing and video. This menu layout is very nice to use as some camera apps these days are just to overwhelming for some.

With the introduction of Windows Phone 8 the camera app has been given a significant upgrade and brought with it the concept of camera lenses, which let you see and click images in a “different light”. The Nokia Lumia also features Bing Vision, Panorama, Cinemagraph and Smart Shoot lenses to cater for various shooting moods and requirements all of which perform greatly.

Lets have a quick look at the above modes first up we have Bing Vision which works in a similar way to Google Goggles on Android. All you have to do is snap a barcode, QR code, book cover, CD or DVD case and Bing will search the web for similar products given the user prices and places to purchase.

The second is Panaroma which is pretty self explanatory and allows you to take love sweeping pictures of the beech etc. One problem with panorama mode is sometime in low light it doesn’t work out as well but maybe that was done to the user and not the software?

The next feature is a bit gimmicky and not for those in a rush to take a picture. Its called Smart Shoot which takes five pictures in one go and then allows you to choose the best shot afterwards. The 920 also has the ability to pick out smiling faces from the various shots to make sure you get a perfect picture but it does seem like a bit of a hassle but that may be because I’m not a keen photographer.

The last feature is Cinemagraph which is unique to the Nokia Windows Phone 8 devices. This feature allows you to make an animated GIF with ease (that’s an animated photo just in case your wondering), by snapping a simple movement like a friend going past or falling over. This mode is yet another gimmick but it was certainly fun in the pub.

Overall the camera on the Nokia Lumia 920 is awesome. The picture’s that it creates look great and the screen helps showcase them very well. The sample images are all above for you to have a look.


Software/ UI

The Nokia Lumia was one of the very first smart phones to run Windows Phone 8 (Microsoft’s mobile operating system) and arrived with many improvements over the older versions. One of the main upgrades in Windows Phone 8 is support for multi-core processors which allows the Lumia 920 to rock a 1.5GHz dual-core chip with 1GB of RAM. This means that manufacturers can make powerful Windows Phone’s like the Android and iOS competition already offer.

So when you switch on the device you may be surprised because unlike Android and iOS the lock screen features no shortcuts for apps meaning all you can do is slide it upwards to enter your home screen. This was a bit annoying for me as I really enjoy the option of quick access to my favourite apps. One thing worth noting is that information or images can be displayed on the lock screen like Bing or Facebook images and even the latest Facebook post if you wish. You can also have calender events displayed here as well which could come in handy if you have an important agenda to keep. Texts, emails, missed calls that you have received can also be displayed on the lock screen and you can select which ones you want to display straight from the settings menu.

So now that we have covers the lock screen lets talk about the home screen. There are no multiple pages to be found here like on Android or iOS, Microsoft has chosen to keep everything extra simple. The home screen features live tiles, which can be moved, removed and re-sized by holding down on them allowing you to put what you want where you want. There is also the option of the smallest size of live tile which will allow you to pack as much on the screen as you can, but it doesn’t look that good when you do that.

The live tiles make navigating the device a treat and you can pretty much access all your favourite and essential apps with ease. One feature i really like is the ability to expand the tile to the width of the device. By doing this with apps like messaging or calender and you will have a preview of your latest text or upcoming event.

If you are not a fan of the colour your tiles are displayed in fear not. Quickly jump into theme settings and there are more than a few crazy colours to choose from. We found this feature pretty good as it keeps the device fresh and allows the user to style accordingly. One thing that we noticed while reviewing the Nokia Lumia 920 is that when you pin third party apps to the home screen some of them will display notifications like the stock apps but only if the developer of that app has enabled this but either way it looks pretty awesome.

Just like on Android devices there is an app drawer to view all your apps. Simply swipe from left to right to access them or use the arrow icon at the bottom of your live tile list to access it. All your apps are in a vertical list so there is no page swiping here simply swipe down to see them all in alphibetical order. This was nice to start with but if you are like me and love loads of apps it can become a bit of a pain having a huge list to swipe through.

The interface is fast and fluid thanks to the dual-core processor and RAM in the Lumia 920 and there is no lag to be found. The screen picks up finger touches and swipes with ease and even picks up your taps with gloves on. Yes it is a bit of a gimmick but in Scotland we wear gloves a lot so it is a nice touch.

The most annoying part of the UI has to be the hidden notification bar, the clock is on display so why not just show the whole thing? To access your multitasking like menu (we say like as you cant force close apps from here) you just have to hold down the back key which will allow you to skip between running apps with ease.

Overall the UI is very easy to navigate and understand. Even a first time phone user would manage to find there way around quickly and easily after just an hours use. It may not have the customizability of Android or the iconic iOS styling but it sure does look great on that HD screen.

Battery Life/Wireless Charging/Connectivity

The Nokia Lumia 920 features a a non-removable 2,000mAh battery, which is smaller than most other devices these days. Sadly the news is not great on the battery front we struggled to get a whole day’s usage on light use so you can imaging what a normal user would get. I would suggest that if you want a full day stay away drom the sat nav, turn down the screen brightness and don’t stream loads of movies. So pretty much don’t use your device as would like. The battery definitely lets this device done but in this day and ages you can easily buy a portable charger/battery pack and you will have no problems. On Android there is battery setting applications that show you what’s killing your battery the most but on the Lumia this is nowhere to be found the only alternative being a simple battery saver option.

The Lumia 920 features wireless charging but there is something worth noting. If you want to take advantage of this you are going to have to pay up to £45 for the charging pad as it is not included but you can pick between many different colours. The Lumia 920 uses the internationally recognised Qi wireless charging standard, meaning that it will also allow you to use other charging plates that you can pick up for a more reasonable price if you so wish to. We did not test the wireless charging on this device but have tested it before on other devices and it makes charging your device in the dark a whole lot easier as you simply lay it on top of the plate and your sorted.

The Lumia 920 is a well connected device featuring 4G connectivity, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.1 and A-GPS. The 920 also features NFC allowing a lot of neat tricks to be performed from wireless payments to sharing photo’s instantly with other NFC connected devices.

As a big Xbox fan I was pleasently surprised to see the 920 includes DLNA streaming, allowing me to easily stream from the handset to an Xbox 360 console using the Smart Glass application. This was pretty fun and easy to do. All you have to do is fire up the Smart Glass app allowing it to connect to your 360 assuming they are on the same WiFi network and and you can use the Lumia 920 as a controller,you can browse the web on your smartphone, and then transfer the browsing experience onto the TV via the Xbox console. You can also share music and video with the Xbox allowing you to view it all on the big screen so it is a pretty neat feature if you have a 360.


Overall the Nokia Lumia 920 is an awesome device but can it compete with the flagship Android devices and iPhone’s? It is hard to say but given that when the Lumia 920 was released it was priced above some higher specked Android devices we can see why many people would choose more for less rather than try the Lumia 920. Having said that if you do pick up this device now there are plenty of awesome deals to be had and you will not be disappointed.

The screen and camera are stunning and the overall UI is easy to use. The device itself looks and feels like a premium device and is sure to attract some attention down the pub. Some may be put off by the size and weight of the device but if your one to against the grain and opt for Windows Phone 8 over Android and iOS then you should definitely check this device out.


Be Sociable, Share!

The following two tabs change content below.


Ryan Oneill

Editor In Chief

I live in Scotland UK and have been blogging about technology for a long time. I started BeginnersTech as I wanted even the total novice to be able to enjoy it as much as I do. If you ever need help or want to ask a question you have come to right place.


Latest posts by Ryan Oneill (see all)