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HTC 8X vs Nokia Lumia 920 - Recording a live Deadmau5 event

Earlier this week we were lucky enough to be in attendance at the Electric in Brixton where Nokia promoted the Lumia 920 by showing a recorded version of Deadmau5's performance near tower bridge before bringing the man live into the club for a special free live event.

Of course we weren't content with going just for the beer and electro-house music, so we thought we'd use the opportunity to do another comparison for people still torn between the Lumia 920 and HTC 8X.

If you're a regular visitor to the site you'll know that I'm lucky enough to be putting both devices through their paces and have previously published a full, in depth comparison on what I believe to be the key differentiating factors between these two outstanding devices - which you can find here. Some excellent comments pointed out that we hadn't gone as in depth as we could have with regards to audio quality when recording video, so this follow up video should help you decide for yourself.

Warning: there are sound level variations in the video when moving to the 8X - beware if you're using headphones!

Keep in mind that this is what I would call an extreme test (and raw footage), it was a very loud night and we were standing pretty much next to one of the main speakers, but still, the difference is staggering. For anyone wondering; all videos were recorded at 1080P and have been scaled down to 720P for uploading to YouTube, the audio track has been untouched apart from any compression in the upload to YouTube. The first two videos were recorded earlier in the night at exactly the same time, whereas the second two were recorded later, one after the other.

So, if recording live events is your thing perhaps this will be the final word swaying you towards the Nokia, of course if it isn't then it's worth reading through the original comparison as part of your research. Please let us know your thoughts on the recording in the comments below but remember this is not intended to fuel pointless flame wars over the two devices, only to help inform you as consumers

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Comments

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xiontechinfo says:

Both are having awesome cam but still 920 wins

Quin 2013 says:

In true HTC fashion, their audio recording sucks. I should k ow because I own an HTC phone.

I'm over htc's lack of interest in fixing that issue, so I'm getting the 920. I'm sure my friends would love to hear how awesome the clarity of the recording is with the 920 vs still hearing distortion all the way through.

WinFan1 says:

wow o my fiddlesticks the htc 8x sounds like white noise....

tissotti says:

No surprise there. That HAAC mic by Nokia is an absolute killer. Lumia 920 is amazing at it, but 808 PureView takes it so far that you don't really find video cameras with as good internal mics. 

Yes - at this moment only HAAC microphone devices are Nokia 808 and 4 models of Nokia's WP8 devices (810, 820, 822 & 920). So the 5 best smartphones for recording gig videos at this moment are all Nokia devices. Nokia 808 PureView is still the best one, because thanks for its huge image sensor (41MP) You can use lossless zoom during recording and recorded audio is in stereo. WP8 doesn't support yet stereo recording, but I think it will be support that after Apollo Plus update which is coming early on next year.

tissotti says:

Oh does other WP8 Lumia's have HAAC's as well? That's news to me. Awesome if true. 

jrnag24 says:

both looked great but man the htc's mic doesnt sound to great in that glad i got my 920

k00ksta says:

Hands down 920 wins. Camera Quality is better and HAAC mic's ftw. :)

cgold1 says:

The video quality of the Nokia 920 is pretty amazing for a cell phone. The still image quality hasn't impressed me much though.

I'm blown away (and so is everyone I've shown the camera pics) by the camera. Only the anal-retentive and the true photographers care about the softness, and I firmly believe Nokia will tweak that in an update.

dtboos says:

Nokia packed a ton of great tech in this phone.  As nice as the 8X is, the lumia just simply overshadows it in too many areas.  

chriscookz says:

Very nice comparison. It would be awesome if you could have 2 people recording the same exact scene at the same time right next to each other with the different phones, then make a video that showed the video's side by side, and move the audio tracks to their own individual channel. So put Lumia 920 video on the left side of the screen, and make the left audio channel only play the lumia audio. Put the 8X on the right side of the screen, and have the right audio channel only play the 8X audio. I think it would make for a pretty clear comparison, but the audio and video files would have to be synced perfectly. 

Video could have been done that way, and then just switched the audio track during the playback, but I'm sure Jay wanted to post this quickly... not to mention, you'd have all the critics complaining it was "edited" and not "authentic".

Jay Bennett says:

Yeah that was the main reason, didn't want to adjust the audio tracks at all as that's the main point of comparison

gudnuf4u says:

wow that freaking scared me....once the video switched to the 8X I jumped thinking my speakers got distorted and had to turn the volume lower on my laptop

Residing says:

Lol!  I  didn't bother...I just stopped the video at the 1:31 mark :)

erzhik says:

Oh my God..my ears are bleeding from 8X sound. Signture Windows Phone my ass.

