Feeds
85%
Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8

Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 handset review

Microsoft's mobile OS refresh – is it more of the same?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Nokia’s extras

Nokia surrendered exclusivity on Nokia Maps to Microsoft, meaning all Windows Phone 8 devices, including those from Nokia’s rivals, can now bundle it. Nokia Maps is a superb vector-based package that works offline – it’s far and away the best mapping software that’s bundled with a phone today.

On this street in the West End are four adjacent food spots: three restaurants and a pub. CityLens failed to identify any of them, but highlighted restaurants that aren't visible (or even close by) instead.

What’s exclusive to the Lumias is Nokia Drive, giving turn-by-turn navigation, and other location- -based software. One of these is City Lens, an augmented reality overlay providing local information, which at first looks rather gimmicky. But it’s improving rapidly, and it doesn’t have to be used in the dorky point-and-peer camera mode.

Nokia Transport was one of the unexpected highlights of the Lumia 800 – nothing else gets you the bus or train time where you are quite as quickly or conveniently. It wasn’t bundled with my device, but I expect it will be available for a download imminently.

Nokia also has its own umbrella wrapper app around the music player, and Microsoft has another one, the Xbox app. Nokia’s wrapper leads you to a free, non-interactive curated music streaming service, which is better than it sounds. Indeed, I’m obliged to report that for their easy listening selection, French band Air chose The Velvet Underground’s Venus In Furs, and Heroin. Different strokes, I suppose. Microsoft’s Xbox wrapper leads you to Podcasts and its Zune store.

Either way, it’s the same music player underneath, and both wrapper apps rather get in the way. From the music player you can pin albums and playlists to the home screen. But if you click directly onto the playlist, you can’t navigate back into the music player – only back to the home screen, I discovered.

The photo viewer is much as it was before, but some of the integration is starting to pay off. You can ‘share’ not just to email accounts and social networks, but to registered apps such as WordPress, Evernote and the new ‘Rooms’ feature. The what, you ask?

IE10 with our home pageIE10 with our home page

IE10 with our home page – click for a larger image

Well, Rooms is one of the few new userland features to make it into WP8. It’s slightly daunting – you invite contacts to chat, view a shared calendar, and share notes and photos in a private area. Instant groupware – just like NetMeeting! The help documentation doesn’t explain what invitees will see – or whether they’ll be able to use it on a non-WP8 device. It’s all quite mysterious and a little unnerving. Fear of spamming your friends may put most people off experimenting. Incidentally, if you're on a data consumption conscious tariff, Nokia also includes Counters to keep tabs on usage.

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: The camera

More from The Register

next story
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?