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.

Despite the heavy-armor weight of Nokia’s chassis, the durable zirconium lock, volume and camera keys on the right side somewhat contribute to a more premium exterior, which is enhanced by the same camera plate material on the back, whereas the Galaxy S III faux chrome camera area and paper-thin back cover look less sophisticated in comparison. The glossy finish of our Lumia 920 unit attracted more tiny lint and thread pieces in our pocket than the S III, making us wipe the back often, which should not be an issue with the matte cyan and black versions.

The side buttons on both devices are very well placed for easy manipulation, and have deep tactile feedback to them. There is a physical home key in the slim bezel area below the Galaxy S III display, whereas we have capacitive keys only on the Lumia 920 there, but which method is better would be up to your personal preference, as both are sensitive enough.


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.

Nokia Lumia 920 360-degrees View:

Samsung Galaxy S III 360-degrees View



1. dickwyn

Posts: 621; Member since: May 07, 2012

both are excellent devices and are for two different types of people

4. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 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.

7. dexter_jdr

Posts: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

how about L920 vs iphone5....

14. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 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: Apr 30, 2012

sorry but optimus G has 4.0 version of android. 920 v nexus 4 would be better.

15. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

I thought OptG had 4.1, and the N4 had 4.2?

30. AamirSIII

Posts: 187; Member since: Oct 04, 2012


59. brandonrana

Posts: 57; Member since: Nov 04, 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: Apr 30, 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: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 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: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 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: 1158; Member since: May 27, 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: Oct 17, 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: Aug 28, 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: 241; Member since: Oct 17, 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: Nov 24, 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: Oct 17, 2011

Why do you recommend WP over the best Android experience? Please, bring me one valid reason!

52. chaoticrazor

Posts: 2347; Member since: Aug 28, 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: Jul 15, 2011

Nokia Lumia 920 just cuts it for me. No other phone for me - except the Nexus 4.

5. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 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: Dec 20, 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: Oct 13, 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: Jun 28, 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: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

Excellent phones of 2012. Imma skip 2012 phones though. Hope 2013 would be SPECstacular in any way. . .

13. dickwyn

Posts: 621; Member since: May 07, 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: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 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: 813; Member since: Aug 21, 2011

W8 someone migt get mad since you forgot to mention the iPhone or to whatever they're gonna name it in 2013. ^_____^

41. mashilive

Posts: 3; Member since: Nov 22, 2012

You forgot the NEW iPhone. lol.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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