Nokia Lumia 920 vs. Samsung Galaxy S3 – Review

by Jerry D on December 24, 2012

If the Nokia Lumia 920 met the Samsung Galaxy S3 in a fight, who would win? We could give the first phone a Jedi (let’s say Mace Windu), give the second an army of comedy B1 battle droids, and watch them fight it out in a hail of bright red laser bolts. Or we could let the specs decide over 10 tech rounds? Seconds away, round one…

XXXX versus graphic Nokia Lumia 920 vs. Samsung Galaxy S3   Review XXXX

Round #1 – Connectivity

Good wireless connectivity is vital. The Lumia 920 weighs in with NFC, 3G/HSDPA, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.1 with A2DP and EDR. It also has 4G. In comparison, the Galaxy S3 lands punches that emphasise its built-in NFC, 3G/HSDPA, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP/EDR. Like the Lumia, it also supports 4G.

Score: +1 to both phones (1-1)

Round #2 – Size & Weight

Let’s continue with an analysis of each phone’s size and weight. The Galaxy S3 is slightly skinnier than the Lumia 920 with a chassis that’s only 8.6mm thick. The Lumia 920 is also ever so slightly wider, measuring 70.8mm to the Galaxy S3′s 70.6mm. In terms of weight, the Nokia Lumia 920 weighs a fairly hefty 185g, while the Galaxy S3 is a more lightweight 133g. See the graph below.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (1-2)


Round #3 – Cameras

The Lumia 920′s 8.0 Megapixel camera features: autofocus, a dual LED flash, Carl Zeiss optics, PureView technology, touch focus, image stabilization and 1080p video recording. It has a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels. For video calls, there’s also a second, front-mounted camera rated at 1.3 Megapixels. Beat that, it says.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 gives it a good go, matching its opponent with a 8.0 Megapixel camera of its own, as well as autofocus, an LED flash, geo-tagging, touch focus, face/smile detection, image stabilization and 1080p video recording. Another 1.9 Megapixel camera located on the front is ideal for video calls. All in all, the 920 has slightly better features and a higher-end lens.

Score: +1 to Lumia 920 (2-2)

Round #4 – Screen/keyboard

The Lumia 920 features a big 4.5-inch touch-sensitive IPS ClearBlack LCD display with a resolution of 768 x 1280 pixels. The screen has 983040 pixels in total, giving it a rating of 331.778 pixels per inch – a brilliant number.

Galaxy S3′s touch-sensitive Super AMOLED screen is bigger at 4.8 inches. Its 720 x 1280 pixel resolution loses out to the Lumia 920′s display. Why? Because with 921600 pixels on the 4.8-inch screen, the pixel density is less at 306.042 pixels per inch. Picky, I know. But this is a tough fight.

Score: +1 to Lumia 920 (3-2)

Round #5 – Processor

In terms of CPU prowess, the Galaxy S3 uses a quad core Exynos 4412, rated at 1.4GHz. In comparison, the Lumia 920′s processor is a 1.5GHz dual core Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon chip. The S3 snags this round.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (3-3)

Round #6 – Software

As for software, the Lumia 920 uses Windows Phone 8, while the Galaxy S3 runs Android 4.0.4 with Samsung’s own Touchwiz UI. Microsoft’s Windows Phone software has certainly come on in leaps and bounds since it was launched in 2010. But so has Android and Google’s software remains a far superior OS.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (3-4)

Round #7 – Applications

It isn’t all about hardware. No, sir. Good software support is vital. In this fight, the Galaxy S3 has access to more downloadable apps than the Lumia 920. At last count, there were over 675000 apps available for download on Google Play, compared to 125000 apps listed on the Windows Phone Store.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (3-5)

Round #8 – Storage

Onto storage. Which phone will take this round? The Nokia Lumia 920 features 32GB of storage, while the Galaxy S3 is handily available in different storage options, such as 16, 32 or 64GB. Taking each high-end handset, the Galaxy S3 wins the internal storage battle with 64GB, double the capacity of the Lumia 920. There’s no expansion slot on the Lumia 920 either, so its 32GB of storage can’t be boosted. Fortunately, you can expand the memory of the Galaxy S3 via the built-in microSD slot. With a 64GB card, the maximum is an amazing 128GB.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (3-6)

Round #9 – Battery life

Fully juiced, the Lumia 920 weighs in with 10.0 hours of talktime; the Galaxy S3 in comparison boasts 12.0 hours of talktime. In terms of standby times, Nokia’s phone can last 400 hours, while Samsung’s model boasts 790 hours. The Galaxy S3 steals it on this occasion and certainly looks like our winner.

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (3-7)


Note: The Standby time specification is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile phones under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including: network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic.

Round #10 – Extras

This final round won’t change the result. The Lumia 920 also includes GPS/A-GPS, NFC, an accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot and free SkyDrive storage. In comparison, the Galaxy S3 features GPS/A-GPS, NFC, an accelerometer, gyroscope, digital compass, barometer, stereo FM radio (with RDS), S-Voice, TV-out and Smart Stay eye-tracking. It stands over the crumpled shell of the Lumia 920 as if to say “who’s next?”

Score: +1 to Galaxy S3 (3-8)

BPF Verdict: The Samsung Galaxy S3 wins!

There are lots of reasons to like the Samsung Galaxy S3 and, with in this comparison, you can see just how much work Nokia and Microsoft still have to do. Beating its rival by five clear points, the S3 has a better OS, the biggest storage options, as well as the best overall screen. It’s also thinner and lighter than the Lumia.

See if these two phones make our Top 20 Best Smartphones list…

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