HTC went with a less-is-more approach in terms of branded apps with the Windows Phone 8X. The Instagram-like Photo Enhance boasts 16 filters. HTC also includes an HTC information hub that shows the weather, stocks and news from Yahoo and CNN.com. And there’s Converter, which can convert most of the common forms of measurement.
HTC’s apps are nice, but they lack Nokia’s cool factor. Nokia Maps continues to be a favorite, thanks to its high level of detail and ease of use. There’s also Nokia Drive, which provides spoken, turn-by-turn GPS directions. City Lens offers a detailed rundown of nearby restaurants, hotels and shopping using augmented reality.
There’s also Nokia Music, which features the Nokia Music Store. We loved Mix Radio, a streaming music service let us cache tracks for offline listening. The service also has a Gigs section that lists upcoming performances in your area.
Last but not least is Cinemagraph, which is a fun Lens app for the Lumia 920’s camera. It lets you create animated GIFs within still images, which we had a blast showing off to friends.
WINNER: Nokia Lumia 920
With Nokia Drive, Nokia Music and other branded apps, the Lumia 920 wins this round hands-down.
Because our web-surfing battery test doesn’t work on Windows Phones, we decided to go a different route. We played the same 10-hour YouTube video on both phones over 4G LTE on medium brightness.
The 1,800 mAH battery in the Windows Phone 8X lasted 7 hours and 54 minutes, while the Lumia 920’s battery lasted a dismal 4:21. That’s somewhat surprising, given that the Nokia packs a higher capacity 2,000 mAh battery. However, the Lumia does have to power a larger display. During the Peacekeeper Browser Test, the 8X’s battery life dropped to 4:04 while the 920 lasted 3:38.
The good news is that you can charge the Lumia 920 wirelessly, thanks to its embedded Qi technology. Nokia and its partners offer wireless charging pads, and you can also buy a JBL speaker with built-in charging. Nokia has plans to place wireless charging stations at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf shops and Virgin Atlantic lounges.
WINNER: HTC Windows Phone 8X
No contest here. The 8X offers nearly double the battery life of the Lumia 920.
Taking advantage of Qi wireless charging technology, AT&T is bundling the Lumia 920 with a free wireless charging plate for a limited time. After that, the plate will cost you $49. Nokia and its partners offer a wide range of other accessories, including the Nokia Wireless Charging Stand ($69) and JBL PowerUp Wireless Charging Speaker ($249). On the way is the Nokia Purity Pro Wireless Stereo Headset by Monster and the Nokia Luna Bluetooth Headset with Wireless Charging (both prices TBD).
At the time of this writing, there were no exclusive accessories available for the HTC 8X other than cases.
WINNER: Nokia Lumia 920
Nokia wins this round with a much wider selection of add-ons, though you’ll need to wait for some to arrive.