Nokia Lumia 920 Review

May 21, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Nokia Lumia 920 is a Windows Phone 8 smartphone with with an 8.7-megapixel camera and a 26mm equivalent Carl Zeiss optics with a fast maximum aperture of f/2. Also featuring a 4.5-inch WXGA LCD touchscreen with Touch AF, a built-in flash, Geotagging, Nokia’s largest ever battery (2000mAh) and built-in wireless charging, the Nokia Lumia 920 can capture Full 1080p HD videos at 30fps and uses "advanced floating lens technology" to take photos in five times more light than competing smartphones without using flash. The Nokia Lumia 920 is available now in yellow, red, grey, white and black for around £400 / $450.

Ease of Use

The Nokia Lumia 920 is a large and quite heavy smartphone that just about fits into a trouser or jacket pocket, weighing 185g and measuring 130.3x70.8x10.7mm. It has a solidly built unibody design that feels like it should withstand the odd knock or two. The lens is a 26mm equivalent optic with a fast maximum aperture of f/2, alongside which is a small built-in flash that's not particularly powerful.

The Nokia Lumia 920 offers 32Gb of built-in memory, with no external memory slot. There's a small physical shutter release button on the side, which can be used to jump straight into the Lumia 920's camera mode by holding it down for a couple of seconds, speeding up the picture-taking process.

The combination of the wide-angle lens, f/2 aperture, very effective built-in image stabilizer and maximum ISO speed of 800 makes this smartphone better suited to hand-held low-light photography than most other comparable devices. The Lumia 920 offers a built-in, lens-based image stabilisation system that Nokia claims offers a 3-stop advantage compared to smartphones with no anti-shake. In practice we could hand-hold the Lumia 920 in fairly dark conditions and still get sharp results for both stills and video without resorting to using the rather ineffective built-in flash.

Nokia Lumia 920 Nokia Lumia 920
Front Camera

There's no means of gripping the Nokia Lumia 920 the front or rear, making it a little difficult to get to grips with, especially since its unibody design is very smooth. The lens isn't that close to the edge of the body, so you don't have to be too careful not to let your left forefinger stray into the frame.

Press the small On/Off button on the side and the Nokia Lumia 920 quickly readies itself for action in around a second. You then have to press the shutter button to access the Nokia Lumia 920's camera app, which takes another second or so. We'd describe the general performance of the Nokia Lumia 920 as snappy, with little waiting around for the camera to take a picture - its certainly just as responsive as the majority of compacts that we've reviewed.

By default the Nokia Lumia 920 uses the Auto shooting mode. The other available modes are Close-up, Night, Night Portrait, Sports and Backlight. All of the modes provide the full range of camera options, allowing you to change settings which include the ISP speed (Auto, 100-800), Exposure Value (+2EV to -2EV), White Balance (Auto, Cloudy, Daylight, Flourescent, Incandescent), Aspect Ratio (16:9, 4:3), and the Focus Assist Light (On, Off). Compared to a conventional compact camera, the Lumia 920 is rather bereft of options.

Nokia Lumia 920 Nokia Lumia 920
Image Displayed Playback Menu

You can take a photo on the Nokia Lumia 920 either by half-pressing the conventional shutter button to focus then full-pressing it to fire the shutter, or by simply tapping on the LCD screen, which quickly focuses and takes the photo with a single tap. The 8.7 megapixel JPEG images are quickly committed to memory in a single second, the screen momentarily blanking out and then displaying the captured image before the user can go on to take a second shot. Note that you can't take a burst of images on the Lumia 920, just a single-shot.

The Nokia Lumia 920 can shoot High Definition video clips at full 1080p or 720p HD with stereo sound with the ability to change the white balance and Continuous Focus mode in the MP4 format at 30fps. Note that you can't take a still image during video recording.

Nokia Lumia 920 Nokia Lumia 920
Photo Settings Menu Video Settings Menu

The small arrow icon in the top-left corner is for playing back your images. You can browse through your photos by flicking them from side-to-side, view them as thumbnails in the Camera Roll, by date or in albums, share, delete and favourite images, and rotate, crop and optimise each image.

The Nokia Lumia 920 offers a rather restricted array of camera options by modern standards, but it is a responsive device with a well-implemented touch-screen interface. Now let's take a closer look at its image quality...

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 8.7 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 3Mb.

The Nokia Lumia 920 produced images of good quality during the review period. This camera handled noise well, not becoming too obvious until the fastest setting of ISO 800, where the colour saturation and fine detail are affected, a great performance for a tiny image sensor with such a high pixel count.

