Nokia’s Verizon Flagship Launches

0
108

I have been using a Windows Phone almost exclusively since October 2012. Other then the time I was at Disney World last December and switched back to my iPhone for the week I have been one – with my Windows Phone. Up until last week Verizon’s best Windows Phone was the Lumia 822. While the 822 is a very good phone – it is not a great phone. The form factor of the 822 is kind of boxy and has a plastic style which I was not a fan of. While OK, the camera of the 822 was also a little sluggish and poor in low light environments. Well enough about the 822 let’s move on to the 928.

Design

The rectangular chassis is made of glossy white polycarbonate. Nokia has also squared off some of  the curves, leaving the 928 with a slicker, more angular look then it’s older sister phone the Lumia 920, available exclusively on ATT. The rear panel is rounded, which helps to somewhat mitigate the slippery plastic. Surprisingly the Lumia 928 is only available in white and black. I say this because almost every other Nokia Lumia phone has an assortment of colors to choose from.

The 4.5-inch Corning Gorilla Glass 2 display and its glossy black bezel extends to the edges of the device very nicely. Branding for Nokia and Verizon sit atop the display with a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera. Capacitive buttons for Back, Home and Search are underneath the screen.

As with most Nokia Windows Phones, buttons for volume, power and camera are located on the right side of the device. A microUSB port, headphone jack and SIM card port line the top of the device. The 8.7-megapixel Carl Zeiss rear-facing camera is prominently positioned along the back of the 928 next to a large flash. A 4G LTE logo sits near the bottom of the panel above an oval-shaped speaker.

The 928’s 4.5-inch, 1280 x 768 AMOLED display delivers an abundance of vivid color coupled with superb contrast. Text remains sharp even when zoomed in.

Audio

I am very impressed with Nokia’s decision to place the 928’s speaker along the rear panel. As a result, there’s less of a risk of muffling the sound when holding the phone in landscape mode. The phone speaker fills a small room with rich, full audio better then any phone I have ever experienced.

Plugging in a pair of headphones lets you take advantage of the built-in equalizer, which lets you choose from custom audio profiles, such as Bass Boost or Vocal Boost. The Dolby Headphone setting boosts levels even more, making songs sound richer. My problem here is the music interface is much more complex then it needs to be and the software struggles with album art and often gets album/song and artist information wrong.

Windows 8 Interface

I really like the dynamic, customizable Live Tile interface of Windows Phone 8. There is always something happening on screen, which keeps things fresh. You can pin a variety of content on your Start screen, including people, apps, websites, photo albums, music albums, notes, directions and more.

Live Tiles can be resized using your choice of three options. Just long-press to make a tile smaller or as large as a rectangle that stretches across the screen. This gives users a lot of flexibility.

Camera

The Lumia 928 features an impressive 8.7-megapixel PureView camera with Carl Zeiss optics. The f/2.0 lens, combined with a new Xenon flash, promises superior low-light photography. I tested this is my darkened home office (below). As you can see, the photo is very bright.

The 928 also has a trio (yes 3) of high-audio-amplitude-capture (HAAC) microphones that will capture distortion-free audio even in noisy settings.

The 1.2MP front-facing camera shoots stills and video in 720p.

Apps

This is where many people will stop. Windows Phone 8 stills lacks the sheer number of apps available on both Apple and Android phones. That being said, the app store has grown a lot since October 2012 and many of the standard apps are available such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and FourSquare. Sure CNN, ESPN and Zite are there buy I really miss my TiVo, SiriusXM and LogMeIn apps.

On the plus side here most of the Windows Apps look much better then their Apple and Android counterparts. I am sure that the Windows Phone 8 app store will continue to grow. That being said, I really hope that by football season there is a Sunday Ticket app.

Performance

The Nokia Lumia 928’s 1.5-GHz dual-core CPU with 1GB of RAM was snappy when navigating menus and launching apps. The Calendar, CNN and ESPN apps took about a second to launch. The camera from time to time can be a little sluggish but in it’s defense I have found this to be true with almost every smartphone I have ever used, with the possible exception of the iPhone5.

The Nokia Lumia 928 comes with 32GB of storage. Unfortunately, the phone lacks a microSD slot for further storage expansion.

Battery Life

Normal use usually finds me needing a charge after about 8 hours which is comparable to most smartphones of it’s quality. Once nice advantage Nokia has here are wireless charging stations. With one of these you can charge your 928 by simply resting it on the charging station.

Conclusion

The Lumia 928 is a solid amd compelling Windows Phone option for Verizon shoppers who have been waiting to get their hands on Nokia’s PureView camera. While a little on the heavy side, the  design makes for a sleek, easy-to-manage device. The included camera apps and enhanced audio quality, as well as the brighter AMOLED display are major highlights. If you are getting tired of carrying around that same old iPhone and if you can live without some of the apps Verizon’s Lumia 928 may be the tight choice for you.