Nokia Lumia 920 Hands-On: What Will It Take For You To Switch?

The Lumia 920 is wonderful. It's smooth, fast, sleek, and it has heaps of the-future-is-here features. But is it enough for Nokia, and is it enough to make you switch? Updated with Australian availability information.

The first thing you notice about the 920 is the curved glass screen — the same as the old Lumia 800. It's a relatively small detail, but it makes all the difference when you're holding the phone. And for a phone as visceral as the design-centric Lumia, with its in-your-face Windows Phone 8 start screen, that's a big deal. It's a huge improvement over the Lumia 900's screen on first impressions alone.

Then you notice the rest of it: It's gorgeous. It's bright and defined. Photos look incredible. The start screen looks great, but photos especially look amazing. We couldn't use the PureView camera, which looked so amazing in the demos, but the onboard photos were displayed tack sharp. The phone's pixel density matches the iPhone's 326ppi retina screen, and in the real world, it looks just as good.

And since it's what you're waiting for, here is a video of the Lumia 920's Cinemagraph app.

Next to the Lumia 900, it's pretty much the same thickness. That's actually really impressive considering all the new toys and battery power that the 920 is packing — NFC, wireless charging, PureView camera stabilisation. You'd never know that one has a bunch of extra guts.

The display is just as responsive as the previous Lumias, which were also very good. The polycarbonate is also glossy, like the Piano White Lumia 900, not the matte of the previous 900 and the 800. That might sound like a downgrade, but it's actually really nice. It's a lot like the Galaxy S III's finish, except it's polycarbonate.

The wireless charging is just as impressive as you want it to be in real life. You just plop your phone down on the stand and it starts charging. You do have to put it down on its back, not face down, but that's not that inconvenient since we usually do that anyway. It's a cool feature, but we want to see how long it takes to charge up that hulk of a battery before passing final judgement.

The screen touches on the big question: Will you switch from your iPhone or top-end Android phone for the Lumia 920 running Windows Phone 8? After a few minutes with it, it's a resounding... maybe.

Yes, we're still worried about apps, but Nokia's new features — particularly with the camera (which we didn't get to play with) — are enough to make that less of an issue. Nokia Drive and Nokia Maps are really good apps. Even if the Windows Phone Marketplace isn't quite there yet, Nokia's just ploughing ahead on its own. Maybe that's enough.

We've already seen the best Android has to offer, and the Lumia 920 is just as responsive and fast as the Galaxy S III and HTC One X. We're waiting on the next iPhone, but from what we know so far, this phone will be able to go toe to toe with Apple as well. If you already want to switch, it's a no brainer. But if you aren't quite sure, yet, it's probably worth waiting until next Thursday before making up your mind.

Update: We've been in touch with Nokia this morning about Australian availability. Sadly, here's what it had to say:

Nokia Australia is not confirming any details of local market availability at this stage. Exact details of launch dates will be made available closer to the time of launch.

Let's hope Australia is one of Nokia's key launch markets for these new gadgets.


Comments

    What will it take for me to switch? Telstra to hurry the fuck up and release it.

      This.

        This x2.

          x3.
          I had my current Lumia 6 months before Telstra released it.

      Couldn't have said it better. Waiting for the chance to switch from Optus, and this phone will do it.

      i'm with vodafone atm but i'll switch to whoever gets it first

      hahahahah, seriosuly couldnt agree with you more, dropped my mozart, now running with an old iphone;, was going to by a 900, they didnt come to telstra, then windows phone 8 was released now I am waiting for a dam phone to be released in AU sporting th enew OS and as far as I can see the 920 is the only way to go at this stage. My only fustration is that I am in agreement with you for Telstra to hurry the f up and release it. So im stuck with an old iPhone and I am at the mercy of Nokia and Telstra :(

      Telstra never releases first. They go for custom firmwares optimised for their transmitters, that's why it takes longer but at least you know it'll work.

      Gizmodo I'd like you to do your 4G road testing with a Telstra device vs a out of book OEM version. I reckon you'll get different results.

    I'm sold. A+ for nokia. The camera stability is incredible. I'll be surprised if anything comes close to it.

    It comes in yellow??

    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

      I hope it comes in that aqua blue colour, it looks awesome!

        It would be about 20% cooler if it came in a pastel sky-blue colour :P

          Told =( Either way I want that blue!

      Haha love your comment! YES!! xD

    I've been using a Windows Phone for just over a year now and I love it. It's so much better than the iPhone and any Andriod phone i've seen. I'm currently in the market for a new phone and this is high on my list. However, while these new Nokias certainly are appealing, there's one small thing that I can't help but ignore.

    Apps.

    Windows Phone just doesn't have the apps that iOS or Andriod does. Often I'll see a new app advertised that looks fantastic, but it won't be available for Windows. I've put up with it for a year, but I'm getting pretty tired of it. If WP8 doesn't come out of the gates with all guns blazing, i'll have to consider other phones. It's a pitty, really

      I can sympathise wholeheartedly - have been using WP7.5 for almost a year myself and there are some apps that I miss, or which are poorly implemented compared to other platforms. But everything's a tradeoff, so I think of it as trading apps (mostly specific games) for the Hubs and sharing system. Which I'm totally OK with! ^_^

      From what MS has said, apps will be a lot easier to make for WP8, WinRT and Win8 simultaneously. Or something. I'm not a programmer! :D However I'm already seeing a little Windows icon join the iTunes and Android icon where a company invites users to "get our app". I've no doubt this will continue!

      This is exactly what I found, and why I switched to iOS. Got very tired of hearing "Available now on iOS and coming soon to Android".

      The platform itself is great, but I didn't find most of the basic features useful. For example I have no need to make a hub of my favourite contacts, I only have 20 anyway.

      An app launcher with a great selection of available apps was better suited to my needs.

        What, 100,000 apps is not enough? I haven't even looked for anew app in 6 months, I have everything I need on my Lumia800 (and a number of apps I've installed but never actually used). Most times I see something advertised for other platforms it is just as easy to go to the website and get all the same stuff. That's what I don't get about apps - most of them seem like poor substitutes for a browser bookmark. e.g. The eBay app is terrible compared to m.ebay.com.au and no public transport app I've seen on any platform can hold a candle to 131500.com.

          The only bad thing about WP7 apps are the iPhone and Android ports that have crappy UIs that look like they were designed for a browser.

          I guess you've never heard of tripview?

            I have both Tripview and Transhub and even if you took the best of both they wouldn't come close to the overall convenience of 131500.com. Tripview is more for the regular traveller and is not very good for the casual user of public transport. Overall though, I tend to use Transhub more than Tripview but I still prefer to go to 131500.com before I leave home and work out my options in advance. Once I have the info I need, like bus route numbers, Tripview works much better but even if you aren't sure of a little thing like which street the buses to your area leave from in the city, Tripview is next to useless. e.g. If I want to get home from Wynyard, Tripview requires me to know whether my bus will depart from York St or Carrington before it can be of any use.

            Tripview is awesome

          No 100,000 apps is not enough, because a lot of them are very basic apps developed by hobby developers.

          There is very limited Australian business support for the platform. I bank with ANZ and last time I looked there was no ANZ app, and the web site didn't render properly in IE. The ANZ iOS app is much more useful than the website.

          There is also the Big W app which I use all the time for price comparisons. There is no barcode scanning feature of the Big W website.

          ABC iView? Use it all the time.

          NASA TV? I watched a space walk live last night on my iPad.

          Just because you are happy with the app selection doesn't mean everybody has to be. Have a look at this Most Wanted App page. Most of those are things that are on other platforms but are missing on Windows Phone http://www.wpdownunder.com/?page_id=5889

          And then there is the gaming side of things. You'd think the Xbox brand would mean good games, but it doesn't. Xbox Live games are more expensive, and the bigger mobile games studios seem to have no interest in bringing there games out for the platform. Everybody is already sick of Draw Something, and Windows Phone hasn't even got it yet.

          If you are happy with doing everything in the browser then that's great. I find apps a better way of doing things, and I find the iOS app selection much better.

            iView is a big one for me. On both Android and Windows Phone.
            The iOS version is much better.

            As for anything else. I'm in the same boat as MotorMouth. My Lumia does everything i need.
            Plus it actually works as a Phone! This is a surprise coming from iPhone.

              I have never had any phone problems with my iPhone and I can actually use Siri to make calls. I could never get the voice stuff to respond correctly on WP.

                Really? Ever compared reception to other phones on the same network? I have a client in Waverton, we are both on the Optus network and I can get 3 bars at her place when her iPhone gets zero. My old Samsung was about on par with iPhone but the Lumia is way better. There are spots around the marina where my Samsung could never get a signal but with the Lumia I get at least 2 bars anywhere. It was quite a revelation when I bought it as it wasn't something I had thought much about.

                  I have honestly never had an issue. I used my HTC Mozart on Telstra for several months before switching to the iPhone. Both devices have always had full bars at home and work.

