Hero Windows Phones compared: HTC 8X, Samsung ATIV S, and Nokia Lumia 920

Yesterday saw the unveiling of the HTC 8X and with that, we now have the full picture of what devices now form the top tier of the Windows Phone 8 line-up. There is still one launch partner, Huawei we have yet to hear from but initial indications are that they will be releasing a device aimed near the mid to low end of the market.

We have already drawn up a comparison of the 8X and the Lumia 920 but many have asked that we rightly add the super slim Samsung into the mix. The ATIV S is every bit a flagship device bosting some extremely appealing specifications, let’s see how they all compare…

Below we have compiled the headline features of the heavyweight contenders; some details for the ATIV S were hard to come by but be sure we'll add those in as soon as we can. Bluetooth will remain unlisted for now until more details come to light with the full reveal of Windows Phone 8. We do know that the Lumia 820 and 920 have been certified for 4.0

We’re sure you’ll agree with us when we say that these three devices pack some great specs.  With those, we see a huge shift in capabilities over current Windows Phone 7.5 era handsets. With Windows Phone 8 comes multi core CPU capability, expandable storage, higher screen resolutions and NFC. The big three have most of these bases covered with the exception of the expandable storage but how do they compare when we get right into it?

Size And Weight

With mobile devices, the electronics package and the casing decisions of the designers are critical to its overall form factor, add one thing and it gets heavier, change the case type and it can get lighter. Swings and roundabouts and with these three we see that clearly. For many of us, how this feels when in the hand is going to be what decides this one.

Coming in at the top of the three is the Lumia 920 at 185grams. It’s not the tallest out of the three but those fancy optics and wireless charging coils, combined with the polycarbonate unibody mean it takes it on the nose for the weight.

Second heaviest is the Samsung ATIV S, although when we say heavy that means 135 grams, that’s 50grams lighter than the 920, it’s also the longest phone due to that 4.8” screen but conversely also the thinnest at a slender 8.7mm thick.

The HTC 8X is the lightest of the three at 130 grams and a touch longer than the Lumia 920. It also has the smallest screen size, coming in at 4.3”, its those swings and roundabouts...

Screen Technology

As these are all high end devices they all boast very high resolution displays. The HTC 8X and the ATIV S opt for the fairly standard 1280 x 720. The Lumia 920 shoots right for the top with a 1280 x 768 panel but looses its place at the top to the HTC 8X in the pixel density battle. The HTC 8X packs in a whopping 341 PPI into its 4.3” screen. All three devices have fantastic screen technology that should really pack a punch when combined with that beautiful typography based UI we call Metro.

The Lumia 920 does have a few tricks up its sleeve though which could take it beyond the other two. First being its adoption of the Super Sensitive touch, this allows for touch screen operation with keys, gloves and fingernails. Second Nokia boast of improving the response time of the display, meaning less blurring and even clearer movie playback. Beauty though, is in the eye of the beholder and some folks simply prefer different displays, but its unlikely any of these displays will disappoint.


The camera sensors on the 8X and the ATIV S are both the same as in their Android devices the One X and the Galaxy S III so what we know is that they will be more than capable of producing fantastic images. The Lumia 920 on the other hand is packing a new 8.7MP sensor with optical image stabilisation technology. From what we have seen thus far, it could be the best camera on a smartphone, period. A special mention has to go to the HTC 8X as it will include a dedicated chip to improve camera response times and the front facing camera is wide angle allowing much better self-taken group shots. Whatever your camera requirements are, there should be something here for everyone.

Other features to consider

The Lumia 920 has the Qi wireless charging capability, allowing you to put your phone on its royal pillow at times when it needs a top-up, no more USB cables. It’s a great feature that we suspect many will love, if this tech takes off and we see coffee shops and other public places adopt charging stations it could mean the end to many battery worries. Unfortunately the HTC 8X doesn’t have any support for this standard. Whilst digging around I found that the Samsung Galaxy SIII on which the ATIV S is based does have inherent wireless charging capabilities, I was unable to confirm at time of writing if this will be available in the ATIV S. If it is, it may just be a case of buying a kit to enable it but don’t get your hopes up.

Expandable storage comes up time and again when looking at these specs and it’s only the ATIV S that will allow any expansion via Micro SD. We still don’t know too much about how this will work or what restrictions might come along with that capability. The HTC 8X is fixed at a rather pedestrian 16GB which is fine for most, but for those that want to watch films or have extensive music collections things might get tight. Both the Lumia 920 and ATIV S are kitted out with 32GB from the start, which is very generous.

Over to you

These are only the specifications, we still need to get these devices and fully review them to get the full picture. Until then, we’d really like to know what headline features you’ll need in your next phone. What ones you don’t care about and anything else you’d like to sound off about. Please use the comments bellow.

