Non Android users: why would you buy a Nokia Lumia 920 instead of Apple’s iPhone 5?

Let’s say you’re looking to buy a new high-end smartphone in the US and, for who knows what reasons, Android just isn’t your thing. Or you already have an Android handset, and want to try something new. What else is there? Well, we’ve got Apple’s iPhone, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Sure, there’s also BlackBerry, but I’m going to talk about touchscreen-only smartphones here, so RIM is out of the equation until BlackBerry 10 comes out (in 2013).

Windows Phone has reached version 8 this year, and handsets based on it are about to hit shelves around the world starting the next few weeks. Among them, the Nokia Lumia 920 has received the highest amount of attention from the media, as well as from consumers.

So the Lumia 920 and the new iPhone 5 should be among your top choices if you don’t want to step into the realm of Android. Specs-wise, these two aren’t too different, although the Lumia is 3mm thicker, and more massive overall, sporting a 4.5 inch screen, versus the iPhone 5’s 4-inch display.

The iPhone 5’s screen, with its unusual 1136 x 640 resolution, is undoubtedly one of the best out there. But gone are the days when Apple’s Retina Display was unrivalled. The Lumia 920, despite having a larger screen, offers a higher pixel density (332 ppi vs. 326 ppi), thanks to its 1280 x 768 resolution. That’s 48 more vertical pixels than what you’re getting with a regular HD screen (1280 x 720).

The Lumia 920 and the iPhone 5 offer the latest tech, including LTE connectivity (up to 100Mbps), speedy dual-core processors, and 1GB of RAM. Both iOS and Windows Phone are closed, well-controlled platforms. Windows Phone 8 has a fresher look, though, as iOS (now at version 6) hasn’t changed too much lately.

Unlike Apple, Nokia views “imaging as a core area for differentiation in the smartphone space.” And even if you hate or pity the Finnish company, you have to hand it to them: the photography capabilities of the Lumia 920 are fantastic.

As Engadget has proved it, the Lumia 920 is simply better, photography-wise, than the iPhone 5, especially in low-light settings. The 8.7MP camera found on the back of the 920 features Carl Zeiss optics, plus Nokia’s PureView technology that first impressed us on the Symbian-based PureView 808. Android flagships like Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X can’t match its performances, either – and the LG Optimus G (which has a 13MP camera) doesn’t do better.

Engadget also proves that the 920 – which features optical image stabilization – bests the iPhone 5 when it comes to video recording, too.

Nokia seems to be making a big fuss out of the fact that the Lumia 920 will come in five color versions. Just watch the video below, which suggests the handset can set you free from a nightmarish world where the iPhone 5 is colorless.

Yes, the 920 can be yellow or red, while the iPhone 5 can’t. But you can just slap a case on the latter (at a small extra cost), and make it any color your like.

Moving on, maps on iOS 6 are disastrous. Apple’s Tim Cook himself acknowledged this, and apologized for the problem, suggesting users to try alternatives – including Nokia Maps – until all issues are fixed. So if you heavily depend on your smartphone for maps and navigation, the 920 seems to be a better choice – at least for now.

Regarding gaming – there are, of course, many more titles available for iOS than for Windows Phone 8. But Microsoft is seriously trying to make things better by allowing developers to easily port PC games to Windows Phone, and by partnering with companies like Gameloft and Havok. See this video at MSNBC for further details.

At the moment, there’s no way of telling how much the 2,000 mAh Li-Ion battery on the Lumia 920 actually lasts. The official numbers say: up to 10 hours of talking time, up to 67 hours of music playback, and up to 400 hours of stand-by time. According to Apple, the iPhone 5’s 1,450 Li-Po battery is capable of providing up to 8 hours of talk time, 40 hours of music playback, or 255 hours of stand-by time. Reviews indicate that Apple’s claims are accurate. However, on paper, the Lumia 920 has a better battery.

Unfortunately for Nokia and Microsoft, the iPhone 5 is already available for purchase, and has been since September 21, with sales reaching 5 million units in the first week-end. The Nokia Lumia 920 will only be released starting early November. And AT&T will be the only carrier to offer it in the US – at least for the beginning. It’s not clear how much the Lumia 920 will cost at AT&T. Best Buy briefly listed the 920 as costing $149.99 on contract. That would be a very good price, considering the fact that an iPhone 5 16GB goes for $199.99 on contract.

