Nokia Lumia 920 Review

If there were one device that the tech world is focused on for measuring Windows Phone success, it would be the Nokia Lumia 920 (available now on AT&T; $99). It is considered by many to be the “flagship” phone (a term we find to be ill defined) for the platform and as such it has a lot riding on it.

We’ve had the AT&T Nokia Lumia 920 for well over 10 days now so we figured we would finally share our thoughts. The reason for the delay? Simply put, the device was not available to most of you and we happen to believe in spending more than 48 hours with a phone before deciding on the pros and cons.  Some reviews, in our opinion, have glossed over some issues, others have missed new developments and most have focused on just a few aspects e.g. the size issue.

The too long, didn’t read it version? We like the Lumia 920 a lot and it is easily the best Windows Phone to date. It’s perhaps not for everyone but Nokia have done a great job.

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Wireless charging, NFC, Super Sensitive Touch display. Greatly improves upon the Lumia 900, bringing top of the line hardware, gorgeous design and a formidable camera. Easily the best Windows Phone to date. It's also a steal at $99 on AT&T.

The PureView camera underperforms during the day, resulting in soft photos with muted colors. Phone may be too big for some but the weight issue is overstated. Limited carrier availability. 

The Lumia 920 is the pinnacle of Nokia engineering. It has great build quality, filled with the latest technology and it also looks really good while doing it. We found nary any issues with the hardware and if you’re comfortable with Windows Phone 8, this phone is your best option…if you want the best. The PureView camera, while not perfect, gives outstanding night photos and shoots the best video of any phone on the market today. The plethora of Nokia software like GPS navigation only sweetens the deal.


The Hardware

The Nokia Lumia 920 has some of the most top of the line features for Windows Phone 8. Although there are still minimum chassis requirements for the OS, most hardware manufactures have great leeway with this latest version.

The Lumia 920 does not disappoint as it comes in with a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage (27+GB available on boot), NFC, Bluetooth 3.0, WiFi and a quite larger 4.5” IPS display.  In addition, it features wireless charging and Nokia’s 8.7MP PureView rear camera.


The Display

Coming in at 4.5”, the Lumia 920 has one of the largest displays for a Windows Phone 8 device, only bested by the yet-to-be-released Samsung ATIV S.  It also features Nokia’s ClearBlack display technology (basically dual polarizers to reduce glare and make the colors sharper), Super Sensitive Touch display and Corning’s Gorilla Glass. Basically, Nokia packed as much tech into the display as possible except for an oleophobic layer to reduce smudging from greasy hands.

This combo of high-end technology works out well for the phone. Users can wear gloves in the winter and operate the display (a first for modern smartphones) get a boost in brightness when out in the sunlight, great scratch resistance and have vibrant, accurate colors.

One area where we are a little disappointed in is the lack of AMOLED display. Nokia opted to go with IPS instead, which provides excellent viewing angles but lacks a bit in one area: deep blacks. Here we’re comparing it to the Lumia 900 (see our review), which did have an AMOLED screen. On that phone, the difference between the black background of the OS and the black bezel of the phone was indistinguishable. But on the 920, the blacks have a lighter look to them allowing you to see the bezel versus display.

We’re nitpicking here though as the 920’s display is one of the better ones we have used and the lack of PenTile Matrix for many is a welcomed addition (however, we would not have minded an HD Super AMOLED with traditional RGB matrix). The auto-brightness is tuned very well and adjusts to the ambient light appropriately. This may seem odd to point out but many companies get this wrong—too bright when in a dim room, too dim when outside.

The Super Sensitive Touch technology, developed by Synaptics, works well enough and assuming that Nokia can market the advancement, could be a great selling point. Should one be worried about the display being too sensitive, you can quickly disable the feature in settings. The technology mimics yester-year’s resistive displays (where you had to press to get a response) with the more modern capacitive screen. As a result, you can use the display with gloves or even objects and we have to admit it’s very cool.

Finally, the Gorilla Glass is a curved, allowing the display to taper off on the edges. The result is a much better tactile feel when using the device as your thumb glides off the phone.  To conclude: the display on the Lumia 920 is admirable and arguably one of the best around.


The body

Like its predecessor, the Lumia 920 uses a polycarbonate shell. It also comes in numerous colors such as grey, black, cyan, white, yellow and red with the latter three being “glossy” and the former “matte”. This time around, Nokia has wisely curved the back of the phone, which gives a much nicer feel to it when being held. The device is smooth where it needs to be and easily feels high quality. No creaking, no loose parts. Likewise, the buttons have gone from silver to a dark-metal ceramic which promises to not scratch as easily. This was a particular problem for the chrome bezel around the Lumia 800 and 900 and we can say that from our experience, that problem has been eliminated completely.  Button had excellent tactile feel (much more so than the HTC 8X0 and travel of the button in our opinion is perfect.

Even the SIM tray near the top aligns more straight on the 920 with no-give like it had on the 900.

What can we say? Nokia has taken the Lumia 800 and 900 and evolved it to perfection on the 920. It’s solid as a rock, granted a slipper rock. That’s probably the only downside we can think of is that device is a tad slippery, mostly because it’s smooth and dense. We’re not calling it a complaint though—it’s like calling a Ferrari too nice. Sure, you can say that but you sound ridiculous. Besides from our experience if you do drop the Lumia 920, the only thing you should check is that you didn’t crush and small animals or crack the floor. Which brings us to…

He's not heavy, he's my phone

If there was one constant complaint we have come across about the Lumia 920 it is in regards to its size and weight. Every review has mentioned it with some calling it a “tank” or even a “brick”. In fairness, most have also said such things with positive aspects, only noting the difference when compared to other phones. So, what’s the deal?

The Lumia 920 weighs in at 185 grams. In comparison to the new “super thin” iPhone 5, that’s about 73 grams heavier. That sounds heavy though, right? Well, yes and no. As a popular image post on Reddit (made by Victor P.) has pointed out, if you added 2 slices of deli turkey to the iPhone 5, it’d weigh nearly the same as a Lumia 920.

The reality of the situation is yes by comparison the Lumia 920 is a big, solid phone and weighs the most. But the phone in our opinion is not prohibitively heavy, meaning most of you will walk into an AT&T store, pick up the device and say “Really? That’s what everyone is talking about?”.

