Can the Windows Phone 8 Flagships Challenge the iPhone 5?

Can the Windows Phone 8 Flagships Challenge the iPhone 5?Within weeks of each other, Nokia and HTC both unveiled highly anticipated smartphones powered by the latest iteration of Microsoft’s mobile phone operating system, Windows Phone 8. Nokia unveiled the Lumia 920, and then HTC showed off the Windows Phone 8X. Both have sparked a new interest in the Windows Phone platform, which warrants the question: How would these phones stack up when you throw the iPhone 5 to the mix?

Comparing the Phones

Hardware always plays a role in any consumer’s decision about which gadget to purchase. The iPhone 5 and the WP8 flagships are all attractive to certain people — you know what they say, “different strokes for different folks.” The iPhone 5 builds upon an existing design aesthetic that millions have loved, while the HTC and Nokia phones present us with the unique design language of Windows Phone devices, infused with a renewed focus on industrial design and utilitarianism.

We know all about the iPhone 5 specs by now: a faster chip, thinner and longer body, an updated camera, and a fancy new connector. The WP8 phones have larger screens and the same dual-core Snapdragon S4 processors, together with ample internal storage.

No doubt about it, these big guys are fast and powerful. They’re perfect powerhouses for your mobile multimedia consumption or as your next business phone. Which one you’ll get will depend on many other factors for sure, but when it comes to the hardware, then you won’t have a problem with any of these options. One of the main factors is the OS, as will be discussed below.

Windows Phone 8 vs. iOS 6

Sure, the phones and their compelling specs might be selling points in and of themselves, but in the end, these smartphone wars all boil down to the different operating systems. Throw in their respective app ecosystems, as well. In the Lumia 920/WP 8X vs. iPhone debate, the simplest form becomes Windows Phone 8 versus iOS 6.

You’d think that with a name like WP8, it’ll be further along its maturity compared to an iOS 6, but remember: the rebooted Windows Phone platform started at WP7. The Microsoft franchise is still an infant compared to iOS. In fact, the Live Tiles only got widget-ized in terms of functionality in the latest iteration.

With a simple check of any comment section of popular tech blogs’ Apple posts, you’ll find many people explaining why they choose iOS over others. To be fair, they have valid points; the common denominators seem to be simplicity and ease of use, along with the robust App Store, and superb design. Plus, people swear by the “it just works” mantra.

Windows Phone 8 doesn’t have that kind of lure going for it right now. It’s an unproven competitor in a market that’s already dominated by two other players. What it offers, however, is something new. If Windows Phone 8 is able to give users a smooth experience and if it can get its app store to a level comparable to Android and iOS, then the phones will be in for some measure of success.

Based on preorders for the iPhone 5 so far, however, it looks to be the runaway winner in this battle even from the get-go. Still, expect the new WP8 phones to at least be bigger threats than the initial Nokia WP7 offerings. Plus, if these phones succeed, then that’s a big plus for the consumers because they will now have three legitimate routes to take when it comes to their smartphone needs.

Out of these three, which do you lean toward currently — and do you anticipate the possibility of changing your mind?

Leiden Johnson is a photographer by trade but loves all that geeky, tech stuff and the outdoors. If she’s not working or going out, you can see her in front of her computer either writing about anything or playing MMORPGs, which helps her to be more creative in her photoshoots.

CC licensed Flickr image above shared by vernieman

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  • gbyers72

    Windows phones are nowhere near the maturity of iphone and android, good alternitives to the iphone 5 would be: Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note 2, HTC one X + or the upcoming galaxy nexus range of devices

    • http://www.modernlifetips.com/Adriel_Mingo Adriel D. Mingo

      All Android’s right? Don’t sleep on Windows Phone. That is all.

    • http://twitter.com/tWiZsHiZ sHiZ.us

      How you are right about iPhone having maturity, I do not agree about Android. In my opinion, Android was not well designed until 4.1. Galaxy S III and the other phones you mentioned, good contenders. Also remember, Windows Mobile was out before iPhone. Microsoft has some experience with mobile OS before iOS. Blackberry and Palm as well. Microsoft did not invest much into mobile phones until after they release WinMo6.5, there-go WinMo7. In my opinion, iOS 4, Android 4.1, and WP7 are solid OS’s. We will see if WP8 will meet what is advertised. iOS 6 has some improvements, which is great, but I do not see it as a huge improvement over iOS4 or 5.

      • gbyers72

        yeah but I also think that microsoft’s hope of forcing windows 8 upon people through there huge desktop market share may work out so well, for example I know people who have ipads but love their blackberries because of the keyboard. People also like something different metro could get old looking very easily as every phone, ever laptop and every tablet have the same UI, I am already noticing this with IOS.

