In this final installment of my Nokia Lumia 920 review I will cover the following topics:
- Nokia Specific Software
Nokia Specific Software
Nokia is all in when it comes to Windows Phone, and it is vital for the survival of Nokia to make Windows Phone and its Lumia range of phones a success story. One aspect of this strategy is not only to make beautiful and great handsets, but also to provide the little extra in the form of special applications, available only on Nokias Lumia phones.
The current range of Nokia spesific applications available today include;
- App Highlights
- Creative Studio
- Smart Shoot
- HERE City Lens
- HERE Drive+ Beta
- HERE Maps
- Nokia Music
- Nokia Trailers
- Transfer my data
On top of that extensive list, in the Nokia collection part of the app store Nokia provides the Lumia user with apps from other developers at special discounts or completely free. The offers you find will vary over time, but is a clear indication of the added value a Lumia phone has over other Windows Phone 8 handset makers devices. Among the current offerings you will find Word With Friends, YouSendIt, Angry Birds Roost, ESPN, AccuWeather.com, Groupon, Parking Mania and Jet Set Go.
But back to some of the different Nokia made applications
App Highlights is Nokias attempt at curating the Windows Phone Store. In it you have access to the following collections; nokia exlusives, shop till udrop, 10 new finds, apps of the week and starter kit in addition to the initial highlights, which includes new and impressive apps of the week.
Cinemagraph is a neat little application for making animated .gifs on your Nokia Phone. It is extremely easy to use. Just point your Lumia at your motive (NB! landscape mode only). Hold the camera steady and take a picture. Then you are prompted to select the area you want animated and voila! you are finished. If satisfied, save the file and you are done. At the moment you can share the resulting file via email, messaging or to a social media network, provided you have saved the file to your Nokia account.
Creative Studio is Nokias Image editing software. It offers most of what a regular user would want in such an editor on a mobile phone. After having selected your picture, you can set one amongst many filters on your picture, anything from Sepia tones, through no filter (original) to Amber and Opal. When you have decided on a filter you can edit your image further by adjusting color balance, brightness, clarity or vibrance, and/or crop and rotate, and fix red eyes. Everything works as expected. The app is fast and should offer most of what a regular user should need in an image editing app.
- The front page of Creative Studio shows your recent pictures
- Here is the albums view
- Camera roll
- After selecting the picture you can add a filter to it
- After having selected a filter, you can edit your pic - here are the adjust options
- Color balancing... 😉
- Decided on the wanted color balance
- The fix menu
- The Crop option - I decided not to
- For some reason it could not detect a red eye 😀
- Saving the picture
- The recent menu after saving my latest pic
Panorama is exactly what the name suggests, Nokias app for taking panorama pictures. Open up the app, take your first picture, pan slowly to the right, stop and hold when the circle is hightlighted, when finished with second shot move right again for the next one – and so on. The resulting images are quite stunning.
The one negative thing I have to point out, is that it sometimes is just to easy for the app to loose its position, so you have to go back (pan left) and let the app find its bearings again.
Photobeamer is a great new app that you really should try out if you are a Nokia Lumia owner. With this application you can see your phones pictures on any screen as long as that screen has access to a web-browser. On the screen, it being a computer or a smart-tv, or your iPad for that matter, browse to http://www.photobeamer.com . You will get a QR code on screen. Open the app on your phone. Choose which directory and what photo you want to show off. A QR-scanner comes up on your phones screen. Point at the other screen on which you want to show off your pictures, it reads the code and you are set. Just flip through your pics on the phone. The same ones will show up on your second screen. Easy and great! Highly recommended!
Smart shoot is Nokias solution for the tedious task of getting a picture of a group of people just right. In every picture you take of a group in the old fashioned way there is always that someone that blinks, looks away or is having a grimased look on his/hers face. When you take your group picture with Smart Shoot the app takes 5 frames for each picture automatically. It then prompts you to pick the version you think is best. After that you can choose to switch out for instance the face of one person with another, better one of the same in one of the four other pictures, thus ending up with a perfect result in the end.
The app lets you share your resulting picture directly to Skydrive, Facebook and Twitter.
Transfer my Data
Transfer my Data is Nokias quick and easy app for transferring contacts and text messages off of your old phone and onto your new Lumia device. Whether you are able to transfer text messages depends on your old phone though. From my iPhone 4 I was only able to transfer my contacts, no text message support there. The process is straight forward and self explanatory. It is all done via Bluetooth, so make sure your old device has i turned on.
In the screenshots below you can follow the procedure. According to Nokia they are working on updates to make it possible for you to also transfer pictures. For now – no such luck
HERE City Lens
HERE City Lens is Nokias augmented reality, which lets you explore your surroundings via the camera while taking a look around your current location. On your screen information about restaurants, hotels, museums and more will pop up helping you to find what you are looking for, as well as directions for getting there.
HERE Drive+ Beta
HERE Drive+ Beta is the raisin in the pudding. This is your free turn-by-turn navigation tool that gets you from A to B. It is on par with dedicated GPS devices, like a Tom Tom, the main difference being that this is free with your phone, and includes maps – from all over the world, free of charge. The maps can be downloaded to your device, not requiring you to fork up for extra data coverage while moving about. I have used this app in Norway, Lebanon, Sweden and Denmark and it is a joy to use as well as accurate. The only negative thing I have to say, is that it is using a lot of power, and my battery is actually loosing power although plugged into my cars power. I am not sure whether this is a problem affecting only my particular phone, or all Nokia Lumias, but you should be aware of the fact.
Subscore 10 out of 10
As with all other Windows Phone devices the Lumia 920 is performing well. Snappy and responsive to every task thrown at it. Having used the phone for close to a year, I am very satisfied with it and the operating system. I threw the WP Bench app at it and compared the results to what I got on the Lumia 900 – running WP 7.
In the CPU test the Lumia 920 scored 14,86 ^5 L/s as opposed to the Lumia 900s result of 5,18 ^5 L/s with a test time of 3938 ms for the Lumia 920 and 14833 ms for the 900.
The Data test was performed in 5891 ms on the Lumia 920 and in 25721 ms on the Lumia 900
The GPU test resulted in 982 frames with an average of 32 F/s for the Lumia 920, while the Lumia 900 actually was slightly better with 1210 frames with an average og 40 F/s
This only tells us that in general use the Lumia 920 is slightly faster than the Lumia 900, while not having quite as good gpu performance. One reason for the latter result may be the two different screen technologies involved, where the Lumia 920 has a LCD display, whereas the Lumia 900 has an OLED screen.
Basically they are both fast and responsive phones with more than enough computing power for your needs.
Subscore 9 out of 10
All in all the Nokia Lumia 920 is a great telephone which I have no problem recommending to anyone. It has a beautiful screen, a fast and responsive operating system which is on par with the other mobile operating systems out there, and a very good camera. The latter really shining when it comes to low-light photography.
Since I started writing this test I have updated my phones Operating system to the GDR 2 version, with Nokias Amber update included. This has brought more features to the phone as well as fixed some bugs present on the phones.
For me the one not so positive feature is the mediocre battery life of the phone. With normal use (for me at least) the phone does not make it through a complete day, but needs to be charged. And I am not talking excessive use – if I do that I will run out of battery early afternoon.
Highly recommended, even when considering the batterylife issue.
Total score 9 out of 10
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