Best Windows Phones 2014: Which should you buy?
Looking to buy a Windows Phone? Want to findout what is the best Windows smartphone? Then you've come to the right place.
Whether your looking for a flagship smartphone, a more affordable mobile or an over-sized phablet there is a Windows Phone out there for you. We've reviewed all the Windows Phone smartphones released and put together a list of the 6 best devices in the world today.
Nokia are currently the primary manufacturer producing Windows Phone 8 devices and have released some truly excellent Lumia smartphones in the last year. However, HTC, Huawei and Samsung have also launched mobile phones running on Microsoft's platform.
Windows Phone 8 is a great mobile operating system: it's intuitive, simple yet has all the features you expect and more. Not only is the perfect starting point for those new to smartphones, but it's also great for business users thanks to its integration with Windows 8 and Microsoft Office.
Windows Phones have been growing in popularity recently and more and more applications are being released for Windows Phone 8 all the time. It still has some way to go before it catches up with Android or iOS, but it's made massive strides over the last year.
So let's the start our countdown.
5. Nokia Lumia 1320
The Nokia Lumia 1320 is a 6 inch phablet and is the more affordable alternative to the Lumia 1520 (more on that later). The majority of phablets fit firmly in the high-end bracket with prices over £500, so the Lumia 1320's £250 price-point is a refreshing change.
As you'd expect it comes pre-loaded with the latest versions of Windows Phone (8.1) and it's future-proofed because it supports 4G LTE. The Lumia 1320 has a 6 inch display which runs at a resolution of 1280*720 pixels (244ppi) and is powered by a dual-core 1.7GHz processor and 1GB of RAM.
It's 5 mega-pixel camera is perfectly adequate and its 8GB of onboard memory can be expanded using microSD cards. However, it doesn't support NFC and its a pretty thick (9.79mm) and weighty (220g) device. A 1080p display would have made it a much better device for browsing and multimedia playback - but you get what you pay for.
Quick Verdict: A great value phablet that has a decent specification and 4G connectivity. However, It's 6 inch display only runs at a 720p resolution giving it a pretty low 244ppi and it doesn't support NFC - but for around £250 it's a great buy.
4. Nokia Lumia 520
The Nokia Lumia 520 is a great Windows Phone for those on a budget. It's available on Pay As You Go for around £100 and Nokia have crammed in a lot for your money.
That includes a 4 inch IPS display (800*480 pixels) with a pretty decent 244 pixels-per-inch rating. The smaller than average display makes it easy to use with one-hand and it's chunky design (9.9mm) makes it comfortable to hold. It's also got a 1GHz dual-core processor , 512MB of RAM and a perfectly acceptable 5 mega-pixel camera.
Downsides? Well, no 4G LTE or NFC connectivity and it lacks a front-facing camera for video calling. The display also lacks brightness compared to some of the higher-priced smartphones and its lower resolution display and smaller-size arn't ideal for web-browsing.
Quick Verdict: The Nokia Lumia 520 is the best selling Windows Phone for a reason. For just a £100 you get Windows smartphone with a 4 inch touch-screen, dual-core processor and a 5 mega-pixel camera. Yes, the screen is a little dim and there is no NFC or front-facing snapper - but for the money its hard to beat.
3. Nokia Lumia 1520
The Nokia Lumia 1520 is the most powerful Windows Phone device on the planet right now. It's the first Windows Phone to come with a quad-core processor, a feat only made possible thanks to the release of Windows Phone 8.1.
It's also the first Windows device to come with a 1080p display, giving its 6 inch touch-screen a 367ppi. The IPS display also comes with ClearBlack technology resulting in deeper blacks, High Brightness mode and Sunlight Readability. If that isn't enough it's also 'Super-Sensitive' meaning the touch-screen can be used even when wearing gloves.
Nokia's Lumia 1520 has an impressive 20 mega-pixel Pureview camera with optical-image stabilisation (OIS), 32GB of on-board memory and supports 4G, 3G, WiFi, NFC and Bluetooth. It's also pretty slim and lightweight (8.7mm and 209g respectively) for its size, but phablets by design arn't the most portable mobile devices around.
The exact UK price and launch date are yet to be confirmed, but it's expected to cost around £500 and will be available to buy before the end of 2014.
Quick Verdict: The Lumia 1520 is high-end device that can rival any phablet currently on the market. It's got a a stunning 1080p display, a quad-core processor and an excellent 20 mega-pixel camera. But it's not cheap at £500 and its 6 inch display means it'll struggle to fit into the pocket of your skinny jeans.
2. Nokia Lumia 1020
Many of our readers might be surprised to see Nokia's most recent and current flagship smartphone coming in second place. Especially considering the media attention its stunning 41 mega-pixel Pureview camera has attracted. Don't get us wrong anyone looking for a smartphone with a great camera should look no further than the Lumia 1020.
The 41 mega-pixel Pureview Camera has a Carl Zeiss Tessar lens, a dual LED Xenon flash and optical-image-stabilisation (OIS). It takes snaps and videos that stand up to standalone digital cameras, Nokia's Pro Camera software is excellent and a range of camera accessories are available.
The rest of the smartphone isn't too shabby either. The Lumia 1020 has a 4.5 inch 720p display (334ppi) and is powered by a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor backed up by 2GB of RAM. It's 32GB of onboard memory can be expanded using microSD cards and it supports 4G LTE, NFC, Bluetooth, WiFi and 3G.
However, ironically the Pureview camera lens is also why the Lumia 1020 has missed out on top spot. Its inclusion makes the Lumia 1020 a pretty bulky and heavy device (10.4mm and 158g respectively). Also, its plastic, colourful design - although feeling solid and sturdy - lacks the style and subtly of other flagship smartphones.
Quick Verdict: Looking for a camera phone? Then look no further the Nokia Lumia 1020 has the best camera of any smartphone in the world. It's also got a great all-round specification, but the camera adds bulk and its design lacks polish and subtly.
1. Nokia Lumia 930
The Nokia Lumia 930 is the successor to the Lumia 925 but it’s such a huge upgrade that it hardly seems fair to lump it in with its predecessor. Where to start? How about with what hasn’t really changed. The build is pretty similar, but that’s no bad thing as the Lumia 925 was the most premium looking Lumia phone available.
The Nokia Lumia 930 has an aluminium frame with a polycarbonate back, which can be nabbed in either the distinctively bright Lumia colours or a more understated black or white.
Under the hood there’s a powerful 2.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM, plus of course it comes with Windows Phone 8.1, so you’ll be able to enjoy Cortana and Action Centre.
The Lumia 930 also has a mightily impressive 20 megapixel camera. Like other high end Lumia’s it uses a Carl Zeiss lens and it features optical image stabilisation to reduce the effect of camera shake. The end result is highly detailed photos that almost always come out in focus.
And we haven’t even talked about the screen. It’s a 5 inch 1080 x 1920 AMOLED display with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch, so it’s an incredibly sharp full HD affair and with the help of Nokia’s ClearBlack technology it also has superior contrast.
There’s 32GB of built in storage, so memory needn’t run low and it supports 3G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC.
Quick Verdict: Whether you’re after style, power, a camera phone or a great screen for media the Nokia Lumia 930 has it all. It’s a great all-rounder and by far the best Windows Phone currently available.