First Look: Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone Makes Sense

The Nokia Lumia 920 is slick, easy on the eyes, fast and puts Office 365 on your phone

Nokia 920 home screen

4.5 / 5 stars      

The killer feature for the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 is Office 365.

The speed boost with the Lumia 920 versus the iPhone 4 is phenomenal.

I made the switch to Windows Phone this week from an iPhone 4 to a Nokia Lumia 920.

This is my second Windows Phone smartphone. I reviewed the Samsung ATIV S in December.

Of course, the larger 4.5 inch screen is easier on the eyes. Isn’t every smart phone larger than iPhone these days? Apple is so passé. 

The Lumia 920 one of the largest smartphones available. It may not be comfortable for users with small hands and pockets. I like it fine.

My trusty iPhone 4 has been getting slower and slower since the iOS 6 upgrade cycle last fall. Some days I wait 30 seconds or more to enter simple text messages or search a contact.

Any review of the Nokia Lumia 920 is partly about Windows Phone 8. The Lumia 920 is super fast, with most tasks performed instantly. The Windows Phone 8 interface is slick and the tiles make getting around easy.

You can pick a color scheme that paints the live tile backgrounds different colors. There are three live tile sizes to choose. These customization features keep the screen from becoming a blur of monotonous tiles, which is a problem on Windows 8 desktop.

Adding my iTunes music and videos was an automatic sync. That is amazing considering that sync has not worked on the iPhone since December. My iPhone music library has about 30% of my purchased music and the rest will not sync. I’ve spent three Sundays since Christmas trying to fix iTunes until I gave up.

As usual with Windows 8 desktop and modern, the Windows Phone 8 App for desktop is the functional one. The modern app is cotton candy and virtual useless.

In some ways such as social media sharing – Facebook, Twitter, are LinkedIn – is easier and slicker on the Windows Phone. First it works. Second you can post on three or more social media accounts at once, or select which sites will get the update. This is easier than Windows 8 Charm Share.

On the other hand it took 15 minutes to decide where Windows Phone stored the screen shots for this story.  All I could do was send them to SkyDrive and start looking.

Windows Phone 8 app listing – the alphabetic listing is automatic and dynamic

Admittedly I have a lot to learn but the unfinished feel of Windows Phone 8 is unmistakable. Some functions are simple and others have unnecessary complexity.

Like most people, I hate tutorials but did refer to Getting started with Windows Phone 8, which I rate better than Apple iPhone and Android learning sites.

Everything about the phone says wow until you walk into one of those potholes in the road.

Rumors have Microsoft merging Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 into a single product this summer called Windows Blue or 8.1. I find things get better with Windows 8 if you have patience. It’s the early adopter blues.

I would guess that Microsoft will clean up the problems within a year or two and none of them are show stoppers. They are more like head scratchers.

Office 365 integration – the killer feature

Office 365 documents are synchronized on Windows Phone 8 devices

The real bonus in Windows Phone is Office 365 and instant access to sync’d email, word and excel documents without lifting a finger.

All I had to do was install Office 365 and it sync’d my email and desktop documents.

Lync has some issue connecting but when it works will be awesome for Lync addicts. Lync is Microsoft’s Office integrated messaging, video conference and whiteboard application.

For anyone who has made the jump to cloud based Office 365 or Office 2013, Windows Phones are a no-brainer.

In fact, Office 365 integration is the killer feature that will make the Windows phone indispensable to Office users.

Assuming a Windows Phone can make phone calls, take pictures, play music and all the other standard features of a modern smartphone, Office 365 on the phone puts the Windows Phone ahead of all competitors on Apple, Android or Blackberry platforms.

In typical Microsoft fashion, a few features are not fully developed.

For example, integration with SkyDrive is where the desktop was last year. For example, if you password protect  a file, it cannot be opened on the Windows Phone. Last year that limitation existed when SkyDrive, Microsoft’s cloud file storage, first shipped. Microsoft fixed SkyDrive/Office on the desktop so I assume they will fix the phone as well.

Windows Phone 8 app tiles – 3 sizes different colors make it easy to find the app you want

The glitches are not show stoppers but they do irritate users.

That’s pretty well the Windows 8 experience – great new interface but lots of features and functions that are unfinished. They can drive you batty on a day-to-day basis or just do the shrug.

Companies and users are not going to upgrade when the operating system has a release 1 status. Of course, corporate users have adopted a wait-two-years strategy on all Microsoft operating system upgrades. It’s just not safe to be an early adopter.

All in all, I am enjoying the Nokia Lumia 920 and will probably transfer my main phone number from the iPhone within a month.

My wife is a long-time Crackberry user. She is an expert / consultant on Blackberry Exchange Server, Windows Server and Office 365. We’ll see if Office 365 can convince her to switch platforms.

I will update this review over the next few weeks. At this point, I rate the Lumia 920 a 4.5 and Windows Phone 8 a 4.

1 Comment

  1. Facebook on my windows phone sucks so bad! I really wish facebook would develop the new newsfeed Facebook across desktop ios, androcomment_ID and windows phone 8. instagram is the only thing really miss other then that I am a big fan of wp8 I still love my iPhone as well

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