In Europe, where more customers are likely to buy smartphones unlocked than in the US, the Lumia 920 definitely has a price advantage – albeit not significant – over the iPhone 5. SIM-free, the 16GB version of Apple’s new handset costs €679. The Lumia 920 will cost €649, offering double the storage space – 32GB. Since neither the iPhone, nor the new Lumia has MicroSD card slot, the winner here is Nokia’s smartphone.

As a conclusion, I think that those who already have an iPhone (model 4S or older) will not want to consider anything else than an iPhone 5 as their next handset. They have their favorite apps and services on iOS, they’re more than familiar with the ecosystem, and most probably praise Apple enough just not to switch to the competition, even though possibly better handsets are out there. So the Nokia Lumia 920 remains a smartphone for those that aren’t Apple fans already. Is that enough for it to become a commercial success? We’ll find out in the first quarter of 2013, after Nokia unveils its financial results for Q4 2012.

Update: numerous iPhone users are commenting below saying they’re ready to gladly switch to the Lumia 920 and Windows Phone 8.

Author: Florin

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  • Van Nguyen

    Already ordered my lumia 920 from bestbuy

  • jeapstop

    me to. Lumia 920

  • rashid

    i will buy lumia 920

  • IMK

    I’ve had every Iphone since the 3G and I will be undoubtedly getting the Lumia 920. Already tried to pre-order but Best Buys systems were down.

  • Mike E. Delta

    I’ve been a Windows Phone user since Seven was released and it was my FIRST smartphone ever. I can only say that I am tired of the old-fashioned GUI look of icons and the holding pattern, jump in/out nature of the experience. Windows Phone takes it even further back to a more refreshing throwback to something resembling the 70’s-80’s. I truly feel that Microsoft has offered a more future forward experience and made serious moves to make the experience across devices as seamless as possible and that’s despite the devide between 7-8 (which is a condition of the previous generation, CE-Kernel). They still have so much more to learn but it is really getting that much better as a result, but it could only have happened because of Apple’s gains. These are truly the only two that matter…

  • Auto Law JD

    I’m buying this bad boy as soon as it’s available from Verizon. I currently have a Bold 9930 and my wife has an iPhone 5.

  • Quinn Jensen

    I have an Iphone and im ready for the switch. Lumia 920 FTW!!

  • Digitaltouch

    I have had the iPhone 3G and now the 4. So that’s 4 years with apple. Why I’m not buying the 5. 1.)Scuff marks 2.) feels fake in the hand, to light. 3.) maps suck 4.) same old os, needs better short cuts for things in settings.5.) no NFC. To me the lumia 920 is fresh and new. Maps,camera,screen,NFC,wireless charging, the curved glass. Put windows 8 and it’s a killer device. 2 lumia 920 coming this way. Can’t wait.

  • Rami Berraies

    I am doing the switch as well, why? Because Apple does not innovate as much since the iPhone 4 and the Lumia 920 really looks good and it has lot’s of innovations.

  • Kelly

    I had an iPhone, iPhone 3, and the iPhone 4 up until a couple weeks ago when I sold it in anticipation of the iPhone 5.
    When the iPhone 5 came out, though, I decided to look for something else. I’m unimpressed with the changes to the 5 and didn’t like the feel of the phone at all.
    I’m currently planning to get the Lumia 920.
    I had dozens of apps on my iPhone – but the reality is there are too many apps out there to feel locked into any particular platform just because of apps. Nothing rules my life so much that I can not look to other vendors. If you’re locked into an iPhone so much so that you cannot switch or even consider switching — then you’re part of the reason Apple didn’t think they really needed to innovate with the iPhone 5. They’ve got you right where they want you.
    Personally, I felt a little too controlled in the iOS world. There are a lot of basic things that you just can’t get control of yourself. Silly things, like not being able to access your voicemails or record calls. Things the hardware obviously supports, but Apple doesn’t allow you to do. Sure, you can ‘jailbreak’ your phone and do some of these things, but I don’t want to have to ‘jailbreak’ my phone to access what many would consider very basic features.
    The Lumia 920 has some great specs, the camera is a huge selling point for me, and the phone is vibrant and alive. Much unlike the drab iPhone 5 which is a little too yesteryear for my liking. I would rather have a 4s than a 5, that is just my opinion.

  • James H

    Not a bad article…. not too biased…. I for one have tried the Apple products and Android products and both work well but lacked in usefullness where my Windows work desktop were concerned. Finally Microsoft has come up with a cross platform product most of us Windows users have been waiting for. Nokia Lumia 920 is the best phone hardware choice to show off Windows phone 8 and Microsoft has the Surface to show off the tablet capabilities. I can see why Apple and Apple fans everywhere are concerned about this extra competition.

