Performance: Web Browsing
Browsing the Web is certainly a key feature of any smartphone, so we also conducted some formal speed tests to see how well the Lumia 920 compares to some of today's hottest smartphones.Due to the limitations of Internet Explorer within WP8, we weren't able to run our full gauntlet of mobile speed tests as we usually do with Android handsets. That said, we want to make clear that the Web browsing experience with the Lumia 1020 is very good. Surfing was brisk and fluid, and we loved Microsoft's decision to place the address bar at the bottom of the screen, not top.
Considering performance metrics in the SunSpider test, our Lumia 1020 notched a 928.3ms, which smokes nearly every other smartphone we've tested to date, including the iPhone 5. IE10 doesn't necessarily feel like lightning when browsing -- it feels about on par with the iPhone 5 and most Android flagships -- but these numbers sure paint a rosy picture. We say "nearly," because the Lumia 920 technically registered a slightly faster score. It won out by a mere millisecond. Practically speaking, the two flagships are neck-and-neck.
BrowserMark has recently moved on to a newer generation of benchmarks, using a new scoring scale as well. As we build up a refreshed database of scores, we'll post the Lumia 1020's results below. Here, it doesn't perform nearly as well, and only barely bests the 1942 score registered last year by the Lumia 920. Of course, this is still a new slate of tools, so it'll be interesting to see how the metrics shift in the months ahead.
Network Performance -
AT&T's LTE support is also a plus for this device, but we certainly wish that Verizon Wireless would've received the phone as well.. For now, AT&T's LTE network hits fewer city areas that Verizon's does. However, AT&T's LTE network is more sparingly utilized right now, so speeds are impressive. We found ourselves hitting 20Mbps down and around 7.5Mbps up routinely. Both 3G and 4G performance (as well as Wi-Fi) was great on this phone, and we also loved the subtle notification bar message whenever a nearby Wi-Fi network was in range. This prevented us from having to barge into settings and refresh the list each time; a small thing, but a useful thing.
Below, we compared the Lumia 1020 with a handful of other phones in a variety of other browser-based benchmarks. All told, we're seeing something of a pattern here.
The Lumia 1020 matches up with the Lumia 920 quite well, scoring nearly identical marks across a variety of these tests. It just acts as further proof that the Lumia 1020, at least from a performance standpoint, can essentially be characterized as a Lumia 920 with double the RAM and a fantastic camera.