LeiChat says:

Your ass is a signature phone?
If I wanted a good quality recording of that event a smart phone would be the last thing I opted to use.
While I appreciate the comparison being offered it's not one that influences my choice of WP8 smart phone in any form.
 

kunwar_91 says:

Its not just about events ... Even if u want to record normal video of you children or people around you or something generic , the HAAC recording will improve you video overall ... I would love to see a video comparison of 8X and the 920 for video recording in simple daylight and see how they compare in audio quality and image stabilization

sholokov says:

Smartphone may be the last thing one would use but in many cases it is the only thing available on hand when you need to record. It is good to know that for those instances my Lumia 920 will perform this good.

pezman726 says:

"The best camera is the one that's with you"

mjjagpal says:

@ LeiChat, most if not all concerts will not let you take professional gear for audio/video recording. I have been stopped with DSLR many times as they don't want zoom quality photos taken. So the phone is the only available option.
The Lumia 920 clearly is the best option.

Thigis says:

Actually most concerts will still allow you to take a point and shoot camera with you. If it fits in your pocket you may bring it.  And some of these are becoming pretty awesome

Wow! 8x sucks at this

Rasool Shaik says:

920 is rocking with event

pookiewood says:

In before the WPCENTRAL = Nokia paid writers people!! 

On a serious note.  So glad I got my Lumia 920 and to think If they had that electric blue looking 8X I might've gotten it!  Whew!  Cyan 920 FTW!
 

Yeah, seriously. They're not paid by Nokia, and in fact, Jay has indicated previously that he PREFERS carrying the 8X. BUT, there is no denying that the Lumia is the noise maker in the room. They're the one getting the attention, and not undeserved attention. It's because they built a quality product. Of course it's making headlines.

sholokov says:

Some people just want to lie for fun. Have you seen their paychecks?

uberlaff says:

I would love to see an iPhone tossed in there for good measure.
 
Very impressive for the Lumia.

jasqid says:

:O this alone makes me want to switch to att and get a 920 now. Or wait it out and hope V gets a 9xx early next year.

Chill510 says:

Kinda of off topic...but the Bing pic of the day is pretty cool today. Both lock screen and Bing search.

walter1832 says:

It reminds me of one of the multiplayer boards on Uncharted 3.

dalydose says:

Wow. Gotta live that "signature" sound. I keeeeed. Looks like we keep seeing that Nokia packed a ton of tech into these supposedly heavy devices.

OK, so it's official... I need to get to a good rock concert, STAT!

penetronn says:

That's kind of a big deal.

wtupyo says:

Good grief soooooooo glad I have the 920 after watching that video.

planetparker says:

Your warning label should probably warn of audio level variations...not alterations. Otherwise nice demonstration.

Jay Bennett says:

Agreed, edited above to make it more clear

gmantione says:

I tried recording a concert the other night with my 8x and it went poorly. I have to say that this comparison makes the 8x seem sucky (overall) when it really isn't. I grudgingly got this phone because Verizon didn't get the 920, but I have to say... The video recording has been the ONLY let down so far.

franknyarkoh says:

Yeah, you are right guys. The noise level in the 8x is very high. Poor sound quality

isnoozu says:

Does any one know how "High Amplitude" of the 920's microphones equates to dynamic response, i.e. in Hz (frequency range)?

tissotti says:

Nokia HAAC mics tech info is available from Nokia's own page. 
20 Hz  - 20 kHz dynamic range 107 dB.
http://i.nokia.com/blob/view/-/1696152/data/2/-/Download2.pdf
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8RHQC0eS_k

NIST says:

Wow. Nice specs.

isnoozu says:

Thanks tissotti. Hard to get earphones to produce sound pressure less than 40 Hz for $100. All this capture capability and more in a Smartphone for less than that...within a contract.

asuffred says:

All I can say is WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

cp2_4eva says:

Nokia fanboys rejoice! Keep riding that Nokia....train. Don't know why there needs to be another comparison. Each has there strong points. This site keeps on trying to further the differentiation between the devices. We get it. WP/Nokia central. All while I type this from my 920. Lol.

keizka says:

Uhm. So. What's wrong with comparing two WP flagships to each other? There have been plenty of comparisons saying there are certain areas where 8X wins. This one just isn't one of them.