  • Maddeness14

    You also have to take into account how many consumers actually use PC’s vs. a Mac. As more and more of our data is being hosted in the cloud, having a phone with the same platform as your computer/laptop/tablet is very attractive.

    Can’t wait to get my Lumia 920!

  • ashley

    i am dying to know when the lumia is getting released?? any solid tips??

  • YAI

    I totally agree with Kelly. I’ve used iPhone 4, but ready to change and wanna get the Lumia 920 asap. I like my iPhone, but don’t really love it. My son is 1-year old that I wanna take a lot pictures of him by my phone. From iPhone4, picture quality is only good for sharing on social network, not for real use. Can’t wait for my new 920 and hope it will be great as I expected.

  • garak0410

    I like the new Windows 8 Ecosystem and ready to give it a try. My Lumia 920 and Surface are preordered…

  • Guest

    I have an iphone 4 and I am definitely considering Lumia 920 expecially after the introduction of the Iphone 5

  • bluehype

    Nokia Lumia 920 all the way!

  • Storm Holloway

    “As a conclusion, I think that those who already have an iPhone (model 4S or older) will not want to consider anything else than an iPhone 5 as their next handset”

    True for most, but I’ve been an Apple fan for over a decade. I had the iPhone 5 on order but canceled it after looking more closely at the Lumia 920. It doesn’t take a Windows user to recognize that Windows Phone is a great design, and even Apple fanboys should admit that iOS isn’t evolving in any significant way.

  • Em

    I can’t wait till I get to sell my Iphone 4s soon as I have the Lumia 920 in my hand!!! Long-time Apple consumer who’s intelligence and loyalty were questioned with the release of a B.S. product AKA Iphone 5. In with the new; out with the old. It’s as simple as that.

  • M

    I can’t wait till I get to sell my Iphone 4s soon as I have the Lumia 920 in my hand!!! Long-time Apple consumer who’s intelligence and loyalty were questioned with the release of a B.S. product AKA Iphone 5. In with the new; out with the old. It’s as simple as that.

  • phideaux

    Your last statement is patently false. I’ve had every iPhone until the 5, and my next device will be the Lumia 920. To me, the iPhone 5 has nothing new to offer me, and I’m definitely ready for a new, fresh user experience. Come on, Nokia, release this device and TAKE MY MONEY!

  • Vinay

    Loved my iPhone 4 but the 5 seems a little stale. 920 here I come!

  • Derrick

    Im using iphone 4. Bought an iphone 5 and sold it while waiting anxiously for lumia 920. Nokia, please dont screw me this time. Im rooting for u!

  • Jack B.

    I have an iphone and I ***CAN’T FREAKIN’ WAIT*** to switch to Lumia 920~~~!!!!

  • Christian Jun

    I’ve had my iphone 4 for two years now. I’ve enjoyed my phone for everything it has to offer but this Lumia 920 has me so interested in the phone my excitement for its this phone is comparable to how I felt during the playstation 3 launch, which is saying a lot since I haven’t had that feeling in the last six years.

    I owned a Zune and the ui of that software is basically the father of the windows phone 7 and 8 os. I enjoyed that ui more than what iOS offers and that was on a Zune with little support from the masses. I cannot wait til the preorder starts. Wish I had a time machine and could just go to the future.

  • Luis Rosas

    Like many, Ive been an iphone user since the first one came out and been upgrading almost every generation of iPhones. But the lumia 920 has got me hooked and I will definitely buy one as soon as it becomes available.

  • Andreas

    I am considering to sitch to a lumia. I have had an iPhone 3GS and 4s and somewhat do not feel anymore attracted to iOS. Wp8 and Nokia pass on the lumia seem much more advanced to me.

  • marie

    I’ve had iphone fore over 3 years and i’m ready to switch! Cant wait to get something a little different and something i wont have to pay quite so much for!

  • brandon

    Being released next week monday at the latest. Ordered mine from best buy

  • Ilie Patros

    everyone know that nokia and wp7 sucks, why here are so many anti apple and pro nokia comments ? I wont wonder if my comment will be deleted because this is a pro MS site :D

  • Nick Bondz

    I have an Iphone for waited for the 5 to come out expecting a big change and thats not the case. Luckily I am with Att so Im hoping to have a Lumia 920 in the next few weeks!

  • Ahkakajs

    I have an iphone and i want to switch also! Iphone 5 has to much similarities and ios 6 is basically the same with small tweaks here and there.

  • nicov784

    Get your facts straight first. The Nokia Lumia 920 runs Windows Phone 8.

