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Nokia Lumia 920: Release Date and Comparison to iPhone 5, Galaxy S3

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Lumia 920.jpgNokia have been struggling in the smartphone market for the past few years. Once the world’s top manufacturer of mobile phones, Nokia’s recent handsets have been outsold by rival handsets such as the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III.


Over the past year, Nokia have switched to Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system in an attempt to take on Apple and Samsung. This started with the launch of the Lumia 800 smartphone in November last year: a handset running version 7.5 of the Windows Phone operating system.


With the Lumia 920, Nokia are taking things to the next level in their fight back. The Lumia 920 features a whole range of new and unique technologies including PureView camera technology (improved low-light photography and optical image stabilisation), super sensitive touch (the ability to use a capacitive touchscreen with your gloves on) and wireless charging. It also comes with the latest version of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system which adds a revamped start screen, NFC support, digital camera lenses and more.


In this article, we take an in-depth look at the Lumia 920 and the hardware innovations that Nokia have introduced. We’ll also look at how the Lumia 920 compares to the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III and when it’ll be available on the market.


PureView Camera: Low-Light Photography & Optical Image Stabilisation


Colours.jpgThe Lumia 920 will be Nokia’s first Windows Phone handset with “PureView” camera technology. According to Nokia, PureView technology gives two key benefits to photography on the Lumia 920: superior performance in low-light conditions and steady video in all lighting conditions.


Low-light photography is improved on the Lumia 920 by replacing the traditional FSI (front-side illuminated) camera sensor with a BSI (back-side illuminated) sensor. In a standard cameraphone with a FSI sensor, incoming light must first pass through a grid of interconnected metal wires before it can reach the photosensitive part of the sensor. These wires can cause some interference and loss of light. In a BSI camera sensor, this structure is instead reversed with light hitting the photosensitive area directly and the metal readout wires lying underneath it. The increased amount of light that is captured by a BSI sensor leads to better quality photos with less noise, particularly in low-light conditions.


In order to improve low-light photography, Nokia have also used a large aperture f/2.0 lens in the Lumia 920. For comparison, the iPhone 5’s camera has a f/2.4 aperture and the Galaxy S3’s camera has a f/2.6 aperture. The use of a large aperture (which is designated by a smaller f-number) means that more light can enter the sensor and results in better-quality photos in low-light conditions.


PureView Comparison.jpg

A comparison of photographs taken in low-light conditions. Left: Nokia Lumia 920 with PureView technology. Right: Smartphone without PureView technology. Source: Nokia promotional materials.


The Lumia 920 is also unique amongst smartphones for implementing Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). This makes use of the gyroscope in your smartphone to detect movement and compensates for that movement by shifting the camera assembly in the opposite direction. This allows for smoother videos with less shaking and the ability to take long exposure photographs without blurring in the image.


Note that the Lumia 920 doesn’t have the 41 megapixel camera sensor as found on the Nokia PureView 808. Instead, the Lumia 920 features an 8.7 megapixel camera sensor with Nokia using the “PureView” brand to highlight its other developments in camera technology.


If you’re interested in finding out more about cameraphone technology, giffgaff had a detailed look at cameraphone technology in May and asked what the future might bring for cameraphone technology. Nokia have also provided a white paper with more information on the camera technology of the Lumia 920.


Super-Sensitive Touch


Lockscreen.jpgAll recent high-end smartphones including the iPhone 5, Galaxy S3 and HTC One X use capacitive-sensing touchscreen technology. Capacitive touchscreens work by sensing your finger through changes in the electric field when your finger touches the display.


Compared to the older resistive touchscreen technology which worked by sensing pressure on the display, capacitive touchscreens are preferred for being more finger-friendly and for allowing gestures such as swiping and pinching. The disadvantage of capacitive touchscreens is that they only work with the finger and cannot be operated with gloves or a finger nail.


With the Lumia 920, Nokia have introduced an enhanced form of capacitive touchscreen technology which they call “super sensitive touch”. It works by removing the dedicated capacitive touchscreen layer which normally lies above the display – instead capacitive sensing is integrated into the display layer itself. This allows for the capacitive sensing to become more sensitive and makes it possible to detect the weak changes in electric field which can permeate through gloves and fingernails. This is a fairly significant development as it removes one of the major downsides of capacitive technology.


According to Nokia, the new display technology also allows for thinner phones and for brighter displays. The Lumia 920 features a 4.5-inch TFT display with a “super sensitive” capacitive touchscreen.


Wireless Charging


Wireless Charging.jpgThe Lumia 920 will be fairly unique as one of the first smartphones to support wireless charging out of the box. Unlike other devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S3, the wireless charging technology on the Lumia 920 is integrated directly into the phone. This means it isn’t necessary to buy a replacement back cover for wireless charging capabilities.


Wireless charging on the Lumia 920 uses the Qi wireless charging standard. This means that it should be compatible with any wireless charging pad or accessory that uses the Qi standard. Nokia’s vision is that Qi technology will eventually be built in to public places such as the tables at your local coffee shop or restaurant. This will allow you to charge your smartphone with ease wherever you are and without having to carry a charger with you.


giffgaff took an in-depth look at wireless charging in August. Whilst many of you loved the idea of wireless charging, you also pointed out that you have less freedom to move your phone whilst charging wirelessly. Whilst charging through a cable allows you to pick your phone up off the table, this is not the case for wireless charging.


