Nokia Lumia 920 or HTC Windows Phone 8X; a purchase made with the head instead of the heart

Nokia Lumia 920 or HTC Windows Phone 8X; a purchase made with the head instead of the heart

Summary: There are two new high end Windows Phone 8 devices in the US, the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC Windows Phone 8X. I've been using both for two weeks and have been getting the same questions from everyone, which one would you choose?

Nokia Lumia 920 or HTC Windows Phone 8X; a purchase made with the head or heart

I bought my white Nokia Lumia 900 back in May and have designated AT&T as my Windows Phone carrier (I use Verizon for the iPhone and T-Mobile for Android). That was the easy part and for more than a week I have been using the HTC Windows Phone 8X (HTC 8X) and Nokia Lumia 920 as I try to figure out which of the two was going to be my personal choice. One of my Twitter followers, @Beertone, put it perfectly when he wrote, "My heart says 8X, my head says 920."

I am blessed to be able to use so many different smartphones and in the past it was fairly easy to pick the top device for each operating system. As I wrote in my recent top 5 smartphones for the 2012 holiday season article all of those top five are awesome phones and most people will be happy with any of them. AT&T customers have the best choice between two high end Windows Phone 8 devices thanks to Nokia's exclusive deal. IMHO, it's a pretty easy choice if you are on T-Mobile or Verizon as the HTC 8X is the top dog. I am testing out the Lumia 810 and 822 on T-Mobile and Verizon, but they are rather chunky devices with lower resolution displays and will likely not appeal to the smartphone enthusiast.

I left the Windows Phone 8 launch event a couple weeks ago with the HTC 8X (thanks Mr. Oprah Ballmer) and Nokia Lumia 920 in my bag. I had been using an international version of the 8X for a few days before that event, but looked forward to testing out LTE on the AT&T model. The evaluation Lumia 920 also came with the Fatboy charging pillow and has integrated Qi charging support.

What my head says

If you take out the feelings associated with the look and feel of phone and just look at the tale of the tape it is pretty clear that the Nokia Lumia 920 is the clear winner. Nokia includes some nice innovation in the Lumia 920 with its 4.5 inch PureMotion HD+ display, wireless charging with the Qi standard, PureView camera with amazing low light performance and optical image stabilization, and Dolby sound support. If you then look at the software on the Lumia you will see Nokia leads there too with free Nokia Music service, Nokia Drive voice guided navigation, fun camera lenses like Cinemagraph, Photosynth, and Smart Shoot. You will also find the Nokia City Lens augmented reality application that is great for finding places to eat in the city.  Nokia continues to receive some Windows Phone apps exclusively prior to other WP devices. Currently, Words With Friends and an optimized ESPN app are available only on the Lumia devices.

HTC has Qi wireless charging in the 8X on Verizon, but for some reason it is an exclusive only with that carrier. HTC has a few utilities, such as a flashlight and converter, but nothing close to what Nokia provides on the 920. The wide angle front facing camera is fun for taking photos of friends and family, but the back camera still needs work and the flash needs to tone it down a bit. I took several comparison photos this past weekend and the Lumia 920 clearly beat the 8X.


What my heart says

HTC has done a fantastic job with the design of the 8X and in my opinion it is the most pocketable device I have ever used. I can actually carry it in a shirt pocket and it just disappears. I know this may sound corny, but think the smartphone enthusiast can understand it when I say the 8X just feels right and you do get a bit emotional holding it and rolling it around in your hand. The iPhone 5 is a very light device that feels great in your hand, but the 8X is even better with the curved back, curved glass, and length. I like the bold colors of the 8X and keep popping my SIM back into it since it feels so awesome.

This is not to say the Nokia Lumia 920 is a poor design at all. It is very similar in appearance to the Lumia 900, but has curved glass, rounded edges, and curved back so it feels great in your hand. It is a dense device, but if you look at all the pros and cons the heft is worth it. Density like this also leaves me with a feeling of quality.

What my wallet says

Both of these are great devices and I have seen people clearly explain why they prefer each one. For my personal device on AT&T, the Nokia Lumia 920 beats out the HTC 8X and I plan to purchase a cyan, yellow, or red one as soon as AT&T will let me purchase one.

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Topics: Mobility, HTC, Microsoft, Nokia, Smartphones

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  • The problem is

    most consumers do not make purchases with their heads. Witness Apple.

    I DO purchase with my head, but I will NOT purchase MS products if I do not have to (nor Apple for that matter). To me personal control, freedom and openness are of utmost importance.

    Am I concerned about a Google dominance? Not as much as I am concerned about a MS or Apple dominance.
    • contradictory

      Based on that comment, then, you DO purchase based on your emotions.
    • Contradictory

      Seems like your heart has you set against Microsoft and Apple. Seems like you've bought into this 'illusion' of control. Every system is controlled or else it wouldn't be a system, it would be chaos. I don't look to see what I can do with a phone, I want to know what the phone can do for me.
    • So you support...

      an advertising company as opposed to technology companies. I'm basing that off of where the majority of revenue comes from for the three options.

