The Good Nokia’s Lumia 928 introduces a slimmer body and straight, grippable sides. Low light camera performance is top-notch.
The Bad Typically, Verizon’s blazing speeds came across the Lumia 928, and the call quality sounded harder than the standard Nokia standard. Those looking for Nokia shades will not find it here.
The Bottom Line Windows Phone fans on Verizon should buy the Nokia Lumia 928 for $ 100 for its powerful feature set, but watch for slower-than-usual data rates.
For anyone who thinks Nokia’s Lumia phones are too heavy and thick, the antidote begins: the noticeably slimmer Verizon Nokia Lumia 928, which sells for $ 99.99 at even wallet support.
Flat sides and a slimmer profile give the 928 a cleaner, sharper look than its chunkier Lumia 920 counterpart for AT&T, though it lacks the even slimmer silhouette and metal allure of T-Mobile’s new T-Mobile’s new Lumia 925 .
Under the hood, the 928’s specs mostly match up to its AT&T and T-Mobile cousins. The 4G LTE devices feature the same Windows Phone 8 operating system, 4.5-inch 720p HD screen, fast 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, and 8.7-megapixel camera with image stabilization and PureView image processing. One notable difference is the 928’s xenon flash in addition to the LED, which Nokia claims will boost image performance.
A top-end Verizon device that sells for under $ 200, or even $ 150, is a rare find. With a starting price of $ 99 and a slimmer-than-usual Lumia frame, the 928 creates Nokia to boost power among those looking for a powerful, affordable Verizon smartphone. Those who have the budget will find even more wallet-friendly Windows phones.
Verizon’s sharper, slimmer Nokia Lumia 928 (pictures)
Design and build
The second you see the Lumia 928, you know two things: first, that it’s absolutely a Nokia Lumia 900-series device, and also, that it’s much slimmer and sharper than AT&T’s cheerfully rounded Lumia 920. At 5.2 inches tall, 2.7 inches wide, and 0.44-inch thick, the 928 is no scrawny stallion, but it’s also 0.2 inch thinner than the 920, and notably lighter — a still-solid 5.7 ounces, compared with the 920’s 6.5-ounce heft.
With flat beams, 90-degree angles and a smooth, slightly bent back, the white 928 Nokia still feels good in the palm of your hand, giving your fingers a firm, squeezing edge. It is good to see that Nokia’s deep black glossy 4.5-inch display returns with its slightly indented surface. In this design, the black panel corresponds to the spikes of the phone; this makes it look stunning compared to previous Lumia designs that frame the display in the cabinet.
Speaking of this screen, it is interesting that Nokia switched from LCD to 920 back to AMOLED for 928. The 4.5-inch provides rich, saturated color with a resolution of 768×1,280-pixels (and 334ppi pixel density). A common problem on many AMOLED screens is that the greens tend to look a bit candy on the display. Fortunately, Nokia’s still-cool ClearBlack filter reduces glare, making the phone more legible than others outdoors. An oversensitive display allows you to control your phone while wearing gloves.
Above the display you’ll find a 1.2 megapixel front camera. Below are the usual touch controls for going back, going home, and starting your search, except for invoking secondary actions to switch tasks and set voice commands on the move. Nokia has left the bottom and left sides bare, but you will find a Micro-SIM card slot and a Micro-USB charging port on the top surface of this otherwise completely sealed device.
As always, a volume knob, a power / lock button, and a camera shutter button rise from the right spine. Slide your finger on the physical button of the camera (or look very intentionally) and feel (or see!) That it sticks out a little farther than the other two keys for easier push of a button.
Nokia introduced the Verizon slightly different in its otherwise similar camera components: a xenon flash in addition to a much smaller LED bulb. On the back of the 928, you’ll find a long, brightly-colored light carrier along with an 8.7-megapixel camera that also drapes 920 descriptors: image stabilization, Carl Zeiss optics, and PureView image processing algorithms. (Skip forward to the camera and video section if you can’t wait to see the quality of the 928 image.)
Interestingly, Nokia deviates from its bright colors to sell the phone in black or white.
OS and apps
Of course, the Lumia 928 carries The tradition of Windows Phone 8 as well as procurement at Nokia’s dedicated applications.
In addition to Nokia Music and Nokia Drive, there is a recently re-branded Here City Lens reality-enhanced app and Maps. By default, several lens photos have been added, including Panorama, Smart Shoot, Creative Studio and Cinemagraph, which combine photos and videos in the frame.
CNN, NFL Mobile and ESPN are also downloading, as well as the Weather Channel application and Viz Navigator added on a Verizon subscription basis. The Data Tracking app lets you keep tabs on bandwidth usage to complement Microsoft applications such as Microsoft Office, OneNote, Internet Explorer, and your mobile wallet. If you have multiple apps hacked, they are quickly downloaded through the Marketplace.
As with AT&T’s 920, Verizon’s 928 bundles wireless charging in the chassis.
