The Lumia is a much-needed addition to Nokia's affordable handset range. It has a serviceable camera, fun design and good battery life, but most importantly, it's one of the best-value LTE devices out there. It also has a good camera and exceptional battery life, but is missing a few basic features like a front-facing camera. With several good alternatives in the same price range, you can take it or leave it. You'd be forgiven for confusing the Lumia with the iPhone 5c.
They're similar in size and shape, although it might seem a crooked comparison considering Nokia's been doing colorful plastic for much longer than Apple. Up close, the is more like a mash-up of the and that came before it. Slightly larger than both, it combines the rounded corners of the with the more sharply tapered back panel of the It's blockier than both, however, with the flat edges meeting a flat back. Nokia really hit a sweet spot with the size and weight here: Those are agreeable numbers for anyone, and with sides that angle inward from the display, it rests nicely in the hand.
None of the sharp edges dig in where they shouldn't. The build quality might not look like much given the majority of the handset is covered in plastic, with a sheet of glass covering the face as the only other material. It creaks under pressure, but given its weight and the thickness of polycarbonate that fits snugly to its back, it doesn't feel like a toy even if it looks a little like one.
The device itself is pretty plain apart from the colorful mass of plastic, though for the moment, you only have the choice of green, orange or black. You'll eventually be able to buy additional shells, and when the Lumia launches, the dual-color covers we first saw on the will be making an appearance.
Since the is identical in design, you'll be able to commandeer those for the , too. The back of the device is home to a small Nokia logo, rear camera lens up top and tiny loudspeaker grille in the bottom right-hand corner. There's no dedicated camera shutter key on this device; Microsoft removed that requirement in 8. Another major difference from other Windows Phones can be found on the face of the device. Indeed, it looks plain, with the earpiece and Nokia logo up top, display in the center and a small hole for the mic on the bottom edge. The effect is a design that's slightly unique and a little less cluttered.
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Like other budget Lumias, the doesn't have a whole lot of pixels to play with. Its 4. I've never cared too much about pixel density on affordable handsets if your'e curious, the works out to ppi. The Lumia pushed even my tolerance boundaries, but even then, I'm more interested in the quality of the panel than the quantity of pixels. Alas, the has little to offer in either respect. Nokia incorporated its ClearBlack technology into the LCD display; not that the term really means anything here. In fact, the display has a lovely color temperature, with excellent whites, but it's let down by the black range.
They're almost fake, like smothering a lamp with black fabric and calling it darkness. Along the same lines but not as noticeable , the display on my device is unevenly lit along the top edge, with alternating patches of light and dark as if a row of tiny spotlights was hidden under the bezel. While the quality of the panel was the same, the installation was significantly better, all but nullifying the gripe I had with uneven lighting on the top edge of the display.
Despite its failings, the display is guarded well by a sheet of Corning's Gorilla Glass 3.
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Unfortunately, Nokia seemed unable to afford the final coat, as it's very sticky and a serves as a magnet for all the oil and grime you wouldn't believe came from your fingertips. Aside from the Xperia SP , it's the worst I've seen on this front. Whatever's not quite right with the glass, it has additional side effects, including hampering sunlight readability. Assuming you can actually see through the layer of skin on top of the glass, there's a nice helping of glare that'll have you squinting at the display on a bright day.
Its reflectiveness significantly reduces viewing angles, too. Luckily, the panel can kick out a lot of light, meaning the isn't completely useless when the sun's about. Strangely, there's no auto-brightness setting, so it's good that Windows Phone 8. Despite these issues, the display still works. That said, the is definitely not for videophiles. The Lumia came out well over a year ago, so the fact that the has a worse panel is disappointing.
Nokia Lumia 930
The issues I had with the glass were mostly resolved on the second handset. The Lumia , and are the official Windows Phone 8. Several of the most important changes in the latest version have little to do with the immediate user experience think: In the same vein, Microsoft's also relaxed its handset design requirements. Capacitive navigation keys and a dedicated camera button are no longer mandatory, for example, and indeed, the has neither. There are plenty of pre-installed apps on the Lumia , but PayPal, Skype and Line are the only ones you'd call bloatware.
In addition to these, you'll find a slew of apps that aggregate news, track stocks, check the weather, recommend places to eat and drink, keep you up to date on the world of sports and so on. Luckily, all nonessential apps can be uninstalled if you want to trim the fat. In the latest OS release, you can now set a background image for this home screen, which is essentially invisible. Tiles for many of the stock apps, however, act as a transparent window, which is a nice visual touch that also allows for deeper personalization.
