Nokia and HTC steal top spots at international design competition for Windows Phone efforts

Windows Phone 8 launched over half a year ago and the message was clear from both HTC and Nokia. Devices were going to be loud, colorful, and playful. They were to be an expression of the operating system they housed inside. The HTC 8X and Nokia Lumia 920 led the charge of premium handsets we could choose from. Both OEMs have recently been recognized for their work by the industrial design community. They did it by taking top spots in the communication tools category at the International Design Excellence Awards.

The International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) honor top designs in a variety of categories. Some categories you could win include digital design, living room and bedroom, leisure and recreation, commercial and industrial products, and transportation to name a few. But we mostly care about the communication tools category, being a mobile site and all. So which Windows Phone devices placed?

  • Nokia Lumia range (Lumia 920, 820, and 620) – Gold
  • HTC 8S – Gold
  • HTC 8X – Silver

Samsung is noticeably absent from the list, which is to be expected with a competition that is judged on design and not performance. Which would also explain the little 8S beating out the 8X.

Congratulations to HTC and Nokia for their design work. It’s been a joy to use all those handsets above. Which has been your favorite from a design standpoint? Sound off below.

Flashback: Windows Phone won the "People's Choice" at IDEA back in 2011

Source: IDEA, Via: Nokia Conversations

  • .lumia 720 if it's already out that time..
  • I own the 720, but no matter how much i try, i can't seem to love it more than my good old 800, design wise and most other things wise :(
  • Nothing will best the 800 until it has glass as integrated and curvy as the 800.
  • No Samsung ATIV? You must be joking. Funny to see the brickish design of 920 there. By far Nokia's best effort so far is 925. Still, no match to ATIV.
  • The Ativ S and the VZW version both look generic.
  • As mentioned, this is about design and not performance.
    The ATIV S might be a damn good phone but it has as much style as a lump of dirt. (a thin and light peice of dirt)
  • ATIV S is generic like every other galaxy android rubbish out there; fat oversized slabs with round corners and ugly round edges
  • ...for more colourful WP's!!
  • I really love my Lumia 920, it's quite good design. Congrats to Nokia for this award! Congrats to HTC too!
  • Correction: Nokia sealed top spot. HTC earned the "copy/paste" award. 
  • correct!
  • Who did HTC copy with the 8x? I'd love to know. The HTC 8x was/is a unique and beautiful phone. Don't be so Nokia nearsighted that you can't appreciate it.
  • They have an Android device that looks almost exactly the same if I remember correctly. (Remember that white 8X? It wasn't a Windows Phone.)
  • Nah, c'mon. The HTC 8X and 8S were original and well thought out designs. Give HTC some credit here...I remember personally being blown away by them pre-launch.
  • I love the 8X design, they just made the decent colours low on memory and exclusive to certain carriers. (At least here in the states.) T-Mobile has only the hideous blue/purple colour! If they hadn't have tried to push that as the "signature" colour of the 8X, (in all of the advertising, for example,) and maybe offered the nicer colours with more memory, they would've outdone Nokia at launch like EVERYONE was expecting them too. (As they had all of the carrier arrangements for a flagship, unlike Nokia at the time.)
  • I have that colour and looks awesome btw. I get people asking me about it all the time. I am a little jealous of my friend's  white 920 but based on looks alone, i think the 8x is better. I just wish it was a Nokia design and Nokia manufacturing. Dropped it once and cracked the glass from pocket height. 
  • Really? The 8X and 8S look NOTHING like HTC's Android phones, but it's okay for Nokia to release a Lumia 800 that looks exactly the same as the N9 and the Lumia 710 that is the WP replica of the Nokia 603. And then they are bashing HTC on twitter for releasing devices that are the same as their Android range. That's what i call hypocrisy. I love Nokia but i really hate fanboys who support them for being the only OEM who cares about WP, truth is that WP would have never succeeded without HTC, where was Nokia when Windows phone was launched? LG released a phone but never cared about it, Samsung too, but HTC released the Mozart, the Trophy, the HD7, the Surround, the Arrive and these phones were nothing like HTC's olther phones, what did Nokia do? Put WP on N9 and the 603 a year after.