That’s because the Lumia 920 doesn’t feel like it has wasted weight. It has 32GB of storage, a massive 2000 mAh battery, wireless charging coil, high-end camera with optical image stabilization (OIS), NFC and more all in a solid body.  Instead, when you pick it up you it feels like quality, that it is something substantial.

This is not to say everyone will be happy with the size and weight. Heck, people were complaining that the iPhone 5 is too light, so it makes sense that others will go in the opposite direction with this phone. People who don’t want or don’t prefer a 4.5” display, those with smaller statures or who don’t like feeling their phone in their pocket may be dissuaded from the 920. In a way, that’s a shame as something like young kids, women and large dudes, use the iPhone 5. We don’t think the same will apply for the Lumia 920, thereby limiting some of its audience.

From our personal use, we had no complaints with the phone’s weight and size. Yes, it is larger than most phones out there but in our opinion, not freakishly so. Our recommendation: if you are really hesitant, just walk into Best Buy or AT&T and try it out yourself and use that 14-day window.

We would not complain if the Lumia 920 was thinner (and slightly lighter), don’t be silly. But its size is not playing into our decision on whether or not to use it everyday. The other aspects of the phone more than outweigh the size issue, forgive the pun. But in our opinion, the 920's weight is a non-issue and way overblown.

Under the hood

As we mentioned, the Lumia 920 is powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz CPU with 1GB of RAM and 32GB of onboard storage (no expansion). Besides the storage issue, the 920 is run of the mill for high-end Windows Phone 8 devices and that’s a good thing.  That Snapdragon S4 processor is super fast, pushing the OS to a comfortable pace and allowing very quick app and game launches.  

Does it get warm? Yes, it can. Not always but if that radio is straining to find a signal, or you’re downloading a lot or you’re playing an intense game you may feel the back of the device (near the top) warm up a bit. It’s actually surprising seeing as the Lumia 900 did not do this but seeing as this has two cores, is clocked higher with a faster GPU it’s not unheard of either.

In our opinion, 32GB of storage, even if can’t be expanded, is more than adequate for most users. On first boot you’ll “only” have 29GB of space. With a lot of apps coming in under 5MB, storage won’t be a problem.

Reception on the phone was excellent with no dropped calls and a strong, reliable signal. Likewise, 4G LTE (where available) was blazing fast with no more bottlenecks coming from neither the hardware nor OS.

The speakers are placed on the bottom of the device, which has the benefit of not being blocked when placed backside down (unlike the HTC 8X).  There are two speakers on the bottom and for music and games, it can crank quite loudly though for speakerphone it is just so-so. One downside to having the speakers on the bottom though is when playing a game and holding the device horizontally, you may block the speakers. But it’s not too bad since there are two areas for the sound to leave the device.

Battery life on the phone is decent. It won’t set any records nor will it send you running for a charger every few hours.  The Snapdragon S4 is said to be very nimble with the battery (here at 2000 mAh) and so far from our experience this is accurate. After 8 hours of heavy usage—a few phone calls, lots of photos, 30 minutes of a gaming, push services—we’re at 54% with a whopping 18 hours of estimated battery left. In short, no complaints and we think Nokia got the right balance here.

Even if you don’t find the battery adequate, the wireless charging pad (and other accessories) makes getting a quick charge out of the phone effortless. By just tossing the phone down on the pad (free for AT&T users), the device starts to trickle charge away. While it is not as fast as straight USB (we’d put it about 75% efficacy by comparison), it is more than enough to get a quick boost to the device.

The wireless charging pad really does make re-powering the battery a breeze, though we couldn’t help but wish there were some alignment magnets similar to those found on some webOS devices (allowing a more secure “click” when placing on the pad).

Conclusion: wireless charging is not a gimmick. It really is preferred.

The PureView Camera

A lot has been made about the 8.7MP PureView camera on the Lumia 920. Here, Nokia concentrated on low-light performance in comparison to the over-sampling of the massive 41MP sensor found in the PureView 808.  PureView, after all, is a set of technologies for Nokia and not a single device or even a camera. So how does the Lumia 920 measure up?

Low-light performance is nothing short of astounding. We’ve taken photos in our backyard at night, in bars, restaurants and from our hotel window. Every time we were shocked at the resulting bright image. We saw things in the pictures we could barely see with our own eyes, which recall our experience with more high-end cameras like our new Samsung EX2F and Nikon DSLR.

The secret is a combination of various technologies including a backside illuminated sensor (BSI), optical image stabilization (OIS), decent sized sensor and Nokia software “tricks”.  BSI sensors let more light in from the lens, making scenes more bright; OIS helps steady the camera by having “springs” around the housing allowing you to take longer exposures and Nokia is doing some ingenious software tweaking to give some highly impressive pics.

But let’s be clear: the Lumia 920 camera does have a few downsides, though nothing we see as game ending. Let us explain.

Daylight shots look just “ok” on the 920. By that we mean the photos come out but they tend to be soft.  The reason for this, as far as we can tell, is Nokia is not applying any type of sharpening to the images during the JPEG processing. When compared to the HTC 8X and iPhone 5 we consistently found the 920 to under-perform.

Don’t get us wrong the Lumia 920 still does well especially for light balance. But the images are soft and it does bother us. The good news is two fold: (1) You can always add sharpening after the photo using software like Thumba or the excellent Nokia Creative Studio and (2) Nokia can easily tweak this in a firmware update.

To be fair, number one is not ideal. To ask people to buy and use post-processing software is a bit of a copout on our end, though it is a viable option. And Creative Studio by Nokia is a well made app. Number 2 is also a bit of a downer as people buy the phone for what it is, not what it may be.

Nokia has publicly acknowledge that the Lumia 920 does not perform as well during the day as they would like and they have said an update will tweak things to make the photos better. People who bought the Lumia 900 know this very well as that camera went from sub-par to very good with one solid firmware update. While the Lumia 920 does not have deficiencies nearly as bad as the 900 had on launch, it is safe to say that Nokia will optimize the camera in short order. As we mentioned, we actually think this should be an easy fix as fine-tuning JPG algorithms is common practice for camera companies.

That brings us to another unique complaint: options.

