One of the first things you notice about the 920 is that, like previous iterations such as the Nokia Lumia 800 and Nokia Lumia 900, it’s big, colourful and nicely designed. The polycarbonate unibody build is apparently used because of better antenna performance, being more RF transparent. It certainly feels solid, and ceramic keys and plating are supposed to be more or less invulnerable to scratching.
There’s definitely a sense that Nokia is trying to stand out from the crowd in the design front, as with previous Lumia models. The signature bright colours are injection moulded into the polycarbonate, so shouldn’t fade with wear and tear. The Lumia 920 manages to be Technicolor without seeming like a toy, which is probably a fine line.
Nokia’s R&D department apparently put it through rigorous tests, including dropping it, splashing it, and even putting sun tan lotion on it to see if the colours would be affected. The overall result is a solid feeling build that feels like it could take a knock or two.
Nokia made a very big stick indeed of the imaging capabilities. At the core of this is the PureView system. The PureView system essentially means the camera components ‘float’ on tiny little springs. The optical assembly should therefore stay somewhat steady if the phone is being jiggled around.
The main upshot of this is that the lens can be open for longer with reduced risk of blurring, which means images and videos should benefit from enhanced brightness and clarity. The images we saw, combined with the HD display, certainly looked good. A decent camera similar to that seen on the Nokia 808 PureView, and Carl Zeiss optics do the ground work.
As much a part of Windows Phone 8, new lens applications can be utilized before or after you snap, such as FX Suite. We were shown a number of nifty filters and apps (such as Photo Synth, which produces a panoramic view which you can slide across to see more), which along with that powerful camera bolster this as a phone with imaging at its heart.
Probably the other most interesting thing about the phone is the built-in wireless charging. We were demonstrated it sitting on a ‘Fatboy Recharge Pillow’. This is likely to be an increasingly important trend in the future, and Nokia seems well placed with a seemingly hassle free approach.
Live tiles – a huge part of Windows Phone 8’s proposition can be re-sized, moved and customized. Also bundled features such as maps and voice control have been given a tweaking for the new handset. Nokia City Lens is a new feature - point it at the street and it will overlay info about businesses, restaurants and other bits of info. The 920 will also have offline maps ‘that work’, which will have augmented reality and will be linked with Nokia Drive. NFC, which was demonstrated on stage by tapping a speaker to make it play, is also on board.
The previous similar screen sized Nokia Lumia 900 abandoned curved glass, as there wasn’t an ideal way of solidly including it into the large screen at the time, so we’re told. However thanks to new techniques the 920 features a curved 4.5-inch high definition screen. It features Nokia Pure Motion HD Plus – tech that is designed to enhance clarity in stills and video. Nokia claims it is the fastest LCD display ever shipped on a smartphone- and that its 25% brighter than rival smartphones.
The 920 has a 2000mAh battery, which is the largest Nokia has installed in a phone. The snapdragon S4 processor is also supposed to help with battery efficiency, ‘as opposed to quad core alternatives’. At this stage we weren’t able to exhaust the performance of the device, but there certainly seems to be a move towards pushing for a decent amount of use out of a charge. If may be less of an issue if we do end up in a world filled with wireless charging ports…
Nokia’s mission statement in the smartphone space is arguably to play catch up with the iPhone and slew of Android based rivals that now are so strong in the market, certainly in the west. The Lumia series thus far has done a good job of providing a sturdy, nice looking alternative to both of these. Linked into this is Microsoft, which also still has some work to in order to catch up the likes of Android in terms of market share and apps.
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