Nokia Lumia 920 Review
Before forging ahead to the nitty-gritty portion of its camera quality, we’re rather perplexed as to how this camera-centric smartphone is lacking any convincing shooting modes and features. Relying on the usual Windows Phone camera interface, the only modifiable settings include Scenes , ISO, Exposure Value, White Balance, Aspect Ratio, and Focus Assist Light. Making matters worse, it doesn’t offer any of the modern conveniences we’d want to find nowadays – like modes for burst shooting, panoramic, or simultaneously snapping a photo while recording video. No doubt a jab to the stomach, we’re undoubtedly shocked by this revelation.
So here we are, finally! We know you’re all dying to know how its 8.7-megapixel PureView camera fares, but to reiterate things, it’s armed with compelling features like Carl Zeiss optics, F2.0 lens, a back-illuminated sensor, and a dual-LED flash. When so much talk is emphasized on its prowess, we’d expect nothing less than close to perfection – and to an extent, it is definitely a point and shoot replacement. Still, as we look beyond the generalization of its results and peer meticulously at all of the minute nuances of its quality, we uncover some surprising results.
Overall, it takes pleasant looking photos that are worth framing later on, but we’re not soundly convinced with its fine details. Compared to some of the elite camera shooting smartphones out there, the Lumia 920 exhibits a recognizable level of softness to its details, which are deceptively masked by the subtle amount of over-sharpening evident in the entire shot. Meanwhile, its color reproduction grazes the fine line of being neutral looking for the most part, but for some strange reason, its white balances gets thrown off inexplicably – resulting in some distortion, like the purple fringe that’s exhibited with shots taken indoors under artificial lighting.
Sample images taken with the Nokia Lumia 920 Fullscreen
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Sample images taken with the Nokia Lumia 920
Above all, we have to admit that we’re most impressed by its low lighting performance, which shows the advantage of its F2.0 lens and image stabilization. The lens is able to absorb more light, and the stabilization helps avoid the occasional blurring due to camera shake. On one hand, we love how there’s very minimal evidence of noise and graininess with its shots, but it has difficulty handling dynamic range in low lighting – essentially over-exposing brighter areas. Finally, the dual-LED flash can be set to kick on prior to snapping a shot to keep images in focus at all the times. Nokia’s “floating lens technology” for image stabilization helps for the video recording, too! And simply, it shows in the results! Whether it’s panning left/right or up/down, it maintains a very smooth capture – whereas other devices exhibit shakiness. Besides that one noteworthy item, though, we can’t say that the other aspects of its quality compels us. Yet again, details are lacking a convincing level of sharpness, but its post-processing adds the same over-sharpening results as before. This time around, there’s some artifacting persistent in the video as we’re panning, but hey, at least we’re pleased by its clear audio recording, gradual exposure adjustment, and continuous auto-focus feature.
Taking a peek at the picture gallery of the Lumia 920, it follows in form to any other Windows 8 device on the market. Aside from being able to view the images in the camera roll, the app populates albums stored in our Facebook account. And even though we were disappointed by the paltry shooting options with its camera interface, we’re given a few basic editing tools to tweak our images. Also, we can use the “Tap & Send” feature to share photos to other NFC-enabled Windows Phones.
Even though the music player on this is identical to any other Windows Phone 8 handset out there, we’re still appreciative of the dynamic approach of its presentation. Pumping out a strong volume output, it’s lacking firepower in the form of shaky base tones to give it some pop.
Watching videos is of course a fun and pleasant experience on the Lumia 920, due to the nature of its brilliant looking display. In addition to its wealthy real estate and flawless performance, the handset supports a wide variety of video codecs out of the box to appease enthusiasts.
Being the AT&T smartphone it is, we’re naturally exposed to the carrier’s usual set of apps, which include AT&T Code Scanner, AT&T FamilyMap, AT&T Navigator, AT&T Radio, AT&T U-verse Live TV, and myAT&T. As we mentioned earlier in the review, the Lumia 920 features Nokia’s “pure experience” apps that consists of Nokia City Lens, Nokia Drive, Nokia Maps, and Nokia Music.
Starting with Nokia City Lens, it’s one of those apps that are great for sniffing out local points of interests. Being an augmented reality app at its core, we find it extremely useful to visualize nearby locations with it.
With Nokia Drive and Maps, the two are here for all our navigational needs. Therefore, whether it’s searching for an address or getting voice-guided directions, the apps are extremely useful in getting us around. To be honest though, Nokia Drive isn’t as comprehensive compared to other dedicated GPS apps (think Navigon or Magellan), but it has the basics to get us from point A to point B in one piece.
And lastly, there’s Nokia Music for those who want to surround themselves with an array of music. One part a free radio station service, similar to what you’d experience with Pandora, Nokia Music also provides us access to any purchased content that are bought from Microsoft’s Music Store. Additionally, it integrates a bunch of social networking aspects to its functionality, like sharing songs you like on Facebook or reading about tweets regarding specific artists.
9. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
I do too. (just saying)
still waiting for the Nexus 4 - and after that... will be the battle for my next phone. :) for once, a galaxy or an appleis out of the question. it's this or the Nexus 4 ( if it comes soon enough, HTC DLX)
46. san47 (Posts: 7; Member since: 07 Sep 2012)
my honest suggestion: never buy a HTC phone it keeps you in down whole time.
Nexus 4 is from LG not sure about the quality of build and performance though price and specs are attractive.
50. robocopvn (Posts: 137; Member since: 10 Mar 2010)
I agree. I was so upset on what HTC do for their early-customers. In my case, I bought the HTC Aria in October 2010 at 500usd (not cheap), and let's see what I've got: nothing, even no ginger-bread update at all. During that time, the Samsung galaxy Ace (with identical hardware) got many good updates.
I still use HTC aria now with CM7 (big thank to the CM team). To be honest, HTC has one of the best build quality but after-sell service is so bad. I will never ever buy the other HTC phone
120. Lifesogood (Posts: 3; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)
LG NEXUS 4 & OPTIMUS GANGNAM STYLE
ARE THE BEST PHONE ON THE MARKET!
121. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2346; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
what about the note 2, lumia 920, htc 8x
what makes those 2 the best?
except blind fanboyism
136. PLASTICPHONES (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Nov 2012)
LUMIA 920, SAMSUNG NOTE 2 HTC 8X ARE ALL MADE OF PLASTIC ...
LUMIA 920 LOOKS PLASTIC TOY PHONE.
VERY THICK AND HEAVY WEIGHT!
SAMSUNG NOTE2 IS A BIG PLASTIC PHONE.
LG Optimus "G" gangnam style is A PREMIUM ELEGANT PHONE.
138. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2346; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
lmao you need help mate the 920 doesnt look like a toy, plus its build quality is to nokia standards which is arguably the best
the fact you said ''LG Optimus "G" gangnam style''
this shows your just some kid
159. PolishHitta (Posts: 6; Member since: 25 Nov 2012)
Just like the Iphone? the phone that is known to have a cracked screen as well as the back?
171. Skiman (Posts: 8; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)
Bought my first lumia 920 last week, first time I've ever really loved a phone
You are suffering from blind noobism
162. jameshoe (Posts: 122; Member since: 26 Nov 2012)
Nexus 4 is good but using wrong processor, I guess. Snapdragon S4 pro is suit for Tablet of Notebook
12. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2952; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Wish i could give the phone a thumb up!!
This is it people...the real deal! And it scored 9!! :D
19. -box- (Posts: 3470; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Just a nine? Not even a little extra change? 9.3, perhaps? Think of it on a A, B, C, D, F scale: only a couple phones have yet scored above a B.
29. -box- (Posts: 3470; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
@PA there is a free Nokia app called "Camera Extras" that has all the modes you lament the lack of. It is a must-have for any Lumia, to the point I am surprised it isn't pre-installed.
30. -box- (Posts: 3470; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Also, how is it not "cutting-edge" and "compelling"? Wireless charging, great screen usable through nom-capacitive gloves, extra tweaks that really solidify the UX and improve overall satisfaction? If they'd managed to do it in a body as thin as an Oppo5, would it help its cause?
160. PolishHitta (Posts: 6; Member since: 25 Nov 2012)
Isn't this the first phone EVER to introduce a build in optical stabilizer into its imaging lens?
163. lkjhg755 (Posts: 69; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)
People who didn't do the research would be more likely to buy it, but other than that no.
Personally though, I'd love to have it be just a tad thinner (and slightly narrower) so I wouldn't have as much trouble fitteng it in my pocket.
39. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 4732; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)
This is an example of why I continue to wonder who is minding the store at Nokia - why do they under-provision their flagship phone? If the app exists, why not include it? It is not as if people aren't interested in camera functions of the L920....
It would also justify (to me) why the L920 scored a 9....
79. fervid (Posts: 167; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)
I'm not seeing this app, I did get all their other lenses though that do pretty good.
89. abbjr (Posts: 1; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
Where did you find this app? I am not seeing it...
92. haseebzahid (Posts: 1720; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)
for start nothing is installed now a day s on any moblies free or not we have to get it from market places eaisy to do it though
i had my lumia800 first i was wtf its empty lol my bad then i found everything listed on the market.
166. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 650; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
the n9 came with everything installed
36. -box- (Posts: 3470; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
FWIW, I said the same thing about the Note2 and another device recently, so while I'm admittedly pro-WP and pro-Nokia, this is a statement more about the scoring than the phones' scores. These half-point increments don't do an adequate job of showing differentiation. If, for instance, the Note2 got a 9.2 and the Lumia 920 got a 9.1 and a Galaxy S3 got a 9.0 (just for an example), we could infer that the Note2 is, overall and in PA's view, the bestof the three phones.
88. fins71 (Posts: 17; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
Fwiw, just confirming that you did state in Note2 comments that since it had no stated cons that you thought it should be a 9.3 or higher.