Robert Brand
  • "The HTC 8X is the lightest of the three at 130 grams but it is also the thickest"
    According to your specs, the 8X is thinnier than the 920 (10.12 vs 10.7)
  • Yes, Lumia 920 is 10.7mm, not 10.07mm.
  • The Lumia 920 has a 720p front camera, not 1080p.
  • Haha. I'm guessing he had a brain fart and was thinking "12" is higher than "7" when in reality that's not how numbers work when they're after a decimal.
  • Apparently the Lumia 920 at (185g) is almost as heavy as the first gen Dell Venue Pro (191g). Not sure that is a selling feature, especially for a polycarbonate phone. That needs to be corrected.
  • The features that it has makes it a good trade off.
  • The 8S is not a hero phone and should not be called such.  When you only pack 16Gb of storage (2010 level specs) you cannot call yourself a hero phone.
  • Its the 8X not 8S and not everyone cares about storage space dummy
  • Agreed !!!! 16 im sure is fine for the majority, just because a device has expanded memory doesn't mean everyone uses it.
  • So why eliminate the option of expandable storage for those who do want more? Is that really too much to ask for a "hero" device, when nearly all non-hero WP8 phones will have the feature?
  • Nobody is arguing that the possibility of expanded storage should be eliminated, only that for most people it shouldn't be an issue to have only 16Gb. Unfortunately it seems they are skittish about compromising the polycarbonate shells with additional slots...
  • Also HTC did research showing that the majority of people don't need more than 16GB I know personally speaking I would have trouble hitting the 16GB limit on my current phone I have a 4GB sd card that I've had for the last 4 years and still have over 2 gigs left on it. I use pandora for music rather then storing it on my phone and have a few hundred pictures and a few hours worth of WPcentral podcast downloaded.
  • I agree totally that a "Flagship" phone should have at the least expandable memory. Just because some don't need it, the people like me with large music/video libraries and hundreds of app plus large install games a pitiful 16 GB's doesnt begin to cut it. I use the cloud for work files and music and video I might need, and I don't need to rely on it streaming cuz sometimes I might be in a basement, or the beach with poor service. Yall need to quit making excuses for stupidity cuz a WP8 Phone was supposed to make up for WP's shortcomings such as limited storage.
  • Stupidity is bítching about tech you don't have to buy
  • Stupidity is bitching about people discussing their likes and dislikes in a comments sections of an article specifically asking for the readers likes and dislikes. derp derp derp...
  • Nobody called anybody here or their comments stupid... Re-read what was said which is it is stupid that the first WP8 Phones to come out do not fix some of the main items that critics point out when comparing to Droids or Iphones. Just because you are satisfied with a measly 16GB's doesn't mean that an iPhone or Droid user with 64 GB of main storage or expandable storage will rightfully look at WP8 as a joke. And yes it is stupid on HTC and Nokia's part not to offer that to power users.
  • My concern is that while 16 GB may be good enough for me now, but I will have this phone for 2 years or more and I don't know if it will continue to be good enough.  This is a big deal for me.  I am leaning Lumia, but would like a replacable battery.
  • Skydrive
  • Sometimes you have to be careful when looking at expandable memory.  I have had devices whereas you can put pictures and movies and stuff on the expandable storage, however you could not install apps to it.  (Asus Transformer Prime)  This makes the external SD card limited to storage only and can't be used to run programs from.
    I've been using an 8GB phone for a couple of years now and haven't really had any issues so for me 16-32 internal would be plenty.
  • I still have 9.66gb available on my HD7. If the 8S had a 720p screen and 8mp camera it might just be too good to pass up. Those two-tone color schemes are HOT!!
  • +1... From the beginning of the computer revolution the expansion of storage memory has advanced... Now we are being told 16GB is plenty enough.... even as cheek as it it is... No, it is not enough for everybody,, unless you are a fanboy telling everybody else to be happy with what they are giving you...
  • Thanks! When you sit creating charts for too long, things tend to start meaning less and less. Good spot, I have corrected. RB
  • "Coming in at the top of the three is the Lumia 920 at 185grams. It’s not the tallest or the thickest..."
    Yes, it is the thickest.
  • I would guess the main reason the 920 is heavier and thicker would be the inductive charging.  For those of you who have never had a phone with wireless charging, trust me, it is worth every extra gram.  I am still stuck on a WebOS Pre3 because I CAN NOT go back to plugging a phone in.  I haven't had to actually plug my phone in in 3 years - so am pretty excited that someone besides Palm/HP is finally coming out with a well rounded wireless charging solution.  I just hope they create something like Exhibition Mode for WebOS.
  • Personally i like the L920 the most. As it has some revolutionary tech inside, but also has that Nokia software everybody knows and loves. I know its heavy (the only serious downside for me) and doesn't have Micro SD (i don't care as it has 32gb), but i can live with that.
    For the next generation (the ones that come after the current announced devices) i would like micro SD, perhaps more storage and an even bigger battery.
    The only doubt i have right now is what color to choose. I hope they will bring the Cyan version at launch. I don't mind if they use the yellow or red ones primarely for the marketing, but cyan is just more fitting for me. Otherwise i think i'll end up with white/gray/black. My tile-color has always been blue so if they can make the phone fit that (yellow and red don't really) i would be very happy.
    Samsung and HTC made nice devices but don't really blow the competition away, allthough they mainly compete on Android anyways. I hope they will try to support WP8 a littlebit better than they have done in the past, but think Nokia will provide the largest WP8 quantity.
    Nevertheless i would be happy with all 3 devices, i just prefer the 920 at the moment.
  • +1 for Cyan Lumia 920, matte finish.
  • Matte finish sounds really good