  • http://twitter.com/bajanx bajanx

    This article should be re-written as why the iPhone is better than Windows Phone. First of all if you are going to do a comparison , do a proper comparison. Secondly, don’t compare WP8 to IOS6, it not even out yet. Do you know if it caught up in functionality? No you don’t, becuase this article reads like you have never picked up a Windows Phone and have not touched WP8. Hey, not bashing or trying to troll but when I read articles that lead one way unjustly, I have to say something. I am a Windows Phone user now for a year and a half now and I think it is a great OS as it is. Yes it is missing a few things, but want it does it does right. Please understand I am just saying, use a product properly before talking about it. My2Cents!

    • http://twitter.com/tWiZsHiZ sHiZ.us

      I am a Microsoft fan-boy, but I do recognize good software and hardware when I see it. Apple, solid. Android, in my opinion, 4.1 is the only good OS. But the Android hardware is so geeky looking and not pretty. iPhone, sexy, simply, smooth, nice. iPhone 5, in my opinion, is not a remarkable design. I like the 4 series LOOK better. But, what is packing inside the 5 is pretty darn good. WP7, solid. My favorite phones in this order, last one being the best: Windows Mobile 6.1 Samsung Epix, Android 2.3 Hauwei, iPhone 3GS, and Windows Phone 7 Samsung Focus.

      You are right, Windows Phone 8 is not out yet. We have no idea what is in store for it, how successful it will be, and if Nokia or HTC is a solid hardware component. We will see. I am, however, looking forward to WP8. We are all bias. Please be a guest writer on this site and tell us your story about your comparisons. Before you do, like I did, explain which phones your owned in the past and how you are able to compare. Then, talk about your opinion on why you feel that OS is better.

      In my opinion, I think WP8 is going to be great. But, we will see. I am still getting a HTC 8X or Nokia Lumia 920 when it comes out.

  • http://twitter.com/bajanx bajanx

    This article should be re-written as why the iPhone is better than Windows Phone. First of all if you are going to do a comparison , do a proper comparison. Secondly, don’t compare WP8 to IOS6, it not even out yet. Do you know if it caught up in functionality? No you don’t, becuase this article reads like you have never picked up a Windows Phone and have not touched WP8. Hey, not bashing or trying to troll but when I read articles that lead one way unjustly, I have to say something. I am a Windows Phone user now for a year and a half now and I think it is a great OS as it is. Yes it is missing a few things, but want it does it does right. Please understand I am just saying, use a product properly before talking about it. My2Cents!

  • http://www.facebook.com/coutlas.simon Coutlas Simon

    IOS is well settled down for sure,,,but windows 8 phone has been almost designed not to lack anything from IOS,,i can almost assure u that,,,it has got character,,,it has got fantastic design plus it is uniquely windows,,,not followed the apple perception like others from beginning,,, the only issue with windows phone should be marketing strategies in order to persuade people switch,,,,but overall windows 8 welcome to the stage!!! alongside IOS and Android,,,by the way i should mention that i am an IOS user,,,but also very flexible to make a switch the time i notice a privilege in the others!!!

    • http://twitter.com/leidenjohnson Leiden Johnson

      Actually, when I held a Lumia 900 at an expo, it felt really comfortable and it made me want it! But, as usual, Windows should market more apps if they want to go alongside Apple and Android. Apple user here. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/coutlas.simon Coutlas Simon

    as an IOS user i really like the direction windows is going with its operating systems,,,both in terms of design and uniqueness they have really woken up and started be much more diplomatic with their creations,,, i think windows is still the centre ground of operating systems on computers and might just be able to transfer that into the phone industry indeed,,,having said that windows 8 “operating system” is slightly ahead of Mac in some ways,,,but the big question is that can they transfer their good operating systems into the tablets and phones??? can they replace their Surface with the remarkable I pads,,,yes they are new born to the market but u can’t cross them out,,,Microsoft is always there!!!

  • http://www.multi-sources.fr Fibo

    Unless Windows Phone 8 makes one major change on contacts / tasks / agenda synchronization, it will fail with all non-corporate users.
    Why?
    WP 6 and earlier versions made it easy to sync these “personal productivity” essential items between the smartphone and a PC. As Nokia’s Symbian PC suite is still doing.

    But guess what? Since WP7 it does no more! To sync, you either need an Exchange account (not used by individuals or small biz) or to rely on another “clouded” service such as Office365 (with >$5 /seat/month), or non-private services like Live or Hotmail… But then with some troubles (eg, tasks not updating).

    Yes, Microsoft just had decided not to be the most compatible with MS own products!
    A nice way to lose any remaining advantage it might have against its 2 main competitors: the closed invasive ecosystem from Apple and the clouded privacy-missing system from Android-Google.

    Strange decision, right?