Nokia Lumia 900 vs iPhone 4S vs Galaxy Nexus vs Galaxy S2 – How Does The Best Windows Phone Stack Up Against Its Competition?

The Lumia 900 is finally up for sale in the United States, and it has already sold out in quite a few online stores. The Lumia 900 is the biggest handset launch from Nokia in the recent years in the United States, and the handset will have a key role in determining the future on WP7 and the Nokia-MS partnership.

However, how does the Lumia 900 stack up against some of the best phones up for sale today including the iPhone 4S, Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy S2? Read our comparison post below to find out!


The Galaxy Nexus has the biggest display among all these 4 handsets and comes with a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD screen with a whopping 720p screen, but has a PenTile display. The Galaxy S2 and Lumia 900 come with a 4.3-inch display with WVGA (480*800) resolution. While the Galaxy S2 uses a Super-AMOLED Plus display, the Lumia 900 has a (AMOLED) ClearBlack Display. The iPhone 4S has the smallest display among its competitors with a relatively small 3.5-inch IPS LCD display with 640*960 resolution. The iPhone 4S has the highest pixel density here with a Retina busting 326ppi, while the Galaxy Nexus comes in a second close with a ppi of 316. The Galaxy S2 and the Lumia 900 both have a disappointingly low ppi of 218.

The iPhone 4S and the Galaxy Nexus both trump the Lumia 900 in terms of display quality as well as resolution, while the Lumia 900 manages to tie it with the Galaxy S2 display. However, considering the Lumia 900 is being released in 2012, and all of its competitors were launched in 2011, the former should have had packed in a higher resolution screen. Sadly, since Windows Phone does not support resolutions higher than WVGA, there is nothing much the OEMs can do about it, except for wait for Windows Phone 8.

Read: Galaxy S2 vs. Galaxy Nexus vs. iPhone 4S – Which is the best smartphone of 2011?

Processing Power

Except for the Lumia 900, the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S2 and the iPhone 4S, all have a dual-core processor. The A5 SoC used inside the iPhone 4S is an absolute beast and manages to trump every other mobile CPU + GPU combination easily. The Exynos SoC found inside the Galaxy S2 comes in second with two powerful Cortex-A9 cores running at 1.2GHz, along with an ARM Mali-400MP GPU. The Galaxy Nexus also packs in two 1.2GHz Cortex-A9 processor, and a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU, which struggles to keep up with the HD resolution on the handset.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 processor clocked at 1.4GHz along with an Adreno 205 GPU powers the Lumia 900. While the OS on the handset itself runs very smooth, third party apps and browsing on the handset take a toll due to the limited CPU power.


The iPhone 4S, Galaxy S2 and the Lumia 900 pack in an 8MP camera with an LED flash, while the Galaxy Nexus houses a 5MP camera aided by an LED flash. The 8MP snapper on the iPhone 4S can take some absolutely stunning pictures, and is a clear winner here. The Galaxy S2 and the Lumia 900 come in a close second, with the former struggling in low-light conditions quite heavily. The Galaxy Nexus with its poor, but with Instant capture feature, 5MP cam does not even stand a chance.

While the Lumia 900 may have come second in the camera shoot-out, we should not forget that the Galaxy S2 was released nearly a year ago. The Galaxy S3 is just around the corner, and chances are it will trump the Lumia 900 in camera performance easily.


While the iPhone App Store has more than 450,000+ apps, there are roughly around 300,000 apps in the Google Play Store. In comparison to this, the Windows Phone Marketplace has around 70,000+ apps. Sadly, there is a very serious lack of quality applications in the WP Marketplace. There is still no official Dropbox client available for the OS, which might be a bummer for quite a few people out there. There are still no graphically intensive games available for the OS. Most developers still prefer to launch an iOS version of their app first, followed by an Android version.

However, most developers who have released a WP7 version of their app have been seriously impressed with the SDK tools available for the platform, and actually prefer coding apps for WP rather than Android. So hopefully it is just a matter of time, and possibly few more APIs from Microsoft, before we see some quality apps hit the Windows Phone marketplace.

P.S. – I can’t comment on the battery life of the handsets since I have not used them long enough. However, I am sure the iPhone 4S will be a clear winner here just because it has a smaller screen, and lacks support for LTE networks. Lumia 900 should provide users with the same battery life as the Galaxy S2 and the Galaxy Nexus, if not worse.

Also Read: Some must have apps for the Nokia Lumia 900 and 800

Published by

Rajesh Pandey

Rajesh is a 19 year old nerd, currently pursuing B.Com Hons from Bhawanipore college in Kolkata, India. He loves everything tech, especially Android. You can follow him on twitter @ePandu or mail to him at [email protected]

  • Sumesh

    The older sgx-540 on GNexus might look outdated, but Google has done some top-notch optimization on the software side (gfx drivers), and it performs as well as any new GPUs. Some website compared GNex with a Razr (same GPU), and found that the 540 gives better frame rate on the GNex with many more pixels.

    People should stop thinking that raw hardware is everything.

    On a side note, rather lame to write opinion about devices that you have not used.

    • I own a Galaxy Nexus myself, and have done more research than you can imagine on this matter. Play GTA3 on the Nexus, and watch the game lag terribly.

      I have NOT used the phones for a long period of time, but have used them for a considerable period of time to comment on their performance, camera and apps. I owned a Galaxy S2, currently own a Galaxy Nexus, and have also used the iPhone 4S for 2-3 days.

  • Keoni

    Wait, you can’t comment on battery life because you HAVEN’T USED THE PHONES? How, then, can you comment on performance, the camera, and apps? FAIL.

    • Look at my previous comment. Have not used the Lumia long enough to comment on the battery life.

  • Would be nice if you could add that despite not having the official dropbox client, there are several capable third-party apps for the service. The power of today’s products is that most of them are cloud-based, which means they lend themselves very well to providing functional APIs. Since the development tools and framework are very user-friendly, there are many developers who have taken those APIs and built alternates for WP7 users. Pandora and Starbucks are other notable examples of developers taking the API and running with it.

    Also, when you talk about display you should consider not just the resolution and PPI, but also the reflectivity, maybe? Here’s CNET talking about how Nokia made the screen look “so darn good”:

    Finally, can you please name some of the apps which “took a toll on the CPU” of the Lumia 900? Just curious.

    • Keoni

      I know! Hello….SkyDrive anyone?

  • What a poor article.

  • What a poorly written article. There were grammatical errors then on top of it the last sentence sum it up: “P.S. – I can’t comment on the battery life of the handsets since I have not used them. ” How can you comment on any of it, if you haven’t used it?

  • bstrick

    I would like him to actually comment on what third party apps are suffering because wp7 doesn’t currently support dual cores. And wouldn’t that be the developer’s fault for not optimizing their app? And I’m sorry but I’ve compared video from my titan against the new android nexus and most people thought the titan looked better. Definitely didn’t think it was lacking.

  • maximillion

    Actually the battery life on the iphine 4s is very weak the Lumia 900 will beat it easily with a good 24 hour life per charge, the 2 Android are similar to the iPhone, I am not 100 % sure about the sgs2 but the gnex lasts a good day no problem

  • Alan

    Boy I hope you don’t get paid to write reviews because this was horrible. This was merely a recital of specs…nothing more, no real world tests. Why don’t you actually test the damn phones instead of spitting out what you have read somewhere??

  • By far the iphone has the worst Battery life,
    smaller screen doesn’t mean less power it has more pixels then the s2 or 900.
    also the lumia 900 and s2 screens look much better then the iphone, higher resolution doesn’t equal better screen.


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