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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Odds and sods

Even though the Lumia 920 has no micro SD slot, it does at least come with a generous 32GB, which is just as well if you're likely to be shooting a lot of HD video. Also, Microsoft is bundling 7GB of cloud storage here and SkyDrive is steadily improving. One outstanding feature is the ability to capture work in progress on other machines, down to a snapshot level. This is more promise than reality right now, but it’s a strong reason for having a look at Windows Phone.

Do they still make phones like this?
Windows 7 mates with new Windows Phone

The story with PC and Mac connectivity continues to be a mixed one. There’s a Windows 8 Metro app – which is not much use if you’re on Windows 7. Zune has been deprecated but the device still syncs music with Windows 7’s Media Player and appears as a browseable device in Windows 7 Device Centre.

On the Mac, the Windows 7 Phone Connector has been rebranded the Windows Phone app, but it’s currently a catastrophe. At first I got two successful syncs with my MacBook Pro running Lion 10.8.2, but then a dozen subsequent crashes, each inviting me to send a bug report. It just doesn’t work.

And WP’s contacts management is as opaque as ever – you can only sync with a Live/Hotmail account, although Nokia appears to be working on bringing its PC Suite into the modern era. Here’s hoping it can make contacts manageable again.

As for app compatibility, the story is mostly good. There’s no Skype – there’s an all-new version with a new UI and multitasking imminent. And the Amazon Kindle app only works once. It appears to be fine, but won’t start once it’s been ‘tombstoned’. I found third-party apps that took ages to restore from their tombstoned state are working in two or three seconds.

There’s still a few too many splash screens in the user experience, though, and given the speed of the phone the animations are beginning to be unnecessary and tiresome. Yet for all that, you’ll have a hard time telling a WP7.8 device and a WP8 device apart. Windows Phone now has much improved multi-tasking and better driver support but without the performance or power consumption penalties we’d feared.

Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8

Your mileage may vary but you'll be lucky to get beyond this screen with the Windows Phone 3.0 sync app on a Mac

Indeed, Microsoft has done a magnificent job of making an epic overhaul of the Windows Phone plumbing work smoothly. The three pieces of bedrock on which WP7.x was based have been completely replaced in WP8. The CE kernel has been replaced with the NT kernel, out goes the Compact .NET framework and Silverlight/XNA are deprecated, but retained for compatibility. Native code is in, which means you can write in C#, in C++ for games, and the system gains DirectX support. In fact it now supports a ton of useful middleware frameworks.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Next page: Sound or vision?

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.