      I wonder what exactly you mean by openness then... Google makes money off your personal information.
      • Fan boys out in full force

        First, a response to the first two above: Irrational rubbish, from your hearts I might add. Your arguments are so weak they do not even warrant a rebuttal.

        As to your response: So what? Google has never asked me for a dime, and I know what they are doing. They have to make money somehow. There is nothing in my conduct that makes me feel exposed or vulnerable, and if you do not think MS and Apple are trying to do the exact same thing, you are too naive for words.

        It is like watching TV programs paid for by advertising. Yes, I don't like most of the ads, and do not buy the vast majority of the stuff they peddle. It is an intrusion and some of it offends me, but it is a fair deal: No ads, no TV. If I do not like it, I turn off the damn TV.

        I just installed CM10 (Jelly bean) on my B&N rooted Nook Color. That is an aspect of control and freedom. Google releases the source code and some extremely dedicated hobbyist hackers make CM available to guys like me. You do not see me here whining about the manufacturer of my HW not releasing updates, because I do not buy their stuff unless I am pretty confident I can get updates from alternate sources.

        And I am considering an ARM Chromebook as soon as I am confident I can install Linux in a dual boot configuration on it also.

        Control, freedom and openness, and it is ALL from my head.
        • Your needs may not be the same as others

          I have owned android, apple, and windows phones. I have never felt a lack or control or freedom with windows compared to android. Apple handcuffs you to their stuff, formats ect. None of the three has "asked me for a dime." The benefits you speak of with an open source OS are beyond the needs of most phone owners. It's great for some like you who looks to do those things with their phone, but most people don't. This also comes with consequences however. Android phones are more susceptible to resource loss, loss of battery life, and viruses with an open source OS. There are benefits and consequences to everything. I love android and windows p8, and had an incredibly tough time choosing between the sg3 and 920, but in the end went with windows this time. As a typical phone user I won't be messing with software like you would be, and thus have the benefit of having to worry less about battery/performance/stability/viruses and needing to clean out my phone as I've had to with my android phone. This wouldn't keep me from buying an android phone by any means but it is a benefit of having a closed source OS for some one who wouldn't reap the benefits of open source. And I don't think that at all puts me in a situation where I have a lack of control or freedom.
          Erik Butler
        • "I DO purchase with my head..."

          --> "...but I will NOT purchase MS products if I do not have to (nor Apple for that matter)."

          You say you choose with your head, but then you go on to say (as if you were a petulant child) that you won't purchase from MS or Apple unless someone's basically holding a gun to your head.

          Seems pretty emotional to me, seems that the only thing you use your head for is to create excuses to justify your heart's desire (which is "no Microsoft or Apple").

          But what do I know since my stance is "while I have my preferences, I will always use the best tool for the job, regardless of source."
          • VERY rational, and FAR from petulant

            I have been around for a LONG time. I have seen/read about MS bullying and coercing competitors, and break the law to gain/keep control of their monopoly, thereby extracting monopoly rents, which in an admittedly very small part came out of MY pockets. Apple is also extracting huge monopoly rents, which is one reason I avoid them. I want more competition and lower prices.

            Acts and behaviors have consequences in my world. I will, due to their past behavior, do my part to make sure MS does not get into a similar position in mobile and not do anything to help Apple gain more market power.

            At the end of the day, I prefer the $$ staying in my pockets rather than MS's, Apple's or Google's for that matter. It is a purely self-interest type stance, no different from that of any major corporation. I am looking out for number 1.

            Should Google's behavior really start to concern me, I will reassess my view. For now, Linux an the Android hacking community give me a fair bit of freedom from Google also, and give me access to pretty good hardware at very good prices.

            Hardly irrational or petulant.
          • Why comment?

            If you love Android so much then why are you commenting on this? Just to flaunt Linux and Androids' benefits to your lifestyle? I feel as though people wondering about Windows Phone should be the only ones commenting, not Android-content fanboys. I don't care if Android is perfect for you. Neither do these folks. Android works best for you? Congrats, now move along.
          • Is that why you comment on everything MS related, yet unrelated to you

            in every way?.
            For me, i'd rather MS or Apple get my money, and not google, as there are big consequences with using Google products.

            Why should I want to use something from a company that snoops on it's customers, then claims "it was a mistake, we didn't know that was happening", then get caught doing it again 6 months later? Ot with half-assed privacy policies? or with everything in perpetual beta?

            You see, like you, acts and behaviors have consequences in my world, which is why I don't use Google products at all.
            William Farrel
          • "I want more competition and lower prices"

            So why don't you like Windows Phone 8 again? I mean its presence causes more competition and the Lumia 920 is relatively cheap for a high end smartphone. Your logic makes no sense and you have been forced into a rabbit hole filled with android and you refuse to accept anything else. And when some questions you you throw out ridiculous things that contradict what you say but if you are just casually reading make it seem like you are making a good point....It's stupid.
            Truitt Dill
          • Android "DO" pay some dime for Microsoft

            So in that case, it will be best if you opt for Meego or Symbian or Blackberry.

