Windows Phone 8 SA pricing showdown

With Nokia launching its Lumia 920 flagship Windows Phone 8 smartphone recently, South Africans now have two devices in Microsoft’s ecosystem to choose from.

The Windows Phone 8X by HTC (or just the HTC 8X) became available in South Africa less than a week before Nokia’s flagship was launched on MTN and Vodacom.

HTC’s offers a thin, lightweight device with a matte back that gives good grip, Beats-enhanced audio and, according to the Taiwanese smartphone maker, the cameras on the 8X received special attention.

Both the front and rear cameras have F2.0 lenses, and HTC boasts about its dedicated ImageChip image signal processor every chance it gets. The 2.1 megapixel (MP) front-facing camera on HTC 8X sports a wide-angle lens, which the Taiwanese smartphone maker said is for fitting more into your self-shots.

While HTC’s challenge to Nokia in the smartphone camera space is not to be sneered at, the Finnish phone maker has not been idle when it comes to imaging technology.

Spec comparison

Specifications Windows Phone 8X by HTC Nokia Lumia 920
Dimensions 132.35 x 66.2 x 10.12mm 130.2 x 70.8 x 10.7mm
Weight 130g 185g
Operating system Windows Phone 8 Windows Phone 8
Display 4.3″ 720p (720×1280) S-LCD2 4.5″ (768×1280) IPS
Rear camera 8MP 8.7MP “PureView”
Front camera 2.1MP 1.3MP
Storage, internal 16GB 32GB
Storage, expandable No No
Processor 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm S4 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm S4
Battery 1,800mAh 2,000mAh
Cellular data HSPA 850/900/1900/2100 42Mbps HSPA+, pentaband LTE
SIM type Micro SIM Micro SIM
NFC Yes Yes

The Nokia Lumia 920’s 8.7MP “PureView” camera offers spring-mounted floating lens technology. This lets optical image stabilisation take in 5 times more light than competing smartphones, while also compensating for hand movement, Nokia said.

Other hardware features offered by the Lumia 920 include built-in support for wireless charging and pentaband LTE.

According to the Nokia spec sheet, the device supports the 800, 900, 1800, 2100, and 2600MHz Long Term Evolution (LTE) bands.

This bodes well for South African users, as Vodacom and MTN are both rolling out LTE networks on refarmed 1800MHz spectrum, while Cell C has announced plans to trial LTE on 2100MHz.

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has also earmarked the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands for mobile broadband.

While both the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X are available on MTN and Vodacom, both manufacturers expect the other operators to also offer their devices. In particular, Nokia said that it expects Cell C to offer the devices by year-end.

The table below compares the pricing of the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X on Vodacom and MTN:

Windows Phone 8 deals Nokia Lumia 920 price Windows Phone 8X price Airtime SMSes Data
Prepaid/cash pricing
Nokia: Vodacom World R7,799 N/A 0 0 0
Vodacom Shop R9,299 R6,999 0 0 0
MTN N/A N/A 0 0 0
Vodacom 4U: Vodacom World R9,699 R7,129 0 0 0
MTN contracts
AnyTime 200 R399 R349 R200 25 150MB
AnyTime 350 R499 R449 R350 50 150MB
AnyTime 500 R659 R599 R500 50 250MB
Vodacom Smart Plans
Smart Light R429 R329 75 off-peak 100.0 100MB
Smart Standard 229: Vodacom World R459 R279 75 anytime, 20 More weekend 150 150MB (1GBx3 months for Lumia 920)
Smart Standard 229 R459 R369 75 anytime, 20 More weekend 150 150MB
Smart Standard R589 R499 130 anytime, 60 More weekend 300 300MB
Vodacom voice contracts
Everyday Off-peak 120 R439 R349 120 off-peak 0 0
Talk 75s R489 R399 75 anytime; 20 More weekend 0 0
Talk 120s R529 R429 120 anytime; 20 More weekend 0 0
Talk 130 R539 R449 130 anytime; 20 More weekend 0 0
Talk 200s R689 R539 200 anytime; 60 More weekend 0 0
Talk 240 R629 R539 240 anytime; 60 More weekend 0 0
Talk 350s R779 R679 350 anytime; 60 More weekend 0 0
Vodacom Top-up contracts
Top Up 99 Vodacom 4 Less R499 R399 R99 0 0
Top Up 135s R369 R379 R135 0 0
TopUp 275s R539 R449 R275 0 0
TopUp 315 R549 R459 R315 0 0
TopUp 315s R579 R489 R315 0 0
TopUp 400s R599 R499 R400 0 0
TopUp 500s R679 R579 R500 0 0
TopUp 1000 R1089 R1,000 R1000 0 0

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Windows Phone 8 SA pricing showdown