1. lordofthereef's Avatar
    I wanted to start a thread about first impressions now that the phone is available to the masses", as well as share my time I had spent with the phone. I got an unusually large amount of use out of the phone for the day (the thing was literally always doing SOMETHING as I spent the day driving up and down the Massachusetts coast. It has been in my possession for thirteen hours now, of which at least eleven have been in us, no exaggeration here.

    Let's start out with my trip to AT&T
    The first store I went to said they didn't have them, even though online said they did. I figured I would try another store a short fie miles away since online clearly had strange information about "limited stock", etc. They also said they had none, so I decided to mention seeing them in stock at this location online. The girls said she would check in back. A few short minutes later she came out with two boxes, one containing a red 920, the other the black. I opted for the black. * It seems the rumors of no Cyan or Yellow in store are true. This is yet another mystery to me. The two FLAGHSIP colors of the device not available in store. * As she was opening the phone and trying to make awkward smalltalk (and trying to sell me overpriced AT&T branded accessories) I mentioned the wireless charger. At this point my current sim was deactivated and the phone was on my account awaiting payment. She pointed to the NFC chip paper inside the box asking me if that was what I was referring to (I am NOT MAKING THIS UP!!!) "No", I said, "there was a press release a few days ago stating that there would be a black cordless charger given out to purchasers of the 920". She called her manager over, eventually went back into the storage area, and said they had none left. She said they could ship it to my house. I wanted to just grab one from another store, but she said they would have to do a return here, and I would be billed the restocking fee... great. I could have made more of a stink, but I had been there far too long at that point, so I opted to have it shipped to my house. I got a paper receipt showing me the order was processed and that I owed no additional money, and was on my way. A few hours ago I got the email stating that AT&T had shipped it, and I should be expecting the package around Monday or Tuesday, so good news there.

    Did I mention that all of the employees in the store were wearing Windows Phone 8 / Windows 8 shirts? I also overheard the manager talking about the Windows 8 RT tablet they got in. "What does RT stand for anyway, Really Tacky!?" I told him that it was a way to distinguish between the version of 8 that runs on an ARM processor versus an x86. I actually didn't know what RT stands for (and a Google search didn't help me since, does anyone know?), but I knew that much information was accurate, and I was quite irritated at this point. I went in the store completely excited and came out feeling pretty bummed. AT&T has, IMO, botched so much with this launch that, while I realize my single experience at a single (well, I guess we can say two) AT&T store is anecdotal, my hopes are not high for WP8 starting off with the bang I hoped it would.

    Before I go further into my experience with the phone, let me just point out that I feel Microsoft is to blame here. They shouldn't leave the selling up to AT&T, because they have always been terrible. As far as I am concerned, the two companies that do sales best are Samsung and Apple, the latter clearly being the king of the show. Apple did start out their US iPhone launch with nearly four years of AT&T, but very few of those sales likely had anything to do with AT&T, as a carrier. Apple marketed, Apple laid down their conditions, and Apple won big. I feel like Nokia struck a fantastic deal in terms of pricing the phone, but price is not enough when you are considering a product as the tool you use most for the next two years. Plenty of people will pick Apple or even Samsung by merit of having heard of it before. Nokia hasn't been a staple in our lives for over a decade. They need to show us that they matter, and I feel they have not done that.

    My use of the phone
    As my sig shows, Windows Phone is not new to me. I had a Lumia 900 for a few weeks, but what ultimately did me in at the time was the lack of apps. There were quite a few apps missing (some still are) that I use on a daily or weekly business that didn't have a convenient alternative for me. That is not to say there are necessarily glaring things WP couldn't do, just things it couldn't do as well or as intuitively. Admittedly, part of it has to do with my knowledge of iOS and Android; I know may way around those OS's. Learning something new, especially when I am only doing it for the sake of learning something new got tiresome. At the time, it was a bit like learning some ambiguous language on the side, let's say Hungarian (I am Hungarian, so I can say that; it's a largely useless language when considering how many people on the globe speak it). Window Phone 8, on the other hand, did not feel that way, hence my excitement for the platform.

