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Within the last year or so, I can honestly say that I’ve owned a few phones that I’ve been, for all intents and purposes, perfectly happy with. In fact, in that particular time frame I can’t recall a phone I’ve used as my primary device that I didn’t like. Sure, there are hiccups here and there, but those are to be expected. Which is exactly why I’m sitting here, looking at this Lumia 920, and realizing that despite a few issues over the last few days, I’m actually really happy with the device for a lot of different reasons.

First and foremost, I’m a fan of the size of the device. Yes, I don’t mind that it isn’t the thinnest phone around. In fact, coming from the iPhone 5, it’s admittedly a tank of a phone, I commented on Twitter a few days ago that the Lumia 920 could be used as a Personal Defense Weapon if the situation called for it (I’m sure if you’ve got a good throwing arm, it could be used quite effectively in this regard). It’s a big phone, but that translates to feeling great while holding it. There were moments where I thought I was going to just watch the iPhone 5 slip out of my hand, while that has happened even a little bit with the Lumia 920.

So how does Windows Phone 8 stack up in real-world testing? Surprisingly well. After the mobile operating system was unveiled in full, I wrote a piece on how the software may not have been given all that much attention to new features, and that still stands. Windows Phone 8 doesn’t have a sweeping amount of new features compared to Windows Phone 7.5, but you know what? It isn’t a bad thing. The new features that it does have, along with the improvements to the operating system proper, make for an even smoother experience, along with some more visual flares here and there that just make me smile when I see them.

The gist of this is that overall, when looking at the phone as a whole, both in the hardware and software departments, I am quite happy with the Lumia 920. Before I picked it up, I truly believed that the phone would just be a good handset to own until something else came out, or until I went back to something I had owned previously. I thought the Lumia 920 would just be fun to try out, but now I’m sitting here looking ahead and I’m perfectly content in the prospect of owning this phone for a good length of time.

And that’s even with the quirks that the phone has had. Oddly enough, some of them are pretty huge in my book, too, especially when it comes to music playback. I’ve had the phone restart twice on me now, unexpectedly, which is something that a Windows Phone before the Lumia 920 has never done on me. The first time was by far the strangest, though. I was listening to music, and I tried to turn up what I was listening to. However, I quickly noticed that the physical volume rocker wasn’t working. So I tried the power button, but that didn’t respond either. Even the hardware camera function key didn’t work. My phone was a dark, unresponsive device at that point, until the “Nokia” logo popped up, and the phone rebooted. Odd, to be sure.

The second time it just rebooted for seemingly no reason, while it sat on the Start screen, doing nothing except flashing around those Live Tiles.

Music playback on the Lumia 920 is a strange affair, too. It doesn’t work as well as it has in the past, especially when comparing the Lumia 900. After syncing some music over from the Windows Phone application on my Windows 8 computer, a lot of songs just won’t play the first time they are accessed. I’ve noticed that some will play if I go back and try to play them again, but this is hit-or-miss. The device warns me that it cannot confirm the media usage rights to that particular track, and skips to the next song it can play (or it just sits in an endless stream of songs it is forced to skip, which is more annoying than it probably should be).

Like I said, that last bit is a pretty huge deal for me, as I primarily use my phone for a music device. I love Xbox Music, and it works perfectly fine on my Windows 8 computer and my Xbox 360 – just not on the Lumia 920. However, I can listen to the majority of my music, so I’m overlooking the hiccup and hoping that it gets fixed soon. It’s a small price to pay to use the other aspects of the Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8, so I’m okay pushing through.

Did you pick up a Lumia 920, Dear Reader? If you did, how are you enjoying the experience so far? Has it been smooth for you? Or have there been bumps in the road? Are you planning on keeping your phone? Or did you already exchange it for something else? If so, what? Let me know!

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