On a lot of Windows Phones, users can control things like metering, saturation and sharpness via the Settings option. Ironically, the super advanced PureView camera on the 920 has none of these settings.

You do have ISO, white balance, image size (only 16:9 or 4:3), exposure value and Scenes but nothing else. That’s a shame as typically we would just tell people to bump sharpness to something higher and in this case, also increase saturation (images are perhaps a bit too neutral in color). But users cannot do that on the Lumia 920 and “auto correct” only tends to fix brightness.

We think that’s because Nokia wants you to trust their algorithms more than you fiddling with settings but here we think they may have erred a bit—images are soft and color is a bit bland.  As previously mentioned, both areas can be compensated for by using third-party software but that is far from ideal.

A bit soft and washed out in color

Some people have asked about the Focus Assist Light (commonly called AF lamp on cameras). By default the Lumia 920 shines a light on the object before a photo is taken, regardless of the flash settings. This is to give more light to the camera, which can then properly focus on the intended object.  While very useful there are plenty of situations where one would not like to have that one e.g. plays or anywhere where one is trying to be inconspicuous. That feature is easily disabled by going into Settings and tapping it off and yes, even in low light and no Focus Assist Lamp the Lumia 920 still performs well.

And video? It’s outstanding. The image stabilization is unlike any other phone today on the market. Video is truly more consistent with that subtle shaking completely eliminated. Even low light performance, while not as impressive as still photos, is more than ideal. Really we have nothing bad to say here outside of the fact it does very well (though do note that by default, the 920 uses 720P meaning you’ll have to switch to 1080P if you prefer that resolution).

The Lumia 920 at night

In conclusion, the Lumia 920 has an excellent camera—one of the top found on any phone today, especially in low-light situations where other cameras easily fall short. Ironically it is during “normal” situations (e.g. well lit) where the Lumia 920 becomes simply mediocre. It’s not bad just not as impressive. The good news here is this appears to not be a fatal flaw of hardware but rather a lack of attention to post-JPG processing.

If Nokia simply bumps default sharpening and saturation slightly, the 920’s camera will become an all-around powerhouse.  Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until Nokia pushes out an update to optimize the hardware for this change. That being said we would not in the slightest give it up for any other camera out there.



The Lumia 920 has a limited stock of accessories though Nokia and JBL have made a few that are highly specialized. Things like the JBL PowerUp speaker features NFC pairing, wireless BT streaming and wireless charging. Folks on AT&T get a free wireless charging pad, which we found to be an excellent addition.  There’s also a wireless charging stand for your bedside and Purity Pro headphones.  None of those items are cheap but they are high quality.

For more information on accessories like cases, screen protectors and more, head to the Windows Phone Central Store for the Lumia 920. We’ll be adding stock of new items as soon as they become available on the market.  We’ll of course be reviewing as many Lumia 920-specific accessories as we can, so make sure to check in regularly. 

The Software

We’re not going to delve too deep into the Windows Phone 8 OS here. For that you can check our full OS review and overview here for more information. Obviously Microsoft prevents their hardware partners from modifying the OS is any significant way and although Nokia technically could do so, they have not. There are still a few areas that we can talk about.

  • Stability – Although the firmware we were running (1242) and OS (89903) technically are not finalized, we had no significant issues with stability or crashes. Our device did not reset, signal strength remained strong and basically we did not have any complaints
  • Customizations – We already covered what additions to the OS Nokia have made in our previous video, which can be seen here. Nokia has added the ability to disable the Super Sensitive Touch, Dolby Headphone and a Graphic EQ for sound—all good stuff

New Lenses for Windows Phone 8 and the Lumia 920

In addition to the above, Nokia has embraced “Lenses” for Windows Phone 8, which can be thought of as mini-camera apps. Here they have Cinemagraph, Panorama and Smart Shoot.

Cinemagraph takes a series of photos and makes animated GIFs, which can be uploaded to Skydrive or shared with Email. The GIFs can be larger, often hovering around 10MB.  While they certainly look good (see our examples on the web version of this review), the fact that you can’t see them in action on Facebook, Imgur or Photobucket limits their usage. That’s not Nokia’s fault exactly—FB doesn’t support animated GIFs and Imgur and Photobucket have size limits—but it is something to consider when asking how people will view them. You can see them on Skydrive after sharing the link but only if you hit “view original”, something we’re not sure if most people will do. Having said that, Cinemagraph is darn cool.

Panorama is Nokia’s panoramic Lens for their Lumia line. You take a photo and a neat little guide will direct you to the second shot and then to the third, etc. So long as you pan slowly the app works very well.

Smart Shoot operates in a similar fashion to Cinemagraph by taking a series of photos. But instead of stitching them together like a mini movie, you can go through and “erase” any errant objects, people walking in the background, etc. It’s a niche app, much like Cinemagraph but it works well.

Nokia Drive…Music…City Lens…Maps…Transit...

If there is one other serious reason to consider the Lumia 920, it has to be the apps. Nokia has created a whole ecosystem of super useful tools that greatly expand upon the value of their Lumia line.

Nokia Drive+ Beta, which we’ve detailed before, is an all-in-one GPS navigation system that works with Nokia Maps. It allows offline navigation by downloading whole maps for states, greatly speeding up the experience (for reference, all of New York was only 153 MB). Those offline maps are shared between Maps and Drive+ too, reducing redundancy.  While Nokia Drive started off as an “ok” navigation solution months ago, this latest version is quite amazing. Between the voice packages, accuracy, 2D and 3D views, smoothness and integration with the OS, it is a monstrous value for those of you who commute. Whatever features it may lack, Nokia is constantly improving it with frequent updates. And considering it is 100% free, you have to include it as a top ten reason to get the Lumia 920.

Nokia Music allows you to download a few hours worth of music playlists, an incredible value even if you already have Xbox Music.

City Lens is Nokia’s augmented reality app—also a Lens now in Windows Phone 8. You simply hold your phone up in public and it will show you where food, bars, attractions, etc. can be found. It’s a neat app and works well enough though we do find it a bit gimmicky at times. Your mileage may vary though we’d rather have it and not use it then to not have the option.

Nokia Transit is yet another location tool that helps you get from one place to another using public transportation. Whether trains, buses or subway the app is quite handy when you’re in a new city.

