After months of waiting and speculation, we finally know the full technical details about the first wave of Windows Phone 8 handsets from Samsung, Nokia, and HTC – the three biggest Windows Phone manufacturers. Pricing and availability, however, are another matter, not to mention the actual OS features. Of course, this being Windows Phone, the OS is sure to be almost identical on all three devices. As a result, the real differentiators are related to the hardware and ecosystem.
If screen size and storage capacity is your thing, the Samsung ATIV S is hard to beat. You’re looking at a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display and 32GB of storage. The ATIV S is also the only high-end Windows Phone 8 device to include a microSD card slot (and an SDXC-enabled one at that), so your total possible storage space is actually a whopping 96GB.
Then there’s the Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, which boast wireless charging, a hyper-sensitive screen which doesn’t detect accidental brushes but works great even through gloves, and a PureView camera. The real draw, however, is the ecosystem, which includes fantastic accessories and must-have exclusive apps. Nokia is even partnering with other companies to bring wireless charging to coffee shops and airport lounges. In short, Nokia’s ecosystem is the one to beat.
Last, but certainly not least, are the Windows Phone 8X and 8S by HTC. These two beautiful devices feature top-notch cameras and Beats Audio. The 8X, in particular, goes head-to-head with the Lumia 920 on camera technology. More importantly, HTC is capitalizing on the Windows Phone brand. As a result, you’ll see the 8X and 8S front-and-center in many Windows Phone advertisements, despite Nokia’s close relationship with Microsoft.
A few months ago, I would have told you that Nokia was the only way to go. But having seen what Samsung and HTC have to offer, the choice isn’t so clear-cut anymore. Which device are you currently eyeing? Cast your vote and then tell us why in the comments!