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 920 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.
When looking at the SunSpider test, our Lumia 920 notched a 927ms, which smokes 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 the numbers sure paint a rosy picture.
BrowserMark has recently moved on to a newer generation of benchmarks, using a new scoring scale as well. As we build up a new database of scores, we're posting the Lumia 920's results below. Here, it doesn't perform nearly as well, only matching some 59% of tested phones. 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.
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; it's LTE network is far more vast than AT&T's. For now, AT&T's LTE network hits just a fraction of the cities that Verizon's does, so you'll need to be located in one of those areas to fully take advantage. However, AT&T's LTE network is so sparingly used right now, speeds are impressive. We found ourselves hitting 20Mbps down and around 7.5Mbps up routinely. AT&T's 3G woes are well-documented, and those in NYC / SF should take the usual precautions before buying the Lumia 920 on a network that has proven to be less than stellar in their neck of the woods. That said, 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.