  • It is sort of interesting, though, that whenever I look at these specs, the Samsung seems to edge out the 920 everywhere but camera (and software).  Expandable storage, removable battery, smallest overall size, etc.  That device is not getting the kudos it deserves.
    I would still probably get the Lumia, because I have kids and being able to grab their pictures on my phone is important, but if I were still a bachelor, I think I might lean toward the ATIV.
    That said, I will take whatever I can get.  I'm on Sprint right now but have a path to T-Mobile.  It may be the 8X will be my only choice!
    I don't see that at all? The Lumia's camera and video + the stability are miles better than the Samsung.  The Lumia's screen is far better than the Samsungs and it has built in super sensitive touch control.  It also has fancy NFC accessories ready to go. Samsung didn't bring anything new to the table compared to the Nokia.
    Expandable battery is the only real winner for the Samsung but for the vast majority of Windows Phone users we'll be extremely happy with 32GB compared to the 16GB or less that the vast majority of us have now.
    When it comes to supporting Windows Phone, Nokia is miles a head of Samsung.
  • Actually, the "super sensitive" screen on the Nokia has me worried a bit. I worry that there will be too many "false touches" if the software isn't engineered perfectly, it could be a nightmare
  • I think you can switch "glove mode" on / off. 
  • I hadn't read that. So you'd have to take the glove off, activate the glove on feature Put the glove back on and use. Convenient
  • Im assuming that locking the phone should resolve this problem.
  • You can choose between Sensitive mode and Normal mode from the settings.
  • I'm in a similar boat. I want the Lumia 920 but am on T-Mobile with no real interest to switch over to AT&T and lose the sweet plan I'm on right now. My choice will be to go with L820 or the HTC 8X.
  • I'm wondering if the HTC will be better for kid photos... I know my biggest issue with them is speed not light... Half the photos I try to take of my two year old don't feature him because he's six feet away by the time it shoots. :-S
  • Right you steel even in this sight very little attention has been paid to the ATIV
  • I agree, and i have shifted a bit from Lumia 920 to Ativ S. I am also thinking about camera and storage, what do I love most...
    sigh. There should be a bit more digging in the Ativ, its still not sure what it will contain, and weight, storage, and not to shabby looking is working some magic. Also, getting Nokia Drive and maps gives it some Nokia love also.
  • The ATIV S is a nice phone. I just think the Nokia is better. But if you don't care afoot wireless charging, then it just doesn't matter.
  • +2
    I like the white one.
  • Lumia 920 it will be, it looks the best and has the best features for me also apps are better with exclusivity contracts on the Lumia's. What i really want to know is wich one will have the best music playback quality we now HTC has Beats integrated but i don't care about a name or marketing i will only find out if both are reviewed.
  • I think HTC. They have modified the software to have the best experience with music player. Plus even if you get it on the contract you are still getting a good deal as you will also have some beats headphones.
  • HTC has pretty much stopped including the beats earphones with their android devices, i doubt they will include them with the 8x or 8s
  • I am inteterested in which one has the best call-quality (it is a phone), but I seem to be in the minority.
  • Nokia has something else that could attract more customers. Massive support they put behind WP and number of exclusive apps. Time has proven that Samsung and htc don't show that kind of love for the platform, no matter how they advertise their products. People who purchased current Lumias already know that.
  • I don't know, after yesterday's event it's pretty clear that HTC is taking WP8 very seriously and working closely with Microsoft. I wouldn't underestimate their level of commitment this time around.
  • Beats Audio, when talking to an audiophile, isn't all that great over around. However, when talking about phone tech, its the best audio tech available in phones today. I'd say don't go with Beats Audio head phones, they arent very good, but the audio quality from the HTC device will blow away the competition, primarily because it has a built in (physical) audio amplifier in the phone itself.
  • The built in amp is brilliant. Sound seems to be a forgotten aspect of these phones, which is a shame especially with the push of media centric apps such as Xbox music. I just wish Nokia had put an emphasis on sound reproduction in the 920.
    All in all, I'm buying tech and at this point the Nokia 920 has my money. However, I do like the color selection better by HTC.
  • You have to wonder why Samsung didn't wait until they could reveal all their specs. Given how close the 3 are, the Ativ S is the go to phone if you worry about storage.
  • Lumia 920 .... Nuff Said.
  • Gotta say, that picture at the top showcasing the 3 hero Windows Phones just gives me nerd chills. All 3 of those are beautiful to behold and I think we're gunna start having a major impact on marketshare once these come out.
  • +1
  • +2
  • +3
  • Oh go on then! +4!
  • +8!
  • Wanna touch myself everytime is see them in line... Gorgeous devices finally for Windows Phones!! *O-face as I type*
  • Wow... That is a totally disturbing mental image :P
  • So really no LTE on the HTC or Samsung?
  • Both will have LTE. The 8S is the only one that won't. The LTE bands that the AtivS and the 8X will use are unknown though, which is why they aren't listed.
  • LTE on 8x only in the US. International models aren't which is a huge let down and probably pointless of HTC to even consider selling them in place like Australia where LTE is really starting to pick up.
  • This is one great chart. I wish you keep it updated and add all WP8 devices as they are announced not only the high end ones. It makes even more sense to compare the spec when you are going for mid-range device to know what you are missing for the money you save.
  • Whilst I shudder at all that chart time, you have a good point. We need a better way to surface the details though, beyond three devices it does publish well.. I will look into it. RB
  • So glad to hear you say that I hope it will happen!
  • Agreed... A database of normalized specs would be awesome.
  • My order of preferences:
    1) Lumia 920;
    2) ATIV S
    3) HTC 8X
    I like the specs of the 8X but I think that the phone is too big for a 4.3' display.
