Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK, HEL:NOK1V) flagship smartphone Lumia 920 was awarded today as The Smartphone of The Year 2012 by Gizmodo readers. While the result might not be unexpected, it’s worth noting that the Lumia 920 took the top spot by a huge margin compared to runner-up. Below are the results of top 3 smartphones
1. Nokia Lumia 920 – 49 %
2. Apple iPhone 5 – 13.5 %
3. Google Nexus 4 – 9 %
Last week the Lumia 920 was also awarded by PhoneArena readers, achieving The Best Product Design of 2012 and The Best Innovation of 2012 awards. Also, according to The Independent analysis made today, The Lumia 920 is the most advanced smartphone on the market. Additionally, the device held today the top position at the Amazon.com Top Rated Smartphones chart.
UPDATE: On 14th December, The Nokia Lumia 920 won yet another design award by the prestigious International Forum Design, which has a history of sixty years of judging thousands of products every year by design experts. In addition to the Lumia 920, six more Nokia products were recognized for achievement in design, including the Lumia 800 and the Lumia line accessories.
UPDATE: On 31st December Nokia Conversations announced 9 more awards and recognitions for the year 2012, which can be found from the list below
- The Top Smartphone of 2012, V3, UK
- Mobil Award for Best Smartphone Design, Mobile Magazine, Denmark
- Best Smartphones of 2012, The Next Web, USA
- Top Score Award, Mobil, Sweden
- The Best High End Smartphones for the Holidays, CNET, USA
- Best Productivity Phone, Best Camera Phone, Best Mapping Phone, Best Windows Phone, Runner up, Arstechnic, USA
- Top 25 Tech of 2012, Mashable, USA
- Top Smartphone of the Year, Mybroadband, South Africa
- Best AT&T Smartphones of 2012, BGR, USA
The Key features of the Lumia 920
Steady Video Recording
The PureView camera on Lumia 920 uses a hardware based optical image stabilization (OIS). The OIS aims to reduce the effect of shaky hands while shooting a video, and does this better than any software based image stabilization systems; While shot at one hand the videos actually look like they were taken using a tripod. The camera produces amazing colors and contrast on Full HD 1080P video with 30 frames-per-second (FPS).
High Quality Audio Recording
The Lumia 920 has three High Amplitude Audio Capture (HAAC) microphones which can capture audio at sound pressure level of 140 dB, with noise reduction. This means the sound does not distort even when recording video at nightclubs or at concerts. The microphones captures even the bass, which is pretty unusual among mobile devices.
Amazing Low Light Photography
The 8.7 MP PureView Camera has autofocus assist light, wide aperture (f2.0), slow shutter speed, and the latest generation backlit image sensor (BSI) which all enable to gather 5 times more light than a regular cameraphone. This is why the camera produces absolutely stunning low light photos. The camera is also using high quality Carl Zeiss optics and short pulse high power dual led flash. Thanks to OIS, the photos captured are steady, even if the shooting hand isn’t.
The World’s Most Advanced Display
The PureMotion HD+ IPS LCD 4.5″ display has one of the best resolutions1)in industry, and the world’s fastest response time (9ms) among mobile phones. It’s the first smartphone in the world to deliver a full 60 frames-per-second (FPS) to enable smooth scrolling without any motion-blur. This means there is no lag, pixelated video or ghost images. Fingerprint resistant oleophobic coating on the display guarantees there is almost no finger prints on the display. However, the screen can be used also without a direct contact of a finger, thanks to its Super Sensitive technology, which enables interaction with the device using pens, fingernails or even gloves. High brightness level, and sunlight reading enhancement features, such as autocontrast and ClearBlack polarization filter guarantee that the phone has the best sun light reading capabilities2)in industry. Corning Gorilla Glass 2 makes the screen scratch resistant and extremely hard to break.
1) Resolution is 768×1280, Pixel Per Inch (PPI) is 332
2) Luminance is 600 nits, Screen Reflection is 4.4%, Contrast Rating for High Ambience Light (CR HAL) is 90
High Quality Sound ProcessingIf the sound recording was a top notch, sound processing is – if possible – even better. Nokia has traditionally created partnerships with industry leaders. One such partner is Dolby. Dolby Headphone technology can be found in other high quality consumer devices, such as hometheatre A/V receivers. However, on mobile phones, the technology is exclusive to Nokia. By using state-of-the-art digital processing technology, Dolby Headphone creates an acoustic illusion, virtual surround, while listening music or watching movies on Lumia 920. To experience the surround sound, the headphones has to support stereo sound, such as the WH-208 coming with Lumia 920 box. In addition to Nokia’s wide array of high-quality headsets, there are also 3rd party headsets available, such as Purity Pro by Monster.
