Why nokia should be worried about the HTC 8X


So there have been several posts written looking at the Nokia and HTC Windows phone 8 devices and comparing them. Most of these posts put the 8x vs the Lumia 920 and the 8s vs the Lumia 820. Understandable and proper that they do as these devices are aimed at the same sorts of customers.

However, these choices may not reflect the real world decisions that customers have to make. Obviously, any carrier might not carry both or the to tier, out both of the mid tier devices. In fact, for much of the world, there will be many carriers that in particular don’t have the Lumia 920.

Nokia had been talking about carrier exclusives and we saw this in the US with AT&T getting the 900.  Things like this can be gotten around in many cases by buying unlocked versions of the device, and with Symbian, when pretty much every device in the last 2 years had pentaband HSPA+ you knew you could order it and it would work.  However, it sounds like Nokia want to increasingly have exclusive carriers for their high end devices and it sound like the 920 will  be an exclusive for AT&T, and for everything everywhere in the UK.IN addition, Windows Phone devices will not have pentaband HSPA+ so if your operator has an unsupported frequency, you will be out of luck.

HTC on the other hand are getting their phones to as many carriers add possible. This means that the choice in windows phone might be Lumia 820 vs the 8x. A total mismatch, and one that Nokia is way less likely to win. So, for example, while AT&T customers can get the 920, T-Mobile and Verizon users will be looking at their options – Lumia 820, HTC 8X and 8S (and perhaps Samsung Ativ S).

spec Nokia Lumia 820 HTC 8X HTC 8S Samsung Ativ S
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Dual Core 1.5Ghz Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Dual Core 1.5Ghz Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Dual Core 1.0Ghz Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Dual Core 1.5Ghz Processor
Memory 8GB (expandable) 16GB (not expandable?) 4GB (expandable) 16 / 32GB (expandable)
Screen Tech 4.3″ AMOLED 4.3″ Super LCD 2 screen 4.0″ Super LCD screen 4.8″ Super AMOLED HD
Screen Resolution 800 x 480 resolution 1280 x 720 resolution 800 x 480 resolution 1280 x 720 resolution
Camera 8MP auto-focus camera with Dual LED flash 8MP auto-focus camera with LED flash 5MP auto-focus camera with LED flash 8MP auto-focus camera with LED flash
Video 1080p Video capture 1080p Video capture with stereo sound 720p Video capture with stereo sound 1080p Video capture
Front Facing Camera 0.3 MP 2.1MP 1.9MP
Battery 1650 mAh 1800mAh battery (not removable) 1700mAh battery (not removable) 2300 mAh
Internet / Bluetooth / NFC WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.1 and NFC (optional, with some back covers) WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 and NFC WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC
Super Sensitive Touch (for use with gloves) Integrated Beats Audio with extra amplifiers for 3.5mm jack and loudspeaker Integrated Beats Audio
Swappable back covers
Wirelesss Charging (via cover)

Ultimately, for the 820 to stay competitive in cases where the 920 is exclusive to someone else, Nokia needs to make sure their exclusive apps stay compelling, and the 820 is priced low.  If you are in a place where the phone isn’t carrier discounted then this situation may not come up, but the UK where contracts might differ in price by 10GBP/month, or the US where the 820 might be $50-$100 or and the 8X $150-$200, buying the total higher end device might be tempting.

Personally, I have a big problem with exclusive deals, which are ultimately bad for the consumer, and can’t help sales that much, though it might help new contracts for the carrier. It seems that Samsung and HTC, and even Apple have managed to move away from that way of working. Hopefully Nokia will figure out how to move away from the exclusivity model, which they honestly only needed to get some ground back in the US anyway. Even that surprised me, not least with the outside appearance that T-Mobile had been the more friendly company for Nokia and have given huge support to Windows Phone. But obviously AT&T have the money to get demand exclusivity for the top devices, at least from a Nokia who are still struggling to get a secure market share in the US.


About bluechrism

I am a software developer with most professional experience in the Windows .Net realm and I'm currently a WPF developer with Starkey Labs. However, I have wanted for some time to start the mobile developer journey properly and being an N900 owner, this was to be in the realm of QT. Job hunting, moving to Minnesota and changing jobs put my plans on hold 6-12 months but things are starting to settle now, just as I'm getting sorted to start some things, Microsoft and Nokia merge. This blog is about my novice mobile development experiences and hopefully will end up complete with links to download some apps on various platforms, but obviously by the name, Sybian, Maemo/Meego and Windows Mobile. In other stuff, I am English, I support Everton FC, I have visited Glastonbury music festival 5 times and recommend it to anyone. I am married and my wife and i have a dog called Friday.
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