Chromatic aberrations were in evidence but were well-controlled, with some limited purple fringing effects appearing in high contrast situations. The images were sharp enough out of the camera and don't really require any further sharpening.

Macro performance is respectable enoughat 8cms, while the built-in flash is fine for fill-in use. The optical image stabilization system works well when hand-holding the camera at slower shutter speeds. The camera can capture enough light for some after-dark situations.


There are 4 ISO settings available on the Nokia Lumia 920. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso200.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg

Focal Length

The Nokia Lumia 920's lens offers a wide-angle focal length of 26mm in 35mm camera terms, as illustrated by this example:




Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are already quite processed and don't really benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Nokia Lumia 920 handled chromatic aberrations well during the review, with some purple fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg


The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card), with a minimum focusing distance of 8cms. The second image is a 100% crop.


Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg


The flash settings on the Nokia Lumia 920 are Auto, Fill Flash, Red-eye Reduction and Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off

Fill Flash

ISO 64 ISO 64


The Nokia Lumia 920's maximum shutter speed is 1/2th second in the Night scene mode. The following photo was taken at 1/3rd of second at ISO 800.


Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Nokia Lumia 920 camera, which were all taken using the 8.7 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample video from the Nokia Lumia 920 camera at the highest quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 20 second movie is 48.6Mb in size.

Product Images

Nokia Lumia 920

Front of the Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia Lumia 920

Front of the Nokia Lumia 920 / Turned On

Nokia Lumia 920

Front of the Nokia Lumia 920 / Main Menu

Nokia Lumia 920

Camera Turned On

Nokia Lumia 920

Photo Settings Menu

Nokia Lumia 920

Image Displayed

Nokia Lumia 920

Playback Settings Menu

Nokia Lumia 920

Video Settings Menu


The Nokia Lumia 920 offers a rather simplified photographic experience by compact camera standards, but it does take good pictures in daylight and even better ones in low-light conditions thanks to the effective built-in image stabilisation system, where most rival smartphones struggle to deliver remotely usable results. It may not feature all of the latest bells and whistles, but the Lumia 920 definitely lives up to its PureView branding.

There's very little to complain about the Nokia Lumia 920 for general point-and-shoot users, with the intuitive touchscreen interface making one-touch picture taking easy and the device generally quick to respond. More advanced users will bemoan the lack of certain features - burst shooting, setting the exposure at the focus point, metering options, HDR or more advanced shooting modes - but the majority of the Lumia 920's target audience will find it refreshingly simple and straight-forward to take a good picture in both day and night conditions.

Recent smartphones have placed more emphasis on their photographic capabilities, and the Nokia Lumia 920 is certainly a very capable performer in this regard, especially if you regularly shoot in low-light where most smartphones begin to struggle.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4
Value for money 4

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Nokia Lumia 920.

Sony Xperia Z

The Sony Xperia Z is a brand new smartphone that offers a lot of technologies from Sony's CyberShot camera range. The Xperia Z has a 13 megapixel sensor, 28mm fixed lens with fast f/2.2 aperture, 1080p video, sweep panoramas, a range of picture effects and 10fps burst shooting. Read our Sony Xperia Z review to find out if it really can replace a compact camera...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Nokia Lumia 920 from around the web. »

Despite Nokia’s brutal drubbing in recent years at the hands of Apple and the Android posse, one thing has never been in doubt: the company is serious about the cameras in its phones. Back when Apple upended the smartphone market with the original blurrycam-equipped iPhone, Nokia was already fielding devices with Carl Zeiss-branded optics and xenon flashes that were in their own photographic class.
Read the full review » »

Recently Nokia released the large sensor 41 megapixel Nokia PureView 808, one of the last Nokia phones based on the Symbian O/S, with promises that the PureView Imaging technology would make its way to Nokia's Windows Phones. The Nokia Lumia 920 is the first Windows Phone (WP) from Nokia with PureView built in, and while it was rumoured that the first WP with PureView might feature a larger sensor, this phone has just an 8.7 megapixel sensor and its highlight feature is built in optical image stabilisation - the first mobile phone ever to feature OIS.
Read the full review »


