The Best Windows Phones

Buying a new phone can always seem like a tough decision, after all, no one wants to regret spending hundreds of pounds. But when it comes to Windows phones, that decision gets even tougher. The premiere brand of Windows mobile is, of course, Lumia (which used to be Nokia), and Lumias can seem to be extremely similar, in looks and in function if not in price. That's why today we're looking at Windows phones, and putting three of those Lumias head to head against each other to see exactly how they compare. Looking for a great Windows phone? Then read on…

The Windows Contenders

We've got three models here for you, and they're the top models offered by Lumia. First up is the Lumia 1020, an amazing camera phone that's going to run you around £600. Next is the Lumia 1520, a phablet phone that sells for around £550. Finally, there's the Lumia 930, the top end regular Lumia model, and that will cost you about £435. There are some pretty big price differences there, so let's see if you get what you pay for…

Processing Power and RAM

Performance is, of course, key here, so we'll look at processors and RAM first. The 1520 and the 930 come in exactly equal when it comes to power, with both running respectable quad core 2.2 GHz processors. The 1020 runs only a dual core 1.5 GHz model, so it's going to be a little slower on the uptake. When it comes to RAM though, we're even stevens, with all three models running 2 GB.

What does that mean in reality? Well, all three models should be equally responsive and equally good at multi tasking and running multiple apps at the same time. When it comes to actual speed, the 1520 and the 930 are going to be faster than the more expensive 1020 model, which is a little surprising.

Display Specs

Moving on then to those displays. When it comes to size then the 1520 does come out ahead, with a full six inch display, but this is a phablet device so that should come as no surprise. Meanwhile the 930 gets a five inch screen, and the 1020 only a 4.5 inch display. In terms of screen real estate, on screen typing is going to be easier on the bigger 1520, and viewing better, though using the 1520 with one hand really won't be possible.

As for resolution the 1520 and 930 both have the same 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution, but since they have different screen sizes that works out to 441 PPI for the 930, and only 367 PPI for the bigger screen on the 1520. The 1020 has only 768 x 1280 pixel resolution, giving around 332 PPI.

For the user that means that the brightest, sharpest and clearest picture is going to be on the Lumia 930, with the Lumia 1520 coming in next, and the (expensive!) Lumia 1020 trailing behind…

Camera Specs

On to taking pictures then, and that's where the Lumia 1020 comes into its own. Lumias generally have great cameras, but even for a Lumia the massive 41 MP rear camera on the 1020 is very impressive. However, the 1520 and the 930 both have very respectable 20 MP rear facing cameras, which is nothing to sneeze at. All three models have Carl Zeiss optics, auto focus and all the usual suspects. But when it comes to flash, the 1520 and 930 have dual LED flashes, whilst the 1020 has LED flash and professional level xenon flash as well.

When it comes to the front camera, there's really no difference here at all. All three Lumias have 1.2 MP front facing cameras, which isn't great resolution, but for video calling and taking selfies should be fine.

Bottom line? If you want to take fantastic pictures, then the Lumia 1020 is the clear winner, though the other two models do have nice cameras…

Storage and Connectivity

Moving on to internal storage, the Lumia 930 and the Lumia 1020 both have 32 GB of internal storage, whilst the 1520 has only 16 GB. That's a little misleading though, since neither the 930 nor the 1020 have an SD card slot, whilst the 1520 does. That means that whilst the 1520 has less internal storage you can add more space if you need it, but with the 930 and 1020 you can't.

Connectivity wise though, all three come in equal again. You'll get the standard 2G and 3G as well as the faster 4G speeds for mobile data on all three models.

Bottom line? If you've got a lot of stuff to store, then the 1520 might be the best choice for you due to that expandable storage.

Size and Weight

Unsurprisingly given its huge screen, the Lumia 1520 is the biggest and heaviest of the three models, measuring around 16 cm x 8.5 cm x 0.9 cm and weighing a hefty 209 grams. The Lumia 930 comes in next, measuring about 13.5 cm x 7 cm x 1 cm, and weighing 167 grams. Finally, the smallest is the 1020, which measures 13 cm x 7 x 1 cm approximately, and weighs 158 grams.

If portability is going to be an issue for you, then the Lumia 1020 is going to be a far better bet than the huge 1520 model…

Operating System

We almost left this section out, since these are all obviously Windows phones. But it is worth mentioning that all three models are Windows 8 devices and are upgradable to Windows 8.1. However, the Lumia 1520 is the only model that currently has a planned update for the new Windows 10, which could be a factor for some customers.

The Verdict

All three of these phones make great devices but in different ways. The bottom line here is that it really depends on what you're looking for in a phone. If you want a big screen then obviously the 1520 is a clear choice for you, whilst the 1020 is the perfect choice for those that love mobile photography. The 930 just seems to be a good all rounder, and one that's cheaper as well.

Lumias do tend to look very similar to each other, with the same sharp lines and bright colours. But there are differences if you look closely. Need a great new Windows phone? Then one of these three should do the trick!

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