eng-award-2012-rc[1]This week Engadget announced their Readers Choice awards, no less than three Microsoft products were featured including the Nokia Lumia 920 as SmartPhone of the Year.

 

Engadget just announced their 2012 readers choice awards. I’d like to take a minute to look at each of the Microsoft products that earned an award. Starting with

SmartPhone of the Year: Nokia Lumia 920

I smiled as I read the Engadget review, because I do love Windows Phone 8, but in particular, the camera on the Nokia Lumia 920 quite literally blew me away (with the flash turned off especially) I’d like to share a story from a fellow gadget geek, Microsoft Certified Trainer, Christopher Harrison (@GeekTrainer) about how he discovered and fell for the Lumia 920. He was kind enough to share it. Thanks for the story, Christopher, it seems you are not the only one who likes your Lumia 920.

Vegas and the Nokia Lumia 920

I love taking pictures. Mind you, I’m not overly skilled at it, and I don’t have the best eye for what makes a good picture. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to take lots of pictures.

What does stop me from taking lots of pictures, however, is the lack of a good camera. I have a digital Canon Rebel, which I love. But lugging that around everywhere I go isn’t really an option. And considering my most common subject for photos is food and cocktails[1], breaking out a dSLR makes me feel like a bigger dork when getting the shot. The one camera I, and virtually everyone else, has at their disposal at all times is their phone. Cameras on phones share one thing in common – they’re all terrible, especially in low light situations. And if you’re anything like me[2], the most common time you want a picture is in a low light situation.

Thus enter the Nokia Lumia 920.

I had the Lumia 900 for quite a while, and I loved it. But as interested as I was in some of the new Windows 8 features, including NFC support, I wasn’t interested enough to spend the money to upgrade out of contract to the Lumia 920. Until my birthday trip to Las Vegas.[3]

A friend of mine had recently upgraded to the Lumia 920. Whenever it was time for a group shot, we’d hand a point & shoot camera and the 920 over to someone nice enough to take the picture. Mind you, we weren’t trying to do a “taste test” of the two devices and which took the better, it was just how it happened. Invariably, the kind person would use the camera first, and the 920 second. The response after taking the picture with the 920 was universal – “Wow”. Every. Single. Time. After a little while everyone in the party was making sure we used my friend’s phone to take pictures.

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After that I had to have one. And it paid off when I went back to Las Vegas for the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon.

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I was in New York, NY[4] for work. I went to visit a friend in the Dyker Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, which is famous for over-the-top Christmas lights displays. My friend, with their iPhone[5], and I with my Lumia 920. While I wasn’t able to get all the pictures the way I wanted – it’s challenging in that type of a lighting situation – I had a much higher success rate than my friend.

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Every phone has its strengths and weaknesses. This phone meets my needs. The OS gives me the social networking integration I desire, and the camera, well, the camera is finally a good camera phone – much to the chagrin of my friends who can now expect several more pictures of cocktails and food on my Facebook wall.

[1] Yes, I’m that kind of a geek
[2] ...and I know I am
[3] Yes, I know – going to Vegas for one’s 40th birthday is cliché. I’m OK with that.
[4] The city so nice they named it twice
[5] This is not to call out the iPhone specifically, it was simply what they had.