Nokia Lumia 920 vs Samsung Galaxy S III
Windows Phone 8 ushered Microsoft’s mobile OS in the era of dual-core phones and HD screens that Android and iOS have been inhabiting for a while, and Nokia Lumia 920 is the handset best suited to take on those other flagships.
Naturally, we are going to compare it with Android’s most popular high-end, the Samsung Galaxy S III, which offers a quad- or dual-core processor, depending on the region, and a high-res AMOLED display, flaunting camera of the same resolution as the Lumia 920.
We get a number of mobile firsts with Nokia’s phone in terms of hardware, though, such as optical image stabilization and supersensitive touchscreen, to pit against Android’s formidable UI customization advantage, so which phone will prevail? Read on our comparison to find out...
The Lumia 920 is rather thick and hefty, and not only in comparison with the slim Galaxy S III, yet is surprisingly ergonomic to handle, thanks to its tapered unibody design, and feels solid, with even weight distribution. You get used to the Lumia 920 thickness and weight, but it is by no means pleasant this anorexic smartphone day and age, especially when operated with one hand. Both phones are made of deep-colored polycarbonate, and the Galaxy S III has the advantage of a removable back cover that lets you add more memory or swap the battery.
The thin Galaxy S III with a big 4.8” display feels way more elegant but more fragile in the hand than Lumia 920’s chubby tank-like physique, which is also proven by plenty of drop tests, where the fatty escaped unscathed unless you hurl it into a concrete wall, whereas a Galaxy S III drop at shoulder height often cracks the screen. Case or caution are hence recommended with Samsung’s phone, whereas the Lumia 920 would fare better with sloppier owners.
The sides of the Nokia Lumia 920 (bottom) and the Samsung Galaxy S III (top)
We have a 4.8” HD Super AMOLED display on the Galaxy S III, with 720x1280 pixels of resolution, while the Lumia 920 sports a 4.5” 768x1280 PureMotion HD+ LCD screen with Nokia’s ClearBlack filter. This gives the pixel density round to the Lumia 920, at 332ppi, against the 306ppi of the Galaxy S III. Samsung has on top of that used the PenTile pixel matrix that looks unorthodox compared to the regular RGB stripe when solid colors are examined closely, yet you'd have to be a real screen purist to notice even then.
The colors on the Lumia 920 are vivid, yet are still a far cry from the oversaturation present with Samsung’s AMOLED screen, which also tends to display various cold color casts at all times.
The ClearBlack filter of the Lumia 920 and the much higher brightness of its display are definitely an advantage when it comes to comparing outdoor visibility with the Galaxy S III. Even with the sun shining directly on the display, it can be observed fine, whereas the Galaxy S III looks dimmer in comparison.
Nokia touts the record fast refresh rate of its PureMotion HD+ screen, yet in reality the only advantage can be observed with enlarged text or contact lists being slightly less blurry than on the S III while flipping them quickly up and down.
Finally, when we consider the supersensitive Synaptics layer of the screen on the Lumia 920, which allows you to use the display with gloves, pens, and other objects, the phone suddenly becomes much more suited for dirty jobs or adverse weather conditions. This feature can be turned off in the settings, but we didn’t once experience the screen getting unlocked and operating inadvertently in our pocket, so that worry turns out to be a non-issue.
Drag the picture or use the keyboard arrows to rotate the phone.
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Drag the picture or use the keyboard arrows to rotate the phone.
Double click or press keyboard Space to zoom in/out
1. dickwyn (Posts: 601; Member since: 07 May 2012)
both are excellent devices and are for two different types of people
4. -box- (Posts: 3880; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
Precisely. Well done comparison, honest and straightforward.
Will we see a 920 vs Nexus 4 or Optimus G? Since the GS3, while good is an last-Gen device and doesn't even have the newest OS.
14. -box- (Posts: 3880; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
That too, but that is kind of a given, and may turn out to be one of those "if you like iPhones, get it; if you don't, the 920 is worth a long look and its $200 lower price tag gives apple a shot across the bow they cannot ignore" or something. I hope not, but there is that chance since there is such a disparate difference in the platforms.
I watched a comparison video of the 920 vs ip5 (it is the one in Russian on YouTube), and while the 5 was faster at some things, it looked ancient in comparison with its awkward chaotically-colored app grid, almost looking psychedelic in comparison to the crisp clean organization and resizable and moveable Tiles of the Lumia, as well as dinky in comparison, and boring and uninviting with its cold, hard, black body. Pure aesthetics alone would make me disregard the 5 if I were a first-time smartphone shopper.
10. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
sorry but optimus G has 4.0 version of android. 920 v nexus 4 would be better.
15. -box- (Posts: 3880; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
I thought OptG had 4.1, and the N4 had 4.2?
59. brandonrana (Posts: 57; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)
LUMIA 920 is the boss for sure..!!!! Sgs3 was also great, but it is a thing of past now.
49. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
nope. that's the sad truth. But anyways, for sure the update's on the way. But the thing is, Optimus G is kind of a flop product. The software and hardware integration is not superb. That's what makes LG not on the top line. They make a great hardware but the software kills it. Good thing there's the Nexus 4, where they don't have to worry about OTA updates.
