Earlier this year, Microsoft ran a new competition offering the first 10 developers to publish 5 new Windows Phone apps a new Nokia Lumia 920 phone (and Lumia 820 and 620s for 4 or 3 apps respectively). Getting 5 new apps developed and published in a relatively short time wasn't easy, but I figured the only way to have a chance at picking up a new phone was to have a go.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that I'd just managed to scrape through picking up a shiny new Lumia 920 handset, after initially thinking I'd missed the top 10.
The new phone arrived last Thursday – just in time for me to spend a bit of time over the Easter long weekend to get to know it a bit better (and for the kids to test out it's game-playing functionality!)
The phone came in a 'Developer' box. I think this is the same kind that the BUILD conference attendees would have received.
There's a nice bit of developer-humour inside the box too.
Just in case there's any doubt, the handset has 'Developer device' and 'Not for Sale' printed under the glass just below the buttons. This means it's also not tied to a particular network provider, which is handy.
Here's a side-by-side of my Lumia 800 next to the Lumia 920. You can see how much larger the 920 is.
The screen is nice and large with bright vibrant colours. Reminds me of my old Omnia 7's AMOLED display a bit, though according to the specs is not only a larger screen, it also has a higher DPI.
The case finish is quite slick. In fact maybe a little too so. The 800 came with a rubber/plastic shell that not only helped protect the phone, but also made it a bit 'grippier'. I think I might investigate getting something similar for the 920.
The 920 is a true quad-band phone, supporting 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz 3G frequencies. My unbranded Lumia 800 doesn't support 850, though Narelle's 800 (being Vodafone-branded) does. As a bonus, the 920 also supports LTE which will be handy when Vodafone rolls that out soon.
Ben had mentioned he's experienced some reliability issues with his 920, and unfortunately I'm seeing similar problems already. I've seen my 920 spontaneously restart while I was using it once, and seen evidence of it restarting a couple of other times already. That's not so encouraging and gives me cause to question whether to completely retire the 800 and use the 920.
Google is being a bit annoying with Microsoft at the moment – turning off Exchange ActiveSync access to GMail & Calendars in a few months. Interesting to see if the trick of browsing to https://m.google.com/sync/settings/iconfig/welcome?source=mobileproducts&hl=en (with a UserAgent set to iPhone) still works. It is making me seriously consider moving my email over to Outlook.com instead.
Battery life seems ok, but I have noticed that a serious bout of gaming by the kids takes it toll. One comment from our resident gamer was disappointment that his saved games weren't
I do like the Kid's Corner feature – you can set up some games and apps that kids can play (and nothing else).
The Wallet is also a good idea. I've enabled a separate PIN to ensure no one accidentally buys new games or apps on my phone.