In short, Nokia’s apps including their increasingly growing selection of exclusive games, all of which can be found in the Nokia Collection, are a huge value for the phone.


Wrapping it up

Enough with the review formalities: if you’re here there’s a good chance you’re already a Windows Phone user. Maybe even one who owns a Lumia. So you may be wondering what is my personal opinion of the Lumia 920?

Quite frankly, I’m thrilled with it and yes I consider it better than the HTC 8X (even though I adore that phone too).

Nokia has in my opinion taken all the best aspects of the Lumia 800 and 900 and improved upon it greatly with the Lumia 920. The device is better built, feels nicer in the hand and packs a punch in terms of raw specs. Throw in that low-light camera ability, fantastic video-capture, the super smooth and clear display and I am sold.

A lot of people when first holding it may quip, “It’s a brick” but soon after they immediately notice how right it feels, commenting on the craftsmanship.  On paper and when compared to other phones, the Lumia 920 does appear to have some extra mass. But when you actually hold and use it, it’s the last thing on your mind. Having said that some people just don’t want a large display and prefer 4.3” or even 4” devices. Fair enough and that is why you should go to the store to try one out first.

As a hobbyist photographer, the 920’s camera is very impressive. But as I note, Nokia can improve the daylight performance especially when it comes to sharpness. I firmly believe they will get this right with a firmware update so I’m quite okay to settle for the softer images for now. Why? Because I mostly shoot at night anyway and there the Lumia 920 is unmatched.

Whether it’s the excellent sound quality, the extremely useful wireless charging or that curved display, the Lumia 920 is a powerhouse of a phone. As a fan of the Windows Phone operating system, I do consider this to be the best offering for 2012 and the near future. For the price on contract with AT&T ($99), it’s a huge value for what you are getting. And even compared to the iPhone 5 and whatever Android is floating this week, the phone certainly holds it own.

In using the phone for the last 10 days I have had not one serious complaint—no bugs, no issues and no quality problems with the hardware. Others may find some and we’ll be paying close attention to what users are experiencing, but Nokia looks to have done right with this phone.

For all of these reasons, we enthusiastically recommend the Nokia Lumia 920.


Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Awesome!
  • Great in depth review,,I would like to see this kind of effort and passion put toward the HTC 8X review not just "heres the other flagship WP8 phone it has a nice screen and good specs but its no L920."
  • The 8X shouldn't really be compared with the 920, which is significantly more expensive. The 8X really is a competitor for the Lumia 820, which has almost the same price. The pros and cons of those two actually make it a fair fight.
  • That's redicolus.  The 820 is NOT in the same league as the 8X. 
  • And why wouldn't it be? Cause i carefully analyzed both of them and decided they actually are on par and I chose the 820 for a few reasons.
  • That's your opinion,,spec wise the 8x in more on par with the with L920,and I wasn't asking for a comparison,,just that the 8x is given the same attention to detail in the review as the 920,,go in to full detail and mention ALL the pro's aswell as the cons and not just gloss over stuff.
  • What specs are you talking about? The specs I see make the 8X fall way behind 920, and even 820 has stuff that the 8X doesn't have:
    - extendable memory
    - wireless charging option
    - ergonomically located power button
    - nice round edges
    - ClearBlack AMOLED display
    - proper resolution and aspect ratio of the screen
    - super-sensitive display (works with cotton gloves too, not only with leather!)
    - headphones come in the gorgeous red/cyan/yellow color of the phone
    - the AC-50E charger is also superior
    And still to be confirmed are battery life and photo quality of the main camera (the FFC on 820 sucks donkeys, 8X is clearly a winner in that category). I won't be surprised if they tie.
    There is a reason why the 8X and 820 are both sold for circa $600, and the 920 for like $800.
    The 920 cleary is superior to both of them, but that's because they play in different price leagues. It's simply unfair to constantly bash 8X for not being as awesome as the expensive 920. 
    And I was going to order an 8X from amazon UK yesterday, but I got an email in the morning that the 820 is in stock in my local store, so I just went and bought a red one and I love it. But I do still have the urge to purchase the blue 8X to trial and compare it.  
  • I'm not eve gonna try to form an arguement because it pretty obvious your mind is already made up and any arguement I came up with valid or not would fall on deaf ears. But I'll just say this. Paul Thurrot a very knowledgeable person in the windows and windows phone community that has written numerous books and articles on subject says that in his opinion the 8X is not only by far the best WP8 phone but the best smartphone available on the market today. So I think I'll go with the expert on this one.
  • Wow you a real dumb user please go away ihtc fan becuase you dont know shit the 820 specs and desgin eats even the htc 8x so please go post your dumb fanboynism somewhere else the guys above are right you on other hand are blind buddy -_- not them
    Youre a hater so go hate yourself dakken
  • Fanboism is looking at all the specs and only picking out the good ones for a particular device and ignoring the good ones from another device to make that one device look better. The guy that posted above me didn't even mention any "specs" he stated personal opinion,,since when is the placement of a power button a spec? When is an AMOLED screen a spec?or having rounded edges a spec? Or having matching headphones? None of those are specs,,,those are personal preferences in design. so you can take your hating somewhere else because the 8x is far superior to the 820 and anybody the took the time to read the "actual specs" and not spout uneducated nonsense would clearly see that. Thanks for trying comeback when you have something inteligent to share
  • The biggest difference is the DPI really, the Lumia 820 has a 800x480 screen and the 8X is 1280x720, other than that they are very similar and it is down to preference...
  • Very true. Its all about preference when it come to buying any new item be it a cell phone or a new car. But ignoring hard facts to justify a purchase is just idioc. I wouldn't buy a V6 mustang and claim its better than a V8 supercharged shelby even though there both Mustangs. I know its not the best analogy but close enough,,,the 8x and 820 are both WP8 phones the 8x just happens to be better.
  • Let me put it this way,,,I'm on Tmo were getting the 8x and a 820 variant called the 810 I believe,,,if all I could afford was the 810 I wouldn't get it and claim its better than the 8x because I know its not.I would just be happy knowing I got the best windows phone I could afford.
  • 820 is the same price as the 8X, silly. And the only thing better about the 8X is the wide-angle FFC, which you probably don't consider a spec. Meanwhile the 820 has wireless charging and OLED ClearBlack super-sensitive screen. But you don't consider them to specs either. What do you consider to be spec then?
  • The 8x not only has a better front camera it also has a better rear camera both of which have didicated imaging chips. 4.3 inch screen with the highest density of pixels of any smartphone on the market. It also "features" beats technology with not one but two built in amplifiers one for the rear speaker and one for better headphone 1800mha battery which according to some testers is good for up to 20 hours of use before needing to be recharged. I'm not gonna say which looks better because those are purely subjective. But I "prefer" the look of the 8x
  • The 8x not only has a better front camera it also has a better rear camera both of which have didicated imaging chips. 4.3 inch screen with the highest density of pixels of any smartphone on the market. It also "features" beats technology with not one but two built in amplifiers one for the rear speaker and one for better headphone 1800mha battery which according to some testers is good for up to 20 hours of use before needing to be recharged. I'm not gonna say which looks better because those are purely subjective. But I "prefer" the look of the 8x
  • AMOLED screen is not a spec? Dude, you need medical care, seriously.  
  • AMOLED isn't a spec its a preference. 1280X768 is a spec supereLCD2 isn't a spec either its a preference. And the Verizon version of the 8x will have a wireless charging option,,,but even that is more of a gimmick. The 8x also has a layer for better daylight visibility,,and super sensitive screen is a feater not a spec.
  • Is anyone having problems signing into a Microsoft Account during set up of Lumia 920? I keep trying but it's saying that it can't connect even after when I go to add an account. Anyone having this problem?
  • Having used the 920 for a little over a week I don't feel like the weight is a knock against it. At first I was surprised how hefty it felt, but now that I'm used to it other phones feel a little too 'airy'. Can't wait to get the update to help with daylight photos. 
    Annnd.. .great review Dan :)
  • I'm the same. To me quality many times happens to be about weight. It's actually why i liked the original iPhones because they were quite small and still heavy. They felt dense and had quality.
    I feel similar for Lumia 920 and i wear tight jeans. Of course we are all difference, but i have no problems carrying my phone on my suits pants or my free time jeans. I actually prefer the weight, 
  • i completely agree its the same reason people find hyundai and toyota 'cheap' because they dont feel substaintial they feel plasticy. You see much the oppisite with say german cars they feel substaintal and you have a solid thunk when you shut the door. people view density and weight as a since of quality i think nokia will do very well despite reviewers calling it heavy because most see that as a plus
  • Just FYI, Heav phones= good battery, I know it's strange but, this is coming from someone who works for nokia.
  • Does it come from someone who works in Nokia's marketing?
    Here in the real world the Lumia 800 is heavy and has poor battery life.
  • I have a Lumia 800, i keep all services up during the day (WiFi, Location, 3G, push services for 2 email addresses and a number of other applications) and i can easily do a day's job with one charge. Where is the poor battery life?
  • Lighter phones can do a day's job or two too. Where's the correlation between phone weight and batter life?
