The Microsoft and Nokia corporations held a joint press conference in September to unveil their brand-new Windows Phone 8 handsets: the higher-end Lumia 920 and the midrange Lumia 820.
This is a major step for both Microsoft and Nokia. It will be a determining factor in the PC-software maker’s success in the mobile market, and it will mark the third time Nokia has banked on a premier Windows Phone making a splash in the industry.
The release date for Nokia’s Lumia 920 is quickly approaching, as the Windows Phone 8 handset is expected to launch on AT&T’s network this month. It will remain exclusive to the carrier for at least six months following its launch, as a reportedly leaked training video for AT&T employees revealed in October.
With the plethora of mobile devices being launched this season, it could be difficult to distinguish the flops from the tops. Before you consider purchasing the Lumia 920 -- packed with technical specifications comparable with Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4 -- check out what the critics are saying.
Dieter Bohn, The Verge
On hardware: “I’m just going to say this bluntly, the Nokia Lumia 920 is a tank of a phone … There are ostensibly good reasons for the Lumia 920’s weight and size: a large battery, 4.5-inch screen, wireless charging, and PureView camera hardware all take up plenty of space. With time, the heft of the phone did eventually start to feel OK.”
On software: “Nokia is aggressively adding its own software to the platform and just as aggressively courting third party developers for exclusives. The result is a slightly better experience on the Lumia than you can get on either HTC or Samsung.”
“The biggest addition is Nokia Maps, essentially a super-charged version of Bing Maps. The main feature it offers is the ability to save maps offline, but you also get indoor maps of popular venues, more augmented reality, and voice-guided turn-by-turn directions.”
Overall thoughts: “Many of the frustrations we used to have in Windows Phone are now gone with this latest version, and Nokia has given the OS a very good stage with the Lumia 920 … but there’s still a critical lack of apps and they too often feel as though they’re not as good as what’s on other platforms.”
Chris Burns, SlashGear
On hardware: “The device feels just as great to hold as each of the Nokia devices produced before with the same body -- pillowy, round edges yet secure and solid throughout. The back is made entirely of hard plastic -- here in red, but coming in several colors in the end, while the front is that one single Gorilla Glass 2 panel you’ll just want to rub up against your cheek its so smooth; there’s just something about those round edges.”
“The display, too, has been suitably impressive -- though the glare from the glass might give you a bit of trouble outdoors, the brightness should back you up even in near-direct sunlight.”
On software: “The software inside this device is extremely swift. The only loading times that we’ve noticed thus far have been in starting up a game for the first time and waiting for a data connection -- on the other hand, AT&T 4G LTE has been rather responsive on the whole.”
Overall thoughts: “Under the hood we’ve got the most advanced mobile operating system Microsoft has ever produced backed up by a fabulous Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz -- it’s quick!”
On hardware: “AT&T’s Nokia Lumia 920 isn’t for wimps. It’s big, it’s heavy, and it takes a power user to truly appreciate the phone’s special features. If you open your heart and your pockets, the Lumia 920's smooth, streamlined design beautifully showcases all that the just-launched Window Phone 8 OS has to offer.”
“The specs are strong, but not everyone feels they need 32GB of memory over 16GB, and if you believe Nokia's trumpeting message about its advanced camera, you could find yourself mildly disappointed.”
On software: “The Lumia 920 comes with AT&T's 4G LTE. My data connection was strong, and content streamed quickly during testing, consistently riding in the high teens for downlink.”
“Yet Windows Phone has a few absences, like default voice navigation, panorama camera mode, and some top apps and premium mobile experiences.”
“Nokia steps in to solve at least one of these, adding a few other tidbits to enhance stock Windows Phone. Nokia Drive is the most useful, with turn-by-turn voice directions. Now keep in mind that Windows Phone 8 will let you link to third-party apps for voice nav, but in the Lumia 920, Nokia's app drops it right in there for you.”
Overall thoughts: “Nokia's Lumia 920 is heavy and thick, but if you want the most powerful, feature-rich Windows phone available, this is it.”
What do you think? Are you planning on purchasing a Lumia 920, or would you go with another Windows Phone 8 handset if at all? Sound off in the comments below.
Lisa Eadicicco is a reporter covering mobile technology and video games for The International Business Times. Lisa joined the editorial team at IBT in January 2012, and has...