  • Overview
    • Main camera sensor: 8.7 MP PureView
    • Display size: 4.5''
    • Processor name: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4
    • Maximum 3G talk time: 10.8h
    • Maximum 3G standby time: 460h
    • Music playback time: 74h
  • Design
    • Dimensions
      • Height: 130.3mm
      • Width: 70.8mm
      • Thickness2: 10.7mm
      • Weight: 185
      • Volume: 99cm³
    • Display and User Interface
      • Display size: 4.5''
      • Display resolution: WXGA (1280 x 768)
      • Display features: PureMotion HD+, ClearBlack, Polarization filter, Brightness control, Corning Gorilla Glass, Orientation sensor, Low power mode, High brightness mode, RGB Stripe, Sunlight readability enhancements, Color boosting, Refresh rate 60 Hz, Ambient light sensor, Sculpted glass, Easy to clean, Content adaptive backlight
      • Display colors: TrueColor (24-bit/16M)
      • Aspect ratio: 15:9
      • Pixel density: 332ppi
      • Display technology: IPS
      • Display height: 97mm
      • Display width: 58mm
      • Touch screen technology: Super-sensitive touch
      • Sensors: Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity sensor, Magnetometer
    • Keys and Input Methods
      • User Input: Touch
      • Operating keys: Volume keys, Camera key, Power/Lock key
    • Form factor
      • Form factor: Monoblock touch
  • Hardware
    • Connectivity
      • Dual SIM: No
      • Charging connectors: Micro-USB
      • AV connectors: 3.5 mm audio connector
      • System connectors: Micro-USB-B
      • USB: USB 2.0
      • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 3.0
      • Bluetooth profiles: Object Push profile (OPP) 1.1, Hands-free profile (HFP) 1.5, Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) 1.2, Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) 1.4, Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP) 1.1
      • Wi-Fi: WLAN IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
      • Wi-Fi security modes: WPA2 (AES/TKIP), WPA, WPA-Personal, WEP, WPA2-Personal, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-Enterprise, PEAP-MSCHAPv2, EAP-SIM, EAP-AKA
      • NFC: Secure NFC for payment, Sharing, Pairing, Tagging
      • Other wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi Channel bonding
    • Data Network
      • GSM network: 1800 MHz, 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1900 MHz
      • GSM max data speed DL: EGPRS 236.8 kbps
      • GSM max data speed UL: EGPRS 236.8 kbps
      • LTE network bands: 1, 3, 7, 8, 20
      • LTE max data speed DL: 100 Mbps
      • LTE max data speed UL: 50 Mbps
      • WCDMA network: 900 MHz, 2100 MHz, 1900 MHz, 850 MHz
      • WCDMA max data speed DL: HSDPA - 42.2 Mbps
      • WCDMA max data speed UL: HSUPA - 5.76 Mbps
    • Operating Frequency
      • Frequency bands: GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA Band V (850), WCDMA Band VIII (900), WCDMA Band II (1900), WCDMA Band I (2100), LTE 800, LTE 900, LTE 1800, LTE 2100, LTE 2600
    • Power Management3
      • Battery model: BP-4GW
      • Battery capacity: 2000mAh
      • Battery voltage: 3.7V
      • Removable battery: No
      • Maximum 2G standby time: 460h
      • Maximum 2G talk time: 18.6h
      • Maximum 3G standby time: 460h
      • Maximum 3G talk time: 10.8h
      • Music playback time: 74h
      • Maximum Wi-Fi network browsing time: 9h
      • Wireless charging: Yes
    • Processor
      • Processor name: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4
      • Processor type: Dual-core 1.5 GHz
    • Memory
      • User data storage: In device, SkyDrive cloud storage
      • RAM: 1 GB
      • Mass memory: 32 GB
      • Free cloud storage: 7GB
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 Processor
    • Performance
      • Do more. Wait less: Tap into faster performance. The Qualcomm Snapdragon™ processor CPU cores enable extra performance when you need it and puts you in charge of running the most demanding applications, including gaming, photography, as well as business and personal productivity.
    • Power consumption
      • Less charging. More doing: The Qualcomm Snapdragon™ processor unique asynchronous technology enables each core to power up and power down independently, resulting in maximizing core performance level without wasting battery power.
    • Technology
      • Beyond mobile. And beyond all expectations: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 processor is a highly integrated, mobile-optimized system on a chip that delivers dynamic, immersive experiences and powerful, battery-friendly performance that can put new possibilities in your hands.
  • Software and applications
    • Productivity features
      • Personal information management features: Calculator, Clock, Calendar, Phonebook, Alarm clock, Social networks in Phonebook, OneNote, Wallet, Family Room, Kid's Corner
