Nokia vs HTC vs Samsung: Windows Phone 8 spec sheet showdown

Much to the chagrin of Nokia, HTC recently announced that its Windows Phone 8 smartphones would be the signature devices for the launch of Microsoft’s new mobile operating system.

Nokia has focussed all its smartphone efforts on Windows Phone, while HTC, like Samsung, builds devices running Google’s Android operating system and Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform.

Given this context, it may be easier to understand the ire of Nokia’s EVP of sales and marketing, Chris Weber.

The partnership between HTC and Microsoft is even reflected in the names given to the new HTC devices: Windows Phone 8X (by HTC) and Windows Phone 8S (by HTC).

With competition on Windows Phone 8 heating up ahead of Microsoft’s anticipated launch of the operating system, how do the different devices compare?

Specifications Windows Phone 8X by HTC Nokia Lumia 920 Samsung ATIV S
Maker HTC Nokia Samsung
Display 4.3″ 720p (720×1280) S-LCD2 4.5″ (768×1280) IPS 4.8″ 720p (720×1280) Super AMOLED
Camera, primary 8MP 8.7MP “PureView” 8MP
Camera, secondary 2.1MP 1.3MP 1.9MP
Storage, internal 16GB 32GB 16/32GB
Storage, expandable No microSD microSD (64GB SDXC)
Processor 1.5GHz Qualcomm S4 dual-core 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm S4
Battery 1,800mAh 2,000mAh 2,300mAh
Cellular data HSPA 850/900/1900/2100 42Mbps HSPA+, LTE 42Mbps HSPA+
SIM type Micro SIM Micro SIM Unconfirmed
NFC Yes (operator dependent) Yes Yes
HTC Windows Phone 8X "Flame Red"
HTC Windows Phone 8X “Flame Red”

In addition to the basic hardware specs, another interesting thing that was announced was the wireless charging and wireless accessories that would be available for the Nokia Lumia 920.

An important factor that also isn’t shown in the table above is the ecosystem associated with each manufacturer.

Although all the devices run Windows Phone 8 and get all the Microsoft services associated with that, content such as music is not available on the Microsoft marketplace in South Africa.

Nokia bundles its own music store and offline maps apps for Windows Phone, both of which are available in South Africa. Samsung also has its own Music Hub, but this has yet to launch locally.

That said, the most important factor not yet announced is pricing.

A device can have bells and whistles from Beats audio or Super AMOLED to a more localised ecosystem and “PureView” camera… the price must be right for users to opt for one device over another.

HTC’s Windows Phone 8X and 8S are expected in SA in early November, but no launch information was available at the time of writing on the Nokia Lumia 920 or Samsung Ativ S.

Operators have also indicated that pricing will only be announced closer to launch.

Nokia Lumia 920

Samsung Ativ S

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Nokia vs HTC vs Samsung: Windows Phone 8 spec sheet showdown