HTC One M8 for Windows vs Nokia Lumia Icon: Which is the best Verizon Windows Phone? Part 3 Final Comparison

By Rich W Woods

Verizon has always had a limited selection of Windows Phones. When Windows Phone 8 launched, they got the HTC 8X and the Nokia Lumia 822, both mid-range phones. Later, they got the Nokia Lumia 928 after the former two had left the shelves. The Lumia 928 was a variant of the Lumia 920 that came out 8 months after AT&T got the 920.

Contrary to what Nokia, HTC, or Verizon would have you believe at the time, both the HTC 8X and Nokia Lumia 928 were mid-range phones. In fact, all of the original “flagship” Windows Phone 8 phones were mid-range. They used dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processors. They were slow and frustrating to use.

Then came the Nokia Lumia Icon, a beautifully designed Nokia Lumia that packed a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 20 MP camera, and a 5″ 1080p display.

HTC Changed the Game

When HTC announced the HTC One M8 for Windows, for the first time in computer history, consumers could walk into a Verizon Store, decide to buy a phone, and have a choice between operating system at the time of purchase.

The HTC One M8 for Windows uses a Snapdragon 801 processor, 5″ 1080p display, dual 4.3 MP rear cameras, and a 5 MP front facing camera.

So Which Phone is the Best?

Tough call, right? The HTC One M8 for Windows has a better processor and ships with Windows Phone 8.1.1 which makes it more “future-proof”. The Nokia Lumia Icon has a far better rear camera and the HTC One M8 for Windows has a much better front facing camera.

The HTC One M8 for Windows has a metal body and Nokia uses plastic. They both have beautiful 5″ 1080p displays.

Nokia Lumia Icon vs HTC One M8 for Windows: Rear Camera Comparison

The Nokia Lumia Icon shipped with Windows Phone 8 while the HTC One M8 for Windows shipped with Windows Phone 8.1.1. This gives the HTC One M8 for Windows a significant advantage.

Of course, the Nokia Lumia Icon will get the Lumia Cyan update that comes with Windows Phone 8.1. While I installed Windows Phone 8.1 on the Lumia Icon I have been using, the firmware update called Lumia Cyan is not available for it yet and Verizon is usually the last to get it. Lumia Cyan brings some camera improvements, so whatever you see here, it will get better.

The Nokia Lumia Icon has a 20 MP rear camera compared to the HTC One M8 for Windows 4.3 MP camera. Megapixels don’t make a difference unless the user zooms in on the photo after it has been taken. Remember, 4.3 MP still has a higher pixel density than a 1440p display, so to tell the difference in pixel density, you would need a 4K display.

So let’s check out some samples:

Photo 1

Nokia Lumia Icon

HTC One M8 for Windows

 

Photo 2

Nokia Lumia Icon

HTC One M8 for Windows

Photo 3

Nokia Lumia Icon

HTC One M8 for Windows

As you can see from the photo samples, there is a big difference in lighting. While everyone’s eyes are different, to me it seems like the colors from the HTC One M8 for Windows seem to look faded compared to more vibrant colors coming from the Nokia Lumia Icon.

Another thing you can see is that the camera from the HTC One M8 for Windows will be just fine for most users. Many people just take random snapshots with friends and don’t need a super-awesome camera like the one on the Nokia Lumia Icon.

Nokia Lumia Icon vs HTC One M8 for Windows: Front Camera Comparison

While you would need a 4K display to be able to tell the difference between 4.3 MP and 20 MP, the front facing cameras are much more noticeable. The Nokia Lumia Icon has a 1.2 MP front facing camera and the HTC One M8 for Windows uses a 5 MP front facing camera.

While 1.2 MP seems incredibly low, it is not. The iPhone 5S uses a 1.2 MP front facing camera and the Amazon Fire Phone uses a 2.1 MP front facing camera.

If you are really into taking selfies, you may want to pay attention:

Nokia Lumia Icon

HTC One M8 for Windows

As you can see, there is a noticeable difference. So if you’re deciding base on camera alone, it depends if you like taking pictures more or selfies.

Nokia Lumia Icon vs HTC One M8 for Windows: Conclusion

So the HTC One M8 for Windows has a better front facing camera while the Nokia Lumia Icon has a better rear camera. Both have 5″ 1080p displays.

The HTC One M8 for Windows is the only Windows Phone with a Snapdragon 801 processor. That being said, the Nokia Lumia Icon has a Snapdragon 800 and 99% of users won’t be able to tell the difference.

So, if the camera doesn’t make up your mind for you, then all that is left is the body. The HTC One M8 for Windows comes in a metal body with the speakers on the front. If you like to listen to a lot of music on your phone without headphones, the HTC One M8 for Windows might be for you.

Nokia makes their phones out of plastic. This is not a bad thing. When Apple released the iPhone 5C they called it “unapologetically plastic”. Nokia doesn’t have to apologize because their plastic phones are beautiful.

So there you have it. I have told you all I could. Now, to make your final decision you must head down to your local Verizon Store and check them out. See which one feels best in your hand. See which one you think is designed better. Good luck!

CORRECTION: Some users have pointed out that the HTC One M8 supports micro-SD expansion while the Lumia Icon does not. Also, the Lumia Icon supports wireless charging while the HTC One M8 for Windows does not. These are all valid points and if either of these features are important to you, you may want to know this.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @rwoods716 and like us on Facebook at “For the Love of Tech” for all of the latest news, reviews, and product comparisons. I would love to hear from you. Tell me how we can make this site better by leaving a comment or posting on our Facebook page or sending a tweet. Got a tech question about how to fix your broken PC or smart phone? Just ask. Need help deciding which tablet is right for you? Happy to help. Drop me a line.

About the author
Rich Woods

Being a computer programmer wasn't enough to fulfill his love of technology. In 2013, Rich founded For the Love of Tech and has been writing about his love of tech ever since.

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