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15 best Windows Phones 2014: What's the best Windows Phone you can buy in the UK?

The 15 best Windows Phones you can buy in the UK in 2014

We round up the 15 best Windows Phone smartphones you can buy today in the UK. Our latest entry is the Nokia Lumia 530.

Windows Phone is the third choice of mobile operating system behind iOS/iPhone and Android. It's Microsoft's mobile version of Windows 8 featuring colourful live tiles on the Start Screen. Here we've collected and ranked the best 15 smartphones running Windows Phone 8 which you can buy.

See also: Best smartphones of 2014.

By partnering with Microsoft, Nokia makes the vast majority of Windows Phones available on the market and hence dominates the chart. Other vendors like HTC, Samsung and Huawei make Windows Phone devices but focus their efforts on Android.

We reviewed some of these handsets last year but they are still available now.

15 best Windows Phones

15. HTC Windows Phone 8S

  • Reviewed on: 22 January 13
  • RRP: Around £250 inc VAT (£26 a month on 24-month contract)
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

The HTC Windows Phone 8S is the first Windows Phone 8 handset to fit into the mid-range price category. As such it's not quite the performer of the high-end Windows Phone 8 devices, but it's not so poor as to make it a bad deal. It offers solid performance and features for a reasonable price. Whether you prefer it to a similarly priced Android phone will depend on your own subjective preference of platform.

14. Lumia 530

  • Reviewed on: 26 August 14
  • RRP: £60 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 5 out of 10

The disappointing thing about the Nokia Lumia 530 is that it feels like a worse phone than the Lumia 520 it replaces (albeit with a price cut). The display is a deal breaker for us, undoing the good work of the Lumia 530's performance and build quality. We want to see more storage, and the camera is no better than it ought to be. If you really are limited in budget, it is worth considering. But we hoped for more.

13. Nokia Lumia 820

  • Reviewed on: 21 November 12
  • RRP: £400
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

The Lumia 820 is a smaller and cheaper version of the 920 but doesn't pack the same punch, especially in key areas such as the screen and camera. We like the interchangeable covers and decent battery life. However, in the Windows Phone 8 market, HTC's 8X could well outdo the 820 for the same price so look out for our review soon. Those not set on the operating system should consider the Nexus 4 which has high-end specs but sells for £240.

12. HTC Windows Phone 8X

  • Reviewed on: 29 November 12
  • RRP: £400 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

The HTC Windows Phone 8X is the best all-rounder of the Windows Phone 8 smartphones we've tried. It has a different and less comprehensive selection of pre-loaded apps to Nokia models, but the hardware is better than the identically priced Lumia 820.

11. Nokia Lumia 920

  • Reviewed on: 1 November 12
  • RRP: £444 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

The Lumia 920 is a very desirable smartphone. We love the fantastic screen, decent camera and it's jam packed with features. However, the downsides are the chunky design and somewhat spartan app store.

10. Nokia Lumia 620

  • Reviewed on: 28 June 13
  • RRP: £150 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

The Nokia Lumia 620 is a low-cost, budget Windows Phone 8 device. You get what you pay for in this world, and the Lumia 620 is no exception. but if

9. Nokia Lumia 925

  • Reviewed on: 19 July 13
  • RRP: £450 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

The Lumia 925 stands apart from preceding Windows handsets that Nokia styled more for pre-teens, with a slightly more sophisticated metal and grey plastic look. As a piece of phone hardware it’s competently put together, but ultimately is undermined by an aesthetically challenged and unintuitive software interface, while you’ll be lucky to find half the apps you might need to load on it.

8. Nokia Lumia 625

  • Reviewed on: 1 October 13
  • RRP: £189 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The Nokia Lumia 625 is a big, bright and colourful Windows Phone 8 handset. If you're looking for a 4G capable smartphone on a budget then this is a great buy. It has good build and performance but has limited internal storage and a mediocre camera.

7. Nokia Lumia 630

  • Reviewed on: 5 August 14
  • RRP: £129 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

If you're considering the Lumia 630 as a first smartphone and you don't plan to buy lots of wireless accessories and install lots of apps, it's not a bad choice at all. Windows Phone 8.1 is very easy to use, and will improve even more when Cortana and its associated features arrive in the UK. However, the sticky problem of a lack of apps in Microsoft's store remains an issue for all Windows Phone 8 smartphones, and the lack of a front-facing camera is a problem if you want to use Skype.

6. Nokia Lumia 1320

  • Reviewed on: 11 April 14
  • RRP: £238 inc VAT SIM-free
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

With 'okay' performance and a good but not great screen, the Lumia 1320 still offers good value for money. It's certainly not the best handset on the market, but if you want a Windows Phone with a big screen, and you can't or don't want to stretch up to the faster 1520, you won't regret buying the Lumia 1320. The camera is basic and the storage limited, but the battery life is brilliant.

5. Nokia Lumia 1020

  • Reviewed on: 23 September 13
  • RRP: £600 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

The Lumia 1020 has an amazing camera, the best in a smartphone, and will tempt most smartphone photographers. However, it's expensive for what is essentially a now out-of-date Lumia 920 with a better snapper. Poor battery life and a lack of good apps for the OS put us off significantly.

4. Nokia Lumia 520

  • Reviewed on: 26 February 14
  • RRP: £103 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

If you're looking for a cheap smartphone, you may have just found it. The Nokia Lumia 520 doesn't tick all the boxes on our features wishlist, but it capably handles those that are most important. Windows Phone 8 is a beautiful operating system, but it still lacks apps. If you can get past this and don't mind sacrificing some performance, the Lumia 520 is a strong budget buy.

3. Nokia Lumia 720

  • Reviewed on: 29 April 13
  • RRP: Around £200-250 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

We really like the Lumia 720. Nokia has made a well-balanced smartphone which could be exactly what Windows Phone 8 needs. It offers decent performance at a more than decent price.

2. Nokia Lumia 1520

  • Reviewed on: 6 December 13
  • RRP: £550 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The Nokia Lumia 1520 has got so many things right including build quality, a great camera and a good looking screen. It's the best Windows Phone yet but software is still lacking and we just wish the darn thing was smaller because it's severely off putting.

1. Nokia Lumia 930

  • Reviewed on: 22 July 14
  • RRP: £435 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The Lumia 930 is a step in the right direction with its semi-metal design and decent hardware line-up. We like the screen and camera but it's lacking additional features and doesn't have expandable storage. Windows Phone 8.1 vastly improves things on the software side but the platform is still not a priority for developers – especially when it comes to third-party hardware.

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