The iPhone 5 is here – but can it leap ahead of the pack?
After all, we’ve seen some pretty brilliant handsets released recently, including the iPhone 5’s two current biggest rivals, the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X.
At the recent Nokia World event we also had the announcement of the Nokia Lumia 920. It’s a huge deal for both Nokia and Microsoft and both have a lot riding on its success.
Many see it as Nokia’s big throw of the dice: make Windows Phone 8 into a top OS and the rewards are huge… fail, and things look ropey for the Finns.
Of course, as well as hardware, there’s is also a battle between iOS 6, Android 4.0 and Windows Phone 8. So without further ado, let’s compare the specs of the four handsets and give our early view on which is the front runner.
iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 vs Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X: Operating system
The Nokia Lumia 920 comes running Microsoft’s latest version of its mobile OS, Windows Phone 8, complete with its interactive “Live Tiles” interface, which has changed a lot in the latest version.
The new iPhone 5 features iOS 6 – the next generation version of Apple’s mobile operating system. It includes Passbook – Apple’s new e-tickets app – plus FaceTime over 3G (depending on the network) and Apple’s own mobile apps including turn-by-turn navigation (which has ruffled a few feathers for companies like CoPilot and TomTom).
Both the One X and the Galaxy S3 run Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with custom user interfaces; Touchwiz on the S3 and Sense 4.0 on the One X. Samsung has said that it plans to update the S3 to 4.1 (Jelly Bean) before the end of the year. HTC has also promised its arrival, but has yet to name a timeframe.
iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 vs Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X: Processor
Nokia has opted for a dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip clocked at 1.5GHz, with Nokia standing firm on its belief there’s such a thing as too many cores.
Why, might you ask? As Nokia puts it, “why put something you don’t need at the expense of battery life?”. However on the ‘bigger is better’ side of the fence, Samsung pops one of its Exynos 4412 1.4GHz quad core’s in to Galaxy S3, whereas HTC plumps for the quad core 1.5 GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 chip.
However, in the US it’s a different story (weird, you might think, but it’s a 4G LTE thing) as the Samsung and HTC handsets also run the same Snapdragon S4 chip as the Nokia.
The iPhone also sticks with Nokia in terms of its core count – two cores reside inside the new Apple A6. It has twice the CPU speed and twice the graphics power of the A5 – the chip is smaller and is more battery-friendly and is based on the new-ish dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU design.
iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 vs Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X: Screen
In terms of size, only the iPhone 5 resists a truly huge screen – replacing the 3.5-inch screen with a 4-inch 1,136 x 640 16:9 version. By contrast, the Lumia 920 measuring in at 4.5 inches, the Galaxy S3 at 4.8 inches and the One X at 4.7 inches.
All four screens are truly impressive, with the Samsung’s 306ppi being pipped by the HTC’s 312ppi and the iPhone 5 (and 4/4S) dis[play clocking up 326ppi. On the Lumia 920, Nokia have put in ‘Nokia PureMotion HD+’ which is supposedly better than HD in terms of screen performance. We still can’t feel we weren’t as ‘wowed’ as we were when looking at the Super AMOLED HD of the Galaxy S3 – or, indeed, the first time we saw an Apple retina display.
Hands on: iPhone 5 review
iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 vs Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X: Storage
In the Lumia 920 you’ll find 32GB of on board storage, backed up by SkyDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage system. The Galaxy S3 comes with microSD support on top of Samsung’s 16/32/64GB internal drive – the same internal flash memory sizes as the iPhone 5. Like Nokia, HTC opted to only go for 32GB internal storage. However, the Samsung and HTC handsets come with 50GB and 25GB of Dropbox storage respectively.
iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 vs Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X: Camera
Nokia is playing its trump card in the camera department. Long being known for fantastic camera devices, with Carl Zeiss lenses, Nokia is bringing its PureView technology first seen on the Nokia PureView 808. However, this one is placed over the top of an 8MP sensor, with a 1.3MP front facing camera. It does come with a wealth of fancy features, such as being able to plug in camera apps and optical image stabilisation to help stop blur when you least want it.
Both the Android devices also come with 8MP rear sensors, burst mode for millions of photos per night out, and the HTC also has a 1.3MP front sensor. Samsung, however, has a 1.9MP sensor.
The iPhone 5’s camera is smaller physically to fit into the new chassis, but the actual camera still has an 8 megapixel sensor size. It’s almost exactly the same as that in the iPhone 4S in terms of spec.For the record it’s a 3,264 x 2,448 BSi sensor with f/2.4 aperture. Apple is also bigging up its low-light performance.The front camera supports 720p for video calling.
iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 vs Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X: Connectivity
All four devices come fully loaded. The iPhone has 4G LTE support while variants of the others support it. All are 3G/HSDPA compatible. You also get 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (4.0 on the iPhone Galaxy S3 and One X, 3.1 on the Lumia 920) and GPS. There’s NFC on everything but the iPhone – Apple clearly doesn’t believe in the tech.
The new iPhone dock connector is called Lightning, though Apple says that between iCloud, AirPlay and wireless sync, you won’t really need it. You can plug it in either way, while it’s 80 per cent smaller than the old dock connector.
iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 vs Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X: Dimensions and weight
The Nokia Lumia 920 is the shortest phone at 130 x 70.8 x 10.7mm,but the heaviest at 185g. Samsung manages to squeeze in at a similar size of 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm, and weighs only 133g. The HTC, more akin to the Galaxy S3 is 134.4 x 69.9 x 8.9 mm and 130g. However, the iPhone is the narrowest and lightest at 7.6mm (0.3 inches) thick with a footprint of 123.8 mm (4.87 inches) x 58.6 mm (2.31 inches). It weighs 112g (4oz). Remember though, that the iPhone has the smallest screen.
iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 vs Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X: Battery
The Lumia 920 features a 2000mAh battery, though we don’t yet know how it will hold up with that rather large screen. Samsung debuted a lot of nifty battery saving tech in the Galaxy S3, and its 2100mAh (removable) battery managed to last a lot better than the 1800mAh (sealed in) offering of the HTC One X (which had to be improved with a software update.). It’s not yet confirmed, but it looks like there’s only a 1440mAh battery in the iPhone 5 – however Apple says the iPhone 5 is better on battery life than the iPhone 4S.
iPhone 5 vs Lumia 920 vs Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X: Early verdict
The iPhone 5 is certainly an interesting, if nowhere near revolutionary, new handset. After all, it’s more an evolution than anything more. It will still sell bucketloads, though we hear pricing will be steep.
The Nokia Lumia 920 hasn’t been released yet, and will hit American shores first in Q4 2012. That said, Nokia seems to have a device that will continue the strides that the original WP7 Lumia phones made.
As for the other two, both are superb devices in their own right, garnering 4.5 stars each in our TechRadar ratings. Maybe you should check out the Samsung Galaxy S3 and HTC One X reviews to keep yourselves going until we bring you the web’s most in-depth Nokia Lumia 920 review and iPhone 5 review.