    The first thing I did with my phone (after logging into all of my accounts) is start Nokia Music. I stream a lot of music while I drive, be it iTunes Mach, Google Music, or Pandora, the latter being the one I use the most. I compare Nokia music to a free unlimited use Pandora with no ads. I would say the sound quality is better, though there is no rating system, at least that I am aware of. The on the fly mixes were really good though, so that may not bother me in the future.

    The second thing I did was fire up the GPS. I drop from northern Mass (literally five miles from the NH border) to Southern Mass (RI border) and then to cape code. Granted, Nokia drive 3.0 (I think that's the version) is in beta, but it was pretty glitchy for me. It had a lot of trouble finding me, often seemed to lose signal as it would show me as not moving even though I was traveling along the interstate at around 70mph, and it would decide to tell me every few minutes to "continue on this road for X miles". It also seems a little counterintuitive to not be able to jump straight from Nokia maps to nokia drive. Nokia maps seems the most like Google Maps was on iPhone prior to iOS 6, while Nokia drive seems more like a navigation only tool. Why are these two separate apps? Why not build them together, or at least make them easily talk to one another? I found myself searching for things in Nokia Maps and then hopping over to drive to get there. Bottom line is that maps needs work. While it didn't take me to the wrong place (ahem... Apple maps :dry ) it did have trouble getting me there in the first place. Not so bad when you are on a highway, but not so good when you are navigating through the city and it decides to have a series of brain farts. I am hoping the issue is software and not hardware here. Google Maps is the clear winner here. I'd say Apple Maps and Nokia Maps are at a tie, with Nokia being maybe a hair ahead, though I expected Nokia maps to be a clear winner, at least between the two.

    The feel of the OS is silky smooth (though it really always was so). The changes to the live tiles are clutch. I literally have everything I need at my fingertips. For those that care, I have things like messaging, maps, etc. as small tiles in two columns on the right. On the left I have phone and weather (also small tiles) under which I have people, me, and calendar. I am big on groupon, but haven't decided how I want that ordered. Maybe as the lock screen, though I keep a picture of Botond, my dog, there. This UI layout is, IMO, superior to any of the other mobile OS's. I view it as a literal marriage between iOS icons and Android's widgets. Best of both worlds. The drawback? Well, if I had to pick one it might be that the tiles are a little bland, especially if they aren't live. I'd love to be able to spice up the colors. But I get it. It is the look MS was/is going for. That is perfectly fair. It is not enough to REALLY bother me, but I can see it bothering some.

    I did have the dreaded freezing bug occur a whopping three times. It may be too early to tell if this is an issue specific to Windows Phone 8, or if it is an issue specific to the Lumia(s) running that OS. For those that are unaware, the phone basically locks up and requires a hard reset to get it going again. One time I was texting, the other time I was getting back in the car and it was pairing with bluetooth, and the other time it was just sitting there on the passenger's seat streaming music when the music went dead. As far as I can tell, bluetooth being on and connected was the only thing in common here, but that is based on less than an ounce of science. :lol: I will say that this is a potential deal breaker for me if it doesn't get fixed before my two weeks is up. I use rely on my phones too much for me to sit around waiting for an update that may never come.

    As far as the camera is concerned, I took a few shots. Nothing really intense. I did find that pics tend to blur out big time if you have an unsteady hand just before the shutter snaps. Possibly a really slow shutter issue? I was able to get some nice shots when I actually worked at it, but part of the fun is just pulling out the phone and snapping a pic. These are just ultra super duper preliminary opinions, but the camera seems to take great pics if you work at it, but if not, other smart phone cameras, including the 900 will do you better. Again, don't bite my head off. I am not a photographer. Just giving a first impression.