    I like the ATIV S because it's thin, supports SD cards and it has a big 4.8' screen.
    But, overall, for all the innovations that we have been talking about for the last few weeks and for it's great design, the Lumia 920 is the best of the 3. Also, we can't forget that Nokia is far more supportive of the WP ecosystem than the other 2 and this by itself makes the choice easy.
  • @poiman:  "I like the specs of the 8X but I think that the phone is too big for a 4.3' display."
    Yes!  That is the one thing that I can't get over on the 8X.  Why is there so much space between the top of the screen and the top of the phone?  Compare it to the 920.  The chassis of the 8X is just too big for the size of the display.  It looks wierd in my opinion.
  • Agree. That huge head is such a waste and makes the phone look kinda ugly to me.
  • I suspect it may be due to the amplifier and photo processor?
  • I'm sure it has to do with all the extra stuff they've packed into this phone, but compare the form factor of the 920 vs the 8X --  minimal bezel on the top.  From an aesthetic standpoint, the 920 just looks much better. 
    For the record, I love HTC's hardware.  I own the HD7 and I just may be spoiled because they nailed it on that model.  There is only 1/4" between the top of the screen an the top of the phone.  I'm a huge fan of minimal bezel phone design and, in my opinion, it feels like HTC has regressed a bit on this one.
  • I'm just going to have to get my hand on all three of them and decide for myself. It's damn nice to finally have options
  •   Very sensible, they will make much more sense when they are held. RB
  • Agreed. Each device has enough plus and minus that there isn't s clear winner in my mind. I'll really need to do the hands on and see those screens to decide s clear winner for me. I'll be replacing three phones, me wife, & daughter, and I'm thinking that we might end up with three different phones. If that's true, I want us all in the Nokia ecosystem, or all out. Idk. Have to wait and see... These are good problems to have though. :)
  • Are you sure on the Lumia 920's front facing camera? I've heard a few other specs on that as well... (1.2, 1.3, ... ) Which one is it?
  • I saw its a 2.1 mp camera
  • Nope.  It is 1280 x 960, which is 1,228,800 pixels.  One megapixel is 2 raised to the 20th power, which is 1,048,576.  The ratio of these numbers is 1.17, so call it a 1.2 MP camera.
  • I don't think that calculation is completely correct. If that was the case then the main camera on the 920 which is rated at 8.7MP would be (8.7 X 1048576) 9,122,611. But the Nokia website also has it as 3264 x 2448 pixels, which by a quick punch on a calculator gives 7,990,272. A far cry from the "true" number. The number (1280 X 960) they are providing could be the finished image pixel.
  • I agree, but until I get a confirmation from Nokia, I will adjust that down to its finished spec 1.2MP. Thanks RB
  • Fair enough.
  • It is 1.2MP - Did some more digging..chart adjusted. RB http://press.nokia.com/2012/09/05/new-nokia-lumia-range-delivers-latest-pureview-camera-innovation-new-navigation-experiences-and-wireless-charging-on-windows-phone-8/
  • If that's the case it can't be 1080p then.
  • i must say lumia 920 also although the other two are very nice phones as well :D
  • Nokia for me. Proprietary apps, Nokia support/updates and a proven track record of durable phones.
  • If I had to choose a device just by the specs, I'd pick the 8X without any second thought. But there's the Nokia factor... I would really miss Nokia Maps/Transport/Drive.
  • All WP devices will get Nokia maps and drive.
  •   Hello, I believe we are still waiting on Nokia Maps going to everyone currently. I haven’t seen anything official from Nokia stating that either Drive or Maps are coming to all Windows Phone 8 devices. Do you have a link to anything official? Their mapping platform is embedded in Windows Phone now but it is not called Nokia Drive or Nokia Maps. RB
  • its only the turn by turn navigation that will be coming. i believe nokia maps are being integrated with the current windows phone maps application.
  • I dont believe they get Nokia transport though. That means no walking or public transportation directions.
  • Lumia 920 all the way, apps, specs, looks, (even though I love the 8S the most looks wise) and that camera will get lots of use for my young family!! And the wireless charging will be amazing, that should become the industry standard for smartphones within the next 5 years. Oh and it will be the white model with that cool black theme we saw yesterday on the 8X. And for the record my omnia 7 has served me very well for the last 2 years!!
  • Slash gear is reporting pricing for the 8x coming in $100 below the galaxy S3 and $200 below the iPhone 5. Meanwhile the 8s is rocking a price of $364 in the UK which should put it on sale in the US for $299 off contract. That would translate into a $0-50 on contract price. With subsidy the 8x could easily sell at $99 which would put them at great price point compared to the 920 which is no doubt more expensive to produce. This is also a good sign that HTC will be dropping another WP8 device per the rumors with quad core and a huge screen.
  • As koozkiz mentions, the 8X isn't the thickest...10.12 is .58mm thinner than the L920's 10.7...
  • Definitely going for the L920 myself, regardless of the weight and size (being the thickest and widest of the 3).
  • This.
    I'm sick of seeing these arguments against the weight and size of the 920.  Seriously... I'd rather my phone have a bit of substance to it when holding it.
  • A shiny yellow Lumia 920 for me :-)
  • Will be the 8X for me. I had reservations on the bad colour choices but while watching the video with 'Ben the PC guy' which was in natural lighting the colours are neutral and not so vibrant which I was afraid of. The Lumia 920 camera and cinemagraph app is the only thing I would miss, the thick and heavy profile just doesn't cut it for 2013, it's also glossy which I think reduces the elegance and premium look to the device.
  • I liked the 920 when it came out and only had the ATIV to compare it with. But now with the 8X, i think I will wait for 921 or whatever Nokia will call the next version that is a bt thinner
  • I would agee with weight, but you're not going to be able to tell the difference in thickness.  We're talking about a 0.58mm difference.  I would argue the only advantage the 8X has is weight and choice of colors.  If weight is an issue then Ativ S is a better choice with it's exapandable memory and more memory.  And the Nokia for color choices.
