Vodafone looks into the secrets that make Nokia Windows Phones almost indestructable

It's common knowledge that Nokia mobile phones are built to last the ages. The brand is known for sturdy products and even the company's Lumia family of Windows Phones have not failed. We've covered numerous stories and reports of Nokia Windows Phones surviving rather severe experiences, but this isn't always the case. How does Nokia test and manufacture modern smartphones that are built to last?

Vodafone also wanted to find out and decided to go straight to Stefan Pannenbecker, head of product design at Nokia. Since Vodafone will be joining other UK mobile operators in stocking the Lumia 925 (check out our review), Pannenbecker lightly focused more on the techniques utilised in the construction of the Nokia Windows Phone, but covered all their mobile phones in general.

We already know that the Lumia 925 sports some metal, a first for a Lumia Windows Phone, but even the polycarbonate shells have proven their worth in gold. So Pannenbecker moved onto testing and how Nokia looks at its manufacturing process.

 "It’s pretty shocking, actually, what we do with our products."

It's stated there's an incredible amount of testing methods that put new mobile phones through their paces, ensuring the final result is a reliable product that consumers can rely on. Let's face it - mobile phones are important pieces of equipment and you need to be able to rely on them in times of need or to simply pass the time by.

Lumia 520

Stefan jokes that the teams even cover up the phones in sun lotion for days, just to see if the materials react with some of the chemicals in that particular lotion. This saves the product from degrading if it comes into continuous contact with a chemical it does not agree with. UV light tests are another example, checking to see if the resins and colours don't fade in up to two years' worth of sunlight. And yes, there are drop tests.

If you're interested in the full read, be sure to head on over to the Vodafone website. We'll close up here with a funny fact: Nokia actually destroyed the first early prototype of the Lumia 925, as well as the second, a more refined version. That's how the company ensures the mobile phone is "flawlessly executed" by the time it hits the shelves.

Source: Vodafone (opens in new tab)

