Review: Nokia Lumia 928 for Verizon Wireless
Nokia's new Lumia smartphone for Verizon Wireless is a variation on a theme. This Windows Phone is good, but not without some flaws.
Is It Your Type
Seeing a high-end Nokia smartphone run on Verizon's network is likely a welcome site to some. Fans of Nokia's hardware have had few handsets from which to select in Big Red's stores during the last 10 years. The Lumia 928 should serve to quench both your Nokia and Windows Phone thirst if you like to call Verizon's network your own.
Six months after the Lumia 920 hit AT&T's store shelves, the Lumia 928 - a variation of the 920 - lands in Verizon Wireless's stores. If you were pining for the 920, but need to stick with Verizon, now's your chance to grab the latest Lumia from Nokia. Of course, calling it the "latest Lumia" is a bit of a misnomer, because much of the innards are from last year's model.
The 928 has an entirely new outer shell, however, and it loses nearly all the appeal held by the 920. Where the 920 was rounded and smooth, the 928 is rectangular and blocky. It has sharp corners and flat side edges that I found uncomfortable. These cosmetic changes make the 928's size and bulk all the more obvious to the user, both when looking at the phone and when holding or using it.
The 928 has a bit of a vanilla look to it (and not just because we're reviewing the white model). The entire front is covered in black glass that runs edge-to-edge. The glass is tapered where it meets the sides, but the tapering is barely noticeable. The polycarbonate shell that forms the sides and back surface is stark and plain. It is broken up only by the camera module and flash on the back. The white model has a glossy finish that I did not care for. The entire surface of the 928 was prone to collecting finger oils, which often gave it a greasy sheen. Ick.
It’s a big device; there's no getting around that fact. It’s chunky and heavy (though not as heavy as the 920 was), and it’s wide. People with small hands may not be able to hold the 928 comfortably. It will fit in pockets, but it feels like you've crammed a block of wood down your pants because it’s such a large hunk of plastic. The quality of the materials is good, but just shy of great. I thought there was a bit too much creaking going on when I handled the phone. That said, the 928 is solid and strong thanks to the polycarbonate.
The 928's display is swimming a little bit in the big sea of black glass on the front. Nokia could easily have fit a 5-inch display where the 928's 4.5-inch screen is. There's plenty of bezel all the way around the screen. The three Windows Phone action keys are below the screen. Each of the three capacitive buttons worked well and provided haptic feedback when touched. The Nokia and Verizon logos are barely visible in the area near the user-facing camera and earpiece speaker.
All of the ports and side buttons are concentrated on the top and right edges of the 928. The top houses the 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, the SIM card tray, and the microUSB port. The SIM tray can be fetched with your fingernail; no paperclip required. The volume toggle, screen lock, and camera buttons are placed along the right side. All three have good profiles and are easy to find with your fingers. I didn't like the action on any of them, however. The screen lock and volume toggle, in particular, were far too mushy with no real "click" to them. The camera button was better, but discerning between its two stages was impossible unless you use the most delicate touch to press the key.
The 928 is sealed up tight, so you can't access the battery. Nor does the 928 offer access to a memory card. You'll have to rely on the built-in storage (about 23GB accessible to users.)
There's nothing really wrong with the 928, but I wish it were lighter and had the 920's more comfortable shape.
I agree with Eric