    I think people keep missing the fact Nokia showed more than just a couple of phones.  They also had a line of accessories.  That's how you start pulling in the Apple people.  People that buy iPhones also have a lot of accessories whether it's docks, cases, speakers, etc...  That's why the accessory market loves Apple.
  • I am now eagerly awaiting for the connectivity (e.g. docking) accessories that manufacturers will make, now that the connector is on a fixed, predescribed location. We can finally enjoy with the iDevices have enjoyed for years
  • I'm kinda siding toward the 920 as well.  The 2 features that attract me to it are its Camera and the Qi Wireless Charging capability.
  • It will be the lumia 920 for me. The other phones are great and I happy to see vendors putting some hard work on a relatively new OS. If I was Microsoft I would offer some insane deal to anyone who owns a windows 7.5 phone to get them to move to windows phone 8. I feel that 7.5 or soon to be 7.8 will not get the apps or support that windows 8 will get.
  • Since HTC has disappointed me by making the 8X's screen only 4.3", this is going to come down to off-contract price between the 920 & ATIV S. I need a big screen but I love the tech in the 920.
  • The HTC is coming in at $99 on contract (based on off contract price) with a high end WP8 device still yet to be announced (zenith).
  • Agreed, I will also be getting one off contract and screen is very important to me. I have 4.7 now so I can go with either 4.5 or 4.8. I think the lumia will get me though. Was just looking at some severe screen burn in on several three month old Samsung S2 devices and thinking how mad I'd be if they were mine lol.
  • They are all losers for me since none has a keyboard, but if I had to choose then Nokia 920 gets the nod due to the super sensitive screen, 32GB, killer camera, wireless charging, and Nokia Drive.
  • There aren't going to be any keyboards, get over it.
  • There will be. After I get one you can lick my balls.
  • It's sad but I'm afraid Virtual Insanity is correct.
  • There's no point in arguing I suppose, but as long as the OS still supports it I am hopeful.  I don't mind waiting for the next crop of devices.  I'll let you touch-screen guys all work through the bugs for me.
  • That super sensitive screen worries me
  • I wish all 4 carriers would carry all 3 of these phones. That would be a win win for everybody. It establish W8 as a major player. Nokia would make the photo buffs happy, HTC would make the audiophiles happy and Samsung would make the screen and storage buffs happy. Everybody would win. Well except Androids market share
  • On Samsung I agree on screen size, but the screen suffers from burn in and being virtually unusable outdoors. At least if it is the same as the S3 screen.
  • This!
  • A couple additional things that appear to be missing. The Nokia the 920 apparently includes a 3 microphone HAAC array which could be a boon for those wishing to bootleg concerts (not that I'm condoning such a thing): http://www.slashgear.com/nokia-lumia-920-haac-rich-recording-microphones-confirmed-07246489/. Also, vendor app support may be telling. Nokia already has showcased their launch app set and are actively building more customized apps for the device showing their investment into the platform. HTC does have the smart date/time tile, but how much are they investing otherwise into the platform as compared to their Andriod devices? Where does Samsung fit in here as well?
  • The hTC has stereo recording, Nokia doesn't.
  • The Nokia sound engineer reported that the 920 will only record in mono... speculation is that a software update may resolve this, but makes the HAAC a moot point
  • The haac is the big selling point for me (yes I do record concerts). I see no disadvantage to it being mono. Unless you have mics at different points in the room then the two wave forms left and right are identical anyway.
  • The mics can be less than an inch away and receive remarkably different wave forms. Your ears are only eight inches apart. Do you hear in stereo? A lot of stereo recording is done with two mics right next to each other pointing in different directions. If you're not concerned with the fidelity and sound stage difference between mono and stereo, then HAAC shouldn't mean anything to you either.
  • HAAC would probably be more important in the respect of preventing or limiting clipping, over modulation and the final richness of the signal captured.
  • Yes. I'd much rather have an unclipped mono recording that I can tweak and simulate stereo to later. Cant do anything to correct a peaked out digital signal.
  • Nokia or Samsung, The 16gb on the HTC just rules it out for me. If the Samsung DOES have wireless charging then it will be hard to chose for me between the 2.
    Samsung - Larger display (but not much bigger than the Nokia body wise), Changeable battery (and larger 2300mah), MicroSDXC support (as claimed buy other places, if true, 64gb cards are possable).
    Nokia - Better camera, a little better display, Wireless charging built in,
    It seems the Nokia is the best but, the Samsung is the most flexable. One thing I like about my HTC Trophy is changable batteies, so I can go an entire weekend with out charging a battery if needed (with an extra battery or 2) or have my phone with a full charge on a busy day with out having to wait 2-3 hours to recharge. That is one that could be important to me.
    I'm still leaning towards the 920 but, it might be a hard choice
  • I agree with the replacable batteries being a big win for Samsung, not to mention the expandable memory. I'm still loving my Samsung Focus, which is the only Windows Phone that came with both expandable memory and a removable battery. Having to worry about using your phone becuase you may not be near a power outlet it a huge headache. I bought 2 Focus batteries from China on eBay for $7 and can likely do the same thing with the Ativ.
    So it's going to be another Samsung phone for me. 
  • No poll???? I like the polls. :-D
  • Well for me, since I'm on T-Mobile, it depends on which models they get.  The only one confirmed so far is the 8X.  The Ativ S is rumored to be coming and the L920 is assumed to not be coming.  If all 3 come then it's a easy choice.  L920 all the way.  If it just the 8X I won't be unhappy because it would be a great upgrade for my HD7.  If the Ativ S does come then I'll have to hold them both in my hand and play around with them a bit.  Anyway you look at it though I think it's a win win win for anyone who wants a Windows 8 device this fall.
