Nokia has put all of its eggs in the Windows Phone basket, and so far it's been a tough battle against heavyweights like Google and Apple.
They're still battling though and trying to recruit fans, and I recently tested the Nokia Lumia 928 from Verizon Wireless, their latest offering, and am here with a full report of what it offers.
The Lumia 928 I tested had an attractive white look and a sturdy build. There are also many other color options.
The phone looks slim but still felt a little heavier than some other phones of similar size.
The 4.5-screen is smaller than some of its competitors (Samsung's Galaxy S4, for example, which is 5 inches) but bigger than others (iPhone 5, for example, which is 4 inches). Perhaps this size is the sweet spot for some phone buyers.
The camera on the Lumia 928 touts a 8.7 megapixel capability and Carl Zeiss wide-angle optics. It claims to be better in low light, but I didn't see that evidence in the photos I took. The camera was definitely impressive in terms of overall clarity, but the GS4 is better by comparison both in terms of image quality and editing options.
On the plus side, you do get full-HD video which is very sharp and films at 30 frames per second.
In front of the Lumia 928, there is a 1.2 megapixel camera.
CALL QUALITY, MESSAGING
Calls I made on the Lumia 928 through Verizon's network were without incident and loud and clear. Sending text messages was also a breeze due to the large-size keyboard.
This is a Verizon 4G phone, but for some reason I found the data speeds for uploads and downloads to be slower than other Verizon phones I've used. I'm not sure if that's systematic or just an issue with my test phone, but it's something to watch for.
This is the basic crux of the issue if you're going to get a phone like the Lumia 928. Do you like the operating system?
Windows Phone 8 is applauded by many, by derided by others. I like some aspects of it (the live tiles up front for items viewed regularly, syncing with other Microsoft Windows 8 platforms), but at the same time I dont' find the same fluidity as I do with Android specifically. That's just my preference though, so I recommend everyone look at all the OS options and decide what they like, as we all have different tastes. For the Lumia 928 and other Windows Phones to thrive, a lot of people have to switch over to Microsoft, and that's going to be tough to accomplish.
In terms of apps, you have about 150,000 available on this phone, but that pales in comparison to the competition's offerings.
I was very impressed with the overall battery life on the Lumia 928, as it was among the best I've seen in newer phones I've tested. I got through the day without problem, and sometimes longer. You can also buy a charging plate and do wireless charging and avoid cables. On the downside, the battery is nonremovable so you can't carry a spare.
The phone is also NFC capable -- and lets you share pictures and other data with just a tap of another phone with similar capability.
The Lumia 928 features 32GB of internal memory, which is a solid number. The phone also features a 1.5GHz dual—core processor and 1GB of RAM, which aren't as good of numbers compared to the more impressive stats on its competitors. This leads to a slower performance on a regular basis when web browsing and doing other activities.
To compete in this market, you have to be priced competitively, especially if you are late to the game like Microsoft was with the latest Windows Phones. The Lumia 928 is $49.99 with a 2-year Verizon contract, so that low price may be something that lures people away from more higher-priced out-of-pocket phones from Samsung, HTC, Apple and others.
The Nokia Lumia 928 from Verizon Wireless is one of the better Windows Phones I've tried, but it's a tough world out there for this brand to fight in. With so many people married to other operating systems, it's going to be hard to get people to move over.
Still, there's a lot to like here, and the overall operation of the phone is pretty straightforward and easy to learn. It's likely that those coming in without an operating system preference, and who don't want to spend a lot of money on their phone, will be a good target audience for the Nokia Lumia 928.
Matt Myftiu can be reached at email@example.com or 248-745-4617. Follow him on Twitter @MattMyftiu or become a fan of the Facebook page “OPTechTime'. Check out his blog at realtechtime.blogspot.com.