  • I agree here, for me the 920 isn't heavy at all.  But I'm coming from the HTC G2 and that thing is a brick.  I really like how solid this phone feels.  And I feel like this phone is made solid and doesn't feel cheap in any way.  This was an incredible deal, this phone is worth way more then the 99$ AT&T is charging for it. 
  • I agree, the weight it barley noticeable.  Bought 5 920s, 1 for both kids and my parents.  Nobody thinks its heavy.  I also do not think low carrier avilability should be a negative for the phone...  Only thing I do not like about the experieince is the Snyc software, and thats not Nokia's fault either...... Come on Microsoft Fix Xbox Music and the Whidows Phone App, they are horrible.
  • Heft can in many cases mean high quality, just like a hefty price tag can mean high quality. The only reason all the so-called techbloggers and journalists are slamming the Lumia 920 for being heavy is because the iPhone 5 became lighter. However, nobody was bitching about "new iPad" when it became heavier. That's today's journalism in a nutshell. Kissing the leader's beehind.
  • Just got mine today.  Loving it so far.  Nice to see a review from somebody who used it more than 1 day.
  • Miss couple things though, like "controls for music on lock screen" I loved that; radio of course, simple thing but still, and when last played artist stayed on music tile
  • Agreed with last played artist
  • I love it as well
  • Wait, so you can no longer pause/go forward/go back from the lock screen?  And you can't listen to fm radio anymore?
  • You can but now its in a volume control bar not lock screen itself
  • So wait, I can't just hit the power button and then resume play of skip a song anymore? Now I have to hit the volume button to bring up the controls? Ugh, it's like they are actively trying to annoy me with every change they make to the music experience.
  • No when you press power button volume bar pops out you don't have to press it separately, what I meant its not on lock screen anymore its on volume bar, plus it looks kind of ugly to me, takes 25% of the screen
  • Can you make a printscreen of the lockscreen?
  • I would, but I can't figure out the combo for taking screenshots.
  • Just press the Start and Power buttons simultaneously. Then it will show up in your photo hub under screen shots
  • There you go: The deal is: The controls are no longer overlayed on the wallpaper. They are on the black volume bar. Also, if you turn on "show artist on wallpaper while playing" your lockscreen turns grey, cause the Xbox Music player cannot find an artist image for your mp3s, which the Zune player could just fine.  
  • He's reviewing a phone, not WP8...
  • And don't forget about mixer settings. I've never seen a phone with a mixer on it.
  • No Radio FM?
    This is - for me - a deal breaker.
    Waiting for Ativ. :(
  • I read somewhere that FM radio would come as an update, i don't know how far true it is. It not Nokia but Microsoft's OS (windows phone 8) which disabled the FM radio. the hardware is there on NL920.
  • Maybe its a dumb question, but is there any way to have password on your phone but disable it on kids corner? I can't find it, thanx
  • What do you mean? Password is never there on Kids Corner - you just swipe left.
  • That's the thing, I have password on mane part of the phone and when I swipe to the kids corner I still have my password there, its weird
  • Ditto! Kinda stupid and pointless.
  • Ditto what? Kids corner is swipe left and up. If not, you enter your PIN and use your half.
    Can you explain more clearly what you mean?
  • When u make a kids corner account, it asks if you would like to make a passcode for YOUR phone account. :-)
  • Too late for that lol anyway to reset it?
  • So unstoppable, when using your WP 8, how does it work. Because for the rest of us, if we turn our password on, and we swipe tot he left, the PIN has to be entered in kids corner. I am curious hoe you work around that on your phone.
  • Sounds like either a bug, or you're pressing the wrong button :)
    Can you video it, and upload to youtube so we can see?
  • I just did reset for my phone trying to set up kids corner without password, don't matter I skipped password option and it still has password after I made one for my screen, dumb af
  • From your account
    Settings > kids corner
    turn it on. then from your lock screen swipe to the left. When you swipe up it should not prompt you for a PW.
  • Dude no sh*t really? No offence, but there's no other way to configure kids corner, what I was saying as soon as you put password on your main screen it automatically applies to kids corner too
  • PEBCATS error.
  • I think you meant PEBKAC
  • No, it doesn't. You are doing it wrong.
  • No he's not, for some reason mine did the same thing. Is really strange and doesn't make sense
  • Well mine didn't. Did you try turning it off and on again?
  • All right here is what's going on. You need to set the Require password after (x seconds). Now, if you lock and unlock, it won't require password for either your or kids account foe x seconds. If you are playing around in kids corner for x seconds, then it'll activate the password requirement for it. But, the kids corner should still be accessible for next x seconds. Its a lol weird but better than no protection.
  • Finally, the review I was really waiting for...
  • Daniel, do you know if the daylight performance can be fixed with a firmware update? Another website said something about it but I wanted to see what you thought about it. 
  • Absolutely and I say as much above. All Nokia need to do is bump saturation and increase sharpness. Maybe even tweak the focus a bit. It's very superficial though as you can use Creative Studio to fix 'em right up. It looks like they focused completely on night performance and then phoned it for daylight.  (Look at all the puns!).
  • So the sharpness isn't a hardware limitation? I hadn't heard of being able to take clearer pictures with a software patch before that article, but since you said it's possible I'll trust it. 
  • Of course. Devices like the 8X use heavy sharpening. All cameras have this defined by their JPG algorithm..some do better jobs than others. If you apply post-photo sharpening to a 920 photo, it's hard to distinguish it from the iPhone, 8X, Android, etc.
  •     The question remains is why Nokia neglected the sharpening algorithm.  
  • because it sucks for editing, just another auto layer you have to deal with if you are a photographer/enthuisiast.  Although it is great for just the common consumer,  Nokia needs to get the lead out on a software patch for the camera.  Then this thing is a fingernail away from being perfect.
  • Reminds me of the 900 bugs all over... Quality control. After the bugs with the 900, I would expect this phone to be perfect in every area. This is a little disapointing for a camera that has been over hyped to be the best out there.
    I hope it's fixed soon...
  • Agreed.  The phone sounds to be quite amazing but in the end, as a 900 user, I want to the full package and it sounds like the day time pictures aren't up to snuff.  I was considering buying the 920 full price thinking it was the ultimate camera phone but now I'll just stick with my "OK" 900 until WP8 round 2, or until a patch is released to fix the day time quality.  Somehow I think round 2 will show up before the patch.
  • Would have though round 2, and Windows Phone 8.5 will be 1 year away. Id rather have the better phone for a whole year, wouldn't you?
  • I think what he's saying is it's not worth off contract price since he is still under contract.
  • I'm not gonna lie... I was pretty dissapointed by the sample pictures I took at ATT today. I was hoping for a bit more. I'm glad to hear it is fixable with an update. How long do you think it will be before Nokia release a patch for the post-photo sharpening?
  • lame... I posted the same comment several times on accident. Such a fail.
  • And what about the FFC in 920? Why no mention of it? Is it that bad?
    Cause in the 820 the FFC is appalingly bad, the photos are worse than taken with a $5 webcam, they are just too rubbish to even publish for comparison. At least the main camera in 820 is pretty decent, way better than in Lumia 800: - both taken with flash off and auto settings.