    Will I keep the phone? It's a possibility. There were enough issues that I personally noticed that I will have to wait and see what Nokia's response is. As I mentioned before, I have a sneaking suspicion that Nokia/MS are aware of at least some of these problems. Nothing else can explain the utterly abysmal launch of Windows Phone 8, the OS that was widely touted to solve all the problems of WP7.
    Last edited by lordofthereef; 11-10-2012 at 12:32 AM.
    11-10-2012 12:15 AM
  2. lordofthereef's Avatar
    Oh. I forgot about the weight. I agree with Daniel's review on the WPC front page here; it is completely overstated. Ridiculously slow. I was anticipating a beast. I hardly notice it. Seriously. The other issues I mentioned by FAR outweigh the weight of the thing (no pun intended). Size is one of those relative things too. I don't have an issue reaching the entire screen with one hand (which seems to have become the litmus test of whether or not a phone screen is too big). I also use an iPhone 4S and am happy with that too. Going from one to the other was brainless; I didn't even notice it.
    11-10-2012 12:30 AM
  3. lordofthereef's Avatar
    Up to four lockups now. :@
    11-10-2012 11:41 AM
  4. independentvolume's Avatar
    Nice review. These lockups are not good though. I have a feeling it's wp8 that's causing this problem and the reboots on the 8x. I'm guessing it's something minor with the final build since zero reviewers aknowledged the problem.
    lordofthereef likes this.
    11-10-2012 12:28 PM
  5. Muessig's Avatar
    Nice review, good to read it through. I'm fairly confident that if the freeze ups are a big issue (I've not had this yet) that since WP can now update you OTA with small incremental updates that this will get fixed really quickly.

    Also, I have absolutely no idea what RT means.
    11-10-2012 12:33 PM
  6. howdysir's Avatar
    Nice review. I, however, have not had one lockup. Maybe it's limited to yours?

    Sounds like we travel the same areas. 5 miles north of MA/NH border, and live in Boston.

    People I didn't know commented on my phone today, they were like wow... Nokia moving back up!

    Also - if that is your dog in your avatar. We have identical cockers.
    11-10-2012 05:20 PM
  7. lordofthereef's Avatar
    Nice review. I, however, have not had one lockup. Maybe it's limited to yours?

    Sounds like we travel the same areas. 5 miles north of MA/NH border, and live in Boston.

    People I didn't know commented on my phone today, they were like wow... Nokia moving back up!

    Also - if that is your dog in your avatar. We have identical cockers.
    Nice to see another New Englander, though we transplanted from California. We love it here so far!

    Unfortunately I have read of others locking up too. How many, I am not sure, but people were having issues before me (I searched the issue and found a UK blogger with it). I just hope it gets fixed ASAP. I hate to be stuck with potentially faulty hardware.

    On a side note I went back to AT&T today (a different one) to return the Zagg they had installed (it sucked and the screen didn't work well with gloves and it is almost glove season!) They were really helpful and offered me 25% off something else (accessory) if I wanted for my troubles. I opted for nothing since they don't carry the case I want, but it was a nice change of customer service. It was interesting to see all of the Lumia 920 promotional material; A puppy dog with christmas bows saying, this is what I want from santa", a huge standee with the Lumia 920 cut out, and a couple different Lumias for people to try out (which people were playing with). This AT&T had none of this up last week when I came in to ask if they would be getting Lumias at launch. So again, I am left wondering what on earth took so long. Was this AT&T's doing, or Nokia's? Why not have all of this promo material up weeks ahead of time with a "coming soon". At least then the workers would all KNOW about the phone by virtue of seeing the dang ads constantly.
    11-11-2012 12:13 AM
  8. TenTwelve's Avatar

    Also, I have absolutely no idea what RT means.

    In regards to Windows RT? It means RunTime.
    11-11-2012 01:01 AM
  9. TexasLabRat's Avatar
    In regards to Windows RT? It means RunTime.
    If only it were that simple LOL. The "RunTime" moniker is officially associated with the new WinRT API that underpins the formally-known-as-Metro plumbing on both windows 8 and windows RT (and windows phone 8 to a certain extent via the subset of the API that it has).

