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Emma Hart Goes On Holiday With Her Windows Phone Nokia 920

 A review by Emma Hart for Scoop Techlab

Like a lot of Christchurch, my family and I spend occasional weekends in Hanmer. The last time we went up, the whole weekend was one of those delicious farces where you wander about ostensibly appreciating the scenery, but actually trying to find out which dells and rises contain Magic Cellphone Coverage. None of these wondrous spots were in our hotel bedroom. (Pro-tip: try the bench by the duckpond.)

This time we went up with friends. We're open-minded people: our friend group contains a wide variety of mobile carriers and all varieties of Phone that start with i. The car trip was lightly seasoned with, "I have two bars." "I have a bar! Oh, no, wait, it's gone. Culverden. There'll be 3G in Culverden, right?"

There would have been more of this, but we were trying to listen to the nice Nokia Drive Lady. I'd said it wouldn't be fair to try to use Nokia's navigation program in Christchurch. We can barely keep up with the shifting detours and road closures ourselves. Trying to use GPS navigation in our post-quake city is asking to be left smacked up against a chain-link fence crying.

This trip did seem like the perfect chance to give it a crack, though. (My only other attempt, our annual trip to Timaru, basically involved the instruction, "Follow the course of the road. For. 156 kilometres.") It didn't catch the detour on Papanui Rd, and I was probably imagining the cool English voice becoming increasingly tetchy as we didn't do what we were told.

Over all, Nokia Drive performed very well. It only lost us a couple of times, and recalibrated quickly. Something to note, however: on default settings, Drive makes a charming gentle chiming sound every time you exceed the speed limit by 5km/h. After about an hour, my partner was threatening to pitch the phone out the window. This was easily remedied by either turning the sound off or increasing the tolerance, but only after it stopped being funny.

Because of the constant use of location data, Nokia Drive does eat up the battery life, and this was also the only time I've found the Nokia becoming worryingly warm. I was holding it in front of the air conditioning vents from time to time so it was comfortable to touch – though it was also a very warm day.

I'd really been hoping to get some useful content out of our stay in Hanmer. Not the sort of content you get from drinking and playing filthy card games with friends, but the kind of content that fills out columns. No such luck. The phone just worked. There was ample and adequate Telecom coverage everywhere in the village. Dull, but true. No coverage is exasperating. Good coverage is something you just take for granted. And contrary to my last column, I did bother taking the inductive charger with me for an overnight trip. My attachment to that accessory is becoming worrying.

Way back in 2005, Microsoft started using as its slogan, "It just works," and boy did we take the piss. I can't think of a better way, though, to sum up my experience of this phone. I've tried, because every time someone new sees it, they ask me how I've found it. ("Found it? I've never lost it. Have you seen how big it is?")

The Nokia Lumia is solid, functional and responsive. My only problem with it as an object is, as I mentioned in my first column, the positioning of the buttons on the right-hand side, which make it uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time. The Windows 8 experience has been completely painless. Telecom's coverage is comprehensive. There's nothing wrong with any of it. It just works.

Content Note: This post has been enabled by Telecom NZ , but the thoughts are the blogger's own. Find out more about the Nokia Lumia 920 here you can find our more about Windows 8 on the Telecom Network here. Scoop TechLab is a project of Scoop Independent Media www.scoop.co.nz. It is edited by Scoop Editor Alastair Thompson.


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