Nokia Lumia 900 vs Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S – battle of the 4.3-inch smartphones


 

The Nokia Lumia 900 will take its place as the king of the Lumia and Windows Phone ranges when it launches worldwide over the coming months. But what about some of its similarly specced rivals on other platforms? We take a look at how it compares to the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S, which appears to be striving for similar things.

Top 5 apps the Nokia Lumia 900 is perfect for

We’re as sold on the Windows Phone OS as we are on Nokia’s Lumia hardware, but let’s not forget it’s not operating alone in the market. There are some strong rivals, particularly when it comes to phones running on the Android OS.

When the Nokia Lumia 900 arrives on the market with its 4.3-inch screen, it will run into direct competition with a bunch of established Android devices of a similar size – most obviously the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S.

Design

Both phones set out to be a bit more stylish than your average smartphone, but the Nokia Lumia 900 stands out more. Aside from Nokia’s own Nokia Lumia 800, no other phone looks quite like it, with its polycarbonate all-in-one shell and almost edge-to-edge screen. The Xperia Arc S, but contrast, looks nice with its arched back, but it does look rather similar to a number of other phones in the range.

Screen

Both phones have 4.3-inch displays with similar resolutions. However, the Nokia Lumia 900 uses AMOLED technology rather than the Xperia Arc S’s more common LCD equivalent. What’s the difference between AMOLED and LCD, you ask? Without getting technical, we’d say: deeper blacks, more vibrant colours and better contrast. A massive improvement, then.

Processing power

Interestingly, both phones appear to use the exact same processor – a 1.4GHz Qualcomm Scorpion CPU with an Adreno 205 GPU. They also both have 512MB of RAM. Even Stevens, then? Not quite. Processing power is only as useful as the operating system that uses it. We’ll go into the respective merits of Windows Phone and Android in a moment, suffice to say one is highly efficient and runs without a hitch on such a set-up and one doesn’t. We think you know which is which.

Storage

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S has a rather measly 1GB of internal storage. The Nokia Lumia 900 has a decidedly-not-measly 16GB of internal storage. Some might argue that you can add up to 32GB to the Xperia through its expandable microSD slot, to which we’d reply that the Nokia Lumia 900 comes with 25GB of SkyDrive cloud storage for files, videos and photos. And unlike a 32GB microSD card, that won’t cost you anything.

Camera

Between them Nokia and Sony Ericsson build some of the finest camera phones on the market, and both companies have packed their 4.3-inch phones with impressive 8-megapixel camera units. Both have their own unique attributes, too – the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S has Sony’s Exmor R image sensor technology, while the Nokia Lumia 900 has that peerless Carl Zeiss lens and f2.2 aperture. Again, Windows Phone’s slick implementation of these optics gives the Lumia 900 the edge.

OS

As hinted at, Windows Phone 7.5 takes full advantage of the Nokia Lumia 900’s attributes, and vice versa. It runs on the very latest version of the software, and you won’t find a device that runs it better either. By contrast, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S is one of countless handsets running comparatively inefficiently on the Android OS – and one that’s now out of date, at that.

As for relative strengths… well, Android has plenty of fans with its open-ended tweakability (is that even a word?). But for our money, the finely honed, supremely polished and nicely curated Windows Phone experience wins out. We don’t want to spend hours fiddling with our smartphones like a computer – we’ve got computers for that! For letting you do what you need to do on your mobile – from web browsing to texting, connecting with your social networks to taking and sharing pictures – Windows Phone 7.5 takes some beating.

And by extension, that means the Nokia Lumia 900 does too.

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