    While it is reasonable to extend the "RunTime" thing to the Surface RT (and by extension Windows RT) especially given the focus on the formally-known-as-Metro interface for that product, I've not seen any official documentation that does exactly that although I haven't seen any official documentation that dispells the notion, either. It's like they just saw how cool RT looked on the API and decided to just tack it onto the other products since "Windows Lite" didn't pass the focus group test. So yeah...common wisdom is that RT stands for "RunTime" but that's just because it's the default meaning it has taken given the lack of official clarification from MS. Marketing fail.
    lordofthereef likes this.
    11-11-2012 01:21 AM
  10. InnocuousScreenname's Avatar
    Very much agree with the OP's opinion on AT&T. The attitude towards Windows Phone 8, and it's flagship device by AT&T store reps is deplorable. Ill-informed and indifferent was the impression I got from the reps.

    I asked about the wireless charger in the store, and they had no idea what I was talking about. I just left it at that. I called AT&T customer service about the free charger, again, no idea what I was talking about.

    I'll just wait until the Nokia Free Charger site is up, but AT&T is handling this launch horribly, and I fear for the future of Nokia and Windows Phone as long as AT&T is their main carrier.
    lordofthereef likes this.
    11-11-2012 07:48 AM
  11. lordofthereef's Avatar

    I'll just wait until the Nokia Free Charger site is up
    Is there going to just be a site where we can request our free chargers? I wasn't aware of that. When the rep finally found the promotion in their system she mentioned it was running through January. Hopefully Nokia gets the word out. A free wireless charger is certainly enticing, especially if the potential buyer is on the fence between WP8 devices.

    I honestly cannot remember when I wanted a company or a platform to succeed this badly. I had high hopes but my hopes have waned. Maybe things will turn around, but I feel a strong launch opportunity was already missed.
    11-11-2012 02:51 PM
  12. NoLoveForFrank's Avatar
    I thought I'd just chime in with a different experience from AT&T....

    Stopped by my local AT&T store (which is a full AT&T store, not a reseller, and also happens to be a "corporate" store) the day before to ask them about the Lumia 920, and they were familiar with the handset and the release. I was told they had all the marketing materials in the back ready to be set up for the next day, but that the phones were being delivered that evening. When I asked about stock they said they were expecting black and white, possibly red, but no yellow or cyan, but no real idea on stock. So all in all it seemed like they had at least some clue about what was going on.

    Came in the next day and all were wearing their Windows 8/Windows Phone shirts, there was a large (3'x6' maybe?) wall display advertising the Lumia 920, and when I asked the first rep who walked up to me for the Lumia 920 he walked me right over to the display unit and started talking about features and such, so he seemed well versed on the product. When I asked to buy one he went to the back room and brought one right out and handed it to me as he started to set up my account. When I asked about the free wireless charger promo, he asked me to wait while he looked it up and told me that they didn't receive any in their shipment. Walked over to a manager who came over and worked their computer and set up the order of the wireless charger to be delivered right to my door, zero cost. They then offered to transfer all my contacts from my old phone to the Lumia 920, finished setting it up, and I was on my way. Almost no hassle and I was very pleased with the experience, especially since this was AT&T!

    I definitely agree that on the whole, AT&T is doing a rather poor job of marketing and supporting WRT Windows Phone 8 and the new handsets, if everything I've been hearing is true. But at least there are some stores, albeit not many, that are taking it seriously and providing a level of support above what corporate has done. I'm hoping that with the handsets now available there will be a bigger effort made by AT&T to get the word out.
    11-11-2012 03:30 PM
  13. InnocuousScreenname's Avatar
    Is there going to just be a site where we can request our free chargers?

    Nokia Free Charger.

    According to the site, those who want their free charger should check back on the 16th.
    11-11-2012 08:39 PM
  14. Iamdunne's Avatar
    I got my lumia 920 yesterday afternoon and had researched it all ahead so knew what the deal was with the wireless charger. What I didn't realize and was pleasantly surprised today was relating to the storage. I thought and the sales agent agreed that it was 16 not 32. I will say right by where the price is listed on display underneath it had the wireless charger offer and listed as a $49 value. I had to have mine shipped to the house. My AT&T store had the white and black both on display and had red, white and black but said a limited number of red because it had been popular. They showed me one out of a box but I opted for white.
    11-11-2012 09:07 PM