HTC One vs Nokia Lumia 920

Introduction and Design

The HTC One and the Nokia Lumia 920 look drastically different. The One runs on Android and the Lumia 920 is a Windows Phone handset, HTC went with sleek and light design while the Lumia 920 is a large and heavily built device. But with all those differences there is one thing that makes them nearly direct competitors, and it’s their cameras.

The PureView camera with a Carl Zeiss lens on the Lumia 920 takes big pride in its low-light performance, and Nokia has been throwing around images shot at low light showing how much better it is than the competition. The HTC One is also throwing a punch at the competition, showing off the superior low-light performance of its UltraPixel camera.

But which one of the two captures better low-light (and overall) images? And which one is the better all-around device? Read on to find out.


The HTC One is a truly gorgeous device. Two aluminum slabs come together in a slim package with a slight curve on the back that makes it lay comfortably in the hand. HTC has paid meticulous attention to detail - chamfered edges for convenience, a volume rocker made out of patterned aluminum, a large, stylish camera eye on the back. The One is sleek, only 9.3mm, and lightweight too at 143 grams.

The Nokia Lumia 920 is its near complete opposite. It is also well built and feels decidedly solid in the hand, however it is plain big, bulky. It does feature a pillow shape design that makes it ergonomic to hold, but it measures a considerable 10.7mm thick and weighs a whopping 185 grams.


With the HTC One and Lumia 920 we are looking at two of the best displays out there. The HTC One features a gorgeous 4.7-inch 1080 x 1920 pixel Super LCD3 display. It’s stunningly sharp. The pixel density comes at 468ppi and that means no perceivable jagged pixels at all.

The Nokia Lumia 920 on the other hand comes with a 4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ screen with a lower resolution of 768 x 1280 pixels, that works out at a density of 332ppi. The HTC One is clearly the sharper display, but the Lumia still goes for that ‘Retina’ resolution so small details like fine text also look good although not as smooth.

In terms of colors, both devices have great, vivid screens with excellent contrast. Nokia uses its ClearBlack filter that lowers reflection and delivers deep blacks and excellent contrast. It is also slightly brighter than the One, and with its lower reflections that makes it more usable under direct sunlight. Viewing angles on both are excellent, but the HTC One does a little bit better at the most extreme angles.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Nokia Lumia 920 also comes with a super sensitive display that can be used with your gloves on and even with a pen, or other objects. That’s a nifty feature for those living in colder climates which the HTC One does not have.

HTC One 360-Degrees View:

Nokia Lumia 920 360-Degrees View:

Interface and Functionality

The two devices are worlds apart in terms of interface. Android’s 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 5.0 on top is all about customization and a wealth of tweaks and setting. The Lumia’s Windows Phone 8 offers very limited customization options - the color of tiles and there is only a clunky list view for your app drawer. The app gap is also huge, Windows Phone still lacks some essential apps, and when it comes to games the difference is easy to spot.

With Jelly Bean, Android has a perfectly smooth-running interface, and one rich in options. Sharing is system-wide and supported for all third-party apps, you have a huge variety in applications. Customization options are rampant. Multitasking happens in real-time and Google’s Voice Search is extremely quick and accurate. Those are all areas where Microsoft needs to catch up.

To Windows Phone’s advantage come its deep social network integration and out of the box free Microsoft Office and Nokia Drive offline navigation. Nokia’s little app additions like Mix Radio also add a lot of value to Windows Phone.

Processor and Memory

Launched nearly half a year ago, the Nokia Lumia 920’s processor looks paltry against the HTC One’s modern silicon.

The One wows with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chip with 1.7GHz quad-core Krait 300 processor, Adreno 320 graphics, and 2GB of RAM. Tech geeks caring only about the specs will be quick to notice the huge difference. The Lumia 920 comes with a paltry dual-core Snapdragon S4 with the processor running at a maximum of 1.5GHz per core, and 1GB of RAM.

Both systems run smooth (and props to Microsoft for its well-optimized Windows Phone platform), but when it comes to games and the actual future proof status of both devices, the HTC One clearly leads the way.

Internal storage is 32GB for the basic models of both devices, and neither have expandable memory.

Internet and Connectivity

When it comes to browsing, both phones support 4G LTE connectivity and both have big displays. Since surfing the web is mostly about reading, though, the stunningly sharp display on the HTC One gives it a slight edge here.

What’s more, the HTC One comes with a very versatile and capable browser that offers a wealth of options like Adobe Flash support, desktop site mode, incognito mode and saving articles for later offline reading. It’s based on Android and that also means a huge selection of quality browser including Google’s Chrome with its abundant syncing capabilities. Both Android browsers performed brilliantly, flawlessly handling scrolling and zooming, and not stuttering when you open even a ton of tabs.

