Nokia Lumia 920 vs HTC Windows Phone 8X

Introduction and Design

To herald the arrival of WP8, HTC has been developing the Windows Phone 8X with the help of Microsoft for a year, and Nokia came out with the unique Lumia 920 flagship. Both handsets are the companies’ first Windows Phones with dual-core processors and HD screens, and both offer jolly and colorful shells.

Nokia, however, loaded a lot of the wow factors it has been brewing in the lab with the Lumia 920, like optical image stabilization, throwing the compact design paradigm out of the window. HTC followed the thin-and-light mantra of modern smartphones to the letter with the 8X, yet added a few smaller extras like wide-angle front camera, so which approach turns out better? Read on the comparison to find out...


The HTC 8X is much slimmer and lighter than the Lumia 920, making it more comfortable to carry around. It has a unibody design, too, with soft-touch shell, aiding your grip further.

The Lumia 920’s polycarbonate unibody feels quite chunky, but is ergonomic to handle due to the tapered sides, and feels extremely solid. The buttons on the right and the camera plate are made of durable zirconium, and are very well situated, with great tactile feedback.

HTC 8X, on the other hand, has the lock/power key at the top, so you have to stretch your finger each time to reach it, which on a larger handset is annoying. On top of that the button is too small and flush with the surface, so you have to fiddle with it quite a bit or look down each time. The same goes for the volume rocker on the right - too thin and flush with the side, plus a shallow feedback.


There is a 4.5” 768x1280 pixels LCD screen with Nokia’s ClearBlack filter on the Lumia 920, and a 4.3” 720x1280 display on the HTC 8X. Thus the Super LCD 2 screen HTC utilizes offers a bit higher pixel density - 342ppi vs 332ppi - which, of course, can’t really be perceived from a normal viewing distance.

Colors are more saturated on the Lumia 920, and its ClearBlack filter which lowers reflectance to aid outdoor visibility makes the screen looks a tad dimmer outdoors than the HTC 8X, despite the comparable high brightness levels. Viewing angles are very good on both handsets.

Lumia 920 has the advantage to use a supersensitive touch layer, which allows you to answer a call, or start an app with gloves on, which can be very handy at times.

Nokia Lumia 920 360-degrees View:

HTC Windows Phone 8X 360-degrees View:

Interface and functionality

The phones come with Windows Phone 8 loaded, and each manufacturer has tried to differentiate a bit from the uniform tiled interface. HTC provides its own Hub that you can personalize to display info like weather, stocks, news, sports and so on. It also loads a few utility applications of its own like connection setup, flashlight and a converter. The Photo Enhancer carries with it the color effects we know and love from HTC’s Android phones.

Nokia strikes back with the Creative Studio app, which, however, offers less effects, but it also supplies other exclusive photography apps like Cinemagraph and Photo Beamer. Its main differentiating functionality in the WP8 ecosystem, however, is Nokia’s Drive offline voice-guided navigation solution, against which HTC doesn’t have much to offer.

Processor and memory

Both handsets are powered by 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processors and sport 1 GB of RAM. There are no performance issues while speeding through the interface or running apps and games with this silicon.

The unibody chassis of the HTC 8X and Nokia Lumia 920 means you can’t expand the memory via a microSD card, so you’d have to make do with what the manufacturer supplied. Unfortunately this is 16 GB of internal memory in the case of HTC, and double that in the Lumia 920, so you’d have to ration accordingly if you pick the 8X.

Browser and connectivity

The identical browsers perform well, without any noticeable lag or stuttering while panning around, zooming or scrolling. They sometimes have issues with ill-coded pages, though, and we had problems filling in forms and popping up the calendar on a travel website, for instance, which works on Android or iOS.

The phones sport LTE and 42.2 Mbps HSPA+ baseband radios, as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, A-GPS, DLNA and NFC. The HTC 8X, however, has a pentaband GSM radio inside, supporting T-Mobile’s 1700 Mhz band, while the Lumia 920 has a pentaband LTE support which covers the more widespread European LTE frequencies too.


The handsets sport 8 MP cameras on the back, but the Lumia 920 has optical image stabilization inside and a pulse dual LED flash. HTC 8X introduces wide-angle lens front camera, which fits up to four people in the frame during video chat.

The interfaces are quite similar, as can be expected from WP8 devices, allowing you to adjust things like exposure, sharpness or saturation, to which Nokia throws in a couple of helpful scene modes like night shot or sports.

Pictures from the Lumia 920 sport higher contrast than the bland looking photos from the HTC 8X, and slightly more detail. Nokia’s phone doesn’t always get white balance correct, and overexposes bright spots, but the 8X fares much worse, making the clouds look purple, for example, and overall its photos look more processed than the softer snaps from the Lumia. In low light scenarios the Lumia 920 wins hands down, with brighter and sharper shots, less noise, and less halo around light sources.

The video situation is also widely in favor of the Lumia, with crisp and steady footage, accompanied by excellent sound recorded with the three high-amplitude microphones on Nokia’s phone.

Nokia Lumia 920 Sample Video:

HTC Windows Phone 8X Sample Video:

Nokia Lumia 920 Nighttime Sample Video:

HTC Windows Phone 8X Nighttime Sample Video:


The gallery, music and video players are the same and perform as advertised with the typical WP interface that fast forwards the track by holding the arrow keys, including while playing web video. The phones support local DivX/Xvid video files out of the box, up to 1080 definitions.

HTC advertises a dedicated sound amplifier for its loudspeaker on the back, which indeed adds a bit of strength to the sound compared to your average smartphone, yet the Lumia 920’s stereo speakers at the bottom are still pumping out louder sound with more amplitude than the 8X.

Call quality

The Lumia 920 offers great call quality, both inbound and out, aided by its noise-canceling microphones. The HTC 8X also has mics for noise cancellation, but the voices relayed to the other party sound somewhat muffled and distorted, and the earpiece could use a bit more strength.


The 2,000 mAh battery of the Lumia 920 is rated for 17 hours of talk time in 2G mode, while HTC gives 11.30 hours from the 1,800 mAh unit. Nokia rates the Lumia 920 for six hours of video playback, and 3rd party tests log about the same for the HTC 8X, and slightly more for its browsing endurance.


There’s no denying the compact and feathery nature of the HTC 8X in comparison with the chubby Lumia 920. If you can’t carry around a hefty device, you’d likely prefer the 8X as your Windows Phone 8 flagship. It is indeed a very slim and capable device, with top-notch design, offering wide-angle front camera and pentaband GSM radio.

The Lumia 920, however, offers so many unique features, such as optical image stabilization for shake-free videos with excellent sound quality, supersensitive touchscreen and free offline voice-guided navigation, that about the only thing the HTC 8X has against it is the more compact design, not to mention the Lumia 920 sports double the internal memory of HTC’s phone at similar pricing

Nokia Lumia 920 vs HTC Windows Phone 8X Video Comparison:

Video Thumbnail

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