The Nokia Lumia 920, the new flagship Windows 8 phone from the Finnish company, was put to a field trial by Karthik Subramanian
Even before you touch it, the Nokia Lumia 920 is bound to captivate. The high quality unibody makes it a beauty even when it is switched off. The pure black screen whose curved glass seamlessly blends into the edges, the flashy contrasting colours (yellow, cyan and red), the zirconium buttons on the side … all make for one of the most beautiful smartphones in the market.
The 4.5-inch screen phone is on the heavier side though — probably a fall-out of the costly materials used. Weighing 185 gm, it is the second thing that hits you after the beautiful first impression. This is a heavy phone that is thick as well — 10.7 mm wide.
But some of us like our smartphones to be slightly heavier. It is more a vindication and a small reminder that what you have in your hands is actually worth considerable money. The plastic finish that some other brands use is a definite put off.
The phone's rear holds the 'PureView' camera with optical image stabilisation that delivers impressive results in low-light and generally unfriendly shooting conditions.
The Lumia 920 sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core chipset clocking 1.5 Ghz each and an Andreno 225 GPU to boot. It has 1 GB of RAM, 32 GB internal storage, NFC capabilities and 2000 mAh battery.
The display is a 4.5-inch 1280 x 768 IPC LCD protected by Gorilla Glass 2 that the company has branded ‘PureView’. It is gorgeous to say the least, delivering a pixel density of 332 ppi (which is more than the pixels per inch provided in the iPhone5), and is pretty good to read in direct sunlight. Its camera is an 8.7 megapixel sensor with Carl Zeiss Optics, dual-LED flash built in a floating lens assembly that makes it easy to shoot images while moving. It also has a 1.3 mega-pixel front-facing camera for video chat Apps like Skype.
There is no expandable memory slot available. So users will have to make do with the 32 GB internal storage, which after the Windows 8 pre-installation, leaves close to 26 GB free for use.
The touch screen panel is ‘supersensitive’ — one of the points Nokia is proud of. So users can touch the screen wearing gloves or even their nails.
One of the biggest differentiators for Nokia over its competitors, both from the Windows 8 ecosystem and outside, has been its native Apps. The Lumia 920 comes with Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive + (beta version), Nokia Music and City Lens, among other native Apps that are free and exclusive downloads to the Lumia phone users.
These Apps seem more tuned to the Indian market than its peers. This is one area where Nokia can leverage its presence in the Indian market over its competitors. My biggest grouse about Apple is that its services — Siri, for example — are rendered ineffective in India.
It has to be said that Nokia Drive, with turn-by-turn directions for offline maps for Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, was a pleasant surprise. Nokia Music too comes bundled with the Lumia 920 as also a free one-year package. One can download, store and share as many songs as one wants from the Music catalogue.
Another cool exclusive addition to the Lumia series is the special lenses that are offered free — Cinemagraph, for example, animates just one portion of the photo you click. This can be fun for young users.
Its on-board camera is Nokia Lumia 920's biggest USP.
Despite the many positives, the Lumia 920 does have some drawbacks, mostly by virtue of being in the brand new ecosystem of Windows 8.
Power users will be hard-pressed to find some of their favourite Apps, as Windows 8 is still playing catch-up with iOS and Android.
There are some peeves that might hit you hard — the battery blackouts, for instance. Once the battery loses its charge, the Lumia 920 does not open up immediately on plugging in. It takes considerable time. So you could suffer some blackouts with the phone, especially when tweeting a lot. The 2000 mAh battery does not seem to be enough for consistent use. A full charge lasted just about seven to eight hours.
Bottom line: Priced at over Rs.38,000, the Lumia 920 is strictly for camera addicts who don't mind doing most of their work with the native Windows 8 and Nokia Apps, which cover all basic smartphone requirements.
SPECS SHEET FOR LUMIA 920
Dimensions: 130.3 mm X 70.8 mm X 10.7 mm
Weight: 185 gm
Display: 4.5 inch PureMotion HD+, 1280 X 768 pixels, IPS LCD capacitive touch, Corning Gorilla Glass 2, Pixel denisty 332 ppi,
Processor: Snapdragon S4 1.5 Ghz dual core processor
Memory: 1 Ghz RAM
Camera: 8.7 MP PureView camera with Carl Zeiss Tessar Lens, 1.3 MP front facing camera
Internal storage: 32 GB
Expandable storage: Not available