  • The 920 is a great looking phone. But when these things are on display at my at&t store, that ativ may still have the best looking display of the lot.
  • Am I the only one that sees wireless charging as a gimmick?
    More often than not I want to use my phone while it's charging, but I can't do that when it has to be laying down on a charging mat. And when I'm not needing to use it, is it really that hard to plug it in? Isn't it nice that we all (besides Apple) standardized on micro-USB? Why mess it up?
    If it was up to me I would have Nokia dump the wireless charging and use the extra space for a bigger battery...
  • Yes, you are completely alone....
    ....but seriously, if you don't want to use the wireless charging....DON'T.  OMG I know that's such a foreign concept, not using a feature that's available if you don't want to. 
    Me on the other hand, I find it a pain in ass to plug my phone in at night.  Usually my gf is asleep well before me due to the fact that she works so much earlier than I do, so I have to grope around in the dark on my end table for the connector.  Nah, I'd rather just set it down for charging.
  • I know I don't have have to use wireless charging just because it's there, but when weighing the options for a WP8 device I like everything about the Lumia 920 except its size and weight, and I've seen several articles speculating that the extra heft of the device is likely due in part to the wireless charging.
    From my perspective, it's an extra feature that is (in my case) going to go unused. So in deciding on my next purchase instead of being a positive, or even neutral, it becomes a downside for me because it adds no value for my usage, but increases cost and weight of the device.
  • I don't see it as a gimmick, but as a matter of convenience. Like ImmortalWarrior above says, wireless charging is optional (the 920 does NOT come with the charging mat). You'll be able to use the USB connector on the bottom of the phone and even use the phone while charging if necessary.
    ImmortalWarrior makes a valid point about how simple it would be to set the phone down on a charging mat on top of your nightstand instead of  looking for a cable that's probably on the floor or whatever.
    The question is: how much will the charging mat retail for?
    I agree with you  jonathanmarston, wireless charging isn't that big of an advantage, for me personally anyway. I did have a Palm Pre with the wireless charging station and it was a very nice accessory to have on my desk beside me when I was on my computer and could still use it, as long as it was on the station but I would prefer a larger longer lasting battery if that were a compromise made. 
       Plugging a USB cable into your phone isn't more inconvenient than placing it on a charging station and not being able to use it. That being said it's a nice option to have but wouldn't be a deciding factor for me, and I think it's an overemphasised feature.
  • If the HTC 8X had 32 GB of storage built-in then I'd take that over Nokia's offering, no question. The lack of expandability of storage or with no other storage option makes it a deal-breaker for me. I could get over exclusives that Nokia has with developers if, again, the storage options were better on the 8X.
    Oh well.
  • This is my feelings as well. 32 gigs on the 8x and I'm in.
  • After carrying a Lumia 900 and Focus S, thin and light Ativ would get my vote over NokiaCam with phone -- but my Focus S will probably be good enough until WP8.5 devices are available.
  • I agree with the thin and light being a selling point for me anyway. Being active and liking to run and cycle with my phone I believe the Ativ will be my next WP upgraded from my Samsung Focus becuase of that and the movobable battery and expandable storage. 
  • I want that red 920 badly, but I'm curious how much the Fatboy will cost.
  • For me I don't care about the paper spec, still I will be waiting for video reviews. Because I feel in the real world things might change. For now my money goes to Lumia 920 not because it's the best phone on paper No, actually because it will get Nokia drive app and Nokia's great support. Like today I received software upgrade on my lumia 900 and they solved the lag in the bottom of the start screen when scrolling !! Who could imagine that they still support the old products.
  • Have to wait and see what Verizon carries before making a decision. Hoping it's all three that would make the choice extremely hard though.
  • i want to first say, i love windows phone.  
    sorry, fanboy shout out concluded.
    seriously, i like all the phones and i want to hold them all and see what they have to offer.  
    i am on AT&T, so i think i will probably have the greatest selection of devices to chose from. 
    my order i desire is:
    1) Ativ
    2) 920
    3) 8x
    i want a large screen. the samsung has the larger screen. 
    i like the nokia and the tech behind it, but there is just something about samsung that i like.  i also have a benefit/curse of waiting until my upgrade on christmas.  so i can see the phones in acrtion, all the reviews, etc...  i know that the ativ and 8x are just rehashes of the android counterparts, but technically the 920 is a rehash of the 900 (although, neither of these devices being a rehash is a problem to me) 
    Also, i think Samsung is holding back to see what others are announcing before they give away all their secrets.  I have a good feeling that samsung still has some wow factor to show and there is still a month or so left before windows phone 8 is out.  
    also, i care about a removeable battery and that the battery on the ativ is much larger.  in theory, that means longer before i need to recharge the beast.  
    in the end, i am excited for all three devices and am excited to see where wp8 takes up.  just add some damn custom tones for diiferent recipients and i will be overjoyed
  • I don't understand people complaining about the Samsung Ativ being a "rehash" of the Galaxy S3. The S3 just came out and is one of the best phones in the market and the best selling smartphone in the US, and has a great camera and screen and a removable battery and expandable storage. How is this a bad thing if we're getting a phone for WP8 that is the best phone Samsung has made?! How can they even do any better if this is the best phone they currently have? 