            My credit union doesn't have an app on any platform so I use the website. It gets the job done. You could use ANZ's mobile site - http://www.anz.com/mobilelanding/. Save it as a favourite in your browser, pin it to the Start Screen and you're done. It illustrates my point perfectly - why do you need an app at all? As for the list at WP Downunder, it makes me laugh. What sort of moron needs an app to do their grocery shopping!?! For a lot of the others, there are apps already. e.g. The ninemsn NRL app has exactly the features requested in that list, there are several usable TV guides available, BoM data is used by several weather apps and other suggestions are handled by native services like Bing Local.
            Seriously, all that list does is make sheeple look even more stupid and/or childish than I thought they were. Or maybe it just shows how hard it is to find the apps you need when there are far too many of them. When the Marketplace had just 10,000 apps I had everything I needed already. Since then those useful apps have just been hidden in a deluge of rubbish, which is why no-one can find the things they need (as opposed to want, which is a childish concept).

              You should have read my previous comment a little better. As I mentioned, the ANZ mobile site didn't render correctly in the browser. From memory it caused some links to become un-clickable. The app is also quicker and easier to use.

              no-one can find the things they need (as opposed to want, which is a childish concept).

              Wanting apps isn't childish. It helps you make an informed decision about the platform that is going to best suit your needs. I WANTED certain apps that weren't available on WP so I switched to iOS and haven't looked back.

                Absolutely it's childish when there are perfectly valid workarounds. It's the difference between "want" and "need". A grown-up will look at what they "need" to be able to do and if they can find a way, they'll be happy enough. A child will "want" to do everything a specific way and nothing but that way will be valid. That seems to me to be most user's attitude here. After all, how often do you need to access your bank anyway? For me it would be once a month, when I pay my bills, so the importance of being able to do it at all is so close to zero that it doesn't matter (which is why I am happy to stay with my credit union). I mean, seriously, would you choose a bank based on it's app? If not, then it should be no more relevant to your choice of phone platform.

                  Not only are you wrecking havoc on car website comment pages but you seem to be infecting other genres too; you are completely closed minded to the fact that what you consider wants may in fact translate to what another person 'needs' You may only need to access your banking once a month, but many people need it daily. You may not care if your bank has the best app but others may need it for their work to be more efficient daily. Stop being so myopic, it'll do you the world of good.

            The most commonly used apps (of which Facebook is #1 go figure) are available on all 3 platforms and ANZ is the only Bank in Australia without a Windows Phone product. Isn't it really neccessary to watch TV on a tablet? I mean sure if you can do it, but lets think about it for a second.

          Just as easy to go to the website? I haven't found this at all given that many websites wont detect IE9 mobile properly, and either display the full desktop site, or the same oldschool mobile web interface I'd see on an old Nokia. These same sites display fine in iOS and Android.

          I've also found most of the apps I have got that I used in iOS are very behind in updates, and have no alternative available that works as well as the iOS version did either.

            So you get the full web page and do what you need to there. Either way, you can perform the task you "need" to perform. And you can always type "m.website.com", which works on a lot of them, or navigate to the mobile site and bookmark it.
            I only update apps when I'm bored and I can't think of one that ever seemed any different afterwards, probably because I hardly ever use any of them. I sure as hell don't go around comparing updates between platforms, that's "tail wags dog" stuff.

          Well there's some apps I have on my iPhone that are just not present atm on Windows Phone, those being Steam, Instagram, Blizzard Armoury, Dropbox & Team Viewer. None are on the Windows Marketplace and that's about 95% of the apps I use on a day to day basis.

      Judge it in 6 months. By then the whole synergy between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 should be up and running. So you'll start to see apps available on the Windows ecosystem in a really consistent manner which cannot be matched by Android or even Apple

        I agree. The next 6 moths is going to be the key for Windows Phone.

          And, of course, WinPhone 8 is going to suddenly have 500million potential users to develop for, so there will finally be incentive to do it. I am certain that is why MS are doing the $40 upgrade thing; to be able to tell devs that they have hundreds of millions of potential customers out there looking for apps. It is the smartest thing they could do to get WinPhone out of the Catch-22 of no-one using it because there are only 100,000 apps (yes, I am being sarcastic) and developers not interested in making apps because no-one uses it (can't be sarcastic here, because after almost two years, the only other WP7 user I have ever seen was an MS employee).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKWRI9RoxN0&feature=youtu.be&t=1m20s

    Dat camera...

    VERY much looking forward to GSMArena's review of Samsung's ATIV vs. Nokia's 920.

    Nice phone but when will MS / Nokia accept that consumers don't like the metro interface. It's been nearly 2 years since the Windows Phone was launched and they have barely made a dent in the market - the latest Comscore report has them at 3.6% in the US market.
    Why they decided to roll this interface to desktop, after knowing it failed in the smartphone market is beyond me. Too much money invested in it already perhaps?

