Sony's Xperia SP and Nokia's Lumia 820 are both mid-range 4G smartphones, but which is the better buy ?
The Sony Xperia SP and the Nokia Lumia 820 both support 4G connectivity and are priced around £300, which puts them in direct competition with each other. Should you buy the Windows-powered Lumia 820 or the Android-packing Xperia SP ?
Sony Xperia SP (130.6 x 67.1 x 9.98 mm, 155 g) vs Nokia Lumia 820 (124 x 69 x 9.9mm , 160g)
The Sony Xperia SP incorporates the same design introduced by the Xperia Z and comes with an aluminium frame giving it a premium feel. You also get an illumination bar below the screen , which can be fully customised !
The Nokia Lumia 820 has a squarer design than the Xperia SP, while it's also slightly heavier than Sony's smartphone. Nokia's mobile certainly stands out because it's available in a range of vibrant colours, which can be interchanged using removable covers.
We think the Xperia SP has the more stylish design and premium feel. Although, the Lumia 820 undoubtedly has the more exciting design !
Power & Performance
Both smartphones come with dual-core Snapdragon processors with the Xperia SP's chip running at a slightly higher clock-speed. The difference in speeds (1.7 Ghz v 1.5 GHz) is minimal and both come with 1GB of RAM. We'd have to run some dedicated benchmarks to separate the two.
Sony's smartphone is a clear winner when it comes to battery life thanks to its huge 2370 mAH battery, which compares to the Lumia 820's 1620 mAH battery. In reality this gives the Xperia SP almost double the standby time of Nokia's device and significantly more talk-time.
The Sony Xperia SP dominates Nokia's device when it comes to display technology. Sony's smartphone has a 4.6 inch LCD display running at a resolution of 1280 * 720 pixels, while Nokia's Lumia 820 has a 4.3 inch OLED display running at a 800×480 pixel resolution.
There is no doubt that HD videos will look better on Sony's smartphone and that web-browsing will be much improved. Therefore, it's an easy victory for the Xperia SP's Mobile Bravia 2 display.
Android Jelly Bean v Windows Phone 8
The Lumia 820 comes pre-loaded with Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 platform which has been widely praised for its accessibility. While, the Sony Xperia SP runs on Google's Android platform , which is the world's most popular mobile operating system.
Nokia's mobile is perfect for those new to smartphones or users looking for easy-to-use mobile. However, the number of applications currently available for Windows Phone 8 is far below those available on Android.
Sony's gaming heritage should also make the Xperia SP a much better gaming device , while those already used to Android will love the improvements introduced by Jelly Bean !
Connectivity , Storage & Cameras
There is nothing between the two mobiles when it comes to connectivity with both supporting 4G LTE, 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth. Furthermore, they both come with 8GB of on-board memory and support microSD cards.
Both smartphones come with 8 mega-pixel cameras which are capable of recording full 1080p and taking stunning still-shots. On paper there is very little between the two , but Sony's camera applications and technology tend to set the standard when it comes to mobile devices.
Sony's Xperia SP has a much better display, more power and vastly improved battery life. Consequently, we have to declare that the Android smartphone the winner. However, Windows Phone 8 is a joy to use making the Lumia 820 perfect for those looking for simplicity !
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By Simon Thomas on 29th April, 2013