Hands-On: The Nokia Lumia 920, The Best Lumia Yet

Yesterday Nokia announced its first Windows Phone 8 devices, the Lumia 920 and the Lumia 820. The announcements were made at a joint press conference with Microsoft, and the world awaited the official consumer unveiling of the Windows Phone 8 operating system along with Nokia’s delicious hardware. Sadly, only one of them delivered. Microsoft for some strange reason still wants to keep WP8 under wraps, so it was upto Nokia to step up. So while the keynote might have become a bit of a drab because of us being forced to look at the WP 8 start screen being reorganised endlessly, make no mistake, Nokia’s Lumia 920 has actually raised the bar when it comes to premium smartphones.

For the first time, Nokia’s phones have parity with the top tech specs that Android manufacturers are throwing around. The Lumia 920 features a 4.5″ 1280 x 768 HD LCD display that uses Nokia’s Clear Black tech along with PureMotion HD+ that promises lag free scrolling due to extremely fast refresh rates, a 1.5 Ghz dual core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1 GB of RAM, NFC, a 2000 mAh battery with support for wireless charging, an 8 MP PureView camera, topped off with a beautiful polycarbonate unibody construction that comes in yellow, grey, black, red and white.

Hands-On: The Nokia Lumia 920, The Best Lumia Yet

The Lumia 920 has been blessed with the ‘PureView’ moniker, and this time Nokia’s focus has been on improving low light photography. To that end, the 920 becomes the first phone to feature optical image stabilisation, and coupled with a f 2.0 lens, it should allow you to take great low lights shots, and greatly reduce camera shake in our everyday shots as well. 1080 HD video recorded on the Lumia 920 will also benefit as because of OIS, the video will be a lot smoother and a lot less jumpy. If some of the images Nokia’s shared are to be believed, we are looking at a phone that truly deserves the PureView name.

Another ‘Pure’ tech that Nokia’s introduced with the Lumia 920 is the ‘PureMotion HD+’ display. While they could have just stuck to ‘PureMotion’ as far as the naming goes, the underlying technology is impressive here as well. You can use the Lumia 920 while wearing gloves, with objects and unlike other devices with capacitive screens, you aren’t restricted to using your hands directly. Plus the PureMotion HD+ tech helps remove any visible lag while scrolling, as the screen refreshes faster than any other display on a competing device. If you ask Nokia’s they’ll tell you that its also great for watching movies on the 920’s large 4.5″ display.

I was able to spend some hands on time with the beautiful white Lumia 920:

As far as I am concerned, Nokia has ticked all the right boxes with this device. A great design, top notch hardware, a great camera, beautiful display and a solid battery. Then there are also things like wireless charging and NFC to give users something new to play with. Nokia Maps have gone from strength to strength, and with Windows Phone 8 apps like Nokia Maps and Drive can talk to each other seamlessly. Nokia Music is already available in India, so if you look at the device, it does present a very compelling picture. I would have loved Microsoft to have done more to sell Windows Phone 8 to consumers, but since the actual launch of these devices is still more than a few weeks away, there may still be time.

If Windows Phone 8 is nearly as good as one hopes for, the Lumia 920 has the potential to bring Nokia screaming back into reckoning. Actually, roaring back.