      • Business apps: Adobe acrobat reader free download, Lync (Corporate IM) free download, SkyDrive storage for documents and notes, Company Hub for enterprise applications, Office apps: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, OneNote
      • Document formats supported: Excel, PDF, Word, OneNote, Powerpoint
      • Sync type: Exchange ActiveSync, Windows companion app, Mac companion app
      • Sync content: Calendar, Video, Pictures, Music, Contacts
    • Other Applications
      • Game features: DirectX 11, Touch UI, XBox-Live Hub
      • Graphics format: JPEG
    • Software platform & User Interface
      • SW Platform: Windows Phone
      • Software release: Windows Phone 8
  • Communications
    • Email and Messaging4
      • Email clients: Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook Mobile, Gmail, Office 365, Nokia Mail, Windows Live / Hotmail /, MS Exchange Active Sync
      • Email protocols: SMTP, IMAP4, POP3
      • Email features: Viewing and editing of email attachments, Always up to date, Multiple simultaneous email accounts, Text-to-speech message reader, Email attachments, Conversational view on email, Linking multiple inboxes to one, Inbox filtering, HTML viewer
      • Supported instant messaging services: Google Talk, Twitter, LinkedIn, Windows Live Messenger, WhatsApp, Yahoo! Messenger, Skype IM, Facebook
      • Messaging features: Integrated text messaging and chat, Instant messaging, Concatenated SMS for long messages, Multiple SMS deletion, List of recently used numbers, Audio messaging, Text-to-speech message reader, Text messaging, Number screening for messaging, Unified MMS/SMS editor, Automatic resizing of images for MMS, Distribution lists for messaging, Multimedia messaging, Conversational chat style SMS, Unified inbox for SMS and MMS
    • Call management
      • Call management features: Voice commands, Call waiting, Voice mail, Integrated hands-free speakers, Call forwarding, Call logs: dialled, received and missed, HD audio, Call history, Voice dial, Conference call, Skype voice call
      • Video call features: Skype video call
      • Supported amount of phonebooks: one integrated Phonebook
      • Supports amount of contacts: Unlimited
      • Ringtones: Downloadable ringtones, MP3 ringtones
      • Noise cancellation: Multimicrophone uplink noise cancellation
      • Speech codecs: AMR-WB, GSM FR, AMR-NB, GSM HR, EFR, GSM EFR
  • Device security
    • Security
      • Enterprise security features: Remote security policy enforcement
      • General Security features: Remote device locking via Internet, Secure NFC, Track and Protect via internet, Firmware update, Remote wipe of user data via Internet, Device lock, Device passcode, PIN code, Firmware and OS integrity check, Secure device start-up, Application sandboxing and integrity check
      • Advance security features: Lost device tracking, Browser integrated anti-phishing
      • Data encryption: User data encryption for device
  • Sharing and Internet
    • Browsing and Internet
      • Internet browser capabilities: Internet Explorer 10
      • Social apps: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter
      • Photo sharing: Share over Bluetooth, Facebook, Flickr, Send as email attachment, SkyDrive
      • Video sharing: Video sharing with NFC, YouTube, Flickr, Picasa, Video sharing to social network and internet, Facebook, SkyDrive
      • Location sharing: WP location sharing, Foursquare
      • Wi-Fi hotspot: Up to 8 Wi-Fi-enabled devices
  • Navigation
    • GPS and navigation5
      • Location and navigation apps: HERE Maps, HERE Transit, HERE City Lens, HERE Drive+
      • Navigation features: Pin places to Start screen, Public transportation routing guidance, Reveal the surrounding places, Reviews, info and photos for places, Routing options, Save favourite destinations, Call, share and get directions to places, Free maps, Save and sync favs with, Find upcoming departure times, See places through the camera viewfinder, Live traffic information, Free voice guided turn-by-turn walk navigation, Automatic day/night view switching, Venue maps - shopping and transport centers, Free voice guided turn-by-turn drive navigation, Offline maps, Online and offline favourites, Speed limit warnings
      • Location technologies: Magnetometer, A-GPS, Glonass, Cellular and Wi-Fi network positioning
  • Photography
    • Main camera
      • Main camera sensor: 8.7 MP PureView
      • Main camera focus type: Auto focus with two-stage capture key
      • Camera digital zoom: 4x
      • Carl Zeiss Tessar lens: Yes
      • Sensor size: 1/3.2"
      • Main camera f-number/aperture: f/2.0
      • Camera focal length: 26mm
      • Camera minimum focus range: 8cm
      • Camera image formats: JPEG/Exif
      • Flash type: Short pulse high power dual LED
      • Flash operating range: 3.0m
