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The Nokia Lumia 928 found a way to make Windows Phone even less appealing

Armando Rodriguez | June 4, 2013
Even though it's packing a great low-light camera, the Nokia Lumia 928 feels stale next to the competition.

Calls sounded clean, with very little static, and the Lumia 928 managed to get reception in places that had previously been dead zones for my Verizon iPhone 5. Apps and music downloaded with haste when the phone was connected to Verizon's LTE network, though I generally had better results when I used the phone over our office's Wi-Fi connection to stream videos or download large apps.

What ecosystem?
Speaking of apps, the Windows Phone app store still feels inferior to Apple's and Google's digital storefronts. There is no Instagram. There is no Vine. The Fitbit app that's currently featured prominently in the store is an unofficial beta app developed by someone other than Fitbit. You'll find an official Twitter app, but the Microsoft-built Facebook app is embarrassing and is missing many of the functionalities included in the official Facebook app on other platforms. Most of the apps you encounter in the marketplace are, for a lack of a better phrase, crap with a nice coat of paint.

Granted, a few gems hidden here and there offer experiences greater than anything you'd ever find in the App Store or Play Store, but those apps are so few and far between that you'll need to spend a considerable amount of time hunting them down. Windows Phone 8 looks and performs beautifully, but with so little developer interest surrounding the platform, you shouldn't be too surprised when that hot new app everyone is talking about isn't available for your phone.

Camera
Nokia claims that the Lumia 928 is the best phone for taking low-light photos, and after spending some time with the phone's 8.7-megapixel camera, I'm inclined to believe them. I took several test photos in our building's basement, and was impressed by how clear the images turned out: I saw minimal noise around my subject, and colors looked surprisingly vibrant.

What's weird, however, is that I captured those good-looking photos with the camera's flash set to 'off'. When I turned the flash on (or set it to 'Auto'), my subject ended up looking like an irradiated demon. The camera has a few settings that you can tweak to lessen the effect, but if you find yourself taking photos in dark places, I recommend that you leave the flash disabled.

The pictures I took outside of our basement weren't as impressive: The Lumia 928 has an especially slow shutter speed, so you'll need to hold it extremely still when snapping a photo. Even the slightest bit of movement can cause the camera to lose focus, leaving you with a fuzzy image. This probably isn't the phone for snapping a photo at a moment's notice.

 

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