So, nexus 4 and 920 it is.
+ note 2 and 920
27. wp8forever (unregistered)
is really nice to see , that nobody here is surprice that the lumia is better , i remember when i used to say it, they were no u crazy never never . I told u lumia 920 is the best phone out there , i know s4 is coming but nokia is coming harder too wp8 is in the game now and is no going anywere , dont get me wrong i thing android is good better thank ios but is just too unique , once again im no hating on dissin android cuz i had the s3 is a really good phone .
2. _Bone_ (Posts: 2140; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)
I love everything about the 920 but the size, I held one and it's monstrous, so I'd put it in the phablet category where the actually silighly more pocketable (because it's thinner) Note II is all around a better package. But to stay on topic, I'd recommend the 920 over the SIII, if thickness is not a problem for you, well done Nokia!
8. -box- (Posts: 3880; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
I disagree with the "phablet" designation. It may be heavier than some mainstream models, but not grossly so; the HTC Vivid and some of the rugged smartphones are the same weight class it heavier.
None of the review videos have had the narrator groan and complain about the extra heft or be unable to pick it up; other phones are just thinner and lighter, like a model, whereas the Nokia is like the nerdy photographer girl/boy next door, being a lot of fun, natural, and with amazing capabilities you enjoy discovering together. The Note, DNA, and Streak are like the basketball players, taller but highly capable because of it. Also, the Lumia can still fit in many pockets the "phablets" cannot.
35. Johnnokia (Posts: 570; Member since: 27 May 2012)
I have Galaxy S3, but I see the Lumia much better than in S3 in almost all specs.
I can't imagine, would the galaxy or Note be popular if Nokia had adopted Android ??!!.
40. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
I really doubt you have an S3.
I love my S3 to bits and would never ever consider that uniformed, restricted tank over it
48. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
wow your not been a fanboy are you
''uniformed, restricted tank over it''
well that tank is all round ahead of the s3, you will always slate its weight but fact is you over exagerate it. if you cant hold the 920 your in need of help
second restricted, what else will the general user been in desperate need of that wp8 doesnt offer
84. Alex123 (Posts: 227; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)
I do love Everything that Nokia had maded on L920. It is the best WP8. and Nokia adopt Android, i guess Nokia will be more popular phone than Samsung
77. tashreef (Posts: 476; Member since: 24 Nov 2012)
It is because weight is the only drawback that can be considered while comparing lumia 920 with any other flagship....
anything else....nothing..don't say apps availability...since WP is new in the market...
37. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Why do you recommend WP over the best Android experience?
Please, bring me one valid reason!
52. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
ease of use, uniformed and refreshing
wp8 might be a better option for many, why wont you accept not everyone wants android or even likes it. me myself use android too but i dont shove it down peoples throats like you try
i use android, symbian, ios, dont use bb but i dont have a problem when others do....its there and this is the key word kid ''choice''
3. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
Nokia Lumia 920 just cuts it for me. No other phone for me - except the Nexus 4.
5. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
a suggestion, please use the black background of Windows Phone devices. the white makes it ugly. :)
38. Mobile-X-Pert (Posts: 565; Member since: 20 Dec 2010)
Yeah, I kinda hate the white background on videos. The black makes the live tiles look much better.
61. Aeires (unregistered)
Does WP8 have black tiles? A black background with thin white bordered black tiles would look sick.
86. Bilpocalypse (Posts: 301; Member since: 13 Oct 2012)
Make the background white and turn on high contrast mode. It does look sick. But, for colored tiles, the black background looks much better.
6. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1163; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)
you do know that making the 920's weight a drawback in usability is just plain silly.
oh and you forgot their prices...
-still a good comparison
9. XiphiasGladius (Posts: 804; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)
Excellent phones of 2012. Imma skip 2012 phones though. Hope 2013 would be SPECstacular in any way. . .
13. dickwyn (Posts: 601; Member since: 07 May 2012)
Galaxy S IV, Galaxy Note III, HTC DLX, Sony Yuga/Odin, Lumia 930 yeah you betcha 2013 is gonna be great
16. XiphiasGladius (Posts: 804; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)
I'm with ya there man. it's either Galaxy S4 or Sony Yuga/Odin for me right now. Can't w8 to lay my hands on either of them.
22. XiphiasGladius (Posts: 804; Member since: 21 Aug 2011)
W8 someone migt get mad since you forgot to mention the iPhone or to whatever they're gonna name it in 2013. ^_____^
87. Bilpocalypse (Posts: 301; Member since: 13 Oct 2012)
It'll be the 5N, because they will "invent" NFC. lol
11. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
I gotta say, this is a good review. Not that you've said that lumia is better than gs3 but it's a fair review/comparison. Keep up the good work Daniel P and phonearena team. :)
12. Edmund (Posts: 656; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
The Lumia 920 kicks ass in every single category and is the clear winner. Funny how this article comes just after phone arena's rant on "bias".
