Reviewed by froesei (Currently owns)
My previous phone was the L900, so the solid and sturdy design of the device was very familiar to me. Many have complained about its size and weight, but for me it hasn't been an issue. Yes, coming from a 900 meant I was already used to carrying a heftier phone, but prior to the 900 I owned the G-Nex, and the HTC OneX. Moving from those devices to the 900 DID take some getting used to, but quite quickly you don’t even notice, and the great design and overall exceptional build quality is what eventually stands out high above any concerns over weight. Others may feel differently, but I’d rather have a phone that doesn’t creak and flex, than one that’s light as a feather. Overall, I think the hardware is great.
Obviously, the screen is a step up from the 900, and WP7.5 in general. The increased resolution goes a long way towards making Windows Phone feel like it’s a high end OS, and phone.
The camera is very impressive, as has been reported. If only Nokia could go back in time and NOT fake that initial video they shot, because they really didn’t need to. No, video doesn’t come out looking like it was shot on a DSLR but it is miles ahead of any video I’ve seen on any other phone. The OIS really does make a difference, and auto focus and overall quality is excellent. Low light performance is just as good as has been shown in samples on the web. What you see on the device after you take the photo literally lights up the dark space you were previously looking at with your own eyes. For anyone who really uses the camera on their phone a lot, this will be a big differentiator.
No performance issues whatsoever. Native apps are fast and responsive, and feel solid. What’s most impressive so far, is the improvement in WP7.5 apps that haven’t even been optimized yet (as far as I can tell), for WP8. Rowi, for example, no longer stutters when doing long fast scrolling, and you don’t get any more of that annoying “ghosting”, or “gaps” in text as the phone tries to keep up. Resume time in apps is also much improved, probably due to some tweaks in the multi-tasking.
No trouble getting through the day.
This is a pretty serious upgrade over WP7.5, and the Lumia 900. The hardware is typical Nokia quality, and the OS keeps up to it quite nicely. WP8 feels much more like a real, “adult” OS now, and not the barely hanging on, kept together with tape OS that 7.5, and to a greater extent, 7.0 sometimes felt like. Obviously it’s not perfect, but WP8 is more than just an incremental update. You can feel the value of the bumped up hardware specs, and presumably the more robust NT kernel that’s been implemented.
- Design 9
- Display 9
- Camera(s) 9
- Reception / call quality 8
- Performance 9
- Software 9
- Battery life 8
- Ecosystem 7