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AT&T Nokia Lumia 920 gets slight battery and talk time downgrade

Lumia 920

When the Nokia Lumia 920 specifications hit last month, the rather large battery (2000mAh) was touted as one of the main features, resulting in supposed “all day use”. That’s especially important for consumers on such a powerhouse of a phone since it has all of those bells and whistles on board.

The AT&T version has recently been posted on Nokia’s site and it has some updated specifications from the global version, including some new battery times. The bad news is they have been slightly marked down for the massive 4G network, most likely due to some carrier requirements resulting in some firmware changes in addition to that super fast LTE network.

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Those changes have resulted in talk-time going from 10 hours to 9 hours on AT&T, standby time dropping from 400 hours to 320 and music playback dwindling from 67 hours to 52 for the US branded Lumia 920. We suppose they’re not huge drops, but they are drops nonetheless. We should also leave a little room here for error—it’s not uncommon for slight discrepancies to be posted on these sites before a device hits, so changes may still be forthcoming.

It’s well known that LTE will use more battery life than regular 3G (or “4G” for HSPA+) but the Qualcomm S4 chipset should handle battery consumption a lot more effectively than the current Nokia Lumia 900, which has older silicon onboard.  Still, no matter how good the technology gets, if you get a fatter pipe for data you will consume more battery. Plus, if you're not on LTE in theory you'll have slightly better battery life.

Regarding possible network and firmware changes, we really have no idea on what drives that or what AT&T’s requirements are (or even if that’s a factor here). It’s not uncommon though for carriers to do testing and request changes that affect the radio performance, including higher rates of tower-pinging (who remembers hacking their AudioxVox PPC-6700 to get calls faster?).

In the end, we still think the Lumia 920 is a nice upgrade. When compared to the current Lumia 900, the 920 gets 2 hours more of rated talk time and 20 hours more of standby—all of that with NFC, a larger, more power thirsty display and a dual-core CPU. We’ll take that, thank you.

Update: We did forget to mention the Lumia 820 for AT&T. That too has had a slight downgrade as well:

  • 7.5hrs VS 8hrs - Talk 3G
  • 260hrs VS 330hrs - Standby 3G
  • 43hrs VS 55hrs - Music playback

Thanks, mrxae86, for the tip!

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Reader comments

AT&T Nokia Lumia 920 gets slight battery and talk time downgrade

134 Comments

+1. As a lumia 900 user, I'm anyway not eligible for upgrade for atleast a year. If I'm buying off contract, paying hefty price, I might as well buy a truly unlocked one with no compromise. And without that damn AT&T logo.  Does international version support LTE of AT&T?

Last I checked, and I'm entitled to be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure the battery specs still beat the competition on several points; plus it's an improvement over predecessors. Not to mention the convenience of having wireless charging makes it easy to just set it down to charge but still having quick pick-up-and-go. I mean you always have the option to choose something more suitable to you, but for me that makes it quite appealing. :)

I think you must have misread his statement. He specifically says more then enough for most including him. So how is that not going to be suitable for him if he thinks it's what he needs?

Who cares about the sd slot: the 920 has a better screen, a better camera, a better design, better exclusive apps, wireless charging... I thing that should be enough :)

A lot of people care about the sd slot. Design....that's a personal choice. Better screen ? How do you determine that ? The ATIV is hd and larger. So to me the Sammy has the better screen. Better camera..... Real world comparisons haven't been done yet. Wireless charging .... The galaxy 3 has that so most likely the ATIV will. Exclusive apps... Yes Nokia has that but the 920 is exclusive to att in the U.S. . It was just announced Rogers in Canada was getting the ATIV along with the 920. Only difference is the ATIV isn't exclusive. So I'd be willing to bet Samsung is gonna support all the consumers and give them a top notch phone on any carrier. It's a shame Nokia has their head up att's butt.

They just haven't announced exclusivity YET. They eventually might. Samsung phone have never disappointed me - I don't expect a stellar camera from smartphones(I have several cameras with specialized lenses for that). But that's just my preference. Having said that, I'm planning to buy 920 for other reasons.

The 920 is HD with more pixels (768 vs 720). Size doesn't matter, it's how you use it :). It has a faster refresh rate. It has tech to improve outdoor visability. It works with gloves on! As far as display tech the 920 beats the Ativ.
To the camera, there have been real world comparisons done and unless the camera s different than the one in the SGS3, it has shown to be worse than 920 which is currently king, worse than iPhone5 and the HTC cameras in the one x and new 8X models.

The GS3 doesn't have wireless charging, at least not built in, and no accessories yet available to make it wireless charging. So chances of Ativ being wireless are slim.

