Following the unveiling of Microsoft’s new mobile platform there has been flurry of excitement surrounding the devices which will run the new software. For several years Windows Phone has featured predominantly on Nokia devices Microsoft has now opened up the market by extending a hand to other manufacturers such as HTC and Samsung.
In our latest poll, we’ve been asking readers which Windows Phone 8 handset they are most excited about. Five different devices have so far been announced by three manufacturers, with some causing a great deal of anticipation amongst consumers.
Far out in the lead was Nokia’s WP8 flagship, the Lumia 920, which gained far more votes than any other device in our poll. Despite other manufacturers joining the ranks of Windows Phone producers it seems that Nokia is still in a very good position in the minds of consumers and has a strong association with the software.
The Lumia 920 is a powerful device and one of the best we’ve tested in quite some time. Featuring a dual-core, 1.5GHz processor and 4.5-inch display it is an excellent platform for Windows Phone 8 and takes advantage of some of the developments made with the software. Nokia has also brought its PureView camera technology to the Lumia 920, making the device excellent for low-light photography.
Nokia’s experience in creating phones for Microsoft’s platform is well documented, with earlier Lumia devices performing well despite failing to take a huge market share. However, much of the talk surrounding the launch of Windows Phone 8 has centred on whether it will draw consumers away from Android and iOS. And the Lumia 920 looks most likely to be leading the charge in doing this.
Coming second was Nokia’s other WP8 device, the mid-range Lumia 820. Positioned slightly lower down the market and possibly aimed at a younger audience, the Lumia 820 is still a very impressive handset with specs that are only just outclassed by its high-end cousin. While the handset lacks the PureView technology of the Lumia 920, the mid-range device still has an 8 megapixel camera and a dual-core, 1.5GHz processor that matches the WP8 flagship.
The Finnish manufacturer has also reintroduced removable shell cases to the mobile market with the Lumia 820, a feature that all but disappeared from the shelves of phone shops a decade ago but had been hugely popular before that. With the Lumia 820 featuring just such a casing, we may see a return to personalised, multi-coloured phones once again.
Finishing third in our poll was the HTC 8X, the Taiwanese manufacturer’s flagship Windows Phone 8 handset. Featuring a dual-core, 1.5GHz processor and a 4.3-inch display with an incredibly high ppi of 342, the HTC 8X is a great vehicle for the outstanding visual elements of Windows Phone 8. With a gently-arched and textured backplate, the 8X also provides a physical design different to the chunky bodywork of the Nokias, proving that bringing other manufacturers into the mix can inspire some great ideas.
Next was Samsung’s lone entry into the Windows Phone 8 competition, the Ativ S, a handset which features the biggest display we’ve seen on a WP8 handset so far. The new OS looks fantastic on the 4.8-inch super AMOLED screen and several extra features added by Samsung (such as the Photo Editor app) boost the functionality of the platform.
Last but not least was another handset originating from Taiwan, the HTC 8S. Serving as a mid-range counterpart to the HTC 8X, the 8S is a compact handset with a 4-inch display and is available in a variety of contrasting colourways. It’s possible that HTC is following the same plan as Nokia and aiming its mid-range WP8 device at a younger audience.
All-in-all, Nokia is clearly way out in the lead in terms of consumer interest in Windows Phone 8 devices. This may be due to the firm’s long-running association with Microsoft’s mobile platform, or it may be that it has made a great handset to draw consumers in. Either way, those not looking to Nokia for a WP8 device still have an excellent range to choose from and it is becoming clear that a bit of competition on the market is a very good thing indeed.