Nokia Lumia 920 Review

May 21, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |


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.

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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.

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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.

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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...