We had the opportunity to go hands-on with the Nokia Lumia 920 before the device was officially unveiled in Australia last week. What did we think? We've always been fond of the build quality of Nokia handsets and the Lumia 920 is certainly no different. Construction feels exceptional. We love how the device curves into your hands when it's picked up. You can immediately tell that a lot of thought has gone into the ergonomics. Despite being a pre-production model, there were no creaks, no rattles and no signs at all of poor craftsmanship.
We also love the look of the Lumia 920. Unlike most other smartphones on the market, the design is fresh and inviting. The bright colours on offer may not suit all tastes, but we quickly grew fond of both the red and yellow models we used in the demonstration. For those who prefer more traditional colours, the Lumia 920 is available in black and white models, too. We did note that the black model has a matte finish whereas the brighter red, yellow and white models are a much glossier surface.
There are some small but appreciated design touches, too. The company told us users of previous Lumia devices like the Lumia 900 and Lumia 800 complained that the power, volume and home buttons scratched too easily. On the Lumia 920, these buttons are now made from ceramic, which Nokia says will prevent these scratches. It's only a small touch, but one we suspect will be appreciated by plenty of users.
With all that being said, the Lumia 920 is thicker (10.7mm) and heavier (182g) than most other smartphones on the market. While we can appreciate the amount of tech that's packed into that shell, particularly the camera and its floating lens optical image stabilisation system, f2.0 aperture and backside illuminated sensor, users who long for a thin and light phone are likely to be left disappointed. The weight and girth of the Lumia 920 is immediately noticeable, even coming from a large device like the Samsung Galaxy S III. The screen of the Lumia 920 immediately looks very impressive. It's a 4.5in panel with a resolution of 1280x760, packing a pixel density of 332ppi. Colours are vibrant and eye catching and viewing angles are excellent. We loaded up a few text-heavy pages in the Internet Explorer browser and found text to be super crisp and clear, with no visible aberrations. It's almost impossible to distinguish individual pixels. We suspect the only way you'd be able to do so is with a magnifying glass.
We weren't able to test the Lumia 920 in direct sunlight outdoors, but we'll be keen to see how it holds up when we get our hands on a review unit for a longer play. At full brightness in an office room, the Lumia 920's display was exceptionally bright.
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