Nokia Lumia 928 Review
Introduction:

When it came to Windows Phone from Nokia, it was pretty obvious that AT&T received the most love out of the major four wireless carriers. Back last fall, however, Verizon finally saw its first Windows Phone from the Finnish company in the form of the Nokia Lumia 822. Needless to say, it was regarded as a special occasion, seeing that Big Red’s Nokia lineup prior to the arrival of the Lumia 822 was non-existent. Even though it proved to be a great mid-ranger, especially with its fantastic $99.99 on-contract price point right from the get-go, it really wasn’t that super spec’d Nokia Windows Phone that diehard smartphone addicts crave – and when you look at it on paper, it paled in comparison to AT&T’s Nokia Lumia 920.

Fear not people! That’s because Verizon Wireless is getting its own variant of the 920, which should no doubt put Nokia’s name near the top of the ladder within the carrier’s Windows Phone selection. At its core, the recently announced Nokia Lumia 928 might seem like a subtle variant of the version that AT&T has been selling for some time now, but there are some notable differences that should make Big Red’s customers feel proud they’re getting something new. Most importantly, though, it’s priced aggressively at $99.99 on-contract to try and lure people away from some other recent entrants in the space. Armed with Nokia specialties such as a PureMotion HD+ display and PureView camera, it’s a small sampling of what this Windows Phone is packing along for the ride, but ultimately, it’s all about the real world performance that matters the most.

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Start Guide
  • Important Consumer Information Guide
  • Global Support Calling Card Guide
  • Product Safety & Warranty Information

Design:

Physically, it doesn’t surprise us that the Lumia 928 has the same distinct design DNA we all know and love by now. However, it makes some minor improvements that are noticeable over the Lumia 920, as it’s both thinner (0.4” thin) in profile and lighter (5.7 oz) in weight. Looking at it from its sides, we do recognize its thinner frame, which is partly due to the tapered design that’s been employed by many other contemporary handsets of late. However, despite its skinnier appearance from its sides, it progressively gets thicker towards the middle section of the chassis – and eventually flattening out. From the front, it looks a bit one-dimensional with its straight hard lines and 90-degree corners, which doesn’t particularly make for the best ergonomics when it’s held in the hand.


Constructed out of the same polycarbonate material from before, the Lumia 928 has the same sturdy feel in the hand just like the 920, but it’s still fairly weighty over other flagships we’ve been seeing. Meanwhile, the high gloss finish of the body makes it more susceptible to finger prints and smudges, but thanks to the white color of its casing, it does a better job of masking them. Overall, it’s not the most dazzling design we’ve seen, but at least it’s moving in the right direction of shaving off some stuff here and there to make it an incremental update.

Nokia Lumia 928

Nokia Lumia 928

Dimensions

5.24 x 2.71 x 0.4 inches

133 x 68.9 x 10.1 mm

Weight

5.7 oz (162 g)

Samsung ATIV Odyssey

Samsung ATIV Odyssey

Dimensions

4.82 x 2.51 x 0.43 inches

122 x 64 x 11 mm

Weight

4.41 oz (125 g)

HTC Windows Phone 8X

HTC Windows Phone 8X

Dimensions

5.21 x 2.61 x 0.4 inches

132.3 x 66.2 x 10.1 mm

Weight

4.59 oz (130 g)

BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry Z10

Dimensions

5.12 x 2.58 x 0.35 inches

130 x 65.6 x 9 mm

Weight

4.85 oz (138 g)

Nokia Lumia 928

Nokia Lumia 928

Dimensions

5.24 x 2.71 x 0.4 inches

133 x 68.9 x 10.1 mm

Weight

5.7 oz (162 g)

Samsung ATIV Odyssey

Samsung ATIV Odyssey

Dimensions

4.82 x 2.51 x 0.43 inches

122 x 64 x 11 mm

Weight

4.41 oz (125 g)

HTC Windows Phone 8X

HTC Windows Phone 8X

Dimensions

5.21 x 2.61 x 0.4 inches

132.3 x 66.2 x 10.1 mm

Weight

4.59 oz (130 g)

BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry Z10

Dimensions

5.12 x 2.58 x 0.35 inches

130 x 65.6 x 9 mm

Weight

4.85 oz (138 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



In standard Windows Phone fashion, the Lumia 928 is sporting the same trio of Windows Phone buttons we’re accustomed to seeing below its display – the back, start, and search buttons. Naturally, they’re space away from one another to minimize accidental presses, but the backlighting on them is weak. On the other side, we spot its earpiece, light/proximity sensors, and front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera that’s enabled for 720p video recording.

Taking a tour around its edges, it’s quite clear that they’ve stuffed all of the handset’s physical buttons on its right side. Specifically, we find the power button, volume control, and two-level shutter key for quick access to the camera at any time when it’s long pressed. With all of them, they’re raised and have a distinctive feel, but they’re not as springy as we’d like them to be. Both the left and bottom sides of the phone are completely barren, but the top edge is home to the SIM tray, 3.5mm headset jack, noise cancelling microphone, and microUSB port for charging/data connectivity.


