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Nokia Lumia Icon: The Windows Phone That Challenges Android And iPhone

The Nokia Lumia Icon released this month and it seems the Finnish mobile company is starting to find its sweet spot in the world of smartphones. Running Windows 8, the Nokia Lumia Icon is receiving rave reviews from the industry. Some are even giving it high enough marks to compete with Android phones and the iPhone.

Through Verizon, the Nokia Lumia Icon runs a moderate $199.99 and is a considerable upgrade to the previous Lumia options in the past. Over the last several years, Nokia has attempted to find its place in the market by featuring the best mobile cameras. The Nokia Lumia 1020 has been largely praised for the DSLR like camera. But the knock on all Windows phones has been the same for several years now. They are lagging behind. Until the Icon.

The 5 inch phone packs a punch on all the specs, finally providing a Windows competitor to the heavily dominated Android and iPhone market. Still carrying over the best features from Nokia, the camera and display, the Lumia Icon finally adds the power that phone lovers want. With a quad-core processor, running the 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800, and the Adreno 330 GPU, no other Windows phone can compete in the processor department. Just one of the reasons PC Magazine gave the Icon the editor’s pick for Windows phone of the year.

A lot of the improvement can be credited to running the Nokia Lumia Icon on Verizon as well. The phone’s upgraded speed works well with the Verizon AWS LTE network. When compared to the Samsung S4 and the iPhone 5s, the Icon dominated in a speed test. In side-by-side speed tests, the Icon was able to download at a stunning 20-25Mbps and upload at 10-13Mbps. The Samsung Galaxy S4 was in the ballpark of 20Mbps down and 8-12Mbps up and the iPhone 5s struggled to crack 1Mbps down or up (mostly because the iPhone could not connect to the LTE network).

Of course the real test of any phone these days is not its power, but its OS. Apple controlled the market for several years with the iPhone and iOS while everyone else played catch up. Google started competing and now Android is as well known and as well used. It is rare however to find a Windows OS user. The Nokia Lumia Icon seeks to change that. By cleaning up the preloaded content (almost non-existent), playing to its strengths (focus on camera apps), and giving users the ability to multi-task, Windows has created a niche in the market. However, the browser is still one of the slowest and without access to the Android and iPhone markets for apps, there are not a lot of options.

Ultimately, the Nokia Lumia Icon is a Windows phone that presents itself as a legitimate challenger to Android and iPhone devices. The test will be if anyone will actually make the switch.

[Image courtesy of Verizon]