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Nokia Lumia 920 - First Impressions


I have no doubt in my mind that the Nokia Lumia 920 is the best smartphone of 2012. Modern smartphone are all alike and one of the reasons Apple fans get frustrated is with the company releasing almost identical devices year after year. This is where Nokia is different and this is what excited me the most about the Lumia 920.

Nokia is never content with releasing (yet another) updated phone. The Lumia 920 comes with exciting and innovative features which make it worth upgrading too. I first covered five reasons to upgrade to the Lumia 920 and then came up with five more reasons you would want to get this device. Next I shared some of the key features of the Lumia 920 and compared it with the competition telling you why the Lumia 920 was the best smartphone in the market right now.

Now you maybe wondering how someone who has written so much about the Lumia 920 is just getting around to sharing their first impressions of the device. Well up until now my reactions and reviews were based on what I had heard. Now I have a Lumia 920 in my hands and I am getting set to put the device through the test.

Will the Lumia 920 live up to all the hype I have built around it? Will the Lumia 920 remain in its top position after my review? Let’s find out, but first my First Impressions.

The Nokia Lumia 920 is available in the U.S. exclusively through AT&T and comes in five color options. The Lumia 920 costs $100 with a two-year contract or can be purchase for just $450 contract free. The device that Nokia has so graciously sent me to trial is in black which it indicates on the side of the package box.’

Now I have to say my wife wasn't thrilled about the color choice as she was looking forward to either a Red, Yellow or Blue variant. Given that she is a big iPhone fan, I was a little surprised but concluded that Apple fans were tired of the lack of color options by now.

The packaging is quite modest, which has become quite common in modern smartphones. You get a USB cable and power adaptor but no headphones have been included with the device. The packaging also includes the SIM Door key, all the manuals you will need to get you started with your device and a public warning message “TXTING & DRIVING – IT CAN WAIT”

Having used a Nokia Lumia 800 over the last year I was quickly able to spot the similarities and the differences between the two devices. I will go over them in a separate post. The Lumia 920 is obviously much larger but fits comfortably into your hand comfortably. The polycarbonate body on the black variant has a matte finish and has a somewhat cool metallic feel in my hand. I also admire the metallic accents of the AT&T, Nokia logos and the three capacitive buttons in the front. The buttons on the side have a special scratch resistant coating but feel a little sharp, but they are pronounced and easy to find. I have to mention that the dark buttons and camera decoration look much nicer on the other colors.

The SIM Door is actually something I found extremely frustrating. The door mechanism isn't as easy to use as the iPhone and it took me a few seconds of struggling to get it open. I loved the design on the Lumia 800 and I hope that Nokia goes back to a design which worked well.

With the SIM card in place, its time to boot the Lumia 920 up and it quickly runs through the AT&T, Nokia and Windows Phone boot screens before you are greeted by some quick settings. Now another thing I want Microsoft to fix in their next version of Windows Phone is to allow users to connect to their Wi-Fi connection during the initial setup.

If you have a data package you can sign into your Microsoft account and even restore your device from an existing backup. Now I had no way of trying this because I didn't insert my SIM card during initial setup and the device but I would like to know if the Lumia 920 will restore a backup from a Nokia Lumia 810 which I reviewed recently.

Once you are in you are greeted by the Windows Phone Start Screen with resizable live tiles. The battery indicator, cell signal and Wi-Fi signal (if connected) hide themselves away on the top and can be revealed by swiping downward. swiping to the right will take you into all the installed apps and you can swipe back to the left onto your start screen.

The Lumia 920 features an 720p HD display, which makes this (one of) the best display on a  Nokia smartphone. The text and content on the display look amazing and the clarity immediately stands out when you have the Lumia 920 next to any of its other Lumia siblings.

The first thing you would want to do on your Windows Phone would be to add all your social network accounts and email accounts. If you have previously owned a device and signed into your Microsoft account, the Windows Phone will start connecting and syncing with all your online content and bring the data on to your device.

If you are not restoring from a backup, the next logical step would be to head over to the Windows Phone Store and download the apps you would need for your day to day use. The Nokia collection is probably the first place to start and you can download some Lumia exclusive apps for your PureView camera.Once you have the apps you need and your Live tiles arranged and customized to your liking you will be ready to fully enjoy your Windows Phone.

While putting the PureView camera through a couple of quick tests under various lighting conditions I realized the camera lives up to its hype with amazing optical image stabilization which even allows capturing video while you walk. There is no blur on any of the photos I captured but I will continue running more tests in various conditions and share them when I am done reviewing the device. The camera UI feels a little plain compared to some of the other devices, and I am hoping that Nokia will bring more features to the UI soon. However the lenses on this device is the difference maker as various apps are able to interact with and enhance your Windows Phone camera experience. This is where Nokia gives Lumia users a great advantage and you will find apps like Smart Shoot, Cinema Graph and Panorama are great examples of this.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be putting the device through vigorous tests measuring its battery life, durability  and the overall usability of the Windows Phone platform. I am hoping to compare the handset with the current Google flagship the Nexus 4 and also look how various Windows Phone features compare with Android and iOS.

The main subject of the review would be its PureView camera which I currently believe is unmatched by the iPhone or any of the Android flagships. I unfortunately wont be able to test the wireless charging on the unit, but hope to cover just about everything else. If you have any questions on the Lumia 920 and any tests you would like to see the device put through, leave a comment below and I will add it to the review..
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