If you prefer charging your phone the traditional way with a cable, you’ll be glad to know that this is still an option. The Lumia 920 features a micro-USB port for charging and connecting to a PC.


Windows Phone 8


Windows Phone.jpgThe Nokia Lumia 920 comes with the latest version of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system. The Windows Phone operating system is unique for its distinctive design with “live tiles” on the homescreen and for the magazine-style “Metro” user interface which is also found on the Windows 8 operating system for PCs, laptops and tablets.


Microsoft are yet to announce what new functionality will be coming with Windows Phone 8 but we’re expecting a newly-revamped home screen, support for Near Field Communication and contactless payments, digital camera lenses (like Instagram), and more.


Nokia Lumia 920: Comparison to iPhone 5 & Galaxy S3


The Lumia 920’s technical specifications compare to the Apple iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III as follows:



Nokia Lumia 920

 Lumia 920.jpg

Apple iPhone 5

iPhone 5 Front.jpg 

Samsung Galaxy S III

Marble White.jpg 


1.5GHz dual-core

1.3GHz dual-core

1.4GHz quad-core


4.5-inch TFT display

4.0-inch TFT display

4.8-inch AMOLED (organic LED)

Screen Resolution

1280x768 (332ppi)

1136x640 (326ppi)

1280x720 (306ppi)

Operating System

Microsoft Windows Phone 8

Apple iOS 6

Google Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)


32GB internal memory

16GB/32GB/64GB internal memory

16/32/64GB internal memory & up to 64GB micro-SD


8.7 megapixel with LED flash

8 megapixel with LED flash

8 megapixel with LED flash

Camera Aperture




Video recording

1080p, 30 frames per second

1080p, 30 frames per second

1080p, 30 frames per second


2,000mAh (10 hours talk time)

1,440mAh (8 hours talk time)

2,100mAh (11.6 hours talk time)





Wireless Charging



Yes, with replacement back cover

3G Connectivity

DC-HSPA+, up to 42 Mbit/s

DC-HSPA+, up to 42 Mbit/s

HSPA+, up to 21 Mbit/s

Text Input

On-screen software keyboard

On-screen software keyboard

On-screen software keyboard

Approx. price




SIM card size

Micro SIM

Nano SIM

Micro SIM


All three devices are compatible with giffgaff and some great savings can be had by buying these devices upfront and using one of our giffgaff goodybags. The Lumia 920 accepts ‘Micro SIM’ sized cards. For the iPhone 5, you’ll need to cut your SIM card down to a Nano SIM.


Nokia Lumia 920 Release Date


Nokia haven’t confirmed an official release date for the Lumia 920 yet – it depends on when Microsoft release the final version of the Windows Phone 8 operating system. It is currently expected that Microsoft will release Windows Phone 8 around the end of October - this means the Nokia Lumia 920 will probably see a release in early November.


Your Thoughts…


In this article we’ve taken a look at Nokia’s new flagship device, the Lumia 920, and the range of new technologies that Nokia are introducing such as PureView camera technology, optical image stabilisation, super-sensitive touch, wireless charging and Microsoft Windows Phone 8.


The Lumia 920 has been heralded as Nokia’s answer to the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S3. Are you impressed with Nokia’s latest device or is it too little, too late? Are you considering the Lumia 920 as your next handset? What do you think of the Windows Phone operating system? We’d love to hear your thoughts and views: please drop us a comment below and let us know what you think!


Ken Lo writes about mobile technology and the mobile industry at Ken's Tech Tips.



apple can learn a thing from competitors what upgrading means. 

new technology

new features

INNOVATION. really sad nokia did not join the android band wagon 

thanks good read

Nokia is back on track.


The 920 looks like a great phone just what i need.

giffgaff head-scratcher

I notice this article mentions nothing of the Nokia Lumia 920's extensive 4G/LTE support


It handles 


  • LTE 800
  • LTE 900
  • LTE 1800
  • LTE 2100
  • LTE 2600

Unlike the iPhone 5 which only supports LTE 850, LTE1800 amd LTE2100 . The only one of which used in the UK is 1800 as used by EE (soon to launch) and Three UK (after Sept 2013).



If you buy a Lumia 920 or even it's lower spec brother the 820 this year, then it would still be able to access 4G when it launches next year from o2, and vodafone.

You wouldn't be faced with having to upgrade the handset again unlike anyone who has purchased an iPhone 5 in the mistaken understanding that it was fully 4G compatible with the UK and its planned frequencies.


Hello my next phone!


Great info thanks. Shame they couldn't fit in the massive 41 Mpixel camera from the 808 which is pretty impressive as it has a digital zoom that actually works, but then that is quite a bulky system. On the other hand, fiting optical image stabilisation is really quite a notable addition in a phone


Absolutely loving the Nokia... Cheaper and better!

We shall see how this pans out.


It'll probably work pretty well with Microsofts magic table if you're lucky enough to ever get near one.


I have just recently bought a Scroll Essential Tablet only 2 find out that tablets dont take Sim cards apart from the I-Pads. Can anyone explain its truth and how a Sim can be used on that particular tablet.

The Lumia 920 looks like a cracking phone. I'll be sorely tempted to get one of these when the price comes down next year. I really hope Windows Phone continues to grow.