Nokia Lumia 925 Review: The best Windows Phone to date

Since the launch of the Nokia Lumia 920 in November 2012 the Finnish manufacturer has released no less than 4 other Windows Phone 8 devices encompassing the whole price range from the low end to the high end. The Nokia Lumia 620 and 520 have been best sellers thanks to great feature sets and most importantly low prices without a contract. Unfortunately people lusting for a high-end Windows Phone 8 device only had one choice; the Lumia 920.

Nokia’s first handset featuring Optical Image Stabilization is a great phone but its sheer size and weight can be and has been a turn off for many potential adopters. I’m the first to admit that this phone isn’t for everyone. Sure, it’s top notch but the Lumia 920 is heavier than a more powerful, feature rich and bigger Samsung Galaxy Note II. Want a handset with OIS? Well your only Windows Phone choice would be the Lumia 920 (or 928 on Verizon) or the HTC One on Android (with a frankly subpar implementation of it).

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HTC UltraPixels vs Nokia Pureview and more ramblings

Numerous leaks, rumors or simply outright totally made up story are now starting to fill up the tubes as we get closer to Mobile World Congress later this month.

Let’s start with HTC who’s been a relatively bad spot lately while bleeding money. Ok, they are not really in such a bad financial shape but their shipments / sales and margins have been down in the past 24months with no signs of uptake. To get things back in line HTC has decided to somewhat mimic Nokia’s strategy by increasing its focus on lower-end smartphones aimed at “emerging” markets like China and also differentiates it’s higher-end handsets with top-notch camera optics.

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Nokia Drive + now available to all Windows Phone 8 devices for US UK and Canada users

As I previously hinted at in my Nokia Lumia 920 software video tour (and by Nokia a few months ago); Nokia and Microsoft have just announced that Nokia Drive + Beta is now available for free for all windows Phone 8 devices from HTC, Samsung in addition to Nokia’s handset. This is really a big plus for the platform given that Nokia Drive is in my opinion the best navigation software on any platform thanks to it’s offline maps and its price it’s totally free!

Head over here to grab it and check out my handset on video on the Nokia Lumia 920 after the break:

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Living with Windows Phone 8 and the Nokia Lumia 920: the good and the ugly

It has been nearly two months since I’ve been using Windows Phone 8 with a Nokia Lumia 920 phone as my daily driver so I thought that now should be a good time to share my thoughts and experience about the platform and the hardware powering it. Is it good, is it bad, how does it compare to the competition? I’ll try to answer all of these questions and hopefully give you a good idea of Microsoft’s (and Nokia) uphill battle to get a nice share of the mobile industry. Follow me after the break.

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First Windows Phone 8 update 8.0.10211.204 OTA roll out is a go for Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 alongside PR1.1

Microsoft and Nokia have just started to roll out the first Windows Phone 8 OTA update (build 8.0.10211.204) to Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 devices in the US (AT&T) and Canada (Rogers). The OTA (Over The Air) update is currently only aimed at North American users as there’s unfortunately no date for other regions besides oOkia statement which says that the global roll out is set to February 2013 (this sounds insane and definitely wrong given that the full PR1.1 firmware has just appeared on Nokia’s Server for severs EU models and carriers). The 8.0.10211.204 OS update contains the following enhancements and fixes:

Messaging improvements. A great messaging experience is now even better. You can now add multiple recipients at the same time when you send a text message and automatically save unsent text messages as drafts. You can even edit received text messages before you forward them.

Text replies to incoming calls. Can’t take a call? Now you can send a prewritten text reply to a caller directly from the call answer screen. It’s a nice way to let people know that you’re not ignoring them.

Internet Explorer improvements. You can now change your settings to prevent pictures from downloading automatically—an easy way to help keep data usage low. You can also delete selected sites from your browsing history and leave the rest intact.

Wi-Fi connectivity. Got a favorite Wi-Fi network? Windows Phone 8 will now prioritize Wi-Fi connections based on your connection history.

Other improvements. Includes many other improvements to Windows Phone.