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Adamantium
  • Wolverine rules ! o sorry i wanted to say Lumiarine :)
  • +X!
  • Sweet
  • Ftw nokia..
  • Nokia FTW.
  • Unobtainium
  • More reliable than the freeze ray though.
  • It's a shame the 920's screen is so fragile :(
  • Yeah glass isn't supposed to be that fragile!...
  • I've dropped plenty of old phones in the past without the screen shattering so easily. There are also countless stories online of 920 screens shattering after insignificant drops.
    But yeah let's keep making smart comments and live with our heads in the sand.
  • Yea broke mine luckily att only charges $100 for replacement so I told em I broke it completely and fixed the screen now have 2 Lumia 920 for like $260
  • Mine has droped many times and the screen is still intact. It think it also has a lot to do with luck. The worst i have on my l920 touchscreen are scratches from the drops. If my phone were to be somehow totally destroyed i would e happy cos then i can upgrade with just a little money. I insured my phone and I'm regretting that i did.
  • Mine L920 screen get from drops only one scratch, and even that scratch I can barely see
  • Willow glass and flexible oled, and this issue should be fixed. I wonder who's gonna be the first OEM to use it though.
  • Samdung
  • Even though I've long sold the broken one (replaced with another Lumia 920 of course), my video of the broken one is still on youtube...
    This fell from my lap while getting out of a car and the phone fell face down on pavement.
    I made the vid to add to my ebay auction for the broke phone, to prove it still worked with a busted screen.
    oh hey, I forgot about this too:  a video of my cat I filmed using the 920.  pretty amateur, but I wanted to see what the quality would be like.
  • Clumsy people.
  • Gorilla Glass 2 definitely was a disappointment, i hope v3 is good again. My 920 screen got scratched pretty badly 3 days after i got it without any obvious reason.
  • I work at a stable and I ride and groom horses all day, my 920 has been stepped on twice by a 1500 pound animal and dropped from 6-7 feet high. The worst I got was a nick on the screen and the polycarbonate shell being dented on the edges.
  • Love Nokia, but the power button on my Lumia 620 broke pretty dam quick.
  • wo wo wo, I thought I was the only one. while is not officialy "broken", is not like the rest of the buttons. This is my third week with this phone and the power button looks and feel like a one year old phone. Pretty weird, hopefully another case will do the job, but yeah. 
  • It's quite a common problem, when the cover is off the buttons look feeble. I have to start the phone with the camera button, but how long till that brakes. Apart from the buttons love the phone, but for a Nokia to brake this quick is not acceptable.
  • Yup same here . Can't wait for amber update so that i can double tap the screen to wake.
    Anyways the rest of the phone is awesome for something that's $250 without contract.
  • you can get the replacement cover for 10 dollars or so.
  • Off topic: I wish my 521 could be that red :/ on topic: on my headphone jack is giving me issues. Had to open it up and improvise so it could work properly :/ other than that (and the few drops, and the five times it randomly reset when I very first got it) its been flawless
  • Dude.. Same goes to my Lumia 620.. My volume keys broke in less than 3 months of usage.. both of them..up and down.. i dunno what will break next.. My neck?
  • Off topic has anybody changed their color on their phone
  • Lumia 820 switching to black, cyan and red :)
  • Got most 620 colours, even purple.
  • http://www.wpcentral.com/diy-lumia-920-dual-shot-yields-orange-windows-p...
  • Switched my 920 from yellow to green ;)
    Also when I had my 820, I had cyan, yellow, green, orange and white all WLC expect the yellow.
  • Suffice to say, at the end of the day, quality prevails over quantity for that matter. Kudos to the engineers :)
  • I dropped my Lumia 620 face down on a hard floor twice right on the glass and not a single blemish or crack, nothing!! I don't have it now though
  • My daughter throws tantrums (and my 820) several times a week. In six months, all I have are a couple of minor scratches.
  • I have a 928, and I am going to say it all depends on the case...
    sorry, forgot, there really aren't any for the 928....
  • Try some leather slip-ons for phones w/ about same size...
  • +928
  • Both my and my wife's 920 screens have broken (my glass, her LCD) and her headphone jack just broke (making it think there's always a headphone plugged in). I was able to make all the repairs myself fortunately. I don't think Lumias are really that much more durable than other smartphones. My old Nokia candybar phone though... That thing only died when I ran over it with my Blazer (not on purpose). My wife's old blackberry was also virtually indestructible too.
  • It also depends on your luck and your treatment of the phone. I've seen blackberrys break pretty easily before. And that's that they used to not have touch screens
  • I had an old 6230i which I forgot to take out of my jeans before running it through the washer. Two cycles later, the screen was still on, and after drying it for a couple of days, it worked! To this day, it still does.
  • Dropped my Lumia 820 several times with no dents or scratches whatsoever.It's a very sturdy device.Thank God for the strong polycarbonate.Nokia quality all the way!
  • Dropped my 900 on tile floor at work. Just a dent and a cracked tile. Nokia 1, tile floor 0.
  • Whats the name of the Weather app om that beautiful lumia 925? *sorry offtopic*
  • I am pretty sure it is Amazing Weather HD. $1.99 with 3 days free trial.
  • What suprised me is that they've done all sort of test with the nokia 920 and they did'nt saw that dust was entering in the front facing camera. Good Job Nokia.
  • My L920 slipped from my hand after owning it for less than a week from about 4.5ft straight to concrete. I gasped, and upon watching the 920 slide to a stop on the screen side, I picked it up dusted it off and... no scratch? Checked the plastics... no cracks or dents? All I found was a very small 1mm crease/flex on the corner where the initial impact occurred. This phone is one tough summamabitch!
  • I love my 920 but it's a shame that Nokia can't build a phone that doesn't keep rebooting! That's after firmware update & soft reset .
  • Pretty sure you have a rare defect in your device. Windows Phones, especially Lumia's don't just reboot... It's not like they're Androids or anything... Pretty sure my fellow L920 owners agree
  • Agreed, I bought mine last Nov. Doesn't reboot.
  • Dropped my 920 from 3 feet and screen shattered like a dollar store wine glass... still love the phone but its far from indestructible..
  • Mine and my sister's 920 both have cracks in the corners of glass, its barely noticeable and is no where near the screen, just a small lil 1mm piece of glass in the corner that could easily fall out. Surprised I haven't read anything about only the corners cracking before
  • What is that weather app with the large live tile?
  • That 3310 will never die!
  • Hit the shelves? In what way?
  • I drop my 920 for demos on a near-daily basis, and I've dropped it on accident in the parking lot a few times too. Only marks on it are a couple bumps on the corners.
  • Proud to use an 822.
  • What weather app is that?
  • Weather flow
  • Not to be negative but tell that to the melted micro usb on my 920 should get it back soon i heard its only happened to a few though from what iv read anyhoo
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKnbjOwqkkA&feature=c4-overview&list=UUMdtv1z_kXj7Wd97MA7BjXA