Just curious. Do you Think you could text with gloves on? Maybe if you had a bigger screen ;)
We all like different phones. It just sucks that Nokia isn't sharing the love to all their fan boys. I really think Samsung will. Since by doing it with the G3 it made them #1 in $ales

I could text using a key or stick or anything else so I wouldn't have to remove my gloved. How is Nokia not sharing the love? I like the HTC a lot, and I'm holding judgment on the ATIV until I can hold it in hand, so I'm no fanboy for any particular oem. Just pointing out the error in your statement and curious as to what you mean not sharing the love...

I'm sure Sammy shares a lot of love to their Android fans. It is their bread and butter in smartphones after all. Would they do the same for the Ativ S users? Not too sure about that! All you need to do is look at the video of how they presented that phone to the public, and you'll get the feeling they don't think much of the phone! I think they made it only out of grudging concession to MS. Hope I'm wrong.

It's not about texting only.
For example where I live, the weather is cold enough almost 6 months a year to warrant using at least thin gloves. As it is, I cant even answer a call without taking my glove off. During fall and spring its mostly just the extra step of taking off the glove, but during winter it can easily be -30 celsius here and you REALLY dont want to take a glove off even for as much as to accept the call, not to mention the hassle you get if you try to get the glove back on after you accepted the call :D
Also it's not even about gloves alone, the tech also includes being able to use anything as a makeshift stylus. Which come also valuable with gloves on as well as just every day life, as sometimes you might feel like poking the screen with something other than your finger. So no, I probably wouldnt start texting with gloves on, but I could use some object for it or at least open the damn message with my gloves on to see if its urgent.
 
Sure, ATIV has bigger screen, but that is the only thing it has on 920's screen, 920 beats it in every other way. That doesnt mean it's a bad screen, the 920's just happens to be the most advanced screen at this time. There also are real world tests with the 920s camera, but mostly about the OIS. I dont think we've seen any full size shots taken in good light with it yet.

Was it announced that the ATIV S wasn't going to be an AT&T exclusive, too? If I remember correctly, all Samsung Windows Phones were only on AT&T. It's a shame other carriers are too chicken sh-t to give their customers better options than just the latest iPhone or Android phone. Even more of a shame that people blame OEMs instead of carriers who have the final say as to what phones get on their network.

Believe it or not, the sd slot is the deal-breaker for me. I want a flagship phone without compromising anything. I have to get a 2nd rate phone just for sd, so i think I'll wait 6 months for a better model to come out.

Here is a little secret ATT doesn' want you to know about.  When they activate LTE in an area and all those LTE capable devices/plan latch on to it, HSDPA+ speeds start to SOAR!  I'm on Straight Talk which doesn't get LTE, but when I go to an LTE area my 4G speeds are crazy fast.  All those SGIIIs and iPhone5s are not competing with me for bandwidth.

What a shame it wasn't +microSD :/ It's the only thing missing from the "flagship phones". The ATIV doesn't count :P

So ironic how one of the biggest complaints about WP7 that power users had was the lack MicroSD support and now that we have it OEM's don't equip their flagships with the slot... The ATIV doesn't count :D

Why all the Ativ hate? I personally dig it. I dig all things about my favorite OS. Its funny how after WP8 was announced the same people who use to say that the OS made WP's top notch compared to apple and droid now pick a part their brethren and have turned into spec wh*res themselves.

It seems as the WP fan crowd grows bigger, we begin to form smaller 'clicks' within. It's a normal social behavior. But related to hardware, I has the HTC surround for two years. It was the cheapiest phone I've ever owned, but I still loved WP7. SD cards are the last of our problems with today's storage capabilities.

Yeah, I now have a L900 and I'm very optimistic about the Nokia products. My Samsung blackjack was awesome too. I think lots of oems produce good products. Any wp8 will be a great phone.

The ATIV is nice, just not great. The only thing that appeals to me is microSD, and that it's better spec than the Nokia & HTC mid-range phones that have microSD. It's not just about specs - I hate the build quality of Samsung phones - very plastic & feels flimsy. It sucks that only the lower WP models come with microSD and not the flagship phones.

Since when is a preference considered "fanboyism"? I said I wanted microSD in the WP8 flagship phones, i.e. phones like the HTC 8X and Lumia 920. The ATIV has microSD but I don't consider it in the same league as the flagship phones, hence "it doesn't count". In a similar way that the 8S and 820 don't count, as they're also not flagship phones either.

Plastic & flimsy case, design is average, screen is too big and has same resolution as smaller screens, all the other specs are "good" but without any "wow factor".

Some people will undoubtedly not like this. Just looked at the specs page on the US site for the Lumia 820, and it looks like they downgraded its usage info as well.

Yeah, I wondered if those specs would change as we neared launch... and let's face it, AT&T is probably erring on the side of accuracy. Still decent times though, so I'm not going to complain. Besides, I don't have LTE in my area so that won't be an impacting factor for me, and I remove all the "fluff" crap from AT&T anyway, so I'm sure that will help balance it back out.