  • I prefer arguments over which WP phone looks better. These are arguments I love to watch/or be a part of
  • HTC copied the Nokia N9 design..
  • This is extremely incorrect. I love Nokia, but I'm not going to downtalk every other manufacturer. Grow up you little boy.
  • You got to be kidding me...
  • Actually 8s design is pretty standout compare to lumias & 8x. Htc deserves the credit. It's not lumiacentral, is it? And i'm speaking as a neutral ativ s user.
  • If only the black/white 8S was available with higher-end specs...
  • Seriously. The 8S is probably the hottest WP8 out there. I love my 920, but the 8S deserved that award.
  • Good one, but i own an L822(work), L900(personal), and HTC 8X (Personal), and can honestly say that if it wouldn't be for exclusive apps and the camera, I much prefer the HTC's sleek design over the bulk of the 920 which I referred to many friends over the HTC. If only they would improve the camera and make the 8X in a 5 - 5+ design, I'd get rid of my Lumias permanently.
  • Lumia 920!
  • 8X all the way!
  • +8
  • Lumia 820. Great design.
  • The 8S is much more unique than the 8X, so I'm not surprised.
  • +920
  • I love my red L920!
  • Not to sound all sour but um I feel nokia and htc are the only ones on board with wp so who else really was considered competition???
  • I think you misunderstood.  This wasn't a "competition" within Windows Phone devices, but in *communication tools* in general, meaning any Android, iOS device could have been considered as well. To flip it around, you could say Windows Phone made a clean sweep in design, since its two main OEMs both won awards.
  • I wonder if he meant that because they are all out serious about the phone, if that wasn't a catalyst to produce a well designed phone. Where Samsung is not really devoted so they didn't have much to offer in the way of design...but that still wouldn't explain why their top teir Android devices weren't considered either.
  • Because the galaxy series never really changes
  • +1020
  • 1:that's awesome that so many WP devices won, 2:neither iPhone 5 or the HTC one are in this! ( the new Samsung device is vanilla)
  • Everyone? This wasn't a competition for who made the best industrial design for Windows Phone. It was who made the best industrial design for communication tools. So any company that makes mobile devices could have won. But instead we have two OEMs who make Windows Phone win and they won with their unique WP offerings.
  • love my 820!
  • Yup, mine's yellow and stands out from the hordes of grey/black slabs at work.
  • Love my yellow 920, stands out in a crowd of iPhones!
  • Agree. Got the 810 with the cyan wireless charging shell and it stands out like a sore thumb... In a good way...
  • Also love my yellow 920
    So bored with black and gray... ;)
  • HTC 8S could have been a huge it in the US if it had been launched on T mobile and priced like a Nokia 620. Its design is just awesome.
  • Agreed. It would have done really well on any carrier if it was angled as the premier pre-pay phone.
  • This! I could see WP significantly eating away at the cheapo Android phones if they marketed and priced for pre-pay options.
  • The only let down with the 8s is 4gb memory.
    What's HTC thinking!!
    They should apologize and give a free 8x to everyone who bought an 8s...
  • I hope the folks at Samsung are taking notes. Maybe their Android fans are used to mediocre plastic flip-flops but we, Windows Phone enthusiasts are all about and used to pure class.
  • samsung doesn't care about design, they just want to sell scads of dreck to people and take their money.
  • Actually, the Ativ S is a pretty good-looking phone. Very orthodox in design but elegant and understated.
  • It's unfair to put lumia range into one product, since htc wp lineup has way more similarities than devices in lumia range.
  • I disagree. Or rather, rattle off these "way more similarities" between the 8S and 8X and how they trump the Lumia line. Remember, this is about DESIGN, not features... Go.
  • Lumia 920, 820, 720 and 620 don't use,the same design language, while HTCs does, that's my point. Why putting Lumia series as a product but not as a separate devices, like they did with HTCs.
  • I own a yellow 820, but my votes go for white Lumia 720 (me likes glossy) and HTC 8S in general (it's kinda sad that the price/quality ratio was not as good as Nokia's)
