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iPhone 5 vs Nokia Lumia 920 comparison review

£444 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Nokia

Now we know the tech specs of the iPhone 5, we take an in-depth look at how it stacks up against a Windows Phone 8 rival: Nokia's flagship Lumia 920. Updated 14th September.

Reactions to the iPhone 5 have been mixed, with some fans getting ready to queue up on 21st September to hand over wads of cash in exchange for unlocked handsets. Meanwhile, others haven't been quite as impressed and see the upgrades to Apple's sixth-generation iPhone as necessary improvements to keep the premium phone in the running. Updated: 14th September

We take a look at one potential alternative in this comparison review: the Lumia 920. See also: iPhone 5 review.

As we've had limited hands-on time with these phones, we'll have to leave a definitive comparison for later, but for now, the specs can do the talking. See also: iPhone 5 hands-on review See iPhone 5 price in UK.

iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 comparison review: design

There's no doubt that the iPhone 5 is stylish. It has already been compared to a finely manufactured wristwatch, and its aluminium and glass construction give it a business-like, industrial feel. Visit iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S comparison review.

The Lumia 920, on the other hand, comes in bright yellow among other colours and has a one-piece polycarbonate body with rounded edges. In this respect, it's not doing much differently from the Lumia 800, but it's still more conspicuous and fun than the iPhone. See also Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Apple iPhone 5 comparison review.

Getting to the specs, the iPhone measures 124 x 59 x 7.6mm and weighs 112g. That's amazingly light for the size. Take a look at iPhone 5 specs and features too.

The Lumia 920 is chunkier, at 130 x 71 x 10.7mm. It weighs 185g, too, which is 25g heavier than the Lumia 900. It's a weighty phone. Take a look at iPhone 5: what you need to know too.

Apple iPhone 5 vs Nokia Lumia 920

Lumia 920 vs iPhone 5 comparison review: screen

The iPhone 5 has a 4in screen with a 1136 x 640 resolution. It's a 16:9 aspect ratio and a pixel density of 326ppi.

The Lumia 920 has a bigger 4.5in screen and a huge resolution of 1280x768 (roughly speaking, that's a 16:10 aspect ratio). Even though it's larger than the iPhone's it still beats it on pixel density (just) at 332ppi. It's an IPS LCD screen with an anti-glare filter and, although we've yet to put the two side by side, it's entirely possible that the winner in terms of clarity, is the Lumia 920.

The 920's screen is curved like the Lumia 800's (Nokia calls this 2.5D) and also works if you're wearing gloves, something the iPhone doesn't do.

iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 comparison review: processor

The details of the iPhone 5's A6 chip are shrouded in mystery at the moment, although it seems fairly certain that it's a dual-core chip. We don't know anything about it's speed, or even how much RAM the phone has, but these details are largely irrelevant.

More important is how the hardware handles the operating system, games and tasks such as loading web pages. Efficient software doesn't necessarily demand a faster processor than a phone running inefficient software.

The Lumia 920 will run Windows Phone 8 (see below) and has a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip, backed by 1GB of RAM.

iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 comparison review: storage

There are three capacities to choose between with the iPhone 5: 16, 32 and 64GB. It isn't possible to add more.

Nokia will offer the 920 with 32GB of storage (plus 7GB free with a Microsoft SkyDrive account), but despite Windows Phone 8 allowing the option of memory expansion, the Lumia 920 doesn't have a memory card slot.

iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 comparison review: camera

Cameras are becoming increasingly important when deciding which smartphone to buy as their quality is getting up to compact digital camera levels. Yes, they lack a zoom lens - a big disadvantage to most photographers - but they're always in your pocket ready to shoot.

The iPhone 5's 8Mp camera looks to be impressive with its back-illuminated sensor and precision-engineered lens, plus the stabilisation and new panorama features.

However, the Lumia 920 could match or beat the iPhone here as it has an 8.7Mp sensor and optical, rather than electronic, stabilisation. Nokia has also shown off the ability to add features to the 920's camera app - including augmented reality with its so-called City Lens.

Both phones can shoot 1080p video, but until we've had a chance to test both out in a variety of conditions, it's impossible to say which one is the better snapper.

Apple iPhone 5 vs Nokia Lumia 920 cameras

iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 comparison review: software

Although iOS 6, which ships with the iPhone 5, doesn't look much different from the original version on the first iPhone, it's a superb operating system. It's both easy to use and packed with features, and there are more than ever in this new release.

Siri is better than the voice-controlled TellMe function in Windows Phone 8, but Apple doesn't allow third-party developers to expand on Siri's capabilities as Microsoft will in WP8.

iOS 6 also has tight Twitter and Facebook integration, what looks to be an impressive new Maps app, and many other standard high-quality apps. Let's not forget, too, that the App Store now has over 700,000 apps, even if virtually all need updating to fully use the iPhone 5's bigger screen.

The Lumia 920, as we've said, runs Windows Phone 8. Unfortunately, we don't know too much about this new OS yet and there's still no release date. It's not going to be vastly different to Windows Phone 7, though, which has an intuitive and good-looking interface. It's more customisable than iOS and benefits from live tiles, just as in Windows 8.

Nokia Maps and Drive offer turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation but, until we can try the rival systems out side by side, we can't definitively say which is best.

iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 comparison review: wireless tech

The battle heats up when we get to wireless technologies. The iPhone 5 has dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi (it works on 2.4 and 5GHz), as does the Lumia 920.

However, Nokia has also built in both NFC (Near Field communication) and wireless charging, neither of which Apple saw fit to include in the iPhone 5. These are unlikely to be deal-breakers for anyone considering an iPhone 5, admittedly.

We've yet to see how efficient the 920's Qi Wireless charging is, and there's currently not much support for NFC when it comes to paying for goods. This will change, but whether it becomes widespread before the 920 is obsolete is debatable.

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Nokia Lumia 920 Expert Verdict »
Nokia Lumia 920 Scores 8.0 out of 10 based on 291 reviews
Snapdragon 4 processor
8Mp camera
Windows Phone 8
wireless charging
4.5-inch curved display, 1280x768 pixel resolution

Although we don't know how much the Lumia 920 will cost, it's likely both phones will be a similar price on contract, with the Lumia possibly being cheaper up front. The operating system is the biggest differentiator, though, and if you're already heavily invested in iOS apps, it could be a wrench to switch to Windows Phone 8. Crucially, Apple's App Store has far more apps than Microsoft's equivalent, so the iPhone 5 has a much stronger ecosystem. It's impossible to say which hardware is superior until we've had a chance to properly test performance, cameras and battery life. We'll update this verdict when we've done just that.

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