  • Before HTC announced their phones I was sold on L920. Now I'm torn between the 8x and L920. I'm not worried about storage size. I've been dealing with 16gb storage devices for years. Screen sizes are comparable. The thing that I'm torn over is the camera and sound. Nokia's camera is intriguing and HTC's beats audio is also intriguing. Right now I'm leaning towards HTC because of the buyback program. I got my Lumia 900 months ago before I knew about W8 releasing so I can't get an upgrade but HTC is willing to buyback my phone for $175 towards a new HTC phone. Great offer.
  • I like the Lumia 920 more. For me if it had microSD support it would have been the killer phone... from all aspects. I don't mind it's weight, but I do lack the microSD... I guess I'll have to live up to 32Gb internal memory.
  • For me the choice is easy. L920 wins Not only is the camera a deciding factor for me, but Nokia is the only phone to support LTE at 800 and 2600 MHz frequencies which is the 4G bands in Sweden. You want 4G in Sweden, you buy Nokia! :-D
  • What about the network category.....It only says the Samsung will be 42mbs.  I'm assuming the 8x will have 42mbs as well since its going to T-Mobile.  That'll suck pretty hard if it doesn't but I can't imagine it won't
  • The only thing HTC messed up was the storage option. 16gb on a "hero" phone with no memory card slot? Nokia got it right by at least offering 32gb out the gate and Samsung nailed by offering 32gb and the memory card slot. Almost HTC. Almost...
  • The lumia 920 has the best camera in a phone? Period? Is it really better than in the 808? Would that be because of the image stabilizer?
  • "Is it really better than in the 808? Would that be because of the image stabilizer?"
    For the most part, yes. Does the 808 have BIS (backside illuminated sensor)? If not, then that would give the 920 another advantage over the 808.
  • 920 with OIS > 808 in low light situations
    808 > 920 in lighted situations with higher res, supersampling tech.
    Thats the generalized simple version.  If you go manual mode on them and know what you're doing, results in various situations could be a bit different.
  • Kevin Shields, SVP of Nokia, hinted recently that they looking at merging the 808 Pureview specs into the 920 Pureview technology.  That will probably require a Quad-Core new device to support the 41 mp sensor.  Next year? :)
  • WHAT ABOUT VIDEO OUT?? What's going to be the solution for video out? No HDMI out? Will the devices support video out through the USB port? What's it going to be?
  • Very good question. Haven't seen anyone asking about that. Maybe Microsoft is relying on Smart Glass?
  • Smart Glass via WiFi is my guess
  • All 3 phones have the wi-fies.
  • DLNA current lumias already have that (Play To). Why would you want to hold your phone in front of a 54"+ TV/Monitor to take a call?
  • Not for taking calls, but for PowerPoint presentations, Netflix, and sharing music videos, movies, and anything else that would require A/V out. This is something that WP needs,, a simple universal solution like USB to HDMI out. This is a feature a top of the line device should have.
  • Your feature comparison table needs to reflect that the Nokia has OSI and the others don't.  I see that in your text, but I don't see it in the table.  That's a key difference.
  • I wonder if you can use the L920 with any Qi wireless charging mat. The ennergizer one is just 20 bucks
  • Yes, you can, any mat that Qi standatd
  • I think I read somewhere that yes, you should be able to use it with any Qi charging mat. I just can't remember where I read that.
  • There all good phone running windows phone8 we shouldn't bitch about them cuz were all trying to come up in size of market so that people will notice the great features wp8 has to offer
  • It's a tough call for me between Lumia 920 and HTC 8X...  Personally, I like the 8X's design and form factor more than Lumia 920, and I dig California Blue. Also, I use phone's audio way more than the camera and would like to see 920's capabilities measured against 8X. That said, at this time the Nokia experience (in terms of OEM apps, app exclusives, etc.) is unmatched. If you like pushing WP to friends, family, coworkers, etc. Nokia is an easier push given how Angry Birds Space, Draw Something, etc. are set to arrive on the Lumias first...  I'd love to show my iFriends how solid I am with Angry Birds Space *with* my gloves on during Winter. Tough call.
  • . All three phones are great, and its nice to see the phone manufacturer putting out these great phones for our awsome WP8. I must say Nokia hit this out of the ballpark. You just can't compete with what Nokia has done with there lineup. As for me, there is no doubt I'm getting a 920.
  • These devices have a FM radio?
  • Not that I've seen.
  • The ATIV S looks like an iPhone, imo. My choice will be between the 8x & 920.
  • Mmmm dat red Lumia 920...
  • Will anyone ever make a HERO phone with a 4inch screen? 
    I love my HTC Arrive Size, 3.7inch is close to perfect.  I played with the Lumina 900 and thought it was a little big for my taste. 
    I still plan on laveing Sprint next year for the 920, if Sprint is still on the sidelines. 
    My priority list on the Features,
    1. Audio Chip - HTC you did great on this.  The rest need to follow. Other then Communication this is used the most.
    2. Camera - Bless you Nokia, this looks Awesome
    3.  VIDEO OUT - This needs to be on the Phone Now.
         (though) both Win8 and WinRT can do TCP/IP Video..... hmmm maybe the WP8 too?
    4. Audio Jack - The thing I love about the Zune was the placement of the audio jack.. I bought a Dock added a 3.5mm jack to it, yanked out the ashtray and blened it in.  Love to make this mod for the Phone......
  • There are two additional features I would like to see listed: removeable/replaceable battery and notification/charge indicator. These are important to some of us. It looks to me like only Samsung has the first and Samsung and possibly HTC have the second.
  • Everybody complaining about the weight of the 920 "ITS 2 OUNCES MORE THEN THE OTHER PHONES" STFU!!!!!!
  • Finally somebody said it!
  • Perhaps it is just me, but I would like to see the pictures at the top of this article in proper proportion instead of altered to appear the same size.  The phones do have different dimensions and showing that visually might be of some assitance. I understand the desire to have them the same size for purposes of appearance on the article, but I think proper proportion would be more useful.  
    Other than that, great article and thanks for putting the specs together in one place!
  • Agreed. It's important when deciding on a phone purchase to see the actual sizes.
  • If they give me those beat headphones for free, I'll go for the 8X.
