Nokia Lumia 900 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Clash of the titans


If you’ve been monitoring goings on in the smartphone world it can’t have escaped your notice that the Nokia Lumia 900 has a new large-screen rival in the Samsung Galaxy S3. There are some pretty outlandish claims being made about the Android phone with regard to specs, but how’s it likely to stack up to the Windows Phone champ in real world terms?

Nokia Lumia 800 vs Nokia Lumia 900: 10 things you need to know

Both the Nokia Lumia 900 and the Samsung Galaxy S3 will launch in the UK over the coming weeks, and both bear the burden of being the champions of their OS platforms – Windows Phone 7.5 and Android 4.0 respectively.

It’s a veritable clash of the titans already then, but they’re also big phones in a very literal sense. Still, the Nokia Lumia 900’s sizeable 4.3-inch AMOLED screen (the biggest screen Nokia has ever produced) appears dwarfed alongside the Samsung Galaxy S3’s 4.8-inch example.

Is that taking things too far though? If you like to be able to operate your phone with a single hand – which seems like a reasonable request of a mobile phone – then yes, it probably is. As long as you don’t have tiny hands you should be able to flick around the tidy Windows Phone OS on the Lumia 900 using a single thumb. Good luck doing that with half an inch extra screen real estate to play with.

How about the relative quality of those large screens? Both use AMOLED technology, which is a step up from the usual LCD fare in terms of colour contrast and black levels, but some would argue that the Samsung Galaxy S3’s display is sharper, with a so-called HD resolution.

While that’s true to a certain extent, it’s also been documented that the Galaxy S3 uses an inferior brand of AMOLED display to that found on the Nokia Lumia 900. This Pentile display uses fewer sub-pixels leading to a slight graininess and an off-colour tint on things like white text. It’s fine on a smaller screen like the Nokia Lumia 800 (more than fine in fact), but on a big screen like these devices have it’s more exposed.

The Nokia Lumia 900 screen, for its part, uses a full RGB AMOLED display – which means it uses 33 per cent more sub-pixels per pixel. The result is a more consistent picture.

Looking at the style and build quality of the two phones, the Samsung Galaxy S3 has already come into some criticism from experts concerning its bland design and cheap build quality. No such problems for the Nokia Lumia 900, which is widely regarded as one of the best looking and most distinctive smartphones on the market. Its unibody polycarbonate build is also reassuringly solid and decidedly premium.

So what of that other outstanding specification of the new Samsung Galaxy S3 – a quad-core processor? The Nokia Lumia 900’s processor is single-core, but don’t let that lead you to believe the new Android champ is four times faster.

Multi-core processors are a relatively new addition to smartphones, and platform and app developers haven’t really committed to building software from the ground up with quad-core support on a large scale. The fast majority of applications released across all the platforms are designed with single-core architecture in mind, so all that extra headroom is just that – headroom.

Check out the Nokia Lumia Fans Facebook page

Then there’s the matter of efficiency, with current quad-core solutions proving to be hungrier for power. Do you want a handset that lasts more than a day of continuous usage, or do you want one that tops an arbitrary benchmark test with little real-world relevance?

Even when talking about pure speed of general day to day tasks, there are far more important factors than the number of processor cores a phone has. Chief among those is the OS the phone runs – how well this manages tasks, how capable the web browser is, and how quickly you can get into the tasks that matter most to you.

On this front, the Nokia Lumia 900 holds its own against the Samsung Galaxy S3 – and then some. Windows Phone has been proven to be blazingly fast at taking and sharing pictures, sharing stuff over social networks, surfing the web and the like. You know – meaningful things you actually do every day. No amount of processor cores can cover for inefficient software design.

The Nokia Lumia 900, then, is a beautifully designed high-end smartphone with the perfect balance of speed, power efficiency and usability. For user experience, day to day reliability and all-round excellence we can’t think of a better smartphone alternative.

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One thought on “Nokia Lumia 900 vs Samsung Galaxy S3: Clash of the titans

  1. I hate to say it but the whole Lumia series is a wash. First it doesn’t play 720p video in their format have to down convert them. Second the audio jack for headphones requires and adapter for the normal 3.5 mm. Third the thing only comes in certain sizes and no micro sd possibility. The S3 is a phone in it’s own world. The S2 blows the lumia away and the s3 even more so. The Nokia n808 however is a real nice phone, but again with nokia your buying the phone for the camera only, it really doesn’t have anything else going for it. Android downloads are super plenty where as nokia’s are lacking for customization.

    Just my thoughts, I have a N8 for the last year and I’m debating between the 808 and the s3, which I will buy one in Thailand here next month.

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