  • Can't agree more. The only reason stopping me from buying a 8S is the lack of features. Proud owner of a white 720 now. Receiving praise for its good looks all the time.
  • Absolutely worship my Lumia 920 in yellow. Couldn't ask for a better phone. Nokia are the best! :D
  • Really cool. I remember being blown away by the look of the California blue HTC 8X when I first saw it and was originally set on that being my next phone and my first WP8 device. At this point, I actually prefer the look of the Lumia 920, and I like the look of the 8S as well. In a way, I'm not surprised the 8S was voted over the 8X.
  • I've always been a fan of the color choices from Nokia. In fact, I've been waiting for Apple to copy the iPod Touch color choices for the iPhone, just so I can listen to Apple hipsters claim that they are the first to allow personal color choice for phones.
    But seriously, I *still* get comments and interest from people when they see my red Lumia 920. A lot of older users I know are increasingly unhappy with their iPhones, and I keep showing how simple WP8 is by comparison. "My kids got it for me... it's okay, but why do I need all these apps?" "You don't... WP lets you set up just what you want. Take a look at my setup..."
  • Different iPhone colors mean that a new precedent has been set, and other companies will start making phones in other colors also. Hopefully, WP will be credited in the process...
    Apparently, IPhone lite has colors. (they're ugly though) :D
    ~but It still worries me if WP will ever get some credit.
  • Lumia 920 in yellow!!!!!
  • Yellow 920 is one sexy phone. I also like the red one.
  • I am Happy for Windows Phone. Its good that Both Nokia and HTC (which are only the two OEMS driving windowsphone) has won it. But Whats important here is it will give Global recognition for Windows phone devices.
  • I don't like the design of Lumia 620 (which I own myself :s), but it's worth the money.
  • Lumia 720, I just can't stop loving this beauty!
  • I agree with what many others are saying about HTC copying Nokia with the 8X. I remember many comments on here about Nokia suing HTC because of it. I had an HTC at that time but was disappointed in them for so blatantly ripping off Nokia.
  • And disappointed in HTC for deviating away from their Titan line.
  • As I stated above, I'm the first to praise Nokia, but the HTC 8X beats them design wise but lags behind in features and exclusives.
  • "...but the HTC 8X beats them design wise..."
    Not according to IDEA.
  • Just because HTC decided to make colorful devices then that doesn't mean they are copying Nokia. Their design is substantially different than the Lumia line up with interesting color choices being the only similarity. Now, I'm not going to go over how the 8X/8S are different from the Lumia line up because even looking at a simple picture of the two will suffice. Point is, HTC has always made beautiful phones and they continue to make some of the best looking hardware all around (8X, Butterfly/DNA/One) - Nokia is phenomenal and I love it but to put down HTC like that is stupid at best.
  • The 8X and 8S were the first phones HTC ever made that were not boring as hell. But they would have been better off bringing some stylin to their Titan line rather than making phones that look like Lumias.
  • I always love my Lumia 620! The dual shot color cover makes it really a jewel.
  • Screenshot please or link, would lime to see your setup
  • when it comes to desgin HTC 8s has the best design among all smartphones
  • best designs for me are the original* N9, you may ask why not the lumia 920 then? because of the damn windows keys wasting screen space, thats it
    i was loving the X7's design too they should make a new aluminium lumia with that design and the E7 was the best for qwerty but i doubt they make a new qwerty phone
  • congrats to both!
  • The Lumia 920 definitely is the better looking phone in my opinion, compared to the 8x. I owned a red and blue 8x and while the design was nice for a windows phone I love the look for Nokia phones better.
  • Reply to this now who the hell did HTC copy and paste from? Your the biggest ignorant retard to have ever been born. Slap yourself sir.
  • Have to say the 8s is a beautiful little phone, shame about its crappy specs!
  • 720 is the best handset out there, why wasn't it included in gold
  • HTC is a shell of its former self now. Nokia is going to eat them alive if they stay on the path they have been.
  • The Nokia 206 is SOOOO CUTE