Additionally, you can add another column of Live Tiles to the home screen by shrinking their footprint, but I found that bigger was better on the 's 4. The keyboard now supports swipe-based typing, and apps can be installed to SD cards for the first time -- an important change for handsets without much internal storage. The big changes in Windows Phone 8. Through the Action Center, as it's called, you view notifications and access them within their respective apps, as you'd expect.
There are also four slots to customize with quick access to settings WiFi, etc. It's certainly a welcome addition to Windows Phone, but it still feels like a poor imitation of the same feature on Android. Cortana isn't supposed to be available in the UK until later this year, but you can access it by changing your region and language settings to trick the phone into thinking it's American.
Once Cortana was up and running, I spent a few minutes asking it silly questions and a few more testing the limits of its contextual responses.
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Since then, I've been using it just as much as I do any other voice-controlled assistant: Overall, I'm underwhelmed by Windows Phone 8. If anything, the new version highlights how behind other mobile platforms it still is. Some really simple things still don't work the way they should. The screen-timeout setting, for example, will ignore most apps, leading to frustrating situations where the phone locks up and kills the current process because you weren't paying attention for 30 seconds.
Also, the automatic time setting is as broken as it's ever been, so you'll have to set it manually and again every time you run out of battery. Seeing as email syncing is linked with the internal clock, you'll stop receiving new messages if the time is set incorrectly. Even when it comes to the bigger new features, Cortana and a notification center do not a good OS make.
There's not much to say about the front-facing camera on the Lumia because, as with the , there isn't one. The only camera is a modest five megapixels with no companion flash. Thankfully, Nokia knows a thing or two about imaging, and the 's camera is one of its redeeming features. You have two options when it comes to stock camera apps, and not much separates them. Microsoft's offering loads up instantly, with normal camera, video and a low-resolution burst-capture mode to choose from. You can also select different Lenses straight from the viewfinder, but all the finer settings like white balance and exposure compensation are buried in the full menu.
In contrast, these settings are accessible from the viewfinder in Nokia's camera app, albeit using a small, fiddly toolbar. Lenses, on the other hand, are found in the deeper menu, and Nokia's app takes a few seconds to boot up, so not the best choice for opportunistic shots. The burst-capture mode of Microsoft's app is replaced by "Smart Sequence," which is more or less the same thing, but with the option to select your favorite shots after the fact.
On full auto, the 5MP camera does its best work in sunny conditions. No surprise there. Color temperature is spot-on and the focal range is broad. I've also nothing to complain about when it comes to focus and shutter speeds, although manually tapping to focus on different areas of the viewfinder was sometimes required to get the correct exposure. As lighting conditions worsened, I was impressed by how the camera held up. I did notice that pictures tended to adopt the hue of artificial lighting, so the auto-white balance setting isn't as good as it could be. I'd say better an image look the same as it does through the human eye, however, than one that's been crudely adjusted.
Low-light performance is better than I expected, too, with snaps coming out considerably lighter than you'd think they would.
Video performance at p is much the same, although audio quality isn't a highlight. The camera is my favorite thing about the Lumia , mainly because it's above acceptable considering the price point. I'm only talking about the normal camera modes, as well, so there's even more fun to be had with Nokia's extra Lenses, such as Cinemagraph, Blink and Refocus. Like earlier, lower-end Lumias, the 's spec sheet is no trump card, but at least it's working with the current generation of Qualcomm chips. That would be a 1.
Finding enough space for all your apps and media is no trouble, as the handset's microSD slot supports cards of up to GB -- and remember that WP 8. I find myself questioning its place inside the Lumia , though. One of the pros of Windows Phone as a platform is that it's not resource hungry, which has meant Nokia could produce phones like the Lumia and at such compelling price points without sacrificing much in the way of user experience.
The Lumia , as you'd imagine, feels just as slick as either of those handsets do. Popping in and out of menus or core apps happens as fast as you'd ever need it to, but it's the lack of improvement in performance that stands out. The difference in app-loading speeds on the , compared with older Lumias, is negligible. Only when you put them side by side to test the disparity will you notice the is a millisecond quicker. Asphalt 8: Airborne is one of the most graphically intensive mobile games on any platform, but the problem is that it's scaled to be friendly to all Windows Phone hardware.
On Android handsets with a quad-core Snapdragon , you can see how capable the chipset is by pumping up the graphics settings to max. You can't change such settings on the Windows Phone version, but even at a low visual standard, I experienced dropped frames and jittery music. I can't remember the last time I noticed a phone's temperature rising, other than when using the Anything you would consider hardware-intensive, from gaming to streaming video, quickly drove the thermostat up to alarming levels. Nokia Lumia [ 17 ]. Nokia Lumia [ 19 ]. Nokia Lumia [ 20 ]. Nokia Lumia [ 21 ].
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