The Lumia 920 uses Qi inductive charging standard. Thanks to this, the device can be laid on top of charger without a need of plugging a cable into it. In addition, with the help of NFC, the smartphone can be paired with the charger and set to run default application while charging, e.g. Nokia Music when at home, and e-mail when at work. There are also 3rd party wireless chargers available, such as Fatboy wireless charging pillow or JBL wireless charging speaker. Also, Toyota is the first car manufacturer in the world to bring in-car wireless charging to customers with the Avalon model
Near field communication (NFC) allows devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together. NFC enables smartphones in mobile payment to replace or supplement contactless payment systems, like credit card systems or ticketing systems for movie theaters or public transport. Nokia has developed wide range of other areas where NFC can be utilized, e.g. sharing photos by tapping, checking in to event, playing the music by touching the speaker or wireless headset.
Wide Scale 4G Support
The Lumia 920 is the first smartphone in the world to support pentaband LTE. This means a user will be able to use LTE, which is capable of speeds up to ten times faster than traditional 3G networks, with more carriers, in even more places around the world. Depending on the network, the maximum download speed on the Lumia 920 can reach up to 100 mbps and the maximum upload speed up to 50 mbps. This means it is probably faster than your broad-band internet connection at home.
The Nokia devices are globally well known for high build quality and durability. The Lumia-line and Lumia 920 is no exception to this rule. The device has been dropped, hammered, used as a hammer, stabbed, sliced, scratched, throwed in the air, driven over by a car, sent to stratoshpere, pretty much undamaged.
The Lumia 920 has been made only from two pieces, curved glass and a unibody polycarbonate (high quality plastic used in bullet resistant glasses), which is not only beautiful and tough material, but also RF-transparent to give the best antenna reception for calls and internet connection. The body is smoothly curved from the back and edges, which makes the device comfortable and natural to hold in hand. On the side, there are perfectly positioned ceramic zirconium buttons which complement the polycarbonate material nicely. The Lumia 920 design is based on previous generation Lumia models, Lumia 800/900, which won Gold International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) in July 2012.
The physical and digital design are seamlessly integrated to each other (e.g. the form of the frontview vs. the form of the live-tiles, the color of the body vs. color of the live-tiles), as if the digital world was the veins of the physical body. The Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system is smooth, intuitive and beautiful, which was acknowledged also by Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak. The Design Lead for Windows Phone, Jeff Fong, was ranked 81st on the Fastcompany’s 100 Most Creative People in Business 2012 list.
In overall, the look and feel is bold and unique with refreshing color design which matches also Nokia accessories. The device does not feel a cold industrial product, but rather human – natural and warm. It’s also worth noting, that Nokia is the most environmental friendly mobile phone manufacturer in the world with score of 5.4/10, according to GreenPeace.
Location Based Apps And Services
Exclusive to Lumia devices, The Lumia 920 has free offline turn-by-turn voice assisted GPS navigation app called Nokia Drive, which works in over 110 countries. What is especially amazing with this app, is that you can download the whole country to your phone, and continue to use the navigation without needing to worry about roaming data charges while traveling abroad.
Another exclusive app is Nokia City Lens which offers augmented reality experience by combining camera and map data together and showing the Points of Interests (POI) around you through the camera’s viewfinder. Yet another interesting exclusive app, which is utilizing Nokia’s location data is Nokia Pulse, a private social media app for limited group of people, like family or friends.
As a side note, for cross-platform support there are local transport schedules, street view and 3D maps available by Nokia’s HERE-maps which in addition POI’s offers information about e.g. high traffic, traffic accidents, or construction sites. Worth pointing out, that Nokia’s 3D maps has been around already for 1½ years.
Music Discovery Platform With Free Music
Say goodbye to Spotify. Exclusive to Lumia devices, Nokia Music offers free (no subscription, no ads, no charges) music via Mix Radio functionality (on selected countries). Mix Radio allows to select a genre and view a selection of preconfigured playlists. Each playlist is a showcase of tracks from within the music category, though there is the possibility to make and share own playlists too. Nokia Music does also have a paid store where you can buy and download individual tracks or albums if you like, but the main function of the app is to work as a music discovery platform. While playing the music, the app suggests artists and tracks which you have not already selected yourself, meaning it’s a brilliant way of discovering new artists and songs.
Nokia Music currently has 20 million tracks available for streaming in mixes or for purchase and there are hundreds of preconfigured playlists, including newly released music, chart music, and celebrity recommendations made by artists such as Above & Beyond, Sasha, Deadmau5, Air, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Sean Paul, Carly Rae Jepsen, Janelle Monáe, Green Day, Pearl Jam, and more. All this is set to expand thanks to Nokia’s global label deals. There is even offline caching available, which means if you really like a particular mix you can download the playlist and listen to it where/whenever you like. With the Lumia 920 and its 2000 mAh battery user can listen to music 74 hours in a row.