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printed November 28, 2014
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Review: Nokia Lumia 920 for AT&T

Form Performance Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  5  

Screen

The Lumia 920's display is the best yet from Nokia. It measures 4.5 inches across the diagonal and packs in 1280 x 768 pixels. Yup, that makes it an HD screen, baby! It also uses Nokia's ClearBlack technology, which is supposed to deepen the blacks and improve contrast. Images and text looked razor sharp to my eyes, and colors were bright and vibrant. There's no doubt in my mind that the 920's display is one of the "most viewable" when taken outdoors. I had no trouble using the 920 under a bright and sunny sky.

Signal

The 920 performed on par with other AT&T smartphones when it came time to talk to the network. On average, it showed the same number of bars that several other AT&T devices did during my tests. More importantly, it always worked when it came time to make calls and surf the web. I had no trouble connecting calls on the first dial, and the device never dropped any calls while I used it -- no matter what the signal meter read. Browsing the web was consistently good, even when the 920 showed only a single bar of coverage. The 920 worked as well on AT&T's LTE network as it did on AT&T's HSPA+ network.

Sound

I was not all that impressed by the phone calls I made with the Lumia 920. The clarity of call was fine. There was absolutely no background noise to speak of, but voices sounded dull and bland. There was no warmth at all. Further, the earpiece stops short of being loud enough. Set to the maximum volume, I was barely able to hear my father when I spoke to him from a noisy roller rink (yes, gettin' my 1980s on.) This is one of those phones where you need to leave the earpiece volume set up all the way no matter what. The speakerphone was similarly dull and muted. The sound was just too flat and too quiet for my tastes. The speakerphone will work fine in a quiet space, but anywhere there's any sort of noise, you'll have a hard time hearing. I didn't have any trouble hearing ringtones, but the vibrate alert is anemic. I missed several calls thanks to bad vibrations.

Battery

The 920's battery did a fine job during the time I tested it. I never found myself without at least some power left at the end of the day. The larger battery and better power management tools built into the 920's processor really helped it surpass the 900 in day-to-day battery life -- at least, while only under 3G coverage. Using the 920 in New York City with a constant LTE connection drained the battery in a hurry. As with most modern smartphones, you're going to need to charge it every night.

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