94. -box- (Posts: 3470; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Yep. Thanks for the outside confirmation :)
31. schinnak (Posts: 75; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)
Me too ;-))
There was a time when Nokia phones were considered premium and the likes of Samsung etc were alternate cheaper options. Look how the tables have turned !
Having said that, Lumia 920 is definitely a good bang for the buck and arguably one of the best win phones to grab and try your hands on.
64. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)
just what i predicted!
I would argue with the first 2 but the 9 for the lumia was well deserved
84. ChiX017 (Posts: 307; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)
Me too....the size & Feel of this phone is its main attraction!
164. lkjhg755 (Posts: 69; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)
Same here, I have the Nexus 4 currently but am thinking of switching for this because I don't like the idea of carrying around a flimsy sheet of glass.
6. MeoCao (unregistered)
And it would be even more non-biased if the score was 10, right? :))
7. louiemapa (Posts: 28; Member since: 01 Nov 2012)
I dont really expect that. But this one is not bashing the weight. Im sick of it.lol
21. MeoCao (unregistered)
There is no such thing as a non-biased review, b-c the reviewer say what HE thinks, and every1 has his/her own opinion.
maybe in this case you and the reviewer have same opinion. But most people want lighter phones than 180gr given the screen size is only 4.5".
28. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2346; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
you cant help but find negatives with anything other the android can you.
and you cant say most people want a lighter phone, as if the weight of the 920 is a problem for you to pick up you really need help. plus people manage with the size and weight of the note 2 why is it different when it comes to the 920.
161. PolishHitta (Posts: 6; Member since: 25 Nov 2012)
I found the Lumia 920 weight to be perfect. It actually feels like a solid phone, not some toy that falls apart after six months of use. Aside from that it felt really well in my hand, didn't slide or feel out of balance.
Now that's my point of view of the weight... ITS AN OPINION. Kids gotta quit assuming that everyone prefers a lighter phone.
40. Commentator (Posts: 1869; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
Just like how the OG Palm Pre was the most un-biased at all for getting a 9.9!
3. shahulvm (Posts: 74; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)
I read from Ativ S review user comments, that Lumia 920 would get a score of 9, as phonearena has become predictable and how the true score is..
(second comment in Ativ S review)
52. Jabarkas (Posts: 14; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)
I'm also a little bit dissapointed with PA. Lumia 920 has problems with call quality. Its camera is exceptional only in the field of low-light photos. In other areas even not so great HTC 8X is often better (yet Nokia still weights 185g mostly because of the camera). Moreover while it is relatively a cheap phone in U.S., it is incredibly expensive in other countries.
Perhaps Nokia is still in our hearts. But that still makes this score (9/10) unjustified.
4. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
I thought it will be overpriced.
But credit where it's due, this a great package for the money
35. hiBreed (Posts: 90; Member since: 29 May 2012)
that is no over price, you get what you pay for
68. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)
I think you get more for what you pay for
10. lumiaG (Posts: 3; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
OMG! ITS BAD !
VERY BAD DISPLAY !
look at that picture on the DARKEST DISPLAY on the first upper picture FIRST AT THE RIGHT!
LUMIA 920 FAILED!!!!!!
22. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2952; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)
Get a life!!!! Seems like your browser only loads "that" picture of the display!!
41. i_hate_my_life (banned) (Posts: 24; Member since: 17 Dec 2010)
he gave this phone a 6/10 -_-"
cying bout its weight :') wat a sissy boy haha
lumia 920 weight = iphone5 + 2 slices of deli turkey
93. haseebzahid (Posts: 1720; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)
lol u making us laugh its the top end display you can wait for review of 920 vs samsung and ip5 then say wht u see cuz those are detailed comparisions
107. Bilpocalypse (Posts: 260; Member since: 13 Oct 2012)
I've seen this display IRL. Doesn't pop as much as the display on the 900, but it's pretty good. And the resolution more than makes up for it. BTW, who actually looks at their phone from that angle anyways.
112. dexter_jdr (Posts: 832; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
shut the hell up d**k head!!!!!!!!!!!!!
137. PLASTICPHONES (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Nov 2012)
YOU ARE RIGHT MAN.
LUMIA 920 IS SO THICK AND HEAVY WEIGHT!
LOOKS LIKE A PLASTIC TOY PHONE.
13. CX3NT3_713 (Posts: 1055; Member since: 18 Apr 2011)
I like my Nokia 920.. But unfortunately.. I'll be taking it back... Its confusing..i will try the iPhone 5 now..then the Samsung galaxy note 2
23. -box- (Posts: 3470; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
...how is it confusing? There are user guides and tutorials not only on the phone, but online as well. You can also call Nokia and they offer FREE human assistance for setting it up!
95. -box- (Posts: 3470; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Also in-store. Since AT&T was requiring a lot of its "frontline" reps to use the Lumia 900, most of the tenured store reps have decent familiarity with Windows Phone.
32. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2346; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
if your confused by the 920, you wont be able to use android lol how is it confusing?
43. shuaibhere (Posts: 593; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)
How android is confusing??????it maintains traditional UI....where as wp uses whole new UI.... Honestly wp will be confusing for new comers.......