      Who doesn't like it? I've not read any critical review that has much negative to say about it and where there has been criticism, it seems to me WP8 has addressed it well. e.g. Getting rid of the wasted space on the right of the start screen and allowing for more tiles on the screen at once. Sure WinPhone is not as good as the original Metro used in ZuneHD but it has a lot more to do, so it is understandable that they have had to change it. How long have you spent using it?

      The UI has very little to do with WP7's small market presence. Every single person who's ever seen my Lumia in action has commented on its fluidity and aesthetic appeal. But then they say "hey, let's play Draw Something / Scramble / Words With Friends ! ... oh, you don't have it :("

      Like it or not, lack of apps (in particular the big popular games) has held WP back. Largely due to existing investments into Android and iOS, and a reflexive geek reaction to the Windows Mobile 6.x legacy, the games that people want to play just haven't come to WP7 and so people have stuck with what they know.

    The moment I can get an unlocked version shipped here.

    Awesome! I'm sold

    What will make me swap ANDROID > WP8

    1. fix the playback volume issue, got a 800 then reverted to SE Active cause headphone volume barely audible...even got a replacement but same issue..I'm not the only one (http://discussions.nokia.com/t5/Nokia-with-Windows-Phone/Earphone-volume-way-too-low-Lumia-900-w-Rogers-Canada/m-p/1386423#M12394)

    2. Apps need to match IOS and Google in quality and range....no where near it last time I checked

    The only thing that's stopping me is the Note 2. The Nokia lover in me really wants this to be good though...

    Looks really good. Things putting me off, 4.8 inch screen would be better, no sd expansion and no replaceable battery. The Samsung ativ see have these. Will wait for reviews

      Indeed. ATIV vs. 920 will be VERY interesting ...

    'The phone’s pixel density matches the iPhone’s 326ppi retina screen...'

    Actually the Nokia exceeds the iPhone, the 920 is 331ppi.

    If the iPhone 5 comes out with 332ppi I'm sure it will be reported as exceeding rather than matching the Nokia.

    My S3 can go bye bye when Telstra bring this out.

    Here's what it will take for me to upgrade:

    1. More than 64Gb storage (microSD is fine).
    2. ClearBlack screen at less than my current 3.7".
    3. A phone that is considerably smaller overall than my current one..

    My contract is up this month and, because Virgin have been ripping me off, I am going to go month-to-month with other carriers for a while to see if anyone can offer me better coverage here at home. I swore I would never give Telstra another penny of my money for as long as I lived but Virgin have ripped me off just as badly as Telstra once did, so I am at least willing to give them another chance after 14 years. But once I find a good deal, I can't imagine settling for either of these new Nokias, they just aren't offering anything I want. I may have to change platforms to get something that suits me, like the Xperia Ray (only newer).

      How did Virgin rip you off?

        I got my mobile broadband on a "first 6 months half-price" deal but they have billed me full price since I got it. At about the same time I got a second phone on a similar deal - "first 3 months free" - which they have also not honoured. I've rung them about it twice and not had any satisfaction. I am going to ring them again this week and if they don't sort it out I am going to the Ombudsman. I'd been really happy with them up until then but it shits me that I have to spend an hour on the phone, mostly waiting on hold, to get the deal I signed up for.

    What's stopping me?
    1) The fact that we have no idea about availability or price for Australia yet.
    2) I have just recently sold my soul to Optus for my OneX after my IncredibleS took a suicidal leap out of my pocket. :(

    Seriously if I had not just gone on contract for my OneX I would be all over this when it comes out.
    Well after I double checked that it had certain apps that I use everyday. :)

    I think it is highly unlikely we will see these devices here for a while, given that Nokia are right in the middle of a big marketing campaign for their existing Lumias.

    A buy back scheme for my old Win 6.5 machine and credit for all the application on it? This early adapter is not going to trust WinMo again.

      Lol if you're still stuck on Win Mobile 6.5 then maybe the problem lies with you and not the technology. Maybe you expected a free upgrade to 7? And what applications could you possibly run on 6.5 without it crashing that would be worth it?

        In fairness, originally HTC and Microsoft did claim that the HTC HD2 met WP7 requirements and would receive the upgrade, which was then changed.

      And your 6.5 phone is how old? I'm thinking it must be at least 18 months old, so how long exactly do you think it should last? And exactly how much did you spend on apps for it? $1.50? Get over yourself.

