I bought the Lumia 920. It's a fantastic phone in every way. I tried out both the Lumia and the HTC for about an hour at the Microsoft store before buying. My initial thought was that the htc 8x felt better in hand than the Nokia. It is lighter and the texture is really nice. The Lumia is definitely heftier however in actual use the curved edges make it very comfortable to hold. Both feel like very high quality devices.
The Nokia has more going for it overall, both in terms of hardware and software. The camera is superb in low light. In fact I'd go so far as to say that it doesn't really have any competition there. And with real optical image stabilization the video recording is very good and very stable, even while walking. It's miles ahead of the iphone here (which I had before).
As a phone, call quality is good and I've never had a better speakerphone. It is both loud and clear unlike the BB I have for work which is loud but sounds unintelligible at high volumes. The screen is very high quality, bright, and actually looks good outdoors. Having a 4.5" screen makes the phone a lot more useful imo. I will admit that I slightly prefer holding the HTC 8x which is 4.3" but you really do notice the extra .2" diagonal and compared to the 4" iPhone 5 the difference is even more glaring. The camera and screen are worth the extra size and weight. The phone is FAST. There's no lag anywhere. Even the crappy overloaded styleforum main forum page loaded up instantly. the huge bank of advertising images on the right take a bit longer (they do that even on my i5 desktop), but you don't have to wait for them. The rest of the page is useable. The browser has done well on everything I've tested it with so far. It is universally fast.
On the software side the Nokia apps such as maps (all windows phone 8 devices get this one), drive, transit are very good. City lens is a bit gimmicky but drive and transit are real advantages for Nokia vs other windows phones.
WP8 itself is really really pretty. Although it doesn't match every single feature of ios and the latest android, it's an elegant UI. Everything is easy to get to, looks consistent, and is just plain pretty. The way Skype works is quite nice. Whether the app is open or not you will receive calls and you can launch it straight from your contacts.
The mail client and calendar blow away the ios equivalents with full support for tasks, flags, priority, meetings, etc. You can also group contacts and have a tile for them on the home screen so that you can at a glance decide if you need to read email that comes in on that tile. You can do the same thing on a per folder basis, so on your home screen you'd see the mail count for that folder and depending on the size of the tile, message content as well. I actually have 4 tiles of different sizes alerting me to new mail or other communications. I have medium sized tiles for a select group of work people that I typically need to respond to immediately, and another for system alerts (I'm in IT). I then have the a small mail tile which brings me to my unified inbox. Lastly I have small tiles for myself and my wife. Combined they filter my mail to allow me to see the important stuff immediately without even having to enter the mail app and scroll through my list of emails. Although I have the regular mail tile on my phone, generally speaking, anything not filtered through one of those groups or people tiles can wait till regular working hours or when i'm at a computer.
Just to explain a bit more... Group or people tiles (the alerts and work people tiles are group tiles, and the wife tile is a people tile) don't just show email from people but all communications from them including SMS, twitter and Facebook and Skype, and it shows them in chronological order regardless of source. You can also group email or SMS them, and by clicking on the group you can see a full communications history with the people in it..
App selection is a personal thing but for me, I have what I need. The main feature missing from wp8 is vpn. Can't say I understand it but I can live without it. Its near the top of the feature requests so I assume it'll be added sooner or later. The phone receives OTA updates direct from ms so if your carrier sucks you don't have to worry too much.
edit: almost forgot to talk about MS office... It is "real" office. I've had it a limited time with it, and obviously there's only so much you'd do on a smartphone, but word shows all markup and document revision, for example. Excel is seems less functional. You can edit spreadsheets depending on the functions in use. If they're not supported, you'll still see the results of the formula, but you can't change it. Haven't played with powerpoint much except to tab through the sample slides that came with it. OneNote is truly useful. I personally use it for everything and have it pinned directly on my homepage. Since all this stuff is synced to skydrive, it doesn't matter what device you are on, the others will be updated within a couple seconds, depending on the size of the edit (obviously inserting a large picture would slow it down).
oh and in the end I got a black one. I wanted a color but Rogers has an exclusive and boneheads that they are only offer black. It's a matte black though and look really nice. It doesn't look like the cheap black plastic of other cell phones. There's really no mistaking it fo a very well built piece of kit. some reviewers have called the phone heavy... It is heavier than an iPhone or HTC 8x,but to call it heavy in absolute terms is ridiculous. It's perfectly fine to hold for extended periods of time,ditto for thickness. Its thicker than both of those 2 but its not thick. As someone that doesn't carry a wallet and absolutely minimizes the keys he carries, the Lumia doesn't bother me at all when its in my pockets.
Edited by GQgeek - 11/25/12 at 9:42am