Nokia Lumia 920 conclusions

Amazingly a month has gone by since I did my test drive of a Nokia Lumia 920 thanks to Nokia_Connects. I didn’t get a chance to post my final conclusions until now.

How did it go?

tl;dr: It’s not a bad phone, it’s not a bad platform. In many ways it’s nicer to use than Android. I won’t be buying one, as there’s no incentive to replace my iPhone 4S.

The details: the hardware was fine, and even had a few bonus points: it was distinctive, it was fun, the display was outstanding and the battery life was impressive. The software was fine, and about what you’d expect from a relatively new platform that’s rapidly improving. I found it more pleasant to use than my Samsung SIII, which is a usability horror story.

The apps that were available were pretty good; now I’ve no longer got the phone I’m missing the London bus app, the live tiles, and the twitter client.

Windows Phone seemed genuinely innovative. It was let down by some of the Windows legacy (reboots), but it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

At the end of my time with the phone, Nokia asked me to complete a survey. I’ve added some of the comments here, and expanded on them a little.

What did you like about the device?

The physical rounded shape and device yellow colour.
The amazing screen (size and colour).
The mapping software.
The innovative UI.
The “friendly” interface (“Let’s get started / goodbye”) – the UI felt a lot less “formal” than iOS.
The browser.
The speed.
The smooth animation.
All-in-one design (no need to insert battery or SD cards) – although everyone scorned Apple for this, I think it’s a big advantage. Messing around with batteries and SD cards is tedious.

What didn’t you like about the device?

Always turns on when charging.
Some buggy software.
The weight.
The speakers.

What did you use most / were most surprised about / was unique to Nokia

Most used email, maps, apps such as Foursquare, live weather tiles.
Most surprised by low-light performance of camera (magic!)
Surprised by the amount of storage – fit music and photos on without making a dent in spare capacity.
Battery life was reasonable – it took several hours of continuous use to drain it.

Will you be purchasing the device now that you have trialled it?

No.

Unfortunately Nokia didn’t give me the option to expand on that response, so here’s my explanation: I have an iPhone 4S, and it’s good enough. The 920 doesn’t offer anything more over my current phone to make me think I need to switch right now.

It’s worth noting that I would never have considered another Nokia Symbian phone. I’ve been bitten too many times by terrible Symbian experiences, and I swore the Nokia N95 would be the last phone I ever bought from them. With the release of the N9, that would have changed – if Nokia hadn’t killed the platform. 

Before this trial, I had dismissed WP8. However, if I had to replace my 4S with another device, I would now consider Nokia’s Windows Phone devices amongst the options. Wireless charging would be a big part of the decision – I loved that feature on the Palm Pre. I’m not sure if live tiles are enough of a killer feature to get me to switch; it depends on what comes next in iOS, I guess.

Based on the Firefox OS phone, it seems the device would have to be less than €200 unlocked in order for me to consider it as a spur of the moment purchase.

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