    I know the phone is probably fooling me with postprocessing, but the result on 820 is simply satisfying, wheras the 800 was just frustrating.  
  • Wasn't it Engadet that reported pre release software was sharper? Looks like its a FW thing. Nokia does like to improve software as time goes on so hopefully it will be changed soon enough.
  • i have heard it before. also, the lady from engadget said she was surprised by the daylight performance because when she toured the nokia facility and tested the phone, she didn't have these issues.
  • I'm not gonna lie... I was pretty dissapointed by the sample pictures I took at ATT today. I was hoping for a bit more. I'm glad to hear it is fixable with an update. How long do you think it will be before Nokia release a patch for the post-photo sharpening?
  • Someone at Nokia sais that the softness was because the lens is kept open for longer. Thisis essential for those night time images, bur blurs day time foto's through minute movements.
  • Actually my question would be, can you adjest the camera settings, save those settings, and get sharper photos? 
  • As we say in the review, no.
  • No worries all. Daniel is right and knowing Nokia, they will fix it like they did with the software issues on the 900. At least this time there are no hardware complaints. (ahem, lack of BSI sensor in 900.)
  • Yay!
  • Got mine this morning and loving it. I want my Splinter Cell back though
  • Just got my 920 before lunch today. Loving it. Feels solid and well built, and makes my previous focus flash feel like a toy.
  • This is the review I have been waiting for.  Daniel you are the man, if anyone I know would take the time to review the product in an honest unbiased way I knew it would be you.  Now I really want this phone, too bad I'm stuck in my contract with the 900 and will have to wait.  Not sure if I'm ready to fork out 400+
  • i have the 900 as well but when i went to the att site, i was surprised to see that i was eligible for an upgrade only 7 months into my cantract. i jumped at the chance and preordered without a problem. my phone shipped this morning. whether it was error or not i have no idea but im excstatic to receive my 920 any  day now!
  • I hate all of you that have the 920 already. :,(
  • Same. My yellow is coming Thursday. :'(
  • Its awesome I know you guys will enjoy yours
  • I had the same reaction when I held it in the store, "they're complaining about this!? The weight feels fine". Also, why in hell do blogs keep comparing the weight of a 4" screen phone with a 4.5" screen phone? That makes absolutely no sense.
    Funny thing at the store: the rep told me he'd be getting the Yellow Lumia himself. I asked why, and he said "it's so unique!" and he pulled out his phone and said "Look at my iPhone! [an iPhone covered by a Yellow 3rd party rugged casing -- how much does that iPhone + case weigh?]".
  • Listen, the average consumer is going to compare an iPhone 5 to "everything else". That is just what Apple has (successfully) done with their brand. It makes absolute sense in that people looking for a phone that perhaps isn't the iPhone 5 are going to want to know these things. And let's face it. That .5" isn't making up for a near 50% increase in weight. Had Nokia dropped this thing to 4" it would still be the heavier phone.
  • My GF is a "normal" non geek consumer. She talks about COLOUR, she talks about BRAND, she talks about SIZE....
     N E V E R        ever ever ever, as she mentioned weight.
    An absolutely TECH NERD only debate, much like mobile phone CPU spec wars and fanboi ranting.
    I could probably load my pocket with 10kg of pocket change. The weight is a non issue and boring discussion point, can we all just park it. Yaaannwwwwnn...
  • But does she mention girth?
  • this made my day. thank you
  • Exactly, in reviews many were saying that it's a "brick." When i held it for the first time i thought "wow this is so sleek." I couldn't believe people were actually saying it was big and heavy. Yes the screen is big, but that doesnt make the phone a brick.
  • Great review Daniel!
    Do you guys know sites where I can buy one unlocked? Already checked out mobilecityonline, gsmnation.. any suggestions?
  • Negri Electronics
  • Daniel - will you be doing the 8X review as well?  If not, can you do a separate article going into further detail comparing the two phones and flushing out what you say above about the 920 being better than the 8X?  I was originally thinking 920, but after reading Thurrott's gushing review of the 8X, as well as the one really extensive thread talking about both ohones in the WPC forums, I'm really in a bind trying to figure out which one is best for me, so I was hoping one of you guys would be able to compare both phones instead of separate people talking about the separate phones (not that there's anything wrong with that either - I'm just looking for the same analysis from one person on both phones).
  • Yes to both of your questions. The 8X is a fine phone but it has a few more issues than the 920, not to mention it costs more. It's still outstanding looking though.
  • That's AWESOME to hear - I'm looking forward to both articles!!  Thanks!!
  • 8X doesn't cost more. It costs around $600 just like the 820.
    The 920 is like $800.
  • For AT&T on contract, the 920 is cheaper than the 8x.
  • On contract prices are bogus.
  • The 920 is $450 off contract at ATT...
  • That's cheaper than the price of a retail Lumia 820. There's some catch like the phone is carrier-locked and subsidized. Or do you really think Nokia & AT&T are giving away phones for half-free?
  • Does it drive anyone else crazy that Nokia Maps is there instead of Bing (that part is completely fine) but when you use Local Scout or Bing to search, it opens to the hidden Bing Maps app?
  • Srsly? LOL!! Also, is indoor maps gone?
  • No, indoor maps were brought into Nokia Maps.
  • I liked Bing maps better I used it to find local phone numbers for businesses and it doesn't perform as,wall as Bing maps did in mylimeted time using it I'll try again tomorrow and c if I can get it to work better I'm in wp8 overload I think need to go to bed whew
  • Reviews don't do this phone justice. I said I was going to wait for the next WP device. But after seeing and holding it. I don't think I will be able to hold out. I look at my 900 with disdain now!
  • It's here! Thanks for your work Daniel
  • Now the 8X review
    Then the 8X vs 920 review
    Then the 8X vs 920 prizefight (CNET)
  • Then the 8X vs 920 dogfight (Phonedog)
  • There is no fight, the 8X is great.. *** BUT *** HTC 8X = BATTERY FAIL.
    Simple as that. Flawed phone. Sad, as I would have got one because I prefer the look/colours.
    Bad battery= bad phone.
  • Just got the red 920 less than 11 hours ago. I have no complaints... LOVE EVERY MILLIMETERS OF IT....
  • im experencing phone envy, right about now
  • im experencing phone envy, right about now
  • I stopped in to handle the 920 this morning. Were it a toss up between that and the 900, the 920 is the obvious winner. Regardless, it's just too damned big. I then called the MSFT store to see if/when they had the 8x on display, and the guy there told me that he'd handled both devices and found the 8x camera to be superior to the 920 camera.
  • For daylight, the 8X is sharper. But the 920 kills it for low light and video. Not even close.
  • Will soon when Nokia releases a software patch, will the sharpness bug be fixed?
  • But the 8X can record stereo, 920 can't
  • Hasn't that been refuted already?
  • Im pretty sure the 8x is mono record as well. But more importantly for me, the 920 has the rich recording mics and can record live music without distortion.
  • That's really disappointing to hear that the phone with beats audio has - according to you guys - subpar audio recording capability.  Is it really that bad?
  • Nice. I like stereo sound, but honestly, on a device as compact as a cell phone, with no external directional microphones, the stereo imaging performance would be a joke even if it did record in stereo.
    The ability to handle high spl sources without distortion adds a high level of utility to musicians who just want to record rehearsals as a general reference, or even concert bootlegs.
    At last, my field recorder is going up for sale on craigslist. It's not like I've ever trusted it over dedicated condensers when recording for an actual release anyways.