    If not...well then I'll have to test the 8X and Lumia before deciding.
  • I guess it's the Lumia for you then :P
  • There is the "GS3" factor with the ATIV, in which Sammy has truly built an amazing set of exclusives and wireless sharing that truly may make it more comparable to the 920. Throw in 2 different price points for 2 different memories, the already mentioned expandable storage, and the fact that Samsung is rumored to be getting this on every carrier that is interested in WP 8, and the ATIV could be a real dark horse. I am a Focus S owner, and love it. I am leaning to Nokia due to it's ecosystem and support, but I am sporting Tango and Sammy did release some software patches for my phone, so they have also supported it. It is a Nokia/Samsung decision for me.
  • I am moving to Samsung for more storage.
  • The bottom line conclusions:
    L920  wins in features: Display, Pureview Camera, Wireless Charging and Nokia exclusive apps
    HTC 8x wins in audio and weight
    ATIV S wins in screen size and MicroSD
    But there are other things you have to consider besides the hardware design.  HTC and Samsung are basically hardware only companies while Nokia is both a hardaware and software company.  So you will obviously get much better support for your phone in broader fronts, especially Nokia is fully devoted to the Windows phone in the future.  The apps like City Lens, Nokia Music, Nokia Drive and Transit are simply exceptional and keep getting better.  The site like  http://conversations.nokia.com/ is an example for where you can get information and support from Nokia.  My personal experiences with my cyan L900 in the last 5 months has been very satisfying.  Pureview camera technology is the only reason I consider to upgrade. 
  • I would rather have the HTC, because I absolutely love HTC phones (my Trophy and Rezound are awesome) but I need 32GB of storage. I just ordered the LG Intuition but in 10 months when I can upgrade again I'm going with the most high end WP8 Verizon has. 
  • I love HTC also.  I have the Titan had the Surround and had a Desire and from Samsung I had the Focus (I added a 16gb microSD and had the storage) but with the new colors lack of storage I am going back to Samsung.
  • I feel a bit underwhelmed by the HTC phones. I'm leaning towards the 920 but no microSD is close to a deal-breaker. I'm almost ashamed to admit I'm contemplating the ATIV :|
  • Having a replacable battery and expandable storage makes the Ativ a great choice and it's shameful that Nokia or HTC have neither of these features. 
    Besides a great looking 4.8' screen, a very light and thin elegant design and great camera and battery life, such as on the GS3 you can't go wrong with Samsung.
  • 32+7GB is enough for me, no need for MicroSD. I have had plenty of phones with ability to change battery. Guess what, I NEVER needed that feature. I always buy a new phone before battery runs out.
    What comes to a screen size. 4.3-4.5" is just a sweet spot for me and many others. Ativ has too big one. It doesn't fit on my pockets.
  • This is a very easy one. Lumia 920 it will be!
    HTC - No copycats for me, I like Nokia hardware, innovation, software and superior support later on.
    Samsung - No copycats for me. This thing doesn't even have Nokia/HTC colors...Only bonus is microsd, which I don't need since 32gb + 7gb is enough for me.
  • Really you can list LTE under the ATIV and the HTX 8X. To start you can list:
    LTE 700 MHz (band 13); CDMA 1x/3G 800/1900 MHz. The reason is both the Ativ and the HTX are known to be going to Verizon (both have been seen with Verizon logos and 4G LTE on their case backs. 
  • Lumia 920
  • Samsung should melt all of the cheap plastic from their devices and build homes for people in Africa.
  • Lmao
  • Activ-s by a landslide. It's not hard to add expandable storage and a big screen.
  • Sorry to say, but to me carrier is king here. Verizon is so far superior to the others in its network (especially in the depth and quality of its LTE) that there is really no comparison to be made.
    Therefore, whichever W8 heroes come to Verizon will be my selection. Assuming of course that W8 added text reflow (without which it is useless in a LOT of productivity scenarios). 
  • Someone needs to tell these 'hero' companies that for a phone to be a 'hero' it doesnt have to have huge dimension and weight specs.  Why can't we get a skinny hero?
  • Since unlimited data plans are being deprecated by carriers, people will need to think twice about streaming music & videos. So carrying your albums with you becomes the next best option. THIS is why 32GB plus expandable SD slots are important. These little chunks of memory will start feeling cramped before the 2yr contract ends. My 16GB Trophy certainly feels it. Still, I'll take the 920 and tough it out. Otherwise, besides the missing SD slot, that 16GB is about my only gripe with the 8X.
  • I've found that I do quite well with 16gb of memory.  I have created multiple Autoplaylists of different genres of music and sync those to my phone.  That way I have a good variety on the phone and hours of music.  Let's face it, 32gb of music would take the normal person months to listen to, so there really isn't any need to have that much on the phone. 
    As for the data limits vs streaming, you are absolutely right, it is quickly becoming a non option.
  • Does the HTC 8x have a notification led on top or is that just a speaker?
  • The ATIV looks set to be the HTC One X of Windows Phone - top of the line specs in a bland, too-familiar package
  • By the means of Specs Nokia Lumia 920 is the nest among them...
  • Initially I liked Nokia Lumia 920. But after the release of 8x, i changed my mind. 920 is heavier and feels uncomfortable in some cases. I liked the lime yellow color in 8x and also it is very light compared to 920. 50 grams less is a lot in smartphones. I definetly don't go for ATIV. Samsung products are plastic and doesn't quiet appealing.
  • For some of us, it is the screen width that matters. I need to leave the iPhone because the actual width of the LCD is now just too small for me to be able to comfortably read web pages (and some apps don't let you go landscape to help with this). And I'm sure not going to go Android. So the iPhone LCD width is 50mm. But it looks to me like the 8X's LCD width may actually be less than the iPhone! So that isn't going to work for me at all. Does anyone know the width in millimeters of the 920 and ATIV S LCDs? That's where it will matter most to me. WP, how about a comparison of that?