17. -box- (Posts: 3880; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
I don't think anyone would disagree with the 920 winning overall, as the review seemed balanced and fair, with an honest appreciation of Android's capabilities, but an older version of the OS in the most popular model of the Android line gives the GS3 another slight disadvantage. I think the Lumia still would have won overall, especially with the camera, screen, speed, and usability, but it would have been slightly more level of a playing field. As I noted above, I hope future comparisons continue to demonstrate how good of a phone the 920 is and how good a choice it is for today's smartphone consumer, even in comparison to the most popular smartphone OS.
19. leftheodo (Posts: 68; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)
CPU: While the S4 is a great cpu the quad core exynos 4412 is better.
Battery: The S3 wins
OS: It depends on what you like but Android has more apps ( a lot more ) in the playstore, more features ( and Samsung added more with Nature UX, like smart stay, pop up play, multiwindow is included in the next update etc ) , it's customizable and open source.
So no the Lumia doesn't kick ass in every single category.
25. Mobile-X-Pert (Posts: 565; Member since: 20 Dec 2010)
Yeah, but the Lumia 920 is faster than the GS3. Check out this video.
91. macsbac (Posts: 6; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)
U can see in that video that the S3 is loading flash. Also if u visit html5test.com or css3test.com you will also see that chrome for android out scores ie10 for web compliance. Another-wards you can view more sites.
28. gazmatic (Posts: 628; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)
a lot more fart apps... i only have 42 apps installed on my gs3... 26% of all apps are downloaded once and never used again... the average smartphone user has only 22 apps installed... how many do you have installed?
plus adreno beats mali... PA proved this back in october 23
39. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
And a lot more BEAUTIFUL apps.
WP? You don't even get a static wallpaper!
20. gazmatic (Posts: 628; Member since: 06 Sep 2012)
as an owner of an gs3 and a future owner of a lumia i say kudos to this review... makes me know that i am actually upgrading my phone experience.... i wanna see what gs4 has to offer... and what is sony cooking up? have motorola gone dead or do they have something big under wraps? and what about the 920 successor? 2013 is going to be an awesome year!
42. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
"Upgrading my phone experience"
Restricting to single keyboard that can't do sype or t9?
To a single browser that can't do such basic thing as text wrapping?
Turning your back to a wealth of apps?
By being unable to even put a wallpaper your screen?
By not having a notification tray, or ability to make folders?
With Android, you can do everything!
63. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
can you use loseless zoom and have a 41mp sensor strapped on the phone.......noo then android cant do everything fanboy
you act like android is the os to end all os's please get a damn grip idiot
65. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
It's not a software thing.. only a hardware issue that no one bothered with. Android could do it.
Heard about the thing called Galaxy camera?
Or android tv-s?
Android game console?
Or.. android-controlled satellites?
Now you get a grip
88. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
first the galaxy camera, not the first camera to use android and doesnt automatically mean android can support a 41mp sensor so try again
the android console wont be affecting the xbox or ps3 anytime soon lol please leave that out its not gonna make a storm
but seriously im done with your fanboy crap, you only want android everything has to be android only with you. your closed minded and just sad. so you go stick to android i'll go use what ever i like.
21. feres13 (Posts: 306; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)
Thumbs up for Lumia 920 Vs Nexus 4 Vs iPhone 5, the best phones of each OS...
23. Shubham412302 (Posts: 306; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)
i think microsoft is responsible for no 41mp sensor in nokia wp8 as it has restricted the manufacturers to snapdragons which do not support more than 20mp lens
ms should have removed the restrictions
26. eddo85 (Posts: 11; Member since: 03 Dec 2012)
put vanilla android on the lumia and i would buy it
78. tashreef (Posts: 476; Member since: 24 Nov 2012)
please don't buy it you fandroid.......
..ohh god if you don't buy it..nokia will be in great loss..i am scared...
81. eddo85 (Posts: 11; Member since: 03 Dec 2012)
to be honest i am very impressed what nokia did with the 920 but i simply don't like wp 8. that's why i am a fandroid or an ifanatic?
29. Mobile-X-Pert (Posts: 565; Member since: 20 Dec 2010)
A Red Lamborghini Aventador vs a White Honda Civic
79. shadez10 (Posts: 408; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)
ist like a Red Ferrari vs a While Lamborghini.
32. phil2n (Posts: 476; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
very fair comparison.. Lumia is a clearly winner in some ways
36. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Well I know I wouldn't trade in my GS3 for TWO of these Lumias.
Larger screen, slimmer, better processor, much lighter, expandable storage, removable battery and SUPERIOR OS in every single way.
54. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
You mean that thing your brain is filled with?
I have a quad core S3 with JB and I see NO LAG.
It is wickedly fast and fluid.. and can multi task in a way your Nokia can only dream about.
And that's a FACT
56. chaoticrazor (Posts: 2347; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)
ohhh attacking people personally now just because of a phone....you need more in your life lol
mate lets end this and sum you up
your an android fanboy and a disrespectful one at that, you need to either start been open minded or just not bother as no one can have a real discussion with people like you bashing everything non android
lastly my symbian phone can multitask omg im so better then everyone else.........ohh wait no see what i choose to buy doesnt give me the right to talk down to others and attack them for there choices.
done been nice and trying to be resonable to your kind so go have your tantrum somewhere else android fanboy