My Review: Nokia Lumia 920 #SwitchToLumia

Nokia Lumia 920 review

I don’t know how to start this off, but here goes- The guys at Nokia UAE have been giving Nokia Lumia 920 mobile phones to users in the country to test the device for two weeks and to give their feedback about it and review it. I was asked if I would be interested and I gleefully went ahead. (This was done around a month ago, I still have the phone but I am due to return it soon).

After one week:

I was given my trial phone on February 20th, but I only started using it properly as a primary phone almost a week later. During the ‘secondary phone’ phase I admit to having hardly used the device much after doing the initial set-up. My very first observation was that at first the phone is a bit bulky and is not easy to type on using one hand. Soon after that I had to soft-reset the phone, as this seems to be a common problem with the phone which is being worked on. Did it 2 or 3 times but now it seems to be alright.

I finally gathered enough willpower and strength to ditch my iPhone 4s and give the Lumia a shot as my main/primary phone, so far after 12 hours here are my initial proper impressions (If such a thing exists) after downloading basic apps and trying them out:

You get used to typing and using the phone with one hand after a while

The official Twitter app sucks! Trying the free version of Rowi based on a couple of recommendations, not much better (At least so far)

Getting Whatsapp to work requires receiving the phone call, this process is usually done via a SMS verification code. Not a big deal nevertheless

The camera is not bad, I like the wide angle feel of it. Haven’t done much experimentation with it yet (But then again I don’t usually use mobile phone cameras for anything above normal standard pictures).

Battery life is poor, charged it fully and it was dead after less than 11 hours, and I did not even use it as much as I normally use my iPhone during a typical working day. This is something I have been warned about, hopefully the guys at Nokia are working on some fix for it for the next batches (Or maybe even some sort of a software solution)

After two weeks:

Writing this after having the phone for two weeks and using it as a primary device for the past week.

There are some really, really good things about the Lumia and some things that are disappointing. Let’s look at some of the good things first:

The predictive text is excellent. I tried the predictive text oin Arabic, English and Turkish and it was brilliant across all three languages. I will definitely miss this after I give the phone back to the guys at Nokia. The keyboard grows on you eventually

The camera is quite good. Gives a wide angle feel to the shots and the quality, even in low light conditions was good. Colors are good, shots are clear and you don’t have the usual motion blur crap usually seen in mobile phone cameras. Impressed with it

Nokia City Lens is another good feature on it, only got to fiddle with it towards the end of my trial. It’s definitely useful for traveling and visiting new neighborhoods (even in your own city)

The pinning option is awesome, and being able to fully customize the main screen is definitely a plus.

“People” (Contacts) is great as well. With all the ‘noise’ on social media, it is good to have an option where you can get all the updates from individual contacts across different social media networks in one place. Really, really smart feature and much needed in this era where it is almost impossible to keep up with your friends and contacts.

Now the bad, now some of these have been quite annoying:

Obviously the battery life is the first thing that pops to mind. It’s really, really poor. Something must be done about it (I hope). A related issue is the sudden shut downs and the need to soft-reset it often. Once I even had a weird screen that was reminiscent of TVs of yesteryear at some point, but a re-set fixed it (Still disappointing though that you have to do it so often)

Gunny screen

Main social media apps (Linkedin, Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook) are below par. Very unreliable in general and need a LOT of updates and tweaks in my opinion

Whatsapp was not good either. Also- General app variety didn’t seem very convincing to me but that is probably a Windows Phone issue more than anything rather than a Nokia Lumia issue

To sum things up, here are my ratings:

Size: 3.5 / 5. Bigger than what I am used to but not massive or annoying. Grows on you eventually

Keyboard: 4 / 5. Great predictive text in several languages. Takes a bit of time to get used to initially but then you get the hang of it in general

Camera: 5 / 5. I’m not a fan of mobile photography but the camera is very impressive

Contacts management: 5 / 5. The people feature is the best I’ve seen yet on a mobile device

Apps: 2 / 5. For someone who is spends quite some time online using the basic social media apps on this phone (And other apps in general) was quite frustrating. Still a long way to go to catch up with ios in terms of variety and quality. But I am sure it will get there eventually

Maps: 4 / 5. Impressive maps, the Nokia City Lens app is also a nice addition.

Battery life: 1 / 5. The joke that “why do they call it a mobile phone when it’s being connected via a line to something most of the time” definitely applies here. Infuriating at times and the mobile phone re-sets on its own sometimes. Another issue that will probably be fixed later though

Overall: 3.5 / 5. Good phone overall but still not the finished article. Needs improvement. I wouldn’t mind buying one and using it as a secondary/back-up phone though.