    Why Anti Apple, well, the author seems to think that anyone with an iPhone will not switch to a Lumia. So, let the people speak. People are merely pointing out the obvious that the i5 is lame and boring and more of the same. And the Lumia 920 with WP8 is cool, new, better specs and just overall a better product.

  • Xylene

    Can you explain what you mean by “Sucks” can you give some concrete evidence of this. If everyone knows that it sucks, why do so many people give it such great reviews. That is like saying “Every one knows the sun revolves around the earth”

  • hohum

    If your happy with your phone thats fine
    I have my N9 I’m happy with it – I really dont care if others dont like it as it does
    all that I really need.
    ( although the 920 is seriously cool – and would be my choice for an upgrade)

    Anti? not really … if you can take it out of the religious context B&W
    you will see its about innovation.

  • Argenis Zurita

    I’m very happy with my GS2 and I like my iPad and Nexus7 but for the first time I’m going to break a contract to switch to the Lumia 920….I’m ready for something new and I find this Lumia Phones to be really cool and will play nice with my Xbox and windows 8 machines and maybe just maybe a Surface Tablet

  • liveTexas

    I’m waiting for the LG Nexus !
    Pure Google, Pure Android!

  • jeapstop

    I am a current user of IPAD3 and G3 phone… and I am going to buy Surface and Lumia 920. I have used Nokia phone in the past. One thing I was impressed with Nokia phones are reliability and durability.I am not an Isheep or a fanboy of any o.s. As a fair consumer, I believe a company with breakthrough products such as Surface and Lumia 920 deserve recognition and support. This encourages innovation which benefits consumers.

  • Frenchy

    iPhone’s haven’t done anything new since the first one came out, the Lumia 920 is truly innovative (in my opinion) and that’s why I’m getting one.. I’m currently an android user but I’m switching to windows phone 8 because it’s faster, cleaner and works with all the programs I use at work.

  • Calvin Smith

    I have an iphone 4s, macbook air, apple tv and the new iPad, and I’m giving my 4s to my son to get the 920. I switched from iphone 4s to the 900 and fell in love with the windows phone os. I’m a photography on the side, and I used the camera on the 4s more than any other service. The camera on the Lumia 900 did not compare. so I went back to the 4s for the camera. Now with the 920 I think I will get the best of both worlds. I pre-oreder the yellow one at Best Buy before they pulled them.

  • LarryVandemeer

    I’m an iPhone 4 user on AT&T and I’m ready to pre-order the Lumia 920. I’ve had it with Apple.

  • Dave

    I’m another iPhone4 owner who does not want the 5, can’t wait for the Lumia 920 and the ecosystem of W8 products. I think iOS has become boring with little innovation. Good bye Apple! :D

  • Stocklone

    920: best phone in the world. It’s as simple as that. 920: worst US launch ever. It’s as simple as that.

  • jeapstop

    You lucky… the link is gone now

  • Zack

    Said it before and i’ll say it again, this is an OS (and company) that is made to revolve around “You” and your life (live tiles whoo hoo!), not itself and its features.. (

  • jeapstop

    Nothing outdoes nokia quality. I’ve gone through 8 personal nokia phone upgrades since 1997 when i first started using cellphones, and not a single problem with any of them. ive seen my friends and family have SO many problems with HTC, samsung, LG, and now even apple.

    and not to mention that nokia has true innovation and dont just keep making 12 versions of the same phone like samsung. or junk like HTC.

  • Dan Marinescu

    i have 2 iphone 4(s) and a new iphone 5
    they are ALL PERFECT

  • pharmassist

    contract is up for renewal, lumia 920 is about to launch, perfect timing. :D

  • 60616_18

    Loved the Windows interface of earlier versions. Very excited about this Lumina to come to market. However, not sure if I can comit to VZ’s 8XX platform – I’m in it for the camera! Why of why does VZ have the worst/least hardware offerings?! It really is getting very old!

  • Joe

    Windows phone is garbage. Android is King, Apple takes a strong second due to its insanely loyal fanbase. Too many people have to put up with bluescreens on their desktops at work – who the hell wants them on their phone? And, unlike the desktop/laptop “market” where many people are only barely aware of any other option, for phones and tablets, there is already a strong thriving competitive market. The diehard MS freaks will go to them, so too those that have them forced on them by their employer. Those that get them will have no strong loyalty to them. They might in some cases have their data locked in to proprietary MS formats and storage, which hampers their ability to easily migrate away.

    Here’s hoping that MS Phone is every bit as successful as MS Zune was.