      • Flash modes: Off, Automatic, On
    • Main camera features
      • Main camera - other features: Touch focus, Landscape orientation, Exposure compensation, Auto and manual exposure, Auto and manual white balance, Still image editor, Face recognition, Full screen viewfinder, Automatic motion blur reduction, Center weighted auto exposure, Geotagging, Optical image stabilization, True 16:9 sensor, PureView, Backside-illuminated image sensor, Automatic photo upload to web services, Full resolution photo and video upload, Creative Studio
      • Digital camera add-ons: Cinemagraph lens, Smart Shoot lens, Panorama lens, Bing vision
    • Image capturing
      • Capture modes: Panorama, Video, Still
      • Scene modes: Automatic, Night Portrait, Sports, Night, Close-up, Backlight
      • White balance modes: Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Daylight, Automatic
      • Light sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 800, Automatic, ISO 200, ISO 400
      • Photos viewed by: Camera Roll, Timeline, Photo editor, Favorites, Album, Photos from social networks
    • Secondary camera
      • Secondary camera resolution: 1280 x 960pixels
      • Secondary camera f-number/aperture: f/2.4
      • Secondary camera - other features: Video recording, Still image capture, Video call
  • Music and Audio
    • Music
      • Music apps: Nokia Music, Mix Radio
      • DRM support: PlayReady
      • Audio features: Music recommender in Music player, Album graphics display in Music player, Playlists in Music player, Selection criterion in Music player, Audio Streaming, Dolby Headphone, Music Player, Cloud music offline playback, Media Player, Graphical equalizer, Podcasts, Cloud music playback
    • Music format
      • Codecs: MP3, QCELP, AMR-WB, AMR-NB, WMA 10 Pro, WMA 9, G.711, AAC LC, AAC+/HEAAC, eAAC+/HEAACv2
      • Audio playback file formats: ASF, MP4, AAC, AMR, MP3, M4A, WMA, 3GP, 3G2
    • Voice and audio recording
      • Audio recording file formats: AMR
      • Audio recording codecs: AMR-NB, AAC LC
      • Audio recording features: Mono with high dynamics
  • Video
    • Main video camera
      • Camera video resolution: 1080p (Full HD, 1920 x 1080)
      • Camera video frame rate: 30fps
      • Camera video zoom: 4x
      • Video playback frame rate: 30fps
      • Video playback codecs: VC-1, Windows video, H.264/AVC, H.263, MPEG-4
      • Video playback file formats: MP4, WMV, AVI, 3GP, 3G2, M4V, MOV
      • Video recording formats: MP4/H.264, MP4/MPEG-4
      • Video white balance modes: Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Automatic, Daylight
    • Main video camera features
      • Video streaming: YouTube browsing and video streaming, Progressive video download, Streaming from video services and internet
      • Video recording features: Video light, Video zoom, Optical image stabilization, Continuous autofocus
    • Secondary video camera
      • Secondary video camera resolution: 720p (HD, 1280 x 720)
      • Secondary camera video recording format: MP4/H.264
  • Environment
    • Environmental features
      • Materials: Free of PVC, Contains recycled metals, Free of nickel on the product surface, Free of BFR, rFR as in Nokia Substance List
      • Energy efficiency: Automatic screen brightness adjustment, Battery saver feature
      • Eco content and services: Available at Store, HERE Drive: route optimization, HERE Maps: pedestrian navigation
      • Recycling: 100% recoverable as materials and energy
      • User guide: Small printed guide, full on, In-device user guide
      • Packaging: Made of renewable materials, Containing up to 60% recycled materials, Minimized package, Packaging is 100 % recyclable, Virgin wood fibres up to 100% certified
  • Accessibility
    • Accessibility features
      • Hearing: Vibrating alerts, TTY support
  • What’s in the box
    • Box
      • Sales Package: Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Fast USB Charger AC-16, Nokia Charging and Data Cable CA-190CD, Nokia Headset WH-208, Quick guide, SIM Door Key
  • 1The availability of particular products, services and features may vary by region. Please check with your local Nokia dealer for further details. The specifications are subject to change without notice.

  • 2Volume thickness

  • 3Operation times may vary depending on radio access technology used, operator network configuration and usage.

  • 4Some services may be available only via downloading or dependent on the market. Only devices that offer compatible multimedia message or email features can receive and display multimedia messages. Content appearance may vary. Some images and ring tones can not be forwarded.

  • 5Downloading of maps over-the-air may involve transferring large amounts of data. Your service provider may charge for the data transmission.

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