Wade’s first Nokia Lumia 920 experience

, posted: 18-Dec-2012 08:48

Let me start by providing a bit of background on me. I discovered Android a couple of years ago and it just hit the spot, the options were limitless, there were apps and mods available that just made life easy. Owning a Samsung Galaxy S2 then S3 and frequenting technology forums soon had me addicted to tweaking, modifying and flashing custom ROMs, always trying to achieve the best possible user experience. Coupled with this I work for a typically large global corporation who took the interesting position of adopting Google Mail as it's mail system globally. I suppose to a degree I would consider myself a bit of a Google power user as I am using its services extensively in a corporate environment and on a daily basis. An Android handset therefore provides me a very powerful business tool.

I was invited to try the Nokia Lumia 920 on Telecom New Zealand and I entered into this Windows Phoneexperience as a somewhat biased fandroid, with no prior knowledge of or interest in Windows Phone, and an expectation that it would feel well short of my requirements. In some aspect I almost felt guilt that I was potentially robbing this experience from a true Windows Phone fan. A week into my journey with the Telecom supplied Nokia Lumia 920 and I am absolutely loving the Windows Phone 8 provided by the Telecom Nokia Lumia 920 smartphone.

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Out of the box this is a very manly phone, It is big, it is weighty, it definitely makes an impression. The design cues stem from the 'less is more' philosophy, the single piece polycarbonate body provides a clean, simple visual whilst providing a very solid feel. After using a white phone for the last 6 months the satin black finish is a welcome change.

This phone ships with one of the tidiest USB AC chargers I have ever seen. Nokia have beaten Apple at their own game, the charger is tiny, the USB cable is long and feels superior to what we have come to expect. One does have to ask the question though, why Nokia do you ship a black phone with a white charger and USB cable? The micro-sim tray will look very familiar to Apple users, as it resides in the top of the phone and requires a special tool (included) to pop the sim tray out but again some engineering excellence is highlighted as the tray design makes loading and containing the sim a very simple task.

Powering up the phone for the first time I had no idea what to expect, I had never so much as held a Windows Phone device let alone used one. Given I have had reasonable experience with Android and the Google eco-system I figured there would be some element of similarity so had already created a Microsoft Live account in anticipation. One aspect I did not expect to be so easy was integrating non-Windows accounts, after signing into my windows live account I connected two Gmail accounts, Facebook and LinkedIn also. This seamlessly integrated contacts and calendars into the native apps so literally within a few minutes I was up and operational and connected to the world. It couldn't be simpler.

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Navigating through the menus you soon realize that this is a very different experience to Android or iOS and in some aspects it seems devoid of features and setup options, but then it hits you, the integration and the theming and how it ties the OS and all its apps together. Each app follows a consistent and standard layout all with similar theming, this all combines to provide a stunningly integrated and consistent user experience.

Three key social media apps, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, have a fluidity and simplicity has to be experienced to fully appreciate. Another app that demonstrates this fluidity of design and function is the NZ Herald app, it just works.

I have only began to scratch the surface with regards to the capabilities and functionalities of both Windows Phone 8 and the Nokia Lumia 920. The impressive camera, Office integration, Skydrive cloud storage, but will leave this for future blogs.

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Another surprise worthy of mention is the battery, I am consistently getting over a days use per charge which to compare with my S3 in a similar usage pattern was struggling to get more than 16 hours. Overnight the battery barely registers a drop even over a six or seven hour period and this is with two email accounts running in the background. You just use this phone, you don't need to monitor usage to control battery life.

Another pleasant surprise (coming from a Galaxy S3) is the time required to charge the battery, I have not measured time required but suffice to say it would be half the time required to the S3 (which takes an exceptionally and painfully long time!)

Of course Windows Phone 8 is not perfect, the number of apps available in the app store highlights that it is an operating system still in its infancy. A bugbear for me is the notifications/tones options are relatively limited, you can apply custom ringtones but not custom email or messaging tones, also there is no independent control of volumes. I am also missing a few of the automation/productivity type apps of which I was spoilt for choice with Android. This however does lead me to some questions I have asked myself repeatedly throughout the week, do I actually need the customization that Android offers? Is it a need or a want? Does it cause more problems than it provides solutions? What is the ultimate combination of smart devices?

In rounding off this blog there is one aspect above all else that the Nokia Lumia 920 has reinforced to me over this past week and that is that it is a truly fantastic phone, putting aside that it is a very capable smart device, it is also a truly fantastic phone. In a time before smartphones being as common place as they are today, Nokia was probably the brand that most of us were most familiar with, there were few if any phones that offered that combination of call clarity, strong reception and long battery life that Nokia did so well.

The Nokia Lumia 920 looks to continue this tradition being most pleasant to actually talk on and use as a conventional phone, something often overlooked in the tech specs race. Coupled with my move across to the Telecom $59 Open Smartphone plan with 500 anytime minutes I have found myself in a position where I have plentiful minutes plus a great phone so I am tending to ring people where previously I would have just sent a text or email.

About the author

wadeMy name is Wade, I am probably best described as a slightly demanding tech savvy consumer who is fast approaching an age where one needs to start planning one's mid-life crisis. I'm a family man with two extraordinary daughters, as well as a fabulous and understanding (most of the time!) wife, hobbies include home theatre and car audio. work in supply chain within the manufacturing sector. I have a vested interest in simplifying and enriching both my work and personal lives through technology. I live in a household filled with the usual plethora of Apple devices however my weapon of choice has become Android and the Google ecosystem. Windows Phone is a somewhat unchartered territory for me. Having no prior experience with Windows Phone or SkyDrive, I am very much looking forward to immersing myself into this ecosystem and understanding how it stacks up for my needs.


Other related posts:
Nakedmolerat’s Nokia Lumia 920 wrap up
Two months on with the Nokia Lumia 920
Wade’s Nokia Lumia 920: the hardware






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Telecom New Zealand
Auckland
New Zealand


Telecom Tech is a different type of blog. We're sponsored by Telecom New Zealand, but most of the posts here are from every day users like you.

We choose tech savvy Geekzone users to "test drive" the new handsets from Telecom New Zealand.

The team will post firsthand reports on using these smartphones on New Zealand's smartphonenetwork. Make sure to keep an eye on this blog. Who knows who might be our next "test drivers"?

   

Catch up on previous Telecom Tech reviews - read about the Nokia Lumia 1020Nokia Lumia 920, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Nokia Lumia 800, Nokia Lumia 710 and HTC Sensation.





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