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Nokia Lumia 928 vs. Nokia Lumia 920

News by Andrew Kameka on Monday July 08, 2013.

windows phone news · smartphone news · andrew kameka

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Nokia Lumia 928 (Verizon) and Nokia Lumia 920 (AT&T)
Nokia Lumia 928 (Verizon) and Nokia Lumia 920 (AT&T)

The Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 928 are separated by six months of availability, but the two devices could be mistaken for twins if someone focused only on what they have on the inside. Nokia took the "If it ain't broke" approach on the spec sheets and gave both phones identical features: a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a 2,000 mAh battery. Both the Lumia 920 and Lumia 928 have an 8.7-megapixel rear camera and a 1.2 megapixel front camera that build upon the ambitious steps Nokia has taken to attempt to create the best camera package seen on a smartphone.

Specs sheets are where the major similarities stop. The form factors of the Lumia 920 and Lumia 928 differ, and not always for the better. The Lumia 920 has an array of bold color choices and a polycarbonite back that feels good to hold; the Lumia 928 has a glossy plastic white back and a more box-like shape. The 928 has a 4.5-inch OLED display with high brightness, WXGA resolution, and tweaks to improve visibility outdoors. The 920 also a 4.5-inch display with WXGA and outdoor visibility enhancements, but its screen is IPS. Both displays are fantastic to look at, but I have a very, very small preference for the 920. The Lumia 920 IPS display does a better job of displaying white, so the balance is more accurate when looking at them side by side. The 928 also has a great screen that does well and you don't really notice the off-white tint to its display, so it's not something that should turn someone away.

Another big change is that the Lumia 928 features a Xenon flash for photos that is designed to capture more of a subject's surroundings at night. The change to Xenon is a mixed bag because it does greatly improve the visibility of a background, but it sometimes alters the subject in the process. For instance, the Lumia 928 photos are more saturated and makes my skintone appear more red than I am in real life. There's more color intensity that sometimes actually makes the photo look better, but there are times when it goes too far and makes the person in the photo have a tone that is unnatural. The LED flash on the 920 creates a cooler tone that's not as lively but is a tad more accurate.

Nokia Lumia 928 with Xenon Flash
Nokia Lumia 928 with Xenon Flash
Nokia Lumia 920 with LED flash
Nokia Lumia 920 with LED flash

The Xenon flash problem was more pronounced in my early time with the 928 but I've since come to find that there are more hits than misses in recent weeks. The Lumia 920 LED flash does not return images that are as flashy, and it tends to be a more accurate representation of the person in the photo; however, someone could easily argue that they are duller than what the 928 produces. The added vibrancy of colors makes me believe on second thought that the Lumia 928 and Xenon flash just might be a better option. Below is a gallery of images taken with the Lumia 928 and 920 in identical situations. The photos are practically identical when in bright or moderate lighting conditions, so focus on the flash photos to see the difference in image quality when comparing Xenon and LED.

The Lumia 928 for Verizon is the newer phone, but it's not the better phone. If someone doesn't care about carrier, I'd say that the Lumia 920 for AT&T is the better option. However, a Verizon loyalist might be drawn by the superior 4G LTE performance and be willing to overlook the Lumia 928's comparably weaker design for a device that's still good and reaches similar levels of performance. If network performance isn't an issue, the Lumia 920 is what I would recommend.

In a few days, another two more Nokia devices, the Lumia 925 and the Lumia 1020, will enter the picture. For now, here's a video comparison to see the differing approaches Nokia has taken for its high-end Windows Phone 8 smartphones on AT&T and Verizon.

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About the author

Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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