            I am just saying.
          • Coercion? Google? Never?

            Oh yeah. Google is just the prime example of a perfect company. Give me a break. You mean like Eric not telling the Apple board when he sat on it, that Google was preparing a cell phone market entry? That initially it was based ENTIRELY with a keyboard and was a BB competitor but once Eric found out about the iPhone, only because he was a board memeber, Google did a compelte 360 and came out with the Nexus One. Google's behavior is no different than any other for profit corporation
            Rocky Stefano
        • Your TV analogy does not work...

          since, with TV, there is not feedback about your daily preferences, and none of your information is sent back to the TV stations. With Google, everything you do is being monitored, to capture your browsing habits and shopping preferences/needs and e-mail and social usage.

          The reality is that, from what you have commented thus far, your choice for Android has nothing to do with Android is being better or Google not being threatening; your choice is simply about you disliking Microsoft. Your stated preferences have nothing to do with one product being better or worse, or about which platform/manufacturer is better or worse, or which device/OS/ecosystem combo is less threatening. Your choice is about your personal perception that, Microsoft is some kind of evil.
          • and how does that matter?

            you go out to the street, and everyone can see your age, race, preferences in hairstyle, footwear and so on. So, now what - you are going to wear burka so no one can see you?
          • Your analogy doesn't work either...

            Since, whatever people can tell about you in the open, does not disclose whatever private information is pertinent about you. You don't openly go out and have your bank account numbers displayed on your shirt or blouse, and you don't go and have your other private information tattood on your forehead for everyone to see. But, on the internet, whatever you do, can be intercepted and compromised. Then, there is the mission built-in to the way Google does business, which is to intercept all of your internet communications when you use any of their software or hardware.

            None of us goes out with full disclosure on our minds about our private business or our private data. We don't even show our privates to the general public. But, with Google, you might not show your privates (although some people do), but, you are allowing them access to all of your private information and some of your most intimate secrets.

            Try a better analogy next time. Better yet, don't even try.
    • So you buy with your fully with your heart.

      " but I will NOT purchase MS products if I do not have to (nor Apple for that matter)"

      That is a 100% example of a fully biases view with purchasing 100% driven by subjective, and not objective, reasoning.

      Thanks for the laugh on this post.
      • Rubbish

        I am expressing my personal views and preferences, which most fan boys (like you) cannot grasp, if the view differs from their own.

        To the people who buy MS products because they have some needed or compelling features, I say "good for you". If you buy iPads because you are just too tired of all the hassles and expenses you have been having with your MS based PCs, I say "power to you". Not everyone is comfortable doing what I am doing. Not every MS or Apple customer is guided by their hearts, far from it. A significant percentage IS however, particularly in the case of Apple. When you stand in line for hours or days to be the first to own a certain product (bloggers excepted perhaps) your are guided primarily by your heart and I think you are essentially a fool.
        • No, you are posting about subjective views lost on a fan boy like you.

          That is what is funny. You claim to be fully objective (noting you use your head for purchases and Apple users don't).

          You then go to say you won't even consider 2 of the top companies in software in the world (unless you have to). This is a decision based 100% on emotion and not rational thought. You choose not to use the best tool for the job, you simply use a tool neither from Apple nor MS.
          • Smile When You Say That

            I was going to say I don't care what phone(s) you choose, but that's not true. I am happy that Google provides an important component to many phone manufacturers and carriers which enable products that you will use. That Google pays the carriers is icing on your cake.

            What everyone has been calling out this morning is the axiomatic dismissal of two players. Now, I think you've indicated that this is from observances and to your mind a rationally induced postulate which builds a logical system. Yes. From one point of view, but in another deconstructed point of view, your observations and reactions are also subjective and emotional to some degree. Yes, Microsoft was a monopoly that engaged in illegal behavior in the 1990s, according to facts from Court records. Still, some people don't believe that monopolies are a problem and I suspect that at some point there is a emotional reaction to an event as right or wrong. Some things, such as most types of murder, we agree. But what about speeding on an empty country road? The driver thinks they are fine and what's the harm? The resident with small kids shakes his fist at the speeder because clearly Ms. Fast Car is not considering the unexpected event of a small child running into the street. Both are constructing rational reactions based on emotional foundations. Ms Fast Car wants to get there as fast as possible. Mr. Father is concerned about the dangers the world presents to his children.

            So, those of us watching on the side look for clues as to the degree of underlying emotionalism in your particular choices. And we see "fanboy." Well, there's a clear term of art that is as specific as "actor" or "fireman" or "computer programmer" or "phone consumer."

            Well, I think you went out on a limb and you seem to busy sawing it off on the tree side. You may accept or reject this gentle response to the tenor of your thread.

            Google, Android, more user control, you wouldn't buy either phone. That's your right and we note your opinion. It really would not be any less valid had you not used all your faculties of reason. Honestly, it isn't.