Cameras and video
Nokia’s Lumia 928 has an 8.7-megapixel camera (with the above xenon and LED flashes), a smooth 1080-pixel video capture, and a good 1.2-megapixel front camera. There is autofocus, rear camera image stabilization, and additional features that can be integrated by loading a Windows Phone lens, such as the panoramic mode I described above.
Why Xenon, by the way? Nokia says the xenon flash is used for images, and the LED light turns on to help focus and provide low-light videos.
The 928 provides high quality images overall. Outdoors photos were better than indoors, but for the most part the colors were true and detailed, and the images were mostly sharp.
Here’s a tour of some of the general scenes. Please note that all photos in this group were taken using automatic settings, unless otherwise noted.
And now for low-light mini-firefights:
I tried four low light cameras when the flash was turned off, using only the automatic camera settings. I was in a dark underground establishment lit by candles and other warm sources of light.
The call quality was noted when I tested the Lumia 928 Verizon in San Francisco. The first weirdo I noticed in my standard test (which I run in exactly the same place, dialing the same fixed line and using the same audio tester), is that the 928 had only two service bars, unlike the usual three – four bars.
This may have contributed to the unpleasant sound that followed, where voices sounded uneven, muffled, dull and sharp. According to some good news, the volume came across strong and perfectly understandable, even when installing 5 out of 10.
On the call side, my main testing partner agreed that I sounded muffled and noticed that the sound was distorted at high volume. I also sounded a little rude to him. Volume and clarity were acceptable.
Nokia Lumia 928 call quality sampleListen now:
The speaker surprisingly improved the calls for me as I checked while holding the phone at hip level. Unfortunately, the volume dropped to the floor, forcing me to raise it to a level of 10 out of 10 inside my relatively quiet office. In a noisy environment, it’s just not going to cut it. In the upper volume, the voices sounded – and felt – buzzing in my hands. Although there was no noise, I heard a little voice distortion.
The loudspeaker volume also dropped at the end of my tester line, and he said I found it difficult to hear. My speaker seems to heighten the echo, which he said was not pleasant. Otherwise, the sound quality was about the same, but I improved significantly when I returned to the standard earphone.
The data performance on the Lumia 928 surprised me, just because the diagnostic and real speeds were much slower than they usually are on the Verizon Zippy network.
I called in two separate diagnostic and real-time testing devices, and both went slower than I expected. However, when I first published this review, many CNET readers wrote their positive speeds, so I did not avoid this phone based on my experience in this department.
Diagnostic speed tests consistently read more like fast 3G or non-LTE 4G, and I tested both phones over several days in San Francisco’s indoor and outdoor locations.
Real speeds on the second viewing apparatus have increased, but now I wonder if there is a problem with the placement of the 928 antenna, which slows down the situation. You won’t notice any lag, I’m glad to let you know when you’re connected to a powerful Wi-Fi network.
For its part, the 1.5GHz dual core Snapdragon S4 Plus (MSM8960) Qualcomm processor gives me no reason to complain. Most applications open with little delay, except for the camera application, which takes 3 seconds to download to Windows Phone OS.
The mobile platform also takes more time to focus and move from snapshot to snapshot, meaning you can skip a moment, even if you launch the camera with a handy special button on the side of your phone – a known drawback in Windows based phones.
|Download Endomondo (3MB)||43 seconds|
|Load up Endomondo mobile app||4.2 seconds|
|CNET mobile site load||3.3 seconds|
|CNET desktop site load||16 seconds|
|Boot time to lock screen||28 seconds|
|Camera boot time||3 seconds|
|Camera, shot-to-shot time||2.5 seconds with flash and focusing|
The 2000 mAh 928 battery has a typical battery life of approximately daytime for practical use or from morning to night. The nominal talk time on the phone is 16.2 hours and the standby time is 22.5 days, both over 3G, which is not very useful for Verizon’s 4G LTE network.
In my first battery test when I ran on the phone during one continuous cell call, the Lumia 929 lasted 11 hours, 43 minutes before turning off the power. My second test ran for 11 hours on the dot. Battery capacity will deteriorate and use over time.
For the record, there are 32GB of onboard memory for 928 and 1GB of RAM. FCC cellular radiation testing measured a digital SAR of 1.4 watts per kilogram.
Is it worth buying it?
I already prefer the 928’s shape to that of AT&T’s 920, and the $100 on-contract price tag is a great buy. My stumbling block with Verizon’s usually rock-steady data speeds is concerning, but people who mostly use their phone on strong Wi-Fi networks will be less affected.
With its feature set, the 928 is undoubtedly the highest end of Windows Phone Verizon. However, people looking for features and budget over form can’t help but notice that Verizon has reduced the asking price of Lumia 822 to $ 0 per contract. “Free” is an even better deal than 100 fans if you don’t mind the bulky and slightly more modest components – such as a 4.3-inch touch screen (instead of a 4.5-inch), 8-megapixel camera ( instead of 8.7), lower resolution (WVGA instead of 720p HD) and less battery factor (1800 vs. 2000 mAh at 928.)
Speed problems aside, I still recommend Windows Phone searchers to choose 928 over attractive HTC Windows Phone 8X for $99 and the Samsung Ativ Odyssey for $50.