Nokia Lumia 920 users will also get the PR1.1 FW update alongside the OS update which will fix the camera softness issues and several other annoying bugs:


  • Enhancements in Messaging
  • More efficient and reliable Bluetooth connectivity
  • More efficient and reliable start-up sequence
  • Enhancements in imaging performance and battery management
  • Additional platform updates and enhancements


HTC users should be seeing this update really soon if they haven’t got it already.

Continue reading First Windows Phone 8 update 8.0.10211.204 OTA roll out is a go for Nokia Lumia 920 and 820 alongside PR1.1 →

Nokia Lumia 920 PR1.1 update to improve camera alongside first Windows Phone 8 OS update

One of the main advantage of choosing a Nokia handset over competing devices is peace of mind knowing that the company will rapidly try to fix and roll out updates to eradicate most of the issues reported on their devices (HTC is good at it too but not as reactive as NOK). The Nokia Lumia 920 isn’t immune to bugs and issue which means that Nokia’s software teams have been hard at work seen the commercial launch of the product a few weeks ago.

One of the most noticeable problem is the strangely configured camera processing software causing day-time shots to look like a layer of Vaseline has been applied to them. Given that this doesn’t affect videos or even shoots with the front facing camera it was safe to assume that Nokia would be able to correct this with a software update. The good news is that the Lumia’s first FW update unsurprisingly labeled PR1.1 (FW: 1232.5951.1249 ) will include, among several other fixes / improvements , a new image processing algorithm that should result in sharper photos as seen in the cropped image below which was supplied to Engadget by Nokia.

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Nokia Drive + Beta updated with new Battery saver mode

Nokia has just issued an update to Nokia Drive + Beta for its Windows Phone 8 device today to partially fix one of the most annoying issue plaguing the app: extreme battery drain when the app is running in the back ground because the software was constantly updating it’s position via GPS even when navigation was stopped. As you can see in the screenshot above this is now a thing of the past thanks to a new Battery Saving feature.

There’s also a new new back to my position feature which is really handy and a welcome UX change. Check out my hands on video with the previous version after the break:

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Nokia Lumia 920 hands on videos: Hardware and Software tour

Better late than never right? Here are my first videos of my Nokia Lumia 920 in action that I shot a week ago (sorry didn’t have much time to post them earlier). The first one is a simple hardware tour of the device followed by a software tour with a short performance comparison against the Nokia Lumia 800. Finally, the third video is a demo showing Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive and Nokia Transit / Transport integration in the Windows Phone 8. Hit the break to watch them:

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Nokia Lumia 920T for China Mobile and Nokia Lumia 620 Windows Phone 8 phones announced

Nokia has just announced two new Windows Phone 8 handsets today. The first one was expected to arrive sooner rather than later but the second one comes as a really surprise. The China Mobile bound Nokia Lumia 920T is the Chinese variant of the 920 but incorporates a TD-SCDMA radio and powered by the recently announced MSM8226 / MSM8626 which incorporate an Adreno 305 GPU.

The surprise Windows Phone 8 handsets is the Nokia Lumia 620 which is the company’s new low-end WP8 device feature a 3.8 inch WVGA LCD screen, a 1Ghz Dual Core Snapdragon S4 Plus SoC, 512MB of Ram, 8GB of storage extendable with the Micro-SD slot, 5Mpix camera, interchangeable back-cover with NFC all for the super low price of $249 / €199 (available in Q1 2013).

Nokia Lumia 620 Specifications:

  • Networks: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100
    GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900
  • Display: 3.8” TFT WVGA 800×480, ClearBlack
  • Memory: 512MB RAM (8GB internal memory, Micro SD support up to 64GB)
  • Camera: 5Mpix autofocus, LED flash; Video capture: HD 720p@30fps; VGA front camera
  • Size & weight: 115.4 x 61.1 x 11.02 mm; 127g (including battery)
  • Connectivity: NFC, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g/n 2.4Ghz + 5Ghz, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS/A-GPS, Glonass, micro-USB, 3.5mm audio connector (AHJ + WP Controls)
  • Processor: 1 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon (TM) S4
  • Battery Talk time: (GSM/WCDMA) Up to 14.6 h/ up to 9.9 h; Standby time: Up to 330 h

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4 times more Windows Phones being sold this year compared to last one

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer announced today during the annual Share Holder meeting that Windows Phone sales are 4 times more than at this time last year. Now, given that we don’t know exactly how many Windows Phones were being sold exactly one year ago this doesn’t really mean much for the time being. The only real number we have was that Nokia sold around 1 Million Lumia handsets in November and December (US not included because they were only available principally in EU) so don’t expect this year’s number to be extraordinary.

