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Head to head the best of class, the Lumia 920 and the Nexus 4

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Two phones which are currently the best of breed for each respective operating system and I’ve had the privilege to use recently for a long period. It’s difficult to separate these devices which is part of the reason this is a hard to head and not a verses post (and I hate vs posts)

While they may be coming to or already end of life they are the two phones which are designed with the operating system first, no themes, bloatware just the experience.

So how to they stack up? I chose some categories which were close to my heart and had a look at both during real world usage,,

Camera

The camera is important to me, the adage your shots are only as good as the camera you have with you is so true, and I don’t always have a DSLR, point and click or iPad with me, I do have a phone.

In daylight settings both cameras on both phones stand up really well, they take clear shots, and have similar interfaces on the stock camera app. I did like the nexus phones panoramic offerings which are built into the default app and this can be archived by installing lenses on WP8 it was nice not to need to think about it.

The WP8 device however is had and shoulders better than the Nexus 4 when it comes to low light and evening shots. The phone out performs so much better and provides clear shots even with some handshake. The Nexus 4 just couldn’t deal with the handshake.

It’s great to see cameras like this on phones

Battery life

A few weeks ago I had a replacement Samsung clam phone for a couple of weeks, while the phone sucked, it held a charge for over 12 days and I was taking and making calls on it. Neither of these phones will do that, however with Skype on, 3G watching videos and using the phones like they are supposed to I think the nexus just pips the lumia on the battery ground, of just feels like it does, giving me well over 24 hrs of real world usage. Far better than an iPhone which was begging for the power lead by the end of the day.

This really needs to improve if we are to be realistic about devices like these being our hubs of the future. However what is great about both phones is they have the same charging cable. A simple thing like a standardised charging cable makes such a difference.

Apps

I guess people buy and love phones on the size of the App Store however realistically most people only use a handful of the bigger apps most of the time, and while the WP8 App Store may not be up to the size of the Android one, it has a bit less crap in it, fewer malware apps by all accounts and the big boys apart from google are all supporting the platform, so you can get onto Facebook and twitter, vine, Instagram and Feedly should that float your boat.

I think however it is fair to say that android with a larger App Store does give you a wider choice.

Connectivity

Lets get this out of the way straight off the bat, the nexus 4 doesn’t support LTE and that’s crap, no matter what lame excuse Google came up with about different regions supporting different standards its hyperbole.

While you might think 4G is all hype, let me assure you when you get that 40meg streaming going, maps don’t take ages to appear, or photos just go up onto Facebook you realise when you go back to 3G just how slow it is..

As for the rest of the connectivity, it’s all pretty much the same, Bluetooth, wifi and NFC are all there and all useable, Bluetooth drains both phones as you’d expect and NFC seems pretty pointless right now..

Interface

What Microsoft have done with the Windows 8 interface is pretty short of amazing, while Windows 8 is a pig to use on the phone this touch screen tile system is way better than advertised, it’s smooth intuitive, quick and works. Microsoft have built an interface consistency through 99% of the apps I have on the phone so everything looks and feels the same. Steve Jobs would be proud.

That being said Jelly Bean on the Nexus 7 is a huge leap forward for look and feel, it is smooth and scrolls well, it’s simple to use however as history will show, it’s a bit of an iPhone rip off, and I can’t move past that. There are some things WP8 needs from android however the most important being that notification drop down bar..

Screen

Both screens are crystal clear even in bright daylight, we are having a bit of an median summer 2 weeks here and reading the screen in bright daylight on either phone is not an issue. I’d like to say the touch interface is great on both, but as my Lumia is back at Nokia because the touch screen is locking it might be a bit hypocritical. So I will say when it works, it works well on both phones, very responsive..

Screen refresh is also really good, I had a galaxy S previously, and that ghosted, neither of these phones do so playing games like Tap Tap Revenge is better..

Physical phone

I think the thing which would put most people off the Lumia 920 is its size it’s a brick of a phone compared to the iPhone or Nexus 4. I have to say however I’m a big lad and I like that.

Both phones are pretty, look nice and use a minimal button setup, the nexus just feels slightly plasticky.. The screens are touch as nails on both which I have put in my pocket with keys by mistake with no screen protector and not a scratch on either screen..

Conclusion

So what do we have here? Simple the next generation of the smart phone, two solid well build phones with good operating systems which will appeal to different market segments but both deserve to do well. If you are as hooked into Googles services as I found I am, then maybe right now Android is the better phone, but over time hopefully Google see sense and kiss and make up with Microsoft and get some apps on WP8.

However if your into your on the go photography and not so much worried about google, the Lumia is the better phone and slightly heads better than the Nexus on its shots.

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This entry was posted on July 14, 2013 by in Android, guides, howto, Phones, tip, WP8 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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