The Nokia Lumia 928 is a humdrum Windows Phone that doesn't do much to stand out from the company's other mobile offerings. Available for $100 with a two-year contract on Verizon, the Lumia 928 offers specs similar to those of the Lumia 920--albeit in a less chunky and less colorful package.
The Lumia 928 has some advanced camera software and hardware--a Nokia hallmark--and also benefits from running the latest iteration of Microsoft's mobile operating system. Is this the Lumia that Windows Phone fans have been waiting for? Probably not, as the Lumia 928 feels dated compared to the competition and does little to advance the Windows Phone platform as a whole.
Slim and boxy
Nokia phones are known for their flamboyant colors and unusual shapes, making the Lumia 928 look uninspired by comparison. The phone is available in just two colors, white and black, and your choice affects only the back of the handset's chassis. The phone's face and sides have the usual assortment of buttons and ports, most of which feel unpleasantly spongy. While the Lumia 928 is slimmer and lighter than the Lumia 920, it's still thicker than other smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Apple iPhone 5.
The Lumia 928 is easier to hold than its AT&T cousin, and it fits much more comfortably in a pocket. In contrast to the Lumia 822 (the only other Lumia model that Verizon currently offers), the 2000mAh battery on the Lumia 928 is nonremovable, and the phone lacks a MicroSD card slot--strange considering that support for removable storage was one of the key features that WP8 introduced. In my tests, the phone's battery lasted for about 6.5 hours of normal use, which included playing a few games, streaming music, and updating my Facebook and Twitter statuses. The Lumia 928 supports wireless charging out of the box, but you'll need to buy the charging pad separately.
Nokia has outfitted the Lumia 928 with a high-performance loudspeaker that pumps out sound at a much higher volume than any other smartphone speaker we've tried so far--including those of the HTC One. But even though the Lumia 928 was louder, its speaker audio lacked the depth and clarity we got out of the One's Beats-enhanced speakers. If you're looking to use your phone as a makeshift boom box, you're better off going with HTC's handset, as the songs I played on the Lumia 928 sounded hollow and tinny.
The phone's gaming capabilities are likewise disappointing: Although the Lumia 928 runs buttery smooth while browsing the Web or switching between apps, the phone has issues playing games with advanced 3D graphics. In my tests, games such as Asphalt Heat 7 and Modern Combat 4 took a considerable amount of time to start up, and weren't as responsive as they were on other platforms. Even simple games like Angry Birds caused the Lumia 928 to heat up, obviously taxing the antiquated 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor. Gaming fans, this isn't the phone for you.
Sign up for MIS Asia eNewsletters.