Samsung Galaxy Nexus vs Nokia Lumia 800

Vs Paul Briden 17:10, 22 Dec 2011

We see how Samsung's Galaxy Nexus stands up to the Nokia Lumia 800

We compare Samsung's flagship Android Ice Cream Sandwich phone, the Galaxy Nexus, against Nokia's premier Windows Phone 'Mango' handset, the Lumia 800.

Form
Samsung Galaxy Nexus - 135.5x67.9x8.9mm,135g

Nokia Lumia 800 - 116.5x61.2x12.1mm,142g

Visually both devices are very impressive with some distinctive and unique design features which help them stand out from the competition.

The Nokia Lumia 800 is a very sharp and angular handset being bluntly rectangular in shape and topped by a gently curved glass screen.

Build quality feels very impressive indeed, the phone uses an aluminium unibody and it’s probably one of the most well put-together handsets we’ve seen this year.

Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus is the polar opposite in terms of aesthetics, it’s all curves but it isn’t over-the-top – being a larger phone overall the longer lines compliment the slight curvature at either end of the device quite nicely.

Sadly, the Galaxy Nexus doesn’t feel quite so solid construction-wise as its opponent.

We have to give this round to the Nokia Lumia 800.

Winner – Nokia Lumia 800

Display
Nokia’s Lumia 800 has a relatively small display at 3.7-inches but it makes up for this with incredibly sharp picture quality thanks to the use of a Samsung AMOLED screen and Nokia’s own ClearBlack technology.

It features multi-touch support and reinforced Gorilla Glass, while the 480x800 pixel resolution grants a pixel density clocking in at 252 pixels-per-inch (ppi).

It’s one of the best displays on a Windows Phone we’ve seen to date, the screen is bright and crystal clear with vivid colours which really pop out at you.

The Galaxy Nexus uses Samsung’s own Super AMOLED technology, which is slightly better than the Nokia’s ‘vanilla’ AMOLED and it’s a pretty big slate of glass at 4.65-inches.

Despite its large size, Samsung has managed to keep the pixel density very high indeed, a 720x1280 pixel resolution results in 316ppi.

Multi-touch is again supported and an oleophobic coating protects the screen from oily fingerprints.

Both displays are pretty amazing to behold and each manufacturer has clearly lavished a lot of effort and attention on these screens.

At the end of the day, however, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus goes that extra mile, not only is it a substantially sized display, making media easier and more satisfying to view, but it achieves this without compromising on picture quality and goes so far as to offer some of the best available. It’s very impressive stuff indeed.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Storage
Samsung’s flagship Android Ice Cream Sandwich phone has two options for storage, with choices of either 16GB or 32GB onboard. Processing power is supplemented by 1GB of RAM.

The Nokia Lumia 800 only has the 16GB option for internal capacity which, while ample, is half the top-end offered by Samsung’s device. It’s also slightly behind on the RAM side of things with around half the memory of the Galaxy Nexus at 512MB.

Neither smartphone is fitted with a card slot, meaning there’s no option to expand storage space with microSD.

Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus wins this round by doubling up on the Lumia 800’s offerings.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Processor
Discussing the processors between Android and Windows Phones is a tricky thing, because you invariably run up against the issue of how the two platforms work in relation to optimisation.

However, the Galaxy Nexus is a little different from most other Android phones.

The problem with Android normally is it’s a one size fits all system which isn’t optimised very well, but this isn’t an issue on the Galaxy Nexus because, as it’s the Android Ice Cream Sandwich flagship device Samsung has worked closely with Google to get everything as finely tuned as possible.

The Galaxy Nexus uses a dual core ARM Cortex-A9 processor clocked at 1.2GHz and running the Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 chipset alongside a PowerVR SGX540 graphics processing unit (GPU).

Performance on this setup is going to be something pretty special, especially with the extra optimisation and tuning.

Nokia’s Lumia 800 runs on single core hardware but again it’s been well optimised and offers really good performance from its 1.4GHz Qualcomm Scorpion processor running the MSM8255 Snapdragon chipset and an Adreno 205 GPU.

Both offer excellent performance in terms of typical smartphone tasks and navigating their respective interfaces.

However, the Galaxy Nexus will handle high-end apps and games with demanding graphics much more capably and will remain the more competitive option looking ahead to the future.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy Nexus

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