Depends what you mean by AT&T 4G: HSPA+ (wide coverage) or LTE (less coverage, but growing rapidly). 

Here in NYC, I'm shocked at the LTE coverage. It's literally everywhere, full bars in every building in all the boroughs (from my experience). When they get the LTE network up, it's quite impressive.

I'm an hour from downtown Atlanta. LTE at home under CZW, but barely 3G, and at times no signal, under ATT. Fact is that LTE from ATT has about 1/6 the markets of Verizon, as much as I would jump ship if I could, I would not have the coverage I need of I did.

LOL! Sorry! :) If I had the money, I'd buy 920's for everyone I know. As it stands, I'm watching my budget closely to make sure I can get all my desired tech purchases this fall.

Eh, no one said it was a "problem" or were even complaining, so your meme attempt is not valid at all. (I also don't consider the gloabl 920 a 3rd world phone...)

Pointing out differences between the global and AT&T branded devices is a legit topic for discussion.

I read an interesting comment on another thread on WPC speculating that its possible the OIS uses a bit of juice when in operation- the result of electromagnetic components in the OIS mechanism. I don't endorse this theory as I don't know enough about the OIS system in the 920 but I found it intriguing. Any credible substance you think?

That will have no impact on this story, since both phones have the same camera. But yes, if it uses magnets or something simliar (mechanical) to stabalize, then yes, slightly more battery.

VR lenses for Nikon notoriously use more juce to stabalize the lenses---that's just a fact.

Good point, although, given the scale of hardware differences, it's probably nothing drastic. I may go back and review the PureView spec article they published, because I was under the impression it was more spring-based than magnet-based, but I didn't read that much into it at the time.

Spring or magnets; it doesn't matter. It will take some kind of force to move the lens. That means energy consumption. It probably doesn't come into play unless you're taking pictures, but it will draw off the battery while in operation. I expect, though, that isn't accounted for in the specs since there is no caveat about how many pictures taken.

IS should only be working when the camera is in operation, not when its powered down and certainly not during standbye times (where the time dropped 20%).
 
So it should use some more juice when you've got the camera on, but that shouldn't be affecting the times AT&T is dropping here.

More likely that it would draw juice for the extra CPU/GPU processing cycles than for the other parts. I suppose it would be an impacting factor if you were shooting long videos or a big photo shoot, but for general camera (still shots or short videos) usage I doubt you're gonna notice any impact.

Pretty interesting stuff. I'll be looking out for a similar editing of battery life over here when the 4G rolls out in the UK, not that this issue will be the be all and end all for me. Ps, apologies if my point was a bit OT.

Oh the days when we use to talk on the phone. More impressive is Daniel going into his bag of tricks and linking to a 6 yr old article. Smartphones have come a long way.

This is sorta unrelated but this sorta struck me recently:
 
At least around here people often complain how phones used to be much more durable etc and how the phones breaking faster is a corporate conspiracy to make you buy another one faster. These people dont realize that at least when it comes to smartphone, it's under MUCH heavier usage than your "good ol' featurephone you only used to calls and SMS and the occasional Snake".
 
I've easily pulled out my N8 from my pocket more times than all the other phones I've had previously combined, as N8 was my first smartphone. With that comes all kinds of wear and tear, chance to drop it and just general usage. Of course stuff breaks faster when you use them like 10 times more :D

I'm sure the 2" plastic monochromatic screen set back 1/4" in the inch+ thick plastic body had something to do with the relative durability of those older bricks.

Also if I remember correctly when the 920 was announced the Bluetooth was listed as 3.1 and now on Nokia's site it is listed as 3.0.

Anyone know if the AT&T version will come with a wireless charging pad in the box? Or is it all an accessory that needs to be bought? I would hope that Nokia would throw one of these things in, especially since they are marketing that capability like crazy.
 
(I was reading what was in the box and did not see it, unless its named something unique)

The micro USB charger costs about $3. Not $30 like iPhones. And they are everywhere. I got about 5 throughout the house laying around, got one in car and several at work. And almost every friends house we go to has at least one. Charging has NEVER and I mean NEVER, ever been an issue for me. I even keep the brightness on my 900 high cause I can. Micro USB should be the standard for all phones. PERIOD..

Eh... the iPhone charging cables are $19.99 which is the same price we charge for our USB data cables.  The big difference is that you end up with dozens of USB cables from cameras, phones, ect... The production cost is the same for both and you can find gas stations selling cheaply made versions for a few bucks for either cable.

Are you referring to the USB cables used in Iphone 4S and previous version? Teh new cable has some kind of chip in it. It is expected that there won''t be any 3rd party alternatives for a while and the cable I believe are $30 and sold out. By the way, I don't know where you bought your iphone cables for $19, but I bought mine for under $5. Some of them failed after a while, but for the most part, they worked quite well.

