Hands-on (kind of) with Nokia Lumia 920 and 820

After today's press conference in New York City, where Nokia and Microsoft showed off the Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 smartphones, we got a chance to see both Windows Phone 8 devices in action in a demo room above where the press conference was held.

While we did get to hold the 4.3 inch Lumia 820 and the 4.5 inch Lumia 920, we were told that we could not actually touch the screen to use the Windows Phone 8 interface. We can report that both device look very cool close up and feel well constructed but that's about it...sorry.

Microsoft and Nokia team members did give us some hands-off demo time with the Lumia smartphones. One Nokia rep showed how the City Lens feature works in a simulated street scene. He basically aimed the Lumia 920's camera at a wall made to look like the side of a city street. The smartphone's display showed information about the "street's" shops. It remains to be seen if this will be a useful app or just a cute gimmick that few will use.

We also got a chance to check out the wireless charging capabilities as a Lumia 920 was placed on top of the large speaker shown in the press conference. The device started charging right up. We also saw the smartphone's NFC capabilities. The Lumia 920 was placed next to a smaller speaker and the speaker started playing the song that was running on the smartphone.

We even saw an NFC-enabled business card touch the Lumia 920 and the smartphone brought up all of the information on that business card, and more, on the screen.

We asked Neowin readers if they had any questions they wanted to ask Nokia. Unfortunately, most of the questions you guys had were greeted by "We haven't announced that yet" or "We can't talk about that" from Nokia reps at the press event.

One question, from Neowin reader Salem874, asked, "Why are Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive & Nokia Transport three separate apps on Windows Phone?" The Nokia rep we talked today to said that the reason was that they wanted each of the apps to be a full featured experienced and that Windows Phone 8 makes it easy to pin each app to the Start screen so that they didn't need to really combine those apps into one.

Another question from Neowin reader Enron, asked, "Will Nokia Drive have spoken street names?" The Nokia rep we talked to said that feature will indeed be made available for Nokia Drive when the new Lumia devices are released.

Overall, the presentation today was certainly interesting, but we were disappointed that we were not allowed to actually use the new Lumia smartphones. Hopefully there will be another opportunity to get some real hands-on time before the devices become generally available.

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Please excuse my entry level question. If Verizon doesn't offer the 920, will it be possible to buy it off contract and unlock to use on Verizon?

Got the HTC 7 PRO atm, a great phone, but my 2 year plan is almost at the end, so good news ! Ganne get the 920 for sure.

"The Nokia rep we talked today to said that the reason was that they wanted each of the apps to be a full featured experienceD"

Does nobody proof read this stuff?

There are 2 things I need to point out about the finish of the devices.

1. The Brighter colors are Glossy to reduce tint from dust and other stuff to stick on it from long use and cause the color to become duller. Yellow will look really bad due to that and same with White. But the red could've been matte. They went for Glossy to just match the finish of Yellow and it is a better decision in my opinion.

2. The phone is bigger and as a fact a glossy phone is better to handle than a matte phone. Our fingers stick better to glossy surfaces than matte ones. Try holding a glossy ball made out of glass and an aluminum one with a matte finish.

Wireless charging is not a gimmick. It will be really useful situations where you need to pick ur phone up again and again from your table or someplace to use and take it a litte further than the charging wire allows. This will eliminate the need to insert the charging pin in and out again and again.

I want this phone NOW! Come on! PLEASE! I need a new phone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let me buy one! QUICK! Sell a 920 to me NOW!
My 6220 Classic is so old that I deserve to be the first one on earth to get the chance to buy a 920! I'll even come to Helsinki to buy one!

The 920 actually looks pretty good, as a HUGEE Apple fan, i'm really intrigued about this.. however, i do think 4.5" for a phone is too big and therefore probably a deal breaker for me, just looking at the size of the beast in that guys hand in the 1st photo puts me off... would love a 920 4"

iphone 5 is in a few weeks, right?. Why you ppl dont just wait to see whats comming?. I bet would be a lot better than this. And they (Apple) have all the patents!

