It’s been almost a year to the day since we reviewed Nokia’s first Windows Phone and now we’re staring at its second-generation flagship, the Lumia 920. Since the Lumia 800, Nokia’s taken a pretty big role in improving Windows Phone’s standing in a crowded (but lucrative) smartphone battlefield. While it may be sharing the spotlight with the new HTC 8X, this slab of hewn polycarbonate has garnered plenty of admirers. No doubt, a large chunk of those would-be phone buyers are, for better and worse, lusting after the phone’s PureView imaging tech — and after our earlytests, it looks like it could be just as impressive as the lossless optical zoom seen on the PureView 808.
The Lumia 920 dominated Nokia’s presentation at Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 press event a few months ago, with the smaller Lumia 820 barely getting a look-in. It’s got a “better-than-HD” 1,280 x 768, 4.5-inch high-contrast IPS display, built-in contactless charging, solid build quality and more of Nokia’s exclusive software additions. This time, at least on hardware specifications, the company aims to put its flagship on equal footing with the likes of the Galaxy S III and the iPhone 5. Can Nokia’s biggest and (literally) brightest smartphone maintain its place at top of the Windows Phone pile? How does that camera fare with extended use? And will the Lumia 920 offer enough to pull you away from Android or iOS for your next phone? Continue reading →
Guest author Tim McCormick is a product developer & writer in Palo Alto, CA interested in publishing, learning technology, and urban innovation.
Over the last six months, I’ve made an experiment of giving up my $90/month cellular + data plan, and exploring alternative ways to use my smartphone (iPhone) costing as little as $5/mo. The key point is that you don’t need a contract or a subscription to use a smartphone, contrary to just about everything you ever hear. Continue reading →
The first smartphones bearing Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system are hitting store shelves this holiday season. CNET has even reviewed the Nokia Lumia 920 and the HTC Windows Phone 8X, the first two premium handsets with Microsoft’s next-generation smartphone OS. Yet those of you on the fence still have questions. Here’s what you’re asking. Continue reading →
Cell phones have become the most crucial personal technology purchase you can make. Not only are these devices full-fledged miniature computers in their own right, they’re getting smarter with each product generation. If you’re looking for a new handset right now, start with the Samsung Galaxy S3 or the iPhone 5. The Galaxy S3 offers all the power you’d expect from a high-end Android device in a gorgeous package. The iPhone 5, meanwhile, continues to set a smartphone standard, and it’s the best iPhone you can buy. If you’re an Android user who’s always on the go and far from power outlets, the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD is the longest-lasting handset we’ve ever used plus flaunts a distinctive design. For more top cell picks, check out CNET’s list of our favorite phones.
Still undecided or need a little more guidance? Well, if that’s you, then read on for CNET’s expert advice on how to buy the nest cell phone for you.
The last version of Android to be released, 4.1, code-named “Jelly Bean,” was only an incremental bump over the major 4.0 release (“Ice Cream Sandwich”). But that little bump made a big difference. Android became more or less fully realized with Ice Cream Sandwich, but Jelly Bean brought a level of polish and maturity that the platform previously lacked.
The biggest improvement for the end-user experience was “Project Butter,” the name given to a group of adjustments vastly upgrading Android’s responsiveness to touch input. These included adding triple buffered graphics rendering and maximizing the CPU’s clock speed briefly whenever the screen is touched (there were also a few other underlying architectural improvements). Taken together, the tweaks made overall performance much more consistent in Jelly Bean. Before, Android’s interface was capable of smoothness on sufficiently fast hardware (see our Optimus G review for evidence of that), but Jelly Bean brought smoothness even to older hardware like the Motorola Xoom and first-generation Kindle Fire. Using Android finally felt as good as using iOS or Windows Phone.
Now, only four months after Android 4.1 was released into the wild, the mobile operating system is getting another incremental bump. Android 4.2 carries the same “Jelly Bean” code-name as 4.1. It doesn’t bring any drastic changes to the operating system and, given its quick turnaround, no one really expected it to. However, it introduces enough new features to keep Android a healthy contender in the vicious smartphone and tablet markets. Continue reading →