Actually, the adapters for the iPhone 5 are $30, but apple also sell a regular old USB to lightning Cable for $19 and they can be bought in amazon for $8. The cables don't have special chips. The adapters do.

A fatboy on every desk cures all this stuff. Hope they are cheap. Most of all I want a wireless cradle that fits on the dashboard of my car. I'm dying to know the plans here.

Unfortunately no LTE for me even though I am in one of the most populated regions of my state. But I travel a lot to major cities.

Why doesn't the Samsung Ativ S count? Most of it's specs are as good as, or better, than the Lumia 920, AND it supports expanded storage options via removable MicroSD cards. The only thing, apparently, it's lacking is LTE (God only knows why Samsung decided not to equip it with that!), but I guess I'm willing to live without that to have that massive screen & to be able to put my music collection on my 64GB MicroSD card!

I will most likely be buying an Ativ S when it goes on sale.

The ATIV has a bigger screen than the Lumia 920, which is also worse from a quality point of view. Other than that, the Lumia 920 is better under every aspect.

The ATIV is good, just not great. It has a bigger screen, which is a negative to me - I love my current 4.3" HD7 and would be willing to go up to 4.5" but 4.8" is too much. The ATIV design is average with no choice of colours, the case is plastic & flimsy (like all Samsung's), the camera is good without being great. Bigger battery & microSD are good but overall there isn't anything amazing about it to make it a flagship phone. The 920 and 8X have stand-out features... The ATIV is just a bit underwhelming to be a flagship phone - which is why I said I wanted microSD in the flagship phones as the ATIV isn't one of them (nor is the 820).

My 900 averages me 16 hours/day on HSPA+. I never need a charger before bed. This is a fantastic battery upgrade.

Turn off data, WiFi and turn on battery saver it lasts forever (ok more like 2-3 days, but I found this amazing when I wouldn't be doing any data sensitive things with my phone, like being out and about not needing to use the internet much).

Can i buy the International version (unlocked obviously) and use it on the ATT network? It'd still have compatible radios for ATT's LTE and 3G networks correct?
 
Second, does anyone know if i can turn off LTE and bump down to 3G in settings? Once everyone gets on LTE i'm anticipating it to really bog down, while 3G gets back closer to its "in theory" speeds

Do you think it would be possible to do something with a Diagnostics app like with the original Focus enabling HSUPA as well as HSDPA?

Really not much of a story. So it's a bit less. It hardly makes a difference but i have chargers for home, car and work. Still if you're a stickler for tech specs i guess this is good to know. :P

Haha smh
I'm not sure i'd want a smart phone on Verizon until they have nationwide VoLTE up and running

Makes you wonder what in the heck AT&T had to do...4G time is down 10%, standby time (which you'd hope would be the least affected) is down by 20%.
 
These are actually big changes....I'm still going to get a 920, but these aren't insignificant drops....what is going on AT&T? 
 
Maybe its the constant drain from some AT&T garbage app that they've installed to run all the time...(half joking there)

Still better than the iPhone 5 if I recall correctly. IPhone gets 8 hours on talk while the 920 still gets 9 hours with its ginormous screen. :)

some more info for interested parties:
 
iphone 5:
standby 225 hours
audio playback 40 hours
 
lumia
standby 320
audio 52
 
 
 

My personally opinion is that AT&T rather be conservative and Nokia prefers to overexaggerate.The pureview add they got busted on for example. 
Its all good though because everyone else lies all over the place too. That is just how marketing works. Apple had like some bs like up to 225 hours stand by time. Not a chance in hell. Day and a half max of very little use according to consumers.

I dont know really, just thinking with the new kernel maybe there is a data traffic counter or a service in the background. I just know I'm not going to have any on my international version. Or atleast, I think I'm not. (tinfoil hat mode activated) ;)

I bought a first gen Samsung Focus ( still my daily phone) and I would get 3 full days of light to moderate use before the battery needed recharging.  Then, after the Mango update, the battery life immediately reduced to only 1 full day of light to moderate use.
So, I believe the OS has way more to do with the life of a battery than the actual battery and phone hardware.

I have the same phone and have had a similar experience in battery life, but it always assumed that the battery needed to be replaced...

I'll wait til unbiased reviewers pick the phone apart after it launches to make a decision
Still an upgrade from the 1500Mah in my Focus.

And so it begins...Just like with the Lumia 900 with all its promotion of the Carl Zeiss lens with lackluster camera and now the 920 continuing the Nokia tradition for being less than honest about what they are actually going to deliver to the public. First pushing the 920 video that was actually from a professional camera to not having the ability to make it through the day as once stated. Nokia is begging to look a lot like Craigslist.

Looks like micro sd took over this post. I'm surprised 32 gigs is not enough. I still have 6 left on my 900.