Sure to entice those individuals that take pride in snapping photos on the go, the Lumia 928 features an 8.7-megapixel PureView camera with Carl Zeiss f2.0 lens, optical image stabilization, and 1080p video recording. The Lumia 928 gets also gets a Xenon flash – to brighten up those shots when it’s just simply too dark for the camera, by itself, to deliver a balanced final product. Still, we’ll reserve our final thought in the camera performance a little bit later.

Display:

For us, it was a big departure to see the Lumia 920 opting to use an IPS LCD panel instead of the AMOLED we’ve been seeing used by Nokia’s devices since their Windows Phone venture, however, we see it back on this one. To be specific, it’s a 4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ 768 x 1280 (WXGA) AMOLED display with Nokia’s ClearBlack filter and Corning’s Gorilla Glass 2 on top of it. So what’s the end result? Frankly, it’s typical of almost every AMOLED panel we’ve scoped out in the past – such as delivering saturated colors, wide viewing angles, and surprisingly enough, decent outdoor visibility as well. On paper, its resolution pales in comparison to most of its rivals, but nevertheless, it’s detailed enough at a pixel density of 332 ppi to make fine text in the web browser visible from a normal viewing distance.


Even though we’re nearing the summer season, the display on the Lumia 928 also features a super-sensitive panel that can recognize touch with gloves on. By default, the panel’s sensitivity is set at low in the display settings, but after setting it to high, it’s able to precisely recognize our touch and swipes. As much as we’d like to see at least 1080p resolution here with the Lumia 928’s display, we’re not all too bummed out because our eyes wouldn’t be able to differentiate it unless we’re looking meticulously up close to it. Don’t worry, it’s still an incredible looking display from all angles.


FEATURED VIDEO

75 Comments

82. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

( use a Nokia 928. it works very well . I hope that Nokia puts round corners on the next model of the 928 for Verizon, in fact although I love the live tiles technology their design is too plain jane and should have rounded corners instead of their sharp 90 degree corners which is something Human beings do not prefer to look at. Tests show that People like circles shapes and curved shapes better than 90 degree boxed shapes of squares and rectangles. for Windows smarty phones to sell better the Tiles shapes have to be more curvy or at least have rounded off corners instead of what they have today.

81. bwhiting

Posts: 188; Member since: Jun 15, 2013

The device isn't all that bad when you get to use it for a minute. It grows on you actually. The side panel could use some work and help with actually giving you a custom speed for scrolling because it can be pretty slow when you have a lot of pins on the dashboard and devices as well.

73. harshal.bendale

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 04, 2013

8/10 rating just for launching the phone late? Wow.

72. giri555

Posts: 111; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

Why are you even reviewing a Windows phone? Why don't you change this site to an Apple & Samsung Blog...?

64. kissily

Posts: 53; Member since: Oct 09, 2012

Nokia always bringing in mobile devices that don't attract buyers. I can't see any difference on this Lumia and other Lumia's.

66. UrbanPhantom

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

Maybe you just don't get it? Then go back to your iphone, or cheap end Android, bimbo the clown...

62. Seany

Posts: 94; Member since: Sep 28, 2012

I love Nokia but these images are terrible. I have got better images from my Lumia 620 or cheaper 520.

65. UrbanPhantom

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

The bad pictures are probably the result of a bad photographer (shrug)

59. PolishHitta

Posts: 11; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

I expected a 9.0, and I'm sure that the reason why its lower is because of "outdated" specs. What phone arena should consider specifications based upon the operating system. Take a look at iOS, Meego, BB OS. They all don't require high end specs in order to run smoothly. Android on the other hand requires high end hardware in order to function properly. I've bought the 928 simply because of that reason. I don't need an 8 core processor, for Gods sake my laptop doesn't have an 8 core CPU and it runs well. Someone please bring out galaxy S4 and truly compare the two units in speed and quality. If the S4 wins with the OS stability, browser speed and quality, camera dept, app launching, and video buffering then I'll understand that it deserves an 8.0.

55. Jack1192

Posts: 35; Member since: Mar 30, 2013

In the camera part of this review, I did a keyword search on the page for 'xenon' and 'flash' and there wasn't a single mention. A highlight of this phone is its xenon flash. What kind of a phone review is this?

51. BraggingBob

Posts: 25; Member since: May 17, 2013

Still won't get much Android users to transfer over to Windows Phone 8 with those ugly tiles. I hope Elop realize this is a complete failure by end of Q2.

54. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Ugly is in the eyes of the beholder. Elop isn't taking Nokia to Android any time soon. They practically own the WP market, slow and steady as it may be.

50. oldhamletman

Posts: 72; Member since: Sep 03, 2011

wow, read the first 20 comments and didn't see a delusional applehead talking crap... reality is the 92x's are very badazz phones... major low light (translation practical) camera, wp8 gets the job done quickly without having to be a android techy BS kinda guy... super stable.... and has all the real apps that adults need... I really dont give a crap that its dual core... its super responsive and doesnt burn battery like a quad core... so whats the problem? isnt it funny when an apple or android head knocks apps on winphone when 60% of their apps are BS games for 9 year olds? IMO the Nokia 9xx series with wp8 is really the best phone out....