Microsoft finds cause of Windows Phone 8 rebooting issue. OTA fix to be pushed out next month

Many users have been reporting strange phone reboots with their new HTC or Nokia Windows Phone 8 handsets ever since they got them a few weeks ago. The good news is that Microsoft has apparently found the cause of the problem and is going to push an OTA (Over The Air) fix/update next month to all Windows Phone 8 devices. The cause of the problem has not been made public yet but from what I have seen reported on forums it may partially be Bluetooth related (this may be why I have never encountered it because I never have BT on on my devices). Anyway here’s the official word from Redmond:

“We’re continuing to investigate some reports of phones rebooting and have identified a cause with our partners,” Microsoft said in a statement on Tuesday. “We are working to get an over-the-air update out in December.”

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Nokia Lumia 920 FREE on contract with AT&T

Just a friendly heads up if you are in the market for a Nokia Lumia 920 in the US. Amazon is still taking orders for the Nokia Lumia 920 at exactly $0.01 with a 2y AT&T contract. (in Black cause all other colors are out of stock). The Lumia 920 is either selling like hot cakes or in extremely short supply given that it’s seems to be out of stocks nearly every where right now (same as the HTC 8X and Lumia 820 in the US). Just hit the Amazon link below to grab yours.

Nokia’s imaging Guru, Damian Dinning leaves the company (UPDATED)

This ones should definitely comes as a surprise to everybody who hasn’t seen Damian’s last mysterious tweet a few days ago. Word is that he is now effectively leaving the Finnish mobile giant on November 30th to pursue other responsibilities somewhere else. This obviously should be seen as a disappointment to all Nokia/Windows phone or even the company’ itself given Damian big role in the development of Nokia’s latest imaging technology found in the PureView 808 or the new Lumia 920.

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Nokia Lumia 920 mostly sold out everywhere

UPDATE: The remaining stock of Nokia Lumia 920 (only in Black) at Amazon is now being sold at 19.99 with an AT&T contract so hurry up and hit the Lumia 920 link below (all other WP8 devices are now out of stock)!

If you are in the market to buy a new Nokia Lumia 920 you better hurry up because the Finnish’s flagship device is mostly sold out everywhere and is on back-order (1 or 2 weeks delivery) even in Europe. Tomorrow’s black Friday rush won’t help the situation in the US but you probably will be able to order one at a fairly good price. It’s currently at 69.99 on AT&T via Amazon and the Lumia 820 is Free with a 2 year contract. Nokia has recently reported that the 920 has sold-out in Germany but it remains to be seen if this is because it’s hugely popular or because the stock was low to begin with. As far I know there’s still some stock in France and in the UK but your mileage may vary. The same inventory issues also apply to HTC’s Windows Phone 8X which is also on back-order right now.

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Nokia Lumia 920 first impressions

Better late than never, right? Well, I finally received a Yellow Nokia Lumia 920 on Monday and started using it as my main phone since then so I’ve had a bit more than 24 hours to handle the beast so far which is enough hands-on time to give you my first impressions about the device (but keep in mind that my device isn’t brand new).

As previously reported the Lumia 920 isn’t for the faint hearted; it’s thicker and heavier than the competition. Thankfully this doesn’t seem to be much of an issue for me as the 185g really don’t feel like a lot when pocketed all day. One handed usage is equivalent to most other 4.5″+ devices on the market so you will see yourself using it with both hands most of the time.

