Finally, Lumia got his first premium challenger. While the Windows HTC One M8 has a stellar rear camera, the Lumia 930 wins in everything else.

Now that the HTC One M8 for Windows phone has been announced, some consumers will want to know what motivated HTC to manufacture a Windows Phone that looks similar to the Android version of the HTC One M8. While we can’t answer that question for you, we want to provide a look at both the Lumia 930, one of the top Windows Phone devices available, and HTC’s new offering, so that you don’t end up buying the wrong version of the One M8 (or wrong phone in general) that doesn’t suit your needs.

The Lumia 930, as has been the case with the Lumia 1020 and other high-end models, has one of the best smartphone cameras on the market. HTC’s Windows One M8 brings over to Windows Phone the same overexposing camera that’s found on the Android One M8. Does the Lumia 930 beat out the HTC One M8 for Windows Phone in other specs, in addition to the camera? Keep reading to find out.

Similarities

Both the Lumia 930 and the Windows One M8 bear similarities. First, both the Lumia 930 and the Windows One M8 offer 5-inch displays with 1920 x 1080p (Full HD) screen resolution and have a pixel density of 441ppi (pixels per inch). Next, both the Lumia 930 and Windows One M8 operate on Windows Phone 8.1, which brought the digital voice assistant Cortana to Windows. Both devices have 2GBs of random access memory (RAM) and 32GB of internal memory storage, 1080p video recording, and active noise cancellation technology.

Differences: Weight

First, the Lumia 930 is a little heavier than the Windows One M8 (167 grams vs. 160 grams, respectively). Compared to the Galaxy S5, the HTC One M8 is noticeably heavier – so, if you purchase the Windows One M8, it’s a tad heavier and may not make for a fun holding experience. Unfortunately, the Android One M8, the Windows One M8’s twin brother, doesn’t make for a fun holding experience – so we’ll leave this category up to individual preference.

Battery Capacity

Next, the Lumia 930 has a smaller battery capacity than does the Windows One M8 (2,420mAh vs. 2,600mAh), so you’re likely to notice some difference in battery life (although small). The Lumia 930, however, has an AMOLED screen as opposed to the LCD screen of the Windows One M8 – so battery life may be better on the Lumia 930 in real-time use. AMOLED screens conserve battery better in our tests than LCDs (the LG G3 being an example of what happens when LCD screens power Quad HD resolutions that they can’t handle), but, on specs alone, the Windows One M8 wins in this category.
Sensors

While both the Lumia 930 and Windows One M8 have similar sensors (gyroscope, compass, accelerometer, proximity), Windows One M8 has a barometer that can be used to measure barometric pressure.

Cameras

The Lumia 930 and the Windows One M8 differ in their front-facing and rear cameras, seeing that the Windows One M8 has a 5MP HD front camera with 1080p video and the Lumia 930 features a 1.2MP front camera with 720p video. The Windows One M8’s 4MP “UltraPixel” back camera doesn’t quite stack up to the Lumia 930’s 20MP back camera that also features optical image stabilization (OIS) and Carl Zeiss optics. We deem the Lumia 930 to be the winner for its back camera, but prefer the Windows One M8’s front camera.

htc-one-m8-vs-lumia-930-back

While some will love the Windows One M8’s “selfie” front camera, we tend to believe that most consumers will use the back camera a whole lot more – and give this round to the Lumia 930. In the future, we suggest that HTC bring a comparable camera similar to the 13MP found on the G3, the 16MP camera found on the Galaxy S5, or the 20MP camera found on the Xperia Z2 or the Lumia 930, for example.

Memory

As we’ve said above, both devices have 32GB of memory storage, but there is a subtle difference: the Lumia 930 doesn’t have a microSD card slot while the Windows One M8 does. The Windows One M8 provides a microSD card slot that can expand your storage by as much as 128GB additionally – so your 32GB of memory storage now becomes 160GB once you buy the microSD card (sorry folks, it’s not provided; although we wish it was!).

See Also: Nokia Lumia 930 experiencing heat and battery drain issues.

In the memory round at least, we think that most users won’t need beyond 32GB of storage – but for the memory-hungry user, the Windows One M8 will top this category.

Processor

The Lumia 930 runs with a 2.2Ghz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor while the Windows One M8 runs a 2.3Ghz, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. While there’s little difference between the 800 and the 801, keep in mind that the Snapdragon 800 is a year old, which may explain why American carrier Verizon Wireless sold the Lumia 930 (known for Verizon as the Lumia Icon) for $99 with a two-year contract. Now six months old, you can get the Lumia 930 for $49.99 with a two-year contract.

See Also: Samsung Group goes the HTC way, chooses metal over plastic in Galaxy Alpha.

We agree with the decision to price the Lumia 930 cheaper than the Windows One M8 because of last year’s processor, and we think that this explains why, in part, the Moto X didn’t sell very well last year. Motorola placed a 2012 processor into the Moto X but wanted to charge a premium $600 price tag for it. HTC’s made an excellent decision here. Of course, both the Snapdragon 800 and 801 will start to show their age when the Snapdragon 805 processor rolls out to the Galaxy Note 4 and other devices at the end of the year.

Conclusion

While the Lumia 930 does have a better back camera, camera tech, and display than does the Windows One M8, the Windows One M8 wins in terms of expandable memory via its microSD card slot, battery capacity, processor, and sensors. As for the price, however, the Lumia 930 and the Windows One M8 both come at an affordable price for customers (both are less than $100 on-contract), but the Lumia 930 (or Lumia Icon at Verizon Wireless) costs only $49.99 now as compared to the $99 Windows One M8. You won’t go wrong with either phone at these budget-friendly prices, however.

See Also: Apple iPhone 6 could arrive on September 9.

While the Windows One M8 wins overall, we’d have to say that the Lumia 930’s 20MP camera will prove to be a much more enjoyable experience for photographers. It’s easy for any phone to win on paper; how that phone works in real life, however, is something entirely different.

Key Specifications:

Features HTC One M8 Nokia Lumia 930
Operating System Windows Phone 8.1 Windows Phone 8.1
Display 5.0 inches, Full HD 1080p, Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen, Glass 3, 441ppi 5-inch, 1080p Full HD display, Super Sensitive Touch, Glass 3, 441ppi
Battery 2600mAh 2420mAh
Dimension 146.36 x 70.60 x 9.35mm, 160 grams 137 x 71 x 9.8 mm, 167 grams
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G, USB 2.0 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4G, USB 2.0
Processor 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, 2.2 GHz Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800
Camera 4 Ultra pixel camera (dual Rear camera), 5MP front, Dual LED 20MP Pure View with Zeiss optics, Dual LED flash/1.2MP front-facing
Memory 2GB, 32 GB, 2GB of RAM, 32GB
Micro SD support Yes, up to 128GB No
Colors Gunmetal Gray Bright Orange, Bright Green, Black and White
Video Recording 2160p@30fps, 1080p@60fps, 720p@120fps 1920×1080 (1080p HD) (30 fps)
Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Compass
Availability Yes Yes

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