Photography buffs who demand the best-available camera from a mobile phone won't find it here – it's actually on another Nokia phone, the Lumia 1020, which just launched on AT&T with a monstrous 41-megapixel lens in tow. Granted, that device weighs in at $300 on-contract, which is three times what you'll pay for the 928 at max.
Luckily, the Lumia 928's own camera is no slouch among handsets with more traditional feature sets. It's an 8.7-megapixel lens with Nokia's vaunted Carl Zeiss PureView optics, and as pushed by the manufacturer through various ads, it's designed to amplify low-light photos to make merely serviceable shots shine.
In daylight, we generated crisp, clear photos that looked great on the screen and just as impressive when viewed on a computer. It defaults to a 16:9 aspect ratio on photos to fill the screen, but you can swap to 4:3, as well as manually adjust the ISO, exposure value, and white balance, plus pick from multiple settings packages based on scene (like "Close-up" or "Sports") instead of the Auto function.
Based on Nokia's pedigree and the solidly large megapixel rating, generating sharp daytime photos is no big surprise here. What is pleasantly surprising is that the Lumia 928's low-light photo enhancement really does impress in action.
We took shots without flash in the evening, with only minimal light nearby (like a streetlight), and ended up with shots that were much less grainy than those taken on other phones, and better lit to boost. It's not a night and day kind of result, nor will you get much out of shots taken in near-total darkness, but it's very much a noticeable improvement. In some cases, it looked like the shot was taken earlier in the evening, before nightfall really set in.
The Lumia 928 also shoots video, of course, and is able to generate 1080p footage that looks pretty sharp when properly lit. We didn't see as much of a benefit from the low-light sensor with video as with still images, though there is a small boost to visibility.
Both photos and videos are shot using the same app, which is easily accessible by holding the lower button on the right side of the phone. That button also functions are a physical shutter trigger, or you can tap the screen to accomplish the same thing. However you choose to shoot, you can expect generally great results from the Lumia 928, and better-than-expected shots in lower-light scenarios.