48. AlexC

Posts: 7; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

I love how discrete your watermarks are PA... Your photos are already worse than most other tech sites and you protect them like gold.

46. cristianer

Posts: 42; Member since: Aug 20, 2010

Just an 8? :-( I thought it would be a better phone.

41. timepilot84

Posts: 113; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

I bought one yesterday and returned it today. I was getting 1-2 bars of 3G service in the same location that I used to get 3-4 bars of LTE with my Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Unfortunately, that place was in my apartment. Also, I knew that the Windows Phone 8 app situation was a little anemic, but I had no idea just to what degree. It's bleak. I was hoping that the camera would be enough to make it worth keeping, but I wasn't that impressed with it other than the low light capability. Taking regular photos with the Xenon flash the pictures were grainy. All in all, it was a rather disappointing outing. On top of the poor phone performance, the salesman at the Verizon store flat out lied to me. He said that there is a 30 day return policy for phones for a full refund. That is not the truth, it's only 14 days, and they charge a $35 re-stocking fee. This is the last phone I'll buy from Verizon directly. If I buy a phone for Verizon I'll be sure to pick it up used. If they're going to nickel and dime me after buying a new phone from them for the last 6-7 years, they won't get another nickel from me voluntarily, unless it can't be avoided. When my contract is up, that unlocked Samsung Galaxy S4 is looking pretty good right about now.

43. UrbanPhantom

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

"I was hoping that the camera would be enough to make it worth keeping, but I wasn't that impressed with it other than the low light capability. Taking regular photos with the Xenon flash the pictures were grainy." The Xenon flash might have given you overblown highlights, but certainly not grainy images. It looks like TROLL isn't the only fraudster posting fake reviews... timepilot84 = epic fail

45. Edmund

Posts: 656; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

Oh look, another Sprint employee posting a fake testimonial. At least read your comment before talking shyte

57. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Before you all dismiss timepilot's review out of hand, his isn't the first complaint about signal strength on the 928. Cnet had the same problem. Either Nokia screwed up the antenna placement in the phone or something is buggy in the radio software. I hope for Nokia that it's something they can fix with a software update. This phone looks great but if it doesn't function well as a phone, I'll pass.

63. UrbanPhantom

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

timepilot84 claimed that pictures taken using the xenon flash on the Lumia 928 were grainy. However, you should understand that extra light doesn't result in grainy pictures, but rather over-blown and high contrast images. In other words, the review is a fake - nice try.

67. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

I take all reviews with a grain of salt, and user reviews with three or four, but I have no reason not to believe his. Especially when I see one of his key complaints - that the signal is weaker than other phones *in his area* - echoed in a professional review. If you want to dismiss every negative comment or review just because you've affixed your brain to the Nokia wagon, that's your choice. I don't see anything wrong with criticism when it's justified.

38. grs_dev

Posts: 1; Member since: May 17, 2013

In what way is the Galaxy S4 any better? The fact that you need a quad core to deliver the same smooth transitions and performance is a MINUS! NOT A PLUS!!!!!

33. Android4u

Posts: 456; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

I'd rather jump ship to ios than WP lol

34. WHoyton1

Posts: 1635; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

Well then sir you my friend are dilluded!

32. dontlie

Posts: 2; Member since: May 10, 2013

Switched from lagggy Android to this phone and I definitely do not miss Android at all!!!!!!!! This phone has an amazing camera, I love how fluid WP8 is, and the UI is just so aesthetically pleasing. I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about making the jump!!!!

60. PolishHitta

Posts: 11; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

Same, 928 is hands down one of the most beautiful devices made, at work I had 4 people ask what phone is this. Its definitely a looker, and the camera does wonders. I've taken a photo of my car without flash at 9:30 pm with the nearest light being 200ft away and the image came out stunning.

29. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1258; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

There's no denying that this phone just doesn't quite impress like the HTC One and Galaxy S4 does. Why do you think its priced at $100?

61. PolishHitta

Posts: 11; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

So you base the phone as bad simply because its $100? My buddy and I played the same song on the ONE and 928, by far 928 is louder. Image quality definitely brighter and bigger. Two "unique" capabilities that HTC was advertising aren't so unique after all. The S4 is just an S3 with bigger screen and beefed up specs. Software didn't change by any means, yet it still lags in multiple cases.

28. TheBitterTruth unregistered

Excellent camera quality!

24. roldefol

Posts: 4745; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

So basically, a good review that got knocked for not having high-end-for-2013 specs. Which is not how WP operates. I don't care if it's dual core or quad so long as it runs smoothly, nor whether it's a 768 or 1080 screen so long as it's sharp.
Lumia 928
  • Display 4.5 inches
    1280 x 768 pixels
  • Camera 8.7 MP (Single camera)
    1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB,
  • Battery 2000 mAh
  • OS Windows Phone 8

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