It’s official. Nokia’s just taken the wraps off its worst-kept Windows Phone 8 secret: the Lumia 920. The device, announced at the manufacturer’s event in New York City today, is a spiritual successor to the 900 that first broke onto American shores and can largely be seen as a response to critics of that former device. With a dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 CPU (the same one that drives the current US supremos, the HTC One X and Galaxy S III), a “better than HD” 1,280 x 768 LCD display, PureView imaging (albeit with only eight megapixels), NFC capabilities, 2,000mAh battery with wireless charging and a next-gen Redmond-baked OS, this handset’s a big-break proposition for the flailing Finnish company; an attempt to up the ante and compete on even ground. From the outside, it may appear as though not much has changed in this generational hardware leap, but rest assured that what Espoo’s packed inside should take the mobile outfit to the next level. So, follow on after the break as we dive into our first impressions of this curiously hued smartphone splash.
Nokia Lumia 920 official: Dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 CPU, 8MP PureView camera, Windows Phone 8 (video)
It was only this past spring that Nokia crashed onto the US smartphone scene to stake its claim and make inroads into consumers’ minds and hearts. Now, just five months later, the Finnish company’s poised to overtake the buzz of its fledgling, former Windows Phone flagship, with what many consider to be a true high-end contender: the Lumia 920.
As one of the first Windows Phone 8 devices to be officially announced, this device augments Espoo’s line with a larger, curved 4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ display, dual-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 CPU, 2,000mAh battery, NFC, integrated wireless charging and an 8-megapixel rear PureView camera capable of 1080p video. The display packs WXGA (1,280 x 768) resolution, is 25 percent brighter than the next best panel on the market and it’s the fastest LCD that Nokia has ever shipped on a smartphone. What’s more, the screen also boasts what Nokia calls “Super Sensitive Touch,” which promises to let you use it even when wearing gloves or mitts.
As you can tell from its humpless back, this PureView is not that of the 41-megapixel variety — it’s merely all about the branding, as the moniker will now ring synonymous with “high-end cameras.” Despite that fall from 808 grace, Nokia’s Head of Imaging Damian Dinning has assured detractors the magic is in what’s done with the optics and pixels and not sheer gargantuan sampling size. To wit, the 920 employs a “floating lens,” which, in layman’s terms, translates into hardware image stabilization and also packs impressive low-light capabilities — an area the company’s seems squarely focused upon.
In a true return to form, the 920 also hearkens back to the Lumia that started it all, opting for the “sinuous tapering” that debuted on the 800 with glass edges that blend gently into the polycarbonate hull. Unfortunately, not all of that design language has made the transition, given its chassis now appears glossier and more polished, distancing itself from that premium matte finish. Still, as looks go, the handset’s keeping to its 900 origins, appearing nigh indistinct from its predecessor save for that attention-grabbing mellow yellow hue.And as a bonus, Nokia’s imbued the device with integrated wireless charging, based on the Qi standard, which corroborates those leaks we saw just last week. The Lumia 920 will arrive in pentaband LTE and HSPA+ variants and both are expected to ship “in selected markets” later this year.
T-Mob’s variant of the Galaxy S III made its in-store debut on this very day, and we just had a chance to go hands-on with the flagship smartphone. The carrier brought the handset down to the Metropolitan Pavilion for Pepcom’s baseball-themed shindig and we just had to get our greasy paws all over its shiny Pebble Blue shell — and it is a serious fingerprint magnet. Aside from that, though, it’s hard to take issue with such a slim and marvelously engineered device. The plasticky build quality does leave something to be desired, but it’s something we’ve become accustomed with Samsung devices. We’ve also got to give it to Sammy for getting carriers, including T-Mobile, to leave well enough alone. Other than the innocuous logo on the back there are no physical differences between this version of the S III and its 4.8-inch cousins on other networks. There’s no keyboard, redesigned corners or rejiggered buttons. Truth is, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between Big Magenta’s variant and the international version.