    I love Android and it's custom-ability, but damn...that's some good hardware! Some please port Jelly Bean to this incely! ;)

    if it were in green i would

    Low latency audio equivalent or better than iOS as well as audio creation apps equivalent or better than iOS. So far those who want music creation on a mobile device have only one choice iOS. : (

      Really? When you say "music creation", what exactly are you talking about? Because I wouldn't consider anything that didn't include full support for VST plugins. Otherwise it is just a toy and latency is a non-issue. Interestingly, when the guy who invented the Tonium Pacemaker wanted to do an app, he found that the only platform with low enough latency for his needs was Blackberry Playbook, so that's what he went with.

        Animoog, Xenon, NanoStudio, SynthStation, the list goes on. Even though not a full DAW enough to create whilst out and about or on the road. Not one of these apps is available on Android or WP and the developers are have no interest in the platform due to latency. I know many musicians that create on the iPad, easier to use than a laptop on the plane or in the bus.

          That means nothing to me. What do those things do? Latency is only an issue during performance, not when you are writing, producing, mixing, etc. I don't even use my ASIO devices "in the studio", only on stage.

    Big + it's not an Apple, after the Samsung travisty, anyone but them.
    Win8 is a huge +, waiting for their tablet too.

    What would make me get one? The awesome cyan colour. What were they thinking not making a cyan one? I'll still upgrade my htc Mozart to one of these when they come out though. They look great.

    I'd like two things, but one is not negotiable. I'd expect some kind of "if you bought a WP7.5 device that was outdated in 6 months, here's a bonus headset or wireless charger" or similar with an 8 device purchase.

    But the requirement is a data migration tool from WP7 to WP8. At this stage with how WP7 is set up, changing phones loses everything which isn't synced to the cloud. This doesn't really give incentive to stay with WP given I'd retain the same cloud information if I got an iOS device or Android device, and I've barely purchased any apps anyway given how poor the WP7 marketplace is in Australia, while many of my favourite apps from iOS which are on WP7 are about a year behind on updates and only plan on releasing updates for WP8.

    No data migration? I'll seriously be looking at going back to iOS, where I'd only lose the last 6 months of information since my last iTunes sync, instead of starting fresh again with WP8.

      If my Lumia800 goes swimming 6 months from now, after these handsets are available, I'd still get another 800 because these new phones and the new OS don't really offer any compelling reason to put up with a larger device.

      What data migration do you need that isn't already on the cloud or on local storage on your PC? There might be a little manual D'n'D involved to get photos, music and videos onto the new phone but I'd see that as an opportunity for a bit of housekeeping, not some onerous task that would prevent me from upgrading. The Marketplace knows what apps you've paid for but again, there is an opportunity for housekeeping in having to reinstall them. If there was an option for either of those things to be done automatically, I'd disable it.

        can't speak for dkNigs, but for me being unable to backup or transfer SMS and local game saves has been the single biggest downer of my WP7.5 experience. I could do this with my old Nokias so I figured it was a no-brainer.

    There are lots of apps (mostly medical related) that I can get on iOS or Android, but not on Windows Phone. Until the app support improves, I won't switch. I love everything else about WP7 and WP8 looks awesome, but switching without the app support I need would be crippling.

    Nothing will make me switch. MS are too late to the party and many people, like me, have spent a lot of money on apps etc for a different platform. i have no intention of needing to re-buy all of apps because of an eco-system switch (assuming that all of my apps are actually available). I am not denigrating WP as an OS nor am I denigrating phones that run WP. It is simply as I said, they MS are too late for me and others. I would interested to read any reach on this area of "eco-system lock-in", for want of a better term.

      Define "a lot of money". Sheeple spend hundreds on PC software but that doesn't stop them moving to Mac, I can't see that spending tens of dollars on toys for your phone is any kind off issue at all, especially when you compare prices. e.g. You can buy a Lumia800 outright for $350 on eBay. A similar iPhone 4s (16Gb) will set you back $600, which leaves you $250 to spend on apps before you are financially worse off. Are you seriously suggesting you've spent $250 on apps and/or that you'd want all of them on your new phone? I doubt I've even spent $10 on apps for mine. (I think the only paid apps I have are the two trip planners and my weather app.) That said, it looks like the new Lumias are going to be much closer in price to their competition, given their considerably higher specs. Yet another reason to stick with what I have.

        do you really need to argue with everyones opinions??? You seem personally offended every time someone says something you don't agree with and I'm getting sick of hearing how your way is the only way.
        Im happy to read your opinion on the article, but lets give everyone else a break hey?

        MotorMouth: Next comment using 'Sheeple' from you or anyone will be deleted, it's getting old, even if your point has some merit.

          This is by far the best comment that I have ever seen on Gizmodo.

          It's just habit and I feel completely disinclined to make the effort just for this place, so feel free to delete away.

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