Review: Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia Lumia 920

Lumia 920

(Nokia, $999)

Reviewed by Chris Gardner

Smartphones have been delivering similar functions to personal computers for ages, but none have done it better than the Nokia Lumia 920.

At 130.3mm by 70.8mm by 10.7mm, the Nokia Lumia 920 is at the bigger end of the smartphone scale, although still small enough not to be confused with a tablet.

In form factor it's a smaller version of the Nokia Lumia 800 running the Windows Phone 7.5 mobile operating system, but the 920 is running Windows Phone 8.

As its Snapdragon S4 processor's name suggests, it's a snappy phone with no lag between pressing an app tile and the app launching.

It has an 8.7 megapixel camera which displays vibrant pictures on a 4.5 inch display.

Nokia claims talk time on a 3G phone connection is 10.8 hours and its standby time is 460 hours.

It can also handle 74 hours of music playback.

After using the Nokia Lumia 800 for a while, the Nokia Lumia 920 feels big, and it takes a few days for your fingers to find their way around a bigger device. The 800 feels small when you go back to it, even though it is a standard-sized smartphone.

The two operating systems use live tiles that display the latest information from the application they represent, but Windows Phone 8 is more easily customised than its predecessor. Hold a tile down and an arrow appears that allows you to stretch it across the entire screen, shrink it to half the width of the screen or shrink it again to a quarter of the screen. This means the apps you want to see the most information from can be made big, while those you don't can be shrunk.

No other mobile operating system offers the same customisation.

You can also unpin the apps you don't want from the Start screen.

Out of the box, the apps that appear on the Start screen are Calendar, Email, Facebook, Me, Messaging, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Internet Explorer 10, Microsoft Xbox Music+Video, Nokia Drive+, Nokia Maps, Nokia Music, People, Photos and Phone.

A lot of these have been updated and deserve reviews of their own, so watch this space.

Apps not on the Start screen can be accessed with a swipe to the right.

The Microsoft Xbox Music+Video app replaces the Zune app in Windows Phone 7.5 and removes the need to install the Zune software on your personal computer to sync your music and videos. Windows Phone 8 supports the traditional drag and drop functionality Windows has been built around for years. If you fancy a flasher user interface, you can also download the Windows Phone 8 application for your computer.

The Microsoft Office app has also been given a facelift to reflect the upcoming Office 2013 release, but it's mainly cosmetic. Gone is the black and orange livery of Office 2010, replaced with the orange and white livery of Office 2013.

This app can be used to open and edit Office files, which you can synchronise to your PC using the 7GB of free storage tied to your Microsoft account called SkyDrive.

No other mobile operating system offers Office in this way.

The other major difference in Office is the removal of the OneNote note-taking app and its inclusion as a standalone app.

The Lumia 920 comes with USB cable and charger, which enables charging via an electrical wall socket or a PC.

You can also use the Nokia Wireless Charging Plate, available separately, which eliminates the need to fumble around with wires in the dark.

Watch this space for more on the individual apps.