Nokia N8 vs. HTC HD7 – Review

by Jerry D on December 17, 2010

In this battle of the smartphones, the Nokia N8 takes on the big daddy of the Windows Phone 7 brigade – the HTC HD7. On one level, it’s a pure technology battle to see who’s got the best specifications. On the other, it pits Nokia’s new Symbian OS against the Microsoft’s replacement for Windows Mobile. Game on…

nokia n8 vs htc hd7 Nokia N8 vs. HTC HD7   Review

Connectivity:

The guts of the neatly designed N8 come packed with 3G/HSDPA (10.2 Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP connectivity. As for the HD7, HTC has specified 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps), Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR/A2DP and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi as standard. (1-1)

See other big phone fights featuring the Nokia N8:

Size & Weight:

True pocketability is difficult to quantify but the N8 and the HD7 are 113.5 x 59.12 x 12.9mm and 122.0 x 68.0 x 11.2mm respectively. Overall the HD7 is the slimmer of the two phones. Weighing 135g, the N8 is 27g lighter than the hulking HD7, which weighs a hefty 162g. (2-1)

dyerware


Camera:

The N8′s 12.0 MP camera is one of the best around – see the example below. On the technical side, it features Carl Zeiss optics, an advanced Xenon flash, autofocus, geo-tagging, face/smile detection, plus 720p HD video capture and editing. Phew. There’s also a front-facing camera for video calls.

More of the Vallye
Creative Commons License photo credit: Flyinace2000

In this round, the HD7 comes off second best. Its 5.0 Megapixel lens (with autofocus, a dual-LED flash and 720p HD video recording) is certainly capable. But it’s no match for the luxury options that Nokia has thrown the N8′s way. The highest resolution of the camera here is 2592 x 1944 pixels. (3-1)

HTC HD7 launch by Maxis Malaysia
Creative Commons License photo credit: Sham Hardy

Here’s how the raw technology of the cameras compare*.

1.0MP – 1280 x 960 pixels
2.0MP – 1600 x 1200 pixels
3.1MP – 2048 x 1536 pixels
5.0MP – 2592 x 1944 pixels
8.0MP – 3264 x 2448 pixels
10.0MP – 3872 x 2592 pixels
12.0MP – 4290 x 2800 pixels
16.0MP – 4920 x 3264 pixels

*These are typical resolutions. Actual resolutions may vary

Screen/keyboard:

Display size is often key to winning a smartphone battle and the N8 features a 3.5-inch (360 x 640) touch-sensitive AMOLED screen. Of course, display size isn’t everything. Resolution also has a big impact. The resulting pixel density of the N8 is 209.714 pixels per inch, which isn’t stunning. Especially when you consider that the iPhone 4 scores over 300.

symbian OS Nokia N8 vs. HTC HD7   Review

All of which leave the way clear for the HD7. The touch-sensitive LCD screen on this handset is bigger, measuring a roomy 4.3 inches across. The resolution is also higher at 480 x 800 pixels, giving this Windows Phone a slightly better Pixels Per Inch (PPI) rating of 216.977. (3-2)

Performance:

How nimble are these two phones? Inside the N8 there’s an ARM 11 chip, rated at 680MHz. The HD7 boasts a far speedier 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 processor. (3-3)

Software:

The N8 is the flagship handset for the Symbian ^3 OS. It’s certainly capable but you can’t see it troubling Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

The HD7, meanwhile, is one of the launch devices for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 software. It’s too early to tell whether Redmond has got it right or has another, albeit prettier, Windows Mobile on its hands. We can’t choose between them. (3-3)

Downloadable apps

Storage:

The N8 and the HD7 both come with 16GB of memory as standard. Where they differ is that the N8 also boasts a microSD slot to increase the maximum capacity to 48GB. The HD7 is missing an expansion slot and so the Windows Phone is restricted to its initial 16 gigs of storage. (4-3)

Battery life:

The performance of these two phones will vary. But Nokia says that its N8 can deliver over 12 hours of talktime, while the HD7 is rated at a mere 6.25 hours. Meanwhile, standby time is quoted as 390 hours and 310 hours respectively. It’s a big win for the N8 that finally tips the balance. (5-3)

dyerware


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.

See other big phone fights featuring the HTC HD7:

Extras:

The N8 also includes onboard 3D graphics acceleration, GPS/A-GPS (with free Ovi Maps), a digital compass, Web TV, Flash support, an FM radio (with RDS) and an HDMI out with Dolby Digital Plus support. The HD7 features GPS/A-GPS (with Bing Maps), a G-Sensor, a digital compass, Dolby Mobile and SRS Surround Sound. (5-3)

The Nokia N8 wins!

Nokia N8 Nokia N8 vs. HTC HD7   ReviewAs surprisingly good as the HD7 is, the N8 powers past it to emerge as the winner of this fight (5-3).

How? It has the highest-spec camera and the best all-round camera features, way beyond what the HD7 can offer. It boasts a faster processor, superior extras and a knock-out battery life.

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