Smackdown: Nokia Lumia 620 vs. Nokia Lumia 820 vs. Windows Phone 8S by HTC!

A glorious battle for the bargain bin unlike we’ve ever seen.

Yesterday Nokia announced the all-new Lumia 620, firing a salvo as the most affordable Windows Phone 8 handset yet. It got us thinking: “How does the Lumia 620 stack up to its competition?”

The answer of course lies in yet another edition of Smackdown, a brutal battle of specs superiority between three Windows Phone contenders. This go-around we’re pitting up the aforementioned Lumia 620 with its bigger brother, the Lumia 820, and its mortal enemy, the Windows Phone 8S by HTC. Which affordable Windows Phone will reign supreme?

Let’s get ready to ruuuuummmmble!

Nokia Lumia 620
Nokia Lumia 820
Windows Phone 8S by HTC
Processor (CPU) Snapdragon S4 Snapdragon S4 Snapdragon S4
CPU Clock Speed 1.0 GHz dual-core 1.5 GHz dual-core 1.0 GHz dual-core
Graphics (GPU) Adreno 305 Adreno 225 Adreno 305
System Memory (RAM) 512 MB 1 GB 512 MB
Internal Storage 8 GB 8 GB 4 GB
MicroSD support? Yes Yes Yes
Display 3.8” ClearBlack TFT LCD 4.3” ClearBlack AMOLED 4.0″ Super LCD
Display Resolution 800 x 480 (WVGA) 800 x 480 (WVGA) 800 x 480 (WVGA)
Display Pixel Density 245.51 ppi 233.24 ppi 216.97 ppi
Dimensions (L x W x D) 115.4 x 61.1 x 11.0 mm 123.8 x 68.5 x 9.9 mm 120.5 x 63 x 10.28 mm
Weight 127 g 160 g 113 g
Camera (Front) VGA VGA None
Camera (Rear) 5 MP f/2.4 lens, LED flash 8 MP f/2.2 lens, dual LED flash 5 MP f/2.8 lens, LED Flash
Video Recording 720p HD 1080p Full HD 720p HD
HSPA+ Support? Yes  (21 Mbps) Yes (42 Mbps) Yes (21 Mbps)
LTE Support? No Yes No
NFC Support? Yes Yes No
Battery size 1,300 mAh 1,650 mAh 1,700 mAh
Standby Time (Estimated) Up to 330 hours (2G / 3G) Up to 360 hours (2G / 3G)
Talk Time (Estimated) Up to 14.6 hours (2G)

Up to 9.9 hours (3G)

Up to 15.4 hours (2G)

Up to 8.1 hours (3G)

Price (without contract) $249 USD $600 USD $325 USD

The Smackdown winner is…the Nokia Lumia 820! Nokia’s second-in-command is an uncompromising Windows Phone that we don’t think anyone can call ‘mid-range’ in the current market. The 820 matches up to the big boys with is 1.5 GHz dual core Snapdragon S4, 1 GB of RAM, slim 9.9 mm profile, 8-megapixel f/2.2 camera with a dual-LED flash, Full HD 1080p video recording, and speedy cellular performance with support for 42 Mbps HSPA+ as well as LTE. However, all of these specs still demand a high asking price of about $600 without a contract — like we said, that’s certainly not mid-range at all.

Nokia also took the second spot on the podium with the brand new Lumia 620, the most affordable Windows Phone 8 device to date at just $249 without a contract. Plus at that price you’re getting 8 GB of built-in storage, the most pixel-dense display of the three thanks to the 3.8-inch ClearBlack LCD screen, a front-facing camera, and NFC support. Yet all good bargains come with a catch, and the 620 compromises on some key specs to push that price tag down. Namely, the dual-core Snapdragon S4 is actually a different chip than the one found in the 820 and is slightly slower at 1.0 GHz with half of the RAM. Nokia’s budget handset is also the chubbiest of the three (11.0 mm) and has the tiniest battery (1,300 mAh).

Though it placed in third, HTC’s distinctive Windows Phone 8S actually matches up quite closely to the Lumia 620. Both share the conservative 1.0 GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, the same allotment of RAM, and almost identical camera specs / video recording capabilities. HTC’s 8S also manages to win some on key specs which might influence your decision like the 10.28 mm thickness, the feather light weight of 113 grams, and a generous 1,700 mAh battery (which is even larger than found in the 820). Truly the only disappointing aspects of the 8S are the lack of NFC and a front-facing camera, as both are fairly important to having the ‘complete’ Windows Phone 8 experience.

Update: As reader FT in the comments has pointed out, the Qualcomm MSM8227 found in the HTC 8S and Lumia 620 actually use the Adreno 305 GPU, not the Adreno 225. For clarification, the Adreno 225 is superior to the 305 although by how much is unclear. Sorry for the oversight, and thanks again to FT!

Which of the three do you like the most?

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