ThePitt said,
iphone 5 is in a few weeks, right?. Why you ppl dont just wait to see whats comming?. I bet would be a lot better than this. And they (Apple) have all the patents!

Because some of us prefer WP to iOS.

Nokia, we have a problem. How can you beat Samsung Ativ S when the Lumia 920 is the same as Lumia 900 but with better specs.

So called *Samsung Ativ S* is just a warm up for us.

Princess Chica Ami said,
Nokia, we have a problem. How can you beat Samsung Ativ S when the Lumia 920 is the same as Lumia 900 but with better specs.

So called *Samsung Ativ S* is just a warm up for us.

Isn't the Ativ S, or rather it's cloned brother just a better speced Galaxy S 2? The only thing the Ativ S has over the 920 is a bigger screen and maybe a microSD slot if that's something you really need (lumia 920 will have a 32GB option, should be good for most peoples needs IMO.).

The 920's camera will mop the floor with anything Samsung and HTC release regardless of OS I bet.

The verge said that they could touch them, but the only feature active was unlocking and scrolling through the home screen, nothing else worked.

Why do MS keep doing these half baked product announcements? If the product isn't ready... don't say anything?

DrCheese said,
The verge said that they could touch them, but the only feature active was unlocking and scrolling through the home screen, nothing else worked.

Why do MS keep doing these half baked product announcements? If the product isn't ready... don't say anything?

They don't want to say everything, which I bet they can do now and did with mango 7.5 last year. But then if you give out all the info too soon then what's left? People will start to forget things as others talk up their own stuff after you. Now they're giving us info in bits as we get closer to release of new devices. When they finally tell us everything there is to know about WP8 and the OS itself I bet it'll be a few days away from new phones going on sale.

DrCheese said,
The verge said that they could touch them, but the only feature active was unlocking and scrolling through the home screen, nothing else worked.

Why do MS keep doing these half baked product announcements? If the product isn't ready... don't say anything?

It was reported the other day that Microsoft are locking new functionality so even the OEMs can't access it. The locks will be removed once Microsoft do there final WP announcement.

This has more to do with keeping everything a secret than the product being half baked.

Is it me or does the Red Nokia Lumia 920 have a slightly different finish to the 900, in Engadget's hands on it was reviewing so much light it looked like plastic not aluminium.

thealexweb said,
Is it me or does the Red Nokia Lumia 920 have a slightly different finish to the 900, in Engadget's hands on it was reviewing so much light it looked like plastic not aluminium.

I believe the 920's are more like the white 900 (i.e. a bit glossy rather than matte)

thealexweb said,
Is it me or does the Red Nokia Lumia 920 have a slightly different finish to the 900, in Engadget's hands on it was reviewing so much light it looked like plastic not aluminium.

The Lumia 920 (like the 900) is made of plastic.

Question: how does the lcd looks on the 920? (Talking about the distance between the "glass" and the actual lcd panel, on the 610 they were pretty far apart)

I just got the 900 a few months ago, but I'm actually looking at getting a black 920 here soon. Have to get a job first.

Would like to know why you were not allowed to touch the screen! Waiting for the iPhone 5 before i decide what my next smartphone to be!

th3r3turn said,
Would like to know why you were not allowed to touch the screen! Waiting for the iPhone 5 before i decide what my next smartphone to be!

Having used both Windows Phone and iOS now, I'd have to say Windows Phone definitely feels more made for you and customizable to you and your needs where as iOS does what it advertises and has almost anything you could ever want, you still have to conform to their way. Windows Phone 8 looks to bring even more "me" to the phone than 7/7.5 has so it should only get better. But the choice is yours.

th3r3turn said,
Would like to know why you were not allowed to touch the screen! Waiting for the iPhone 5 before i decide what my next smartphone to be!

They aren't allowed to touch the screen because they don't want them diving into the OS and leaking anything new they might find in the process.