Nokia Lumia 900 vs Lumia 920: Is Windows Phone 8 Worth The Extra Cost?

Dec 17, 2012   //   by Keith McDonald   //   Guest Post, Technology  //  3 Comments

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Money is pretty tight for the majority of people these days, but that doesn’t stop us wanting the newest bit of cool technology as soon as it hits the shelves. However, we all know that living beyond our means can land us in sticky financial situations, and no-one wants to be in debt just because they splashed out on a mobile phone.

So if you’ve been eyeing up the hot new Windows Phone 8-powered Nokia Lumia 920 but are a bit strapped for cash, you may want to consider investing in a slightly older and more affordable Windows Phone 7 model, such as the Lumia 900. So just what are the differences between the two?

Device differences

When you place them side by side, the Lumia 900 and 920 look very similar with only a few stylistic differences between the two. The Lumia 920 is the heavier device weighing 185g (compared to the Lumia 900’s 160g) but is slightly thinner than its predecessor with a width of 10.7mm versus the Lumia 900’s 11.5mm. The Lumia 920 feels big and heavy, so if you were looking for a compact device then it may not be the best choice. Although the Lumia 900 is still quite a big smartphone, it’s narrower than the Lumia 920 and so is slightly easier to operate with one hand.

When it comes to displays the Lumia 920’s 4.5-inch PureMotion HD+ screen offers slightly sharper and more detailed visuals than the Lumia 900’s 4.3-inch AMOLED display. However, the Lumia 900’s screen still offers crisp and colourful image reproduction, and its visual performance is more than sufficient.

Nokia Lumia Camera ComparisonThe camera on the Lumia 920 is also superior, clocking in at 8.7 megapixels in contrast to the Lumia 900’s 8 megapixel effort. The Lumia 920 also has the benefit of PureView technology, including a ‘floated’ lens that is mounted on a spring to reduce shake, resulting in less blur in photographs. The Lumia 900’s snapper produces really high quality photographs too, although they aren’t quite as detailed as those taken on the Lumia 920, and colour saturation isn’t as good on images captured in low light situations.

Windows Phone 7 vs 8

On the software side of things, the two handsets run different versions of the Windows Phone operating system. Windows Phone 8 is the brand new mobile platform from Microsoft and features on the Lumia 920. The Lumia 900 however sports an earlier iteration of the software in the form of Windows Phone 7, and whilst users of this software aren’t able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8, Microsoft is releasing an incremental upgrade to Windows 7.8 soon, said to offer some of the functionality of Windows Phone 8.

Key features of Windows Phone 8 include Live Tiles that are now even more customisable (to the point that users can change the size, colour and positioning of them). The platform’s app store, Windows Phone Store, has had a bit of a refresh and now includes loads of top app titles such as Words With Friends and Draw Something. Internet Explorer 10 and the Xbox Music subscription service is on board too, as well a new Kids’ Corner feature that allows users to create a separate guest profile and restrict access to certain features.

The Windows Phone 7.8 update that will bridge the gap between Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 brings features such as the aforementioned customisable Live Tiles, and wider app selection, as well as 20 theme and accent colours, the option to automatically display the Bing Picture of the Day on the homescreen, and improved security measures.

Smartphone selection

Nokia Lumia 900Nokia Lumia 920
Battery Life (standby)300 Hours460 Hours
Display4.3″ AMOLED4.5″ PureMotion HD+
Camera8 Megapixel8.7 Megapixel PureView
Operating SystemWindows 7 / 7.8Windows 8

The Lumia 920 is the best all rounder and has some cool features not offered by the Lumia 900, including wireless charging, 4G connectivity, and the Windows Phone 8 operating system. So if you’re a tech junkie that can stretch your budget a bit further, you may want to plump for this device.

However, those with limited finances can still get a great Windows Phone experience from the Lumia 900, and some might prefer its smaller stature. For those who are not too fussy about having the latest kit in their pocket, the Lumia 900 may be an old dog but the upcoming Windows Phone 7.8 update will certainly teach it some new tricks.

This guest post was written by Abbi Cox of Phones 4u, who have amazing deals on the hottest new mobiles.

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  • Dens

    The camera on the 920 is not so great in the daytime the colours don’t look natural, but it is great in low light. What really makes it so much better is how nice and repsonsive the UI is thanks to WP8.

  • Jay

    The 920 is a great phone but the price takes away its appeal, for almost the same price you can get and iphone 5 or S3 both of which are better, Nokia is just not quite there yet.

  • atish

    It’s pretty easy to find similar simulations used Samsung and Apple ads too. I bet these can be find in camera manufactures ads too.
    Anyhow, when looking into site where actual pureview technology is explained, the picture clarifies
    Technology simulated in those ads seems pretty functional in real life with some prototype hardware (as seen in pureview tech site) or in hi-res images published in verge where Lumia 920 seems to beat Nokia 808 and other camera phones.
    Anyhow I’d prefer some independent tests from dpreview and others – but I have a feeling we will get those too.
    Perhaps 2013 we can get a 3rd generation pureview camera phone that has all; OIS, lossless zoom and pixel oversampling tech with 41 MB (or similar) BSI sensor.