Nokia Lumia 920 review

Can the Lumia 920 offer the standout Windows Phone 8 experience?

Nokia Lumia 920 review
Hands on with the flagship Windows Phone 8 handset

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As well as packing Wi-Fi b/g/n the Nokia Lumia 920 is also 4G enabled, giving you access to the super-fast network if it's available in your region.

Nokia Lumia 920 review

Sadly we only had a 3G card to hand with our 920, so we weren't able to test its LTE performance.

The Lumia 920 comes with Internet Explorer 10 onboard, which Microsoft claims is the fastest mobile browser on the market.

Unfortunately you're pretty much stuck with IE, as the bug guns such as Chrome, Firefox and Opera have not developed a solution for Windows Phone 8 yet – although there are some other third party options available in the Windows Phone Store.

Browsing certainly isn't a slow experience, with the Lumia 920 loading up mobile sites in just a couple of seconds over Wi-Fi, however the full blown TechRadar site took a good seven or so seconds to display in a usable format and over 15 to fully load – hardly world beating speeds.

Nokia Lumia 920 review

Over 3G the Lumia 920 is still pretty impressive, with both mobile and desktop sites loading just as quickly as they did over Wi-Fi, putting in firmly in contention with the Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X+ and HTC 8X in terms of speed.

No surprises when we tell you that Bing is the default search engine within Internet Explorer, but unlike the search you access from the dedicated key below the screen, this can be changed for Google if you so wish.

Nokia Lumia 920 review

And if anything we found Google to be a fraction quicker when it came to returning our search results.

Panning and zooming on pages is a smooth affair, with a gentle, slick motion greeting your gestures, although we did find the Lumia 920 took a second or so to reload a page every now and then.

Annoyingly there's no sign of text reflow, so reading an article can be frustrating, as you need to slide sideways as well as down to read text if you want larger letters.

The 4.5-inch HD display on the Lumia 920 means websites do look splendid, with text and images crisp and clear, keeping the Nokia in the running against its HTC, Samsung and Apple competition.

Tabbed browsing is a popular feature in all web browsers now, and IE 10 is certainly no exception, although it's not quite as quick and easy to fire up a new tab and jump between them as it is on Safari or Chrome.

You need to open up the menu at the base of the browser and hit the tabs button to open a new one, or jump to another which you've already got running.

Nokia Lumia 920 review

This makes the whole experience a little clunky and we found ourselves using the function a lot less than we do on Apple and Android handsets. You can repurpose the reload button to perform the same function, but we couldn't decide which option we wanted more, as both are oft-used.

You can't sync Internet Explorer with your Google account or the favourites you have saved on your desktop, so you'll need to add them when you get on the phone, which is easy enough to do with an option to add a page in the menu area.

There's also the option to pin a website to the start screen as a live tile, allowing you to jump into your favourite site without having to open the browser and navigate to it.

Flash support is absent from the Nokia Lumia 920, as it is for most smartphones these days after Adobe confirmed it was winding it up in favour of HTML 5.

While not a major issue, it's still a little frustrating as a number of sites still rely of Flash to deliver content.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.