Sparkyscrum says:

The hype Nokia put into the WP Lumia's prior to announcement was well founded. 

jcrites2008 says:

Can't wait to try the 920 out for myself at a Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert I will be attending soon!  Previously I got good results with my iPhone 4 by blocking the mic with my finger the whole time (8x users should try this!).  I couldn't hear hardly any distortion on those recordings.  Granted that probably wasn't the loudest concert, but still pretty loud.  The 920 should be even better!

This is something i hadn't even considered before. A shame i got the 920 the day after seeing Rob Zombie :(

ballanda says:

Holy S$&T!  The indefinite wait for my Lumia 920 just became that much more worth it!!!  DAMN!

Drugar says:

Wow. The 8X is horrid compared to the 920! I showed my buddy and he cringed when the 8X portion kicked in. 

longsh0t says:

Erg.  Just makes me rage more about the 920 being an AT&T exclusive in the States.  

drtolson says:

Because of the warning (and because I'm at work), I actually turned off the sound and just compared the video between the two.
I agree that using a phone to record a 'special' video event may be convenient, but isn't really the way to go.  Cameras are designed for specific purposes and the appropriate equipment should be used for each type of job.  That's why they haven't built just one hammer for construction....
Anyway, from my wholly unprofessional view of the video portion, I found the Lumia stabilization awsome, but overall the picture quality seemed overly dark and the camera didn't seem to do as well with handling swift changes in lighting or contrast.  On the 8X version, I can see a lot more detail, and I can see 'colour' on peoples' heads when a flash of light hits them.  I can also sem ore detial (albeit a little grainy) of what's happening on the stage and in the audience on the 8X version.
Not a fan-boy of either, since I don't have either yet (too much $$).  Just my observations....

Tips_y says:

Yes I agree. I think the 8X also did an awsome job on the video side of things. I also agree that using a professional equipment would be best but for the vast majority of people, the cellphone is it. Also, this is a concert so recording the sound is part of the whole experience and the 920 won it overall. But I was actually impressed with the 8X's video ability minus the sound. As a believer of the MS Windows Phone OS, I just loved this article! Thanks Jay!

juanitoriv says:

Even though most folks are praising 920, the 8x did catch more of the music than the 920. The Nokia sounded muffled. Where were the highs?? The HTC caught them. As a DJ/audiophile myself, i appreciate the full spectrum, especially when you've got 50,000 watts coming at you. The HTC caught more of the full range. Nokia has some kind of limiting/suppression/enhancement(?) cancelling freq's out. At max volume, which I needed for the 920, the 8X does blast you. About 13/30 was nice. Article said they were near the speakers, that push bass thru you!! (Housin for life!!!)

I'd rather catch it all and turn stuff down at edit, than try to find it where its not.

Just sayin.

Both vid quality looked similar btw.

tissotti says:

That makes no sense. Lumia 920 was able to handle the sound and as it scales dynamically you somehow come to the conclusion that in lower volumes 8X would record more.
Honestly i recommend you to watch some of the rich recording videos and recordings in Youtube. There's no competition to even start with.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJHeSJRYmcs
 
Let my guess, HTC 8X owner?

juanitoriv says:

I wasn't at the time I wrote that. I am now. Nokia's exclusive deal with AT&T means I can't get one anyway. Got my 8X on T-Mo. I do very much enjoy it too...

WPenvy says:

Ha! Wow, that's quite a change in volume and distortion lol. Thanks for the warning WPcentral lol
Glad i got a 920, the 8X wouldn't be able to handle the dubstep concerts im attending next year

Kristijan87 says:

Oh, damn, now I'm even angrier with Nokia for ignoring my country. I wish I could buy the 920 before Christmas, for recording the holidays. Alas, Croatia will see this phone in February. Awesome difference, btw, HTC's recording is practically useless (for those of us who don't know how to edit it all).

zigzagr63 says:

Wow... Had to stop it once the HTC phone recording. Noise is terrible.

JLP says:

Even though I'm on Verizon, this continues to fuel my internal debate...Lumia 822 or HTC 8X?? Im not that much of a photo/video guy and more music centric so the Beats audio in the 8x is far more attractive. Yet, when i want to take some pics or video, i think the 822 would win, even though it's not the 920. ARRRGGHHH!...i don't know what to do!

Bernard Wei says:

Not tries the beat audio, bu I love the Nokia Music mix radio. Create own mix and listen offline too. I'm already finding it a must have app for me.

futurix says:

822 is not 920 and its camera is worse than 8X one.

Tips_y says:

The 8X camera beats the 822 camera so in your case, I think the 8X would serve you better.

juanitoriv says:

8x on t-mo. Picture is awesome. HD screen. Sound is great. Go HTC.

futurix says:

Enough already! How many more articles bashing HTC are you going to post?
Why don't you compare it to iPhone 5 or Galaxy S3?

