Nokia Lumia 920 – Is it worth 600 Euros?

Update: Nokia PR Europe say they think it’s too early for this question. I can only interpret that in one way; There’s a possibility that the official MRRP for the Lumia 920 is lower than the price we’re discussing here. True, distributors may have been given indicative pricing and launch pricing could be lower. For those wanting to pre-order though, the question is valid.

Update2: Nokia PR Europe also suggest to me that one should test a device before evaluating. True if you have that luxury and clearly the sensible choice would be to wait until launch or retail-package reviews. We’ll certainly put another opinion forward when we’ve tested further!

Pre-order for the Nokia Lumia 920 is now available in Europe with most retailers settling on 599 Euros after tax. That puts it up there as one of the most expensive phones you can buy. More expensive than a Galaxy S3, iPhone 4S, Galaxy Note and the HTC Windows 8 Phone. It’s more expensive than the Nokia 808 PureView was at launch. Prices will start to drop as more retailers jostle for position but don’t expect too much. The PureView, a device that has seen some discounting, is still only 50 –70 Euro cheaper than at launch. Is it worth it?

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The value-for-money equation is one that can only be completed by you so you’ll have to decide but for me, I’m a little worried that it’s over priced. I certainly don’t see myself handing over 600 Euros for the Lumia 920.

Let’s look at some of the features…

  • CPU – Up there with some of the best.
  • Screen – Again, up there with the best.
  • Weight – It’s got a chunky feel to it.
  • Brand – Not the most powerful in marketing terms.
  • Maps and Music – Two important consumer features. I don’t expect these to be class-leading but free turn-by-turn directions and offline capability will be an advantage.
  • OS – An unknown quantity at the moment.
  • Camera – iPhone 5 / Nokia N8 quality with optical stabilisation. One of the best in the market.
  • NFC, WiFi Direct, Wireless Charging – Impressive features that not many people will use initially.

I’ve highlights three ‘bests’ there but it’s Windows 8 that causes worry. It could be the best for many of you out there and I’m sure it’s at least going to be good enough but what about the app ecosystem around it? Will your favourite app be available, will a comparable feature be available, will the apps be high quality and will they push the boundaries. More importantly, will developers start to prioritise for Windows 8 given the amount of ‘computers’ there will be out there running the same kernel?

It’s going to be difficult to hand-over 600 euros for a cameraphone for most people but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

I’ve seen this trick done before by handset manufacturers with good carrier distribution channels. You put the retail price of the unit high but you discount heavily for carriers and thus give them a very attractive differential. You’ll probably see the Lumia 920 down at below 33% of it’s retail price for some high-end 24 month contracts and at around 50% of the price for your average contract price. Handing 299 Euros over rather than 600  sounds a lot more like an attractive offer!

Availability from European traders gives us hints that the Lumia 920 isn’t going to arrive until November so at least it gives you time to save from a couple of pay-days but make sure you track your carrier for contract offers. It could work out a better deal compared to the retail price.

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