Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android platform have dominated the smartphone market for the last several years. Microsoft has recently entered the field to challenge Blackberry for the third spot, and has a good chance of taking over much of the business phone niche now controlled by Blackberry.
Microsoft has made two major advancements in recent years, the introduction of Windows Phone 8, and their partnership with Nokia to create a wide variety of handsets. Not only is the upgraded operating system much more welcoming to a larger audience, but they are offering quality low-price phones as well as high quality handsets to challenge the best Androids and iPhones.
Because of this partnership, the majority of Windows Phones are from Nokia, but not all of them. Though the Windows platform is not as widespread, nor as customizable as Android’s OS, it also is not nearly as restrictive as the Apple iOS, especially in hardware limitations. HTC, Samsung and Huawei are just some of the companies to start develop third party Windows Phones.
Since the Windows platform is still relatively new, and does not share the popularity of Androids or iPhones, the Windows App store is also sorely lacking in comparison to its two main competitors. Microsoft does promise that this will change in the future, however. And the comfort of the new platform for users familiar with the Windows 8 platform may help push this popularity, as will Microsoft’s attempt to corner the bargain smartphone market.
So here are the 5 best Windows Phones currently available:
5.HTC Windows Phone 8S – A good midrange phone starting at around £250. Comes with a 1GHz dual-core processor backed by 512MB of RAM. Though the numbers may seem a little on the low side, the Windows OS actually runs quite smooth with this set-up. Internal Storage is just 4GB, but can be expanded with up to an additional 32GB through a microSD slot.
The 4-inch Super LCD Gorilla Glass Display is limited to just a 440 x 800 resolution, but still has a decent overall picture. The 5MP rear camera (no front camera) and high connectivity options (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth,3G, but not 4G) round out this handset as nice but not spectacular.
4.Nokia Lumina 625 – This is actually a very nice little budget handset starting around £189. It is packaged with a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM. The 5MP rear camera is supported with an LCD flash to produce respectable snaps, and the front facing camera is capable of shooting VGA video for chatting purposes. The 8GB of internal storage is expandable through a microSD slot, and its connectivity does include 4G.
3.Nokia Lumina 1020 – It’s hard to tell if this is a phone trying to be a camera, or the other way around. The 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 2GB RAM offer decent performance; and 32GB should be more than ample for the average user. It also comes with all the latest connectivity including NTC and 4G LTE.
However, its 41 MP camera with Xenon flash is not only the best available on any smartphone, but also challenges many mid-range digital cameras. However, that’s where the flash of this £600 handset ends, it doesn’t hold up as a top-end smartphone.
2.Nokia Lumina 720– Another nice midrange phone. For about £225, it offers decent hardware with a 1 GHz dual-core processor and 512MB of RAM. Internal storage of 5GB is expandable to another 64GB through the microSD slot, and the 4.3 inch 480 x 800 display is adequate. The 6.7MP rear camera offers nice snaps, and the 1.3MP camera is capable of shooting 720p video. Connectivity options are vast, but unfortunately don’t include 4G.
1.Nokia Lumina 1520 – The flagship Windows Phone, it is really something to behold – in more ways than one. Its mammoth 7 inch screen puts it just under tablet size, but is full HD with excellent viewing angles. It is also loaded with power in the form of a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, along with 32GB of internal storage with expandability to another 64GB.
The 20MP front camera is second on the market only to the 1020, and can shoot full HD 1080p video; while the back camera also manages to shoot 720p video. Unfortunately, the £870+ price tag may put this monster out of many people’s reach.