  • @Chemicals React You keep saying this "8X records in stereo" nonsense. It's false, it records mono. Even more, no one cares.
  • I saw a spec sheet that said records 1080p video with stereo sound.
  • Specs sheets sound nice. I have the 8X--actually two of them--and have recorded video and the audio is mono. What's more, there is no option for anything else: Evidence.
  • You have two eh?  Let me know when you want to offload one :)
    EDIT:  also great review!  Thanks for adressing the weight, all the other sites were hounding it for that.  Good to hear somebody coming from a "This is how it will feel day to day" perspective.
  • Have you actually listened to the recordings from videos taken with the 8X vs videos taken with the Lumia 920? Te sound quality on the videos taken with the 920 is superior in my opinion, plus I don't think I can get any sound separation when recording videos on any phone, making recording in "stereo" not a big advantage if it even does it. Just my 2 cents.
  • Great review. Got mine this morning and as soon as the AT&T rep took it out of the box I had to compare the weight to see if the complaints were justified. Personally, I couldn't feel a difference. After a bit more time holding it I can feel the slight increase in weight. However to call the phone too heavy is rediculus, it makes me want to just slap those who are knocking it for the weight like the Gizmodo review. Also, the size of the battery still hasn't sunk in. Tried to charge it up to 100% after I got back from the AT&T store, takes so much longer than the L900. Also, the new charger runs at 1.3A while the one included with the L900 runs at 1A.
  • Because the NL920 has a bigger battery.
  • nice review! someday I will have 1  xD
  • I checked it out myself and this is a really nice phone, and an absolute steal at $99. Its good enough to be $299 with 32g like the is really great and committed
  • This thing is god damn beautiful..I wanted the cyan but got the black and I'm loving it so far...damn it's fast.
  • Alright! This review seemed to be nearly as anticipated as the phone itself!
  • I´m waiting excitingly for the cyan version.
    In the coming months I´m starting to save money
    also for the wireless chargable speaker,
    purity pro wireless headphones and a wireless charging stand.
    All in cyan if possible.
    With my blue curtains and blue glass dolphine on my table,
    I like what I see and use.
  • LOL - I'm weird that way about the matte cyan color too :) I won't upgrade my 900 until I can do so with another matte cyan phone.
  • The video shows the unboxing, not a video review. :'(
  • Awesome review.
    The only concern I was worried about was the weight, but that comparison infographic explains it nicely.
    Who doesn't have an iphone case these days? You simply have to because of the sharp edges on their volume and silent switches...
    I'll be making the switch to this baby as soon as it's available in Australia
  • I went to my local store. Finally saw it in person... I passed. No, it wasn't heavy! Loved the design and all, but it seemed that screen was too yellowish and dark. I also took pictures and I wasn't impressed. My focus s seemed way better. I also played with the 820, the 820 took better pics in my opinion, tho, the design looked cheap. I was disappointed. They didn't have the 8X on display either. I left without anything. Also, I did not see any banners or lines! I was kinda disappointed by that. People were still going in and asking for the iPHONE 5 and Note 2. At&T needs to help push WP8.
  • That is true..... Nokia 920 is an amazing device... it tops IPHONE and GSIII... but people will be change eventually...
  • Three guys and myself were waiting outside when the AT&T store I went to opened. They all came for 920s. While I was waiting and playing w the 920 display units, which happened to by right by the door, there where two people who came in for Galaxy Note IIs, no iphone 5s, several billing or additional line issues - regular customer service, and 4 more 920 customers.
    So 7 920 customers, plus myself, over the first 30 or so minutes the store was open.
    All the AT&T staff had blue Windows 8 shirts on, there were 3 920s (two black, one white) and 1 820 units on display, and there were three banners/posters with the 920 on it. The most prominent banner in the store, immediately behind the service desk, was a wall sized Lumia 920 made out to look like it belongs to Santa... with the messaging live tile showing a couple million. It was nice.
    Two of the staff had Lumia 900s themselves. I mentioned the wireless charger and they knew what I was talking about. The only disappointment I had with their marketing is that if you showed up looking for a new phone knowing nothing about the 920, you'd have no idea you get a free wireless charger with it... and the salesmen didn't seem to point it out to anyone when they were talking about the phone. A 920 for $99 plus a free $50 accessory is a pretty sweet deal. I expected to hear it touted more.  
  • You are right in a way. The phone is very good and the deal is sweet. The phone will sell itself. No need advertising much. They need to help selling other phones, that are not that popular.
  • Great review Dan, I got the white one also. This phone is amazing, well worth the switch from TMo
  • BTW my charger is in the mail, ordered by my ATT rep
  • Bought it today and I love it.
  • hi
  • Got my Red L920!! Love it!!
  • Ok I tweeted this numerous times..
    The 920 is the best hardware out there ita solid,its flawless,the thing I noticed is the black are not really black compared to my 900..
    The size didn't bother me at all im big tall dude and I can do biceps curls with it..the only thing I don't like are the 2 knots at the bottom of the phone..i don't like it 900 didn't have any screw or bolts exposed..
    Wp8 software is the shit,fast stable and customizable UI..
    My conclusion is,even with the great hardware design I skipped this phone...its too similar to my 900 now the catch is get the yellow,red,gray so people know it's the waiting too see what's the next design cuz I know in my heart it will change..slimmer,bigger,lighter
  • Where did you get that photosynth app in lens. I don't seem to find it
  • I noticed this as well. Can't find it anywhere. I had photosynth on my 900 and as I was reloading all my software from the windows phone webpage it said that it was incompatible with my version of WP. Several apps said that actual. I assume with photosynth its due to going from an app to a lense...
  • Does the wireless still shut off after a few minutes if inactivity?  Can you turn off LTE if you live in an area without coverage?
  • Of course you can turn off LTE, just like you can in WP7. You can adjust the "highest connection speed" under the "mobile network" settings. ("cell network" in the US?)
  • I just read that Joe Balfore said there is a fix for the wifi shutting off when the lock screen is enabled.  No ETA, but good news for sure.
  • Daniel, I would be very interested to know what you think of the audio quality of the phone and the HAAC microphones. There are also a few comments floating around that are praising the Dolby sound in the 920 and how natural the sound is. It would be great to get some thorough feedback on what seems to be an overlooked feature of the phone.
  • To answer your question, I have,the 920 and the sound is AWESOME I was. Shocked because,Nokia never said much about the sound quality its delicious great crisp and loud
  • Awesome phone. Got mine today in the mail. The display is gorgeous. Noticed a difference right away compared to 900.
  • Nice review. Thanks for taking the time to do it for us.
  • Thank you Daniel for the great review. I'm looking forward to going into a at&t store this weekend to check out the 920. Looking to finally upgrade from the Samsung Focus I've had since the day that phone came out :)
  • Nice review.
  • Well, if this is what washed out and soft looks like on the Lumia 920 in daylight, Nokia can shut up and take my money.
    Edit: Well the original comment I replied to seems to have disappeared but they had a link to some good photos taken by the 920.
  • Nice review, dude. I'm currently waiting for Nokia Malaysia to announce the date and the price over here. Really excited about the camera and Nokia Drive, HD7 user here and the offline map is a little slow :