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A Smartphone With Some Heft - First Impressions Of Nokia 920

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A review by Emma Hart for Scoop Techlab

My first smart-phone was a birthday present from my partner a couple of years ago. I hadn't really seen the point up until then. I could text on my old phone: what more could I need?

Five days after my birthday, the February earthquake hit. As soon as I could stand up, I made for my iPhone. With texts ghosting and failing to get through, being able to check in with social media, particularly Twitter, was a life-line. Or at least it was for the three hours the 3GS's battery held out for.

We may still be living in a very post-quake world, but for my partner and I it's time to move on – at least as far as phones are concerned. We've had a few of the new players through the house in the last couple of weeks, and I wasn't going to turn down the chance to play with the Nokia Lumia 920.

I knew a couple of things about it by reputation before it arrived. One, it was big and heavy. Two, it ran Windows. My partner actually pointed at me and laughed. "Ha, it'll have Internet Explorer on it!" Also, I'm kind of inherently conservative. I tend to be resistant to change in my little, whimsically iron-clad routines.

I have to say, though, that the Nokia surprised us both by just being so easy. Nothing in the initial set-up – which is always the most faffing about you'll ever do with your phone – was counter-intuitive. Bluetooth made getting my contacts from my iPhone to the Nokia a complete breeze. Setting up my email and porting my number to Telecom were only marginally more painful, and I did that tired and a little bit hung-over. The phone was almost too eager to help me get my social media apps set up.

The hand-feel of the Nokia is pretty good: it's a good combination of grip and slip that makes it feel secure to hold. I say this as someone who has dropped their iPhone with hilarious regularity, three times to disastrous effect. Though to be fair, it was nobody's fault but mine the time I dropped it in the sink. I shouldn't have been texting while I was shaving my legs.

The size and weight itself isn't a problem. You get used to it pretty quickly, but I also quite like feeling like I'm holding something solid. We'd had a go with the Galaxy S3, and it was just too insubstantial. Even my delicate little lady-hands have no trouble reaching all the way across the Nokia. You're not going to lose it when you put it down on the table at a bar, but on the other hand, you might not be slipping this phone into a pocket when you go to the loo. And you certainly won't be tucking it into your bra, which the main phone-carrying technique of a lot of women I know.

But after a few days of carrying this beast around, I do actually have a couple of minor issues. The weight isn't a problem. The weight being distributed towards the top of the phone is. It feels unbalanced, though I may get used to it. A bigger problem is that the phone doesn't seem designed for left-handers. There are three buttons down the right side of the phone: the volume, the power, and the camera. The natural resting place for my thumb while holding the phone is right on top of the power button. I've taken to holding it lying across my palm with my thumb sticking out the side like a posh chick's tea-drinking pinkie.

By Day Two, the phone was set up to bring me cricket scores and tell me the time and weather conditions in Colombo and Adelaide. To test the depth of the app store, I tried to find a replacement for the app my iPhone had been using to teach me Arabic. No problem. Most of the games are geared toward the connectivity with the Xbox, but I've still managed to easily find a couple of little 'waiting for the bus' word games. Availability of apps is another thing that'll need to be tested over time, as I gradually remember all the things I need my phone to do so I don't have to think.

So far, the Nokia 920 and I are managing a pleasant détente. The battery life is fantastic, even with GPS turned on. The clarity of the screen and the crispness of text is a boon to my more than slightly dodgy eyesight, and the phone comes with accessibility options that are easy to find and change. I haven't dropped it yet. I haven't even sworn at it for three days. These totals will be updated as we proceed.

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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