Category Archives: Mobile Phones

Nokia Lumia 920 Camera Review Part #1 – Quick Impression

Nokia Lumia 920 with PureView 2 Camera featuring Optical Image Stabilization

Introduction

This first part of my review on the Nokia Lumia 920 camera will not have a lot of information other than some full size sample photos taken with it while I got to use my cousin’s nice looking grey unit for a few hours as well as some first impressions. Nothing fancy, just simple shots while I was out and about. =)

Camera Specification

Nokia Lumia 920 has a PureView Phase 2 camera with the following key specs:
– 8.7MP 1/3″ BSI sensor (Pixel size 1.4 µm)
– 26mm equiv. FoV (at 16:9) Carl Zeiss lens with fast f/2.0 fixed aperture
– Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)
– Mechanical 2 stage dedicated shutter button
– Powerful fast-pulse dual LED flash
– Min. 1/3 second shutter speed in Auto mode and 1 second shutter speed in Night mode.

On paper, the specs are very good. In fact, other than Nokia’s very own camera-centric 808 PureView and N8, there is no other smartphone currently in the market that has better camera specs than the 920.

First Impressions

I’ll keep it short and simple for now as I haven’t had any extensive use of the Lumia 920 yet.

1.  Camera feels speedy enough when taking photos with the physical shutter button. I did not notice any significant lag from when the shutter is pressed to when it actually take the photo. Once I get more hands-on time with it, I will post some more info about its speed.

2. Without any case for the Lumia 920, I didn’t feel confident in holding it with my right hand single handedly to take photos like a normal small compact camera. I guess it’s due to the round shape of the sides and the relatively small protruding shutter button. I’m sure it would improve if you get a case for it that allows for a more secure grip.

3. Daylight image quality is nothing to really boast about due to its heavily post-processed look to them which I am not that fond of. However, once the photo is resized to the more commonly used web-use sizes smaller than 2MP (1600×1200 or less), it is not any different to any other high-end competitor smartphones out there right now. Also, Nokia did state that they will work to improve the quality with future software updates.

4. In terms of low-light images, due to its hand-shake reducing OIS, the fast f/2.0 aperture lens combined with a very slow 1/3 second shutter speed support in Auto mode, Lumia 920 can take some seriously well exposed photos at night hand held that most other smartphones just cannot do. (Most smart phones don’t go slower than around 1/15 seconds in Auto mode using the default camera app) The level of noise is also very well controlled with low chroma noise while keeping enough detail even at ISO 800. More samples with various ISO will come in my upcoming part #2 review.

The central dark grey metal surrounding the lens is actually made out of Ceramic zirconium which is virtually scratch proof. Same material is also used for the volume, power and camera shutter button!

My gripes with the default camera app
– No exposure lock during focus lock (while shutter button is half-pressed)
– Exposure compensation is very fiddly to get to and use.
– No sharpness or contrast settings.
– No metering mode options. (this was a problem for some photos seen below)
– No JPEG compression settings.
– No customizable UI elements.
– No setting to turn off OIS (would be handy for reviewers at least. =p)

I will stop here for now as I am planning to post Part #2 later on with full sized ISO image comparison shots and night shot comparisons.

Sample Photos

– Click on the photos for untouched original image files straight off the Lumia 920.
– I did try to ensure I got good focus lock before taking each shot.
– I made sure that the lens was kept clean at all times also.

Affordable smartphone, LG Optimus GT540

Not a proper review really. Information is scattered everywhere as I wrote it as it came into mind.
But hopefully it’s still better than nothing for those who are looking to purchase this. =)

I just got two of these for my mum and dad who wanted a cheap phone but also wanted multi-lingual IME for SMS etc and possibility of turn-by-turn GPS and Golf GPS. This phone is one of the cheapest (if not the cheapest) brand-name Android phone out there as it costs less than AU$200 outright here in Australia.

It came with Android 1.6. Soon as I took it out of the box, I upgraded it to official Eclair 2.1 OS update. Process went butter smooth.

Resistive screen is actually not bad at all and quite responsive as long as you get used to it or use your nails. It’s no where near as bad as the LG KU990 Viewty phone’s resistive screen and quite close the excellent Nokia N900’s resistive. Resolution is decent for anyone who aren’t heavy web browsers that need the extra space. There is no pinch-to-zoom support due to the nature of resistive touch screen.

I got around 460 for the Quadrant benchmark score. (apparently you can get over 1000 if you use apps2sd and use extra swap partition) Tried Angry Birds and it plays it smoothly enough. So it can handle some gaming just fine.

Camera has a dedicated 2-step shutter button and although small, it’s still better than not having one that’s for sure. I tried out the new Google Navigation while driving and it works extremely well. My dad tried out the golf GPS apps (SkyDroid, GolfShot) and he LOVES it. So that works well also. Amazing to have such features and capability in such a budget phone really.

Overall, phone is as snappy as any other more expensive Android phone in general menu navigation etc. It comes with Korean read/write support out of the box that my parents need. (as well as tons of other international languages) Due to the resistive screen, it also has hand writing options and works very well once you get used to how it recognises your writing.

It just charges off a MicroUSB cable and also uses it for data transfer. No need for special chargers anymore.

I was actually quite surprised at its build quality or its “feel” of it. It looks and feels quite good. Definitely not cheap imo. Especially the pink colour one! It is actually a really nice pink and looks like a much more expensive phone. Very nice.

Anyways, other than having a resistive screen, it’s an excellent quite-capable little Android smartphone that is very affordable. I definitely recommend it for those who are looking for a cheap phone that can do many things more expensive ones can. =)

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