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Nokia Lumia 920 VS Samsung ATIV S

Windows Phone 8 handsets was revealed last year, with a host of new features, such as resizable tiles, Kids Corner and multi-core support, and the OS launched on Microsoft’s partner Nokia’s flagship handset – the Nokia Lumia 920.

HTC, Samsung and Huawei are all producing smarphones running Windows Phone 8, Samsung’s offering is the ATIV S and is now available in the UK from assorted networks and online retailers like Expansys, but how does it compare to the Nokia Lumia 920


Nokia Lumia 920 VS Samsung ATIV S: Design

Smartphones are getting bigger and bigger – a trend both these phones adhere too. When the Nokia Lumia 920 launched there were complaints about the size, but it’s actually a couple of mm shorter than the ATIV S, it’s thicker though and weighs significantly more – 185g to the ATIVs 135g.

The Lumia is made from a single piece of polycarbonate with ceramic zirconium detailing, curved edges and an arched back that sits comfortably in your hand. It feels very solid, premium and availability in four colours – yellow, red, white and black  – ensures it really stands out from a market awash with black phones.

The ATIV S has a more conventional style , with curved corners reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy S3,  but turn the phone over and there’s a lovely faux brushed metal back, giving the phone a more business-like feel. The plastic construction doesn’t feel as durable as the Lumia 920 though.

Both phones have the standad trio of Windows Phone buttons under the screen, although the ATIV has a solid rather than capacitive home button, which we prefer.

Winner: Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia Lumia 920 VS Samsung ATIV S

Nokia Lumia 920 VS Samsung ATIV S: Connectivity

Both phones are well connected, with support for 3G, HSPA+, Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC, in addition the Nokia supports Wireless charging and can be accessorised with range of compatible chargers (which you have to pay extra for). 

For ultra-fast internet the Nokia Lumia 920 is 4G- ready, supporting not just the 1800MHz frequency currently used by EE, but also potential future 800Mhz and 2600Mhz 4G networks Vodafone and O2 (amongst others) are bidding for.

Although the Lumia 920s’ monoblock looks and feels premium, it means you can’t expand the memory beyond the 32GB inside. In contrast the ATIV has 16GB internal memory and behind the removable plastic cover there’s a microSD card slot for expansion.

Winner: Samsung ATIV S (for storage options)

Nokia Lumia 920 VS Samsung ATIV S back


Nokia Lumia 920 VS Samsung ATIV S: Screen

The Nokia Lumia has a 4.5-inch screen, wiht a resolution of 1280×768 and the ATIV has a slightly bigger 4.8-inch 1280×720 screen.

The Lumia’s panel uses LCD technology –  Nokia calls it Pure Motion HD+ , while the ATIV’s screen is a Super AMOLED HD panel. Whites are brighter and purer on the Lumia – in fact even at automatic brightness it is notably brighter – and colours are natural. In contrast the ATIV S displays bolder, more saturated colours and deep blacks. It’s personal preference which one you prefer.

Off-angle viewing is pretty good on both phones, although the ATIV S is slightly easier to read, exhibiting the blue tinge you associate with AMOLED technology. Both include Gorilla Glass, but as an added bonus you can operate the Lumia’s touchscreen using gloves.

Winner: Draw

Nokia Lumia 920 VS Samsung ATIV S off angle


Nokia Lumia 920 VS Samsung ATIV S: OS

Both phones run Windows Phone 8, so the general user experience is near identical, with resizable icons and Xbox integration, check out the top eight features here.

There are some subtle differences with the features introduced by Nokia and Samsung. Within the Window Phone app store Nokia Collection includes apps designed by Nokia, including Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia City Lens and Nokia Music amongst others.

On the Samsung ATIV S you can access Samsung Zone, which includes apps such as ChatOn, Music Hub and Photo Editor, there’s a decent selection, but nowhere near the quality or quantity of Nokia’s offering.

Winner: Nokia Lumia 920

Nokia Lumia 920 VS Samsung ATIV S screens

Nokia Lumia 920 VS Samsung ATIV S: Performance

Both phones include a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor with 1GB RAM and in general use there is very little to choose between them. Whether speeding through the UI, open the web browser, launching videos or opening apps, they feel very fast,

The Nokia Lumia 920 has a 2000 mAh battery in contrast he ATIV S has a slightly bigger 2300 mAh battery, which can be expanded.

Winner: Draw


Nokia Lumia 920 VS Samsung ATIV S: Camera

The the Lumia 920 has an 8.7-megapixel PureView camera, with a dual-LED flash, while the Samsung ATIV S has an 8-megapixel camera with Autofocus and flash, both included dedicated camera shutters

On the front is a 1.9-megapixel camera for video calls, which you can use for making Skype calls.

In low light the Nokia Lumia 920 is superior, which isn’t really a surprise thanks to the optical image stabiliser, with more detail and less noise.  On-the-whole Nokia’s offering is superiorIn terms of features, both offer the basics like ISO, but the ATIV S, actually has a couple of extras -such as Auto Contrast and Effects, while the Lumia offers Scene modes and a focus assist lamp

Nokia Lumia 920 users can download additional lenses available adding additional functionality

Winner: Nokia Lumia 920

Low light test shot Galaxy S3 and Samsung ATIV S
Low light test shot Nokia Lumia 920 (right) and Samsung ATIV S (left)

Nokia Lumia 920 VS Samsung ATIV S: Verdict

We like the design of the Nokia Lumia 920 the most – it’s unique, feels premium and stands out from the crowd and has a better camera. With a removable battery and expandable storage, the ATIV S is more versatile and lighter, which will appeal to some people, but the design is more conventional. Performance and user experience is near-identical, although there are more apps available for the Nokia, which also offers 4G. 

Overall winner: Nokia Lumia 920


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