Nexus 4 vs Nokia Lumia 820
Google's low-price, premium-spec Nexus 4 takes on the Nokia Lumia 820
We take a look at how Google’s high-spec-yet-budget-price Nexus 4 compares to the mid-range Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8 handset
Nexus 4 - 133.9x68.7x9.1mm, 139g
Nokia Lumia 820 - 123.8x68.5x9.9mm, 160g
On the whole the Nexus 4 isn’t very different from its predecessor, Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. In terms of overall shape and size it’s quite similar with the same smooth corners, though it’s a little wider, shorter and thicker and it doesn’t have the curved back panel.
Instead, the back is straight, slightly recessed and has a glass pane with a glittery texture. The build quality is decent enough and the phone feels reasonably robust, although as the older iPhone models demonstrated, a glass back panel isn’t exactly the most durable type of bodywork around if you happen to drop the handset.
Generally we find the Nexus 4’s looks are quite generic and underwhelming, with the exception of the back panel texture which is simply garish.
As a result, it doesn’t score highly on aesthetics but does reasonably well on construction, fit and finish.
That said, the exterior build isn’t the phone’s main strength as its appeal really lies in its high-spec internal hardware at a low price point.
Nokia’s Lumia 820 is a different story entirely.
The Windows Phone maker has decided to reintroduce something from the history books with removable and interchangeable back covers in a range of different colours.
These also have different functions, as all models shipped in the UK comes with a back cover which supports wireless charging via a pad accesssory.
The back panels account for a significant proportion of the phone’s bodywork, but it’s at no real disadvantage when compared to unibody equivalents because Nokia has managed to achieve a remarkably snug fit when the handset is assembled.
The bodywork is made of plastic, but it has a decent quality feel to it and seems reasonably sturdy too.
While the Lumia 820 retains Nokia’s colourful rectangular slab aesthetic it’s a bit softer than many of the company’s other offerings, such as the Lumia 800, 900 and 920 which all have very sharp corners.
However, the more rounded-off look works well with the rest of the design and the handset doesn’t come across as too bubbly or cartoony.
Our preferred choice here simply has to be the Nokia Lumia 820. It’s got much more character and is generally more interesting to look at and handle.
Winner – Nokia Lumia 820
The Nexus 4 has a 4.7-inch IPS+ capacitive multitouch display with a 1280x768 pixel resolution and a pixel density of 318 pixels-per-inch (ppi).
Visuals are crisp and brightness is well above average, contrast is good and saturation is decent enough.
Nokia’s Lumia 820 is less impressive, statistically speaking, with its 4.3-inch AMOLED featuring an 800x480 pixel resolution at 217ppi.
The results are better than you might expect though, due partly to the presence of Nokia’s ClearBlack technology which bumps things up a few notches on the colour depth, contrast and even the clarity to an extent.
However, it is not as good as the Nexus 4’s IPS+ panel.
Winner – Nexus 4
The Lumia 820 has 8GB of internal storage, which isn’t exactly vast, however, it’s also one of the few Windows Phone 8 handsets on the market currently with MicroSD capability.
Google’s Nexus 4 comes in a couple of different variants, you can either go for an 8GB model or a larger capacity 16GB version. But, be warned, the Nexus 4 has no MicroSD slot.
It’s a bit of a trade-off here, ultimately you can get a lot more storage on the Lumia 820 with MicroSD expansion combined with the onboard 8GB.
But, on the other hand, you can get more internal space on the Nexus 4, which may be preferable, but you have no option to expand it further via cards.