Rolf92 says:

8X beats 920 when it comes to audio output. Take that Nokians :P

mythos13 says:

I guess you didn't notice that Jay's last article was about him choosing the 8X as his daily driver. Though maybe he will change is mind after this.

Jay Bennett says:

Nope, still using the 8X now and love it. Of course I'll be turning to the 920 for nights out and live gigs

aimuatrang says:

What!? You have two phones while we in Sweden haven't even seen a working demo phone for Lumia 920 or 8X? :) Nokia Lumia 920 roll out in Sweden was yesterday.
Do not quite understand Nokia really... Lumia 920 sounds like an amazing phone yet it isn't so visible to find on the market. Nokia, please make more phones and do it fast.

Tips_y says:

You have both! OMG I envy you!

jodahav says:

I made a similar comment one the HTC 8X review, but now I'm starting to come around. 
 
You have to consider their target audience.  This isn't CNET or some general tech site that tons of "undecided people" go to review.  I would wager that most of us reading these articles aren't "up in the air" as to what phone/OS/ecosystem we are going to purchase.  We're not trying to decide between the 8X, 920, or GSIII (for instance).  We are WP enthusiasts and the comparisons that offer the best value to the readers here are between Windows phones.
 
Now if we could only get the 810/822 reviews and the comparison article of all four lumias and the two HTCs...  They've been hinting at these for weeks:)

blackfire says:

Jay, thanks for clarifying the last two were later in the night, which I suppose late means a lot of beers after the first two. I mean, even OIS in the Lumia can't help to keep the image steady! Hehe! Just joking! :-) Nice comparison! Thanks for sharing. I'm glad I have the Lumia. Its video recording capabilities are amazing for a phone.

Anthony Vo says:

whys the concert look more fun and rockin on the 8x? LOL its so boring sounding and looking on the 920. (not talking quality wise)

juanitoriv says:

That's what I thought to Anthony in a comment earlier!! I know I wasn't crazy. :)

HailMarxism says:

Why use an 8X in the comparison? I woul;d rather see the 920 tearing shreds off the galaxy note 2 than another phone on the same ecosystem.

They were too busy using the Note to navigate to the concert because the other two phones couldn't find it on their navigation apps. 

Any info on whether Nokia will enable stereo recording on the Lumia 920?

 

I think the reason why it is in mono is that WP8 doesn't support yet stereo recording, because I  found out that it is in mono also with HTC 8X. Microsoft is making some audio improvements to WP8 with next big update (Apollo Plus) which is coming early on next year - hopefully it supports stereo then.

futurix says:

This is hardware or drivers limitation. WP8 itself fully supports stereo recording (even WP7 supports it!).

I know that Nokia's WP7 smartphones and the latest Symbian smartphones can record in stereo, but not WP8 smartphones - yet. I don't think it due to Nokia's or HTC's hardware or drivers, but anyway I belive and hope they can change it to stereo with coming updates. Nokia Lumia 920 has 3pcs HAAC microphones and I don't see any reason why they couldn't get it work in stereo in the future.

mcrommert says:

Looks awesome

utopiate says:

Bad comparison, and this site is now the official home of the nokia fanbois.  Most articles, forum posts, comments ar completely biased. This site now sucks.

DanBB1 says:

LOL. Is really so difficult to give credit where its due. I guess for a hater/fanboi it is..  Sucks to be you! :D
 

Of course the 920 did a better job, the 8x is a phone, the 920 is a jumbo sized camcorder. Hodor gave its former factor two large thumbs up though.

Prodigy11 says:

It is impressive what Nokia has achieved with HAAC-mics, and it is nice that also the cheaper Nokia WP8s have those as well:

http://conversations.nokia.com/2012/11/30/10-things-you-might-not-know-a...

GG002 says:

Holy damn, the 8X both looks and sounds like a nightmare I had the other day...

ajua says:

The audio on the 920 recording is what truly impressed me on this comparison. To be fair, the 8X video quality was comparable (not better) to the 920 and it's better camera. The sound of the 8X was horrible to say the least.
 
I'm the owner of an 8X ans the video quality has been great. The sound in not-too-loud places is more than acceptable, but if you record on a loud place, the audio will suck big time.

WPUser3 says:

Audio recording in video mode is a real problem on HTC 8X and makes video recording in loud environments unusable. I hope that either HTC or Microsoft addresses this problem via a firmware update.