Build quality is great but unfortunately not perfect on my particular device. The whole polycarbonate body is apparently thinner than the previous Lumia 800 and 900 bodies and can creak when pressure is applied in certain areas. There’s also a relatively big air gap between the screen and the actual LCD panel (I can see light bleeding underneath the black bezel when I tilt my handset at extreme angles) this directly impacts the quality of the viewing angles as there’s a significant drop in brightness (but colors stay intact).

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Windows Phone 8 phones now available on all major carriers world wide: But are they selling?

For those of you who have been living under a rock or simply on vacation just like me here a small reminder: Windows Phone 8 has really launched and most of the major carriers in the world are selling WP8 handsets from HTC or Nokia. What I would like to know though is if any of you have seen TV ads, Street ads, magazine ads etc in your respective countries or if Microsoft is still failing to promote its mobile platform just like it has ever done?

Several TV ads are apparently currently being aired across the world since last week so did you actually see them (note that each region/country has its on version with its local celebrity)? Verizon has also started to sell the Nokia Lumia 822 and HTC Windows Phone 8X yesterday which is kind of a big news in the US. From what I have seen pricing and availability has been a bit spotty throughout the world especially on carriers which is really disappointing as this seems to always be the case with Windows Phone devices compared to the iPhone which is always available everywhere on the same day with enough stock or even flagship Android handsets like Samsung’s.

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Nokia Lumia 920 reviews, Windows Phone 8 and everything in-between

It’s been a year since I landed a full time job and stopped updating this site on a daily bases simply because I no longer have time to do so. Every once in a while I managed to sneak in a post when something really important pops-up (like the WP8 SDK leak here and here) but I must admit that the Windows Phone world wasn’t that exciting in the last year following the launch of Mango.

Fast-forward to this month and the launch of Windows 8, Surface and Windows Phone 8. Some may be wondering where is my Nokia Lumia 920, Windows Phone 8, Surface review etc.. Well, to put it simply: those things take time and I don’t have much of that lately. Others may not care but I sincerely want to do my best to give you a honest opinion about all those products especially after reading all the biased and link-bait drivel that is being posted on most major sites lately.

Let’s take for example the Nokia Lumia 920 review embargo that lifted today. Nothing’s more annoying than reading something passed as a review when it’s obviously nothing more that a piece written to generate quick hits. In case you didn’t know it; most reviewers didn’t have the Lumia 920 for more than 48h, which is a relatively short amount of time to form a final judgment on a product, some only got to handle it at the Microsoft Build conference in Seattle (see for example The Verge’s review where the camera samples where shot in the UK and the “review” mostly done in the US with a pre-production device using pre-production FW). Here, Nokia France only had three 920′s to hand out for reviews which is not a whole lot as you can image. But what’s even more laughable are some of the cons listed against the 920:

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Nokia Lumia 920 hands on video

The Nokia Lumia 920 heavy. Now that we got this out of the way let’s focus on what makes this phone great: worldwide LTE support, inductive wireless charging, gorgeous PureMotionHD+ 1280×768 screen and exceptional camera with OIS. Did I mention the perfect build quality? Well there you have it. Sounds like the perfect phone right? Unfortunately nothing is perfect and the Lumia 920 really is a heavy handset especially when you have handled the Samsung ATIV S and the Windows Phone 8X by HTC just a few minutes later. This is not to say that I won’t be getting one but I definitely understand people complaining about the 920′s bulkiness. I for example wouldn’t recommend it to my wife but then again she really love Nokia Drive so..decision will have to be made between Nokia’s flagship and HTC’s surprisingly nice Windows Phone 8X.

Anyway, check out my short hands-on video after the break:

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Nokia Lumia 920 coming exclusively to AT&T in November alongside Lumia 820. Cyan color confirmed

AT&T has officially announced what was far from being a mystery today: The Nokia Lumia 920 will launch exclusively on the AT&T’s network this November alongside the Nokia Lumia 820 (which will also be available on other US carriers). This is definitely not a shocker but the good surprise is that a Cyan color version of the Lumia 920 does indeed exist as seen in the picture above, and will available alongside the previously announced red, yellow, gray, white and black versions. Unfortunately no price was announce at all. Check out the full press release and video after the break:

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