In contrast to the plentiful choice on Android, the Lumia 920 with Windows Phone has an extremely limited browser selection. Mobile Internet Explorer is a good browser, but it does lack Flash support and it does not offer the depth of options you can find on the HTC One’s stock browser. It has a ton of limitations too - only six tabs are allowed at maximum, the tab switching mechanism is clunky and there is no incognito mode.


Camera is where competition between the two devices heats up. The HTC One features a 4.3-megapixel UltraPixel camera with a single LED flash, and the Nokia Lumia 920 has a 8.7-megapixel PureView camera with a Carl Zeiss lens. Both cameras are with a wide, f/2.0 aperture, but the actual images differ a lot.

In daytime, colors on the Lumia 920 are overblown to absurdity, they look unreal. Even in well-lit conditions there is some noise and overall images look a bit soft. The HTC One captures much more realistic tones, but images are not perfect either - while sharp around the edges, they look smudgy in single-tone areas.

For night images, both cameras have the advantage of capturing a lot of light. The Nokia Lumia 920 does much better when light is scarce, capturing realistic colors and with balanced noise levels. The HTC One captures sharp well-lit photos with little noise, but it has the tendancy to burn brighter spots of image in low light and in certain conditions colors were yellowish.

Both devices come with front facing cameras that are made for use in video calls and little else. The HTC One’s front-facing camera is also a wide-angle one, so more information fits in the frame at closer distances.

For video, both come with optical image stabilization (it seems to be working slightly better on the Lumia 920) which we appreciate. Both record at 1080p and 30 frames per second, and there are no skipped frames. Daylight colors are again just over the top on the Lumia 920, it looks punchy but far from reality, while the HTC One has a more accurate color representation.

HTC One Sample Video:

Video Thumbnail

Nokia Lumia 920 Sample Video:

Video Thumbnail

In low-lit situations the HTC One is the definite winner. It captures much more light. While video on the Nokia Lumia 920 is dim, very hard to watch, you can easily watch footage shot at identical conditions on the One. Take a look at the video sample below which sums it all up perfectly.

HTC One Low Light Sample Video:

Video Thumbnail

Nokia Lumia 920 Low Light Sample Video:

Video Thumbnail

Sound recording on the HTC One is simply a different world than most other smartphones - it’s that much better. The device has dual-membrane microphones that clear up a lot of the noise, and not just that but recorded sound is rich at both the high tones and deep at the low ones. It is the perfect device to record videos with sound from concerts and loud parties.

The Lumia 920 also captures surprisingly deep bass, but lacks that fullness the HTC One unveils at the higher tones. We should say, though, that the Lumia 920 outperforms most other smartphones so it is great on its own. In comparison with the HTC One it just doesn’t stand a chance, though.


With large, sharp and vivid display both devices are perfectly well suited for watching videos on the go or listening to music. Both play back 1080p videos in various formats with ease.

For image consumption, we are impressed with the gallery of the HTC One which not only integrates pictures from your social networks like Facebook, but also has a ton of cool features like the capability to automatically create movies out of your footage and stills. The Lumia 920 comes with less bells and whistles in that regard, but the vivid screen makes watching images on it a pleasant experience.

The real difference comes with sound from the loudspeaker. The HTC One is a small revolution in sound quality on smartphones, setting a new standard. Both are very loud but sound on the HTC One stereo speakers is so much fuller at both the bass and high tones.

Call Quality and Battery Life

There are no huge issues with the calling quality on either the HTC One or Nokia Lumia 920, but the HTC One has the edge here. Sound in the earpiece is almost equally loud and clear on both.

Outgoing quality is better on the HTC One, with better noise cancellation and wind noise reduction, so it is easier to focus on the clear and natural sound, while callers reported hearing us a bit muted from the Lumia 920.

At an era of large displays, battery life is always an issue and while the HTC One comes with a larger 2400mAh battery and the Lumia 920 features a 2000mAh juicer, in reality both last around a full day of average use and struggle to last into the second. Both batteries are not user-replaceable, but the Lumia 920 comes with support for wireless charging, a nice extra.


HTC and Nokia are in a somewhat similar positions with the One and the Lumia 920. HTC’s ailing financials pushed it to deliver its best, and for Nokia the Lumia 920 is an equally important, flagship Windows Phone device.

The HTC One is the more recent device of the two, and while it won’t be an apples to apples comparison (they run on different platforms), it outdoes the Lumia 920 in almost every department. Screens are comparably good, but with a sleek, refined design, much more capable processor, an amazing sound output and recording, and a good camera, the HTC One has the definite edge.

HTC One vs Nokia Lumia 920:

Video Thumbnail

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless