Smackdown: HTC 8X vs Nokia Lumia 920 vs Samsung Ativ S

With every new device announcements, there’s one question on top of everyone’s mind: how does it compare to the competition? Get ready to find out in a bare knuckle brawl between the top trio of Windows Phone 8 flagships.

Will the Samsung Ativ S continue to succeed in the Windows Phone market where the Galaxy S III has in the Android world? Does Nokia’s innovative Lumia 920 have what it takes to continue to lead the Windows Phone pack? Or is HTC’s hot off the presses 8X ready to upset their larger, fiercer competitors with a noticeably smaller-yet-sharper display?

Let’s get ready to ruuuuummmmble!

Nokia Lumia 920
Samsung Ativ S
Processor (CPU)Snapdragon S4Snapdragon S4Snapdragon S4
CPU Clock Speed1.5 GHz dual-core1.5 GHz dual-core1.5 GHz dual-core
Graphics (GPU)Adreno 225Adreno 225Adreno 225
System Memory (RAM)1 GB1 GB1 GB
Internal Storage16 GB32 GB16 or 32 GB
MicroSD support?NoNoYes
Display4.3” Super LCD 24.5” PureMotion HD+ IPS4.8” HD Super AMOLED
Display Resolution1280 x 720 (HD)1280 x 768 (WXGA)1280 x 720 (HD)
Display Pixel Density341 ppi331.72 ppi305.96 ppi
Dimensions (L x W x D)132.35 x 66.2 x 10.12mm130.0 x 70.8 x 10.7mm137.2 x 70.5 x 8.7 mm
Weight130 g185 g135 g
Camera (Front)2.1 megapixel1.2 megapixel1.9 megapixel
Camera (Rear)8 MP f/2.0 lens, LED flash8.7 MP f/2.0 lens, LED flash8 MP f/2.4 lens, LED Flash
Video Recording1080p HD1080p HD at 30fps1080p HD at 30fps
HSPA+ Support?YesYes (42 Mbps)Yes (42 Mbps)
LTE Support?YesYesUnknown
NFC Support?YesYesYes
Battery size1,800 mAh2,000 mAh2,300 mAh
Standby Time (Estimated)UnknownUp to 400 hours (GSM/WCDMA)Unknown
Talk Time (Estimated)UnknownUp to 17 hours (2G)
Up to 10 hours (3G)
Price RangeHighHighHigh

Just like the last Windows Phone 8 brawl, the results are just fractions apart from one another and it’s hard to tell from a distance who is gonna win. By counting up the green victories, it looks like the winner is…the HTC 8X and the Nokia Lumia 920!

The new HTC 8X won in five categories, and those areas in particular are important to the average smartphone customer. Despite having a lower-resolution screen than Nokia’s flagship, the 8X ended up coming out on top in the pixel density race with a staggering 341 ppi making it an even sharper display than the iPhone 5. Meanwhile, its size also assisted in winning the weight category for the 130 gram 8X, though Samsung’s Ativ S was close behind weighing at 135 grams. HTC also won the front-facing camera category, and tied with the Nokia Lumia 920 for its rear camera thanks to the f/2.0 aperture. The finally victory came in the form of LTE support, which is still not confirmed for the Ativ S.

Nokia’s Lumia 920 also won in five categories and they are also arguably very important areas for folks to consider. Nokia won the internal storage category thanks to the 32 GB built-in, as well as the display resolution category since it’s the only Windows Phone with a WXGA screen. Meanwhile, it tied with the 8X in the rear camera category — some may think Nokia should come out on top, but honestly a 0.7 megapixel difference is irrelevant to taking good pictures. Interestingly, Nokia is the only manufacturer to provide battery life estimates and they are quite impressive. Finally, they tied with HTC to win the LTE category.

It’s amazing how little we know about the Samsung Ativ S, yet it came in at a very close third place with four categories seized. Samsung tied with Nokia for the internal storage capacity, being the only flagship Windows Phone 8 handset so far to offer two storage sizes. As an extra bonus for the storage-hungry, the Ativ S is also the only flagship to include a microSD expansion slot so it wins in that category as well. Samsung’s manufacturing know-how also secured a victory with the dimensions of the Ativ S, still a ridiculous 8.7 mm thin. Despite this thinness, Samsung is a clear winner for the battery capacity — a roomy 2,300 mAh.

So in the end it was a tie, but I think it’s easy to see that Windows Phone customers are the real winners today.

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Author Description

Saad Hashmi

Founder of Windows Phone Daily. Currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Information Systems. While procrastinating on that goal I write, play games a little too often, and watch exorbitant amounts of mediocre half-hour comedies because I lack the patience to watch hour-long dramas that are probably better. Follow me on Twitter: @Saad073