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Lumia 1020 beats the iPhone 5s and Galaxy S4 by a mile in our blind camera comparison

Lumia 1020 beats the iPhone 5s and Galaxy S4 by a mile in our blind camera comparison
And so it is time for us to reveal the smartphones that took part in the blind camera comparison that we published last week. The idea was, basically, to come up with a camera contest that factors out all possible bias one might have towards a certain brand, model or OS. By the looks of it, we've succeeded in removing bias from the equation as no one ever knew which model hid behind which phone number, and so everyone voted for the images they think are better, rather than for their favorite phone.

It's quite obvious for everyone who followed the development of the voting phase that this turned out to be a rather one-sided contest. 'Phone 5' ended up so far ahead of the others, that it made some people think this isn't exactly a phone like all the others. And to an extent, they were right, as 'Phone 5' was the Nokia Lumia 1020. Packing that beefy 41 MP PureView camera,  the Lumia 1020 is really a true heavyweight smartphone that doesn't have the sexiness of those iOS and Android powerhouses, but makes up for it by featuring this amazing camera, which happens to be way better than what the best camera phones of those other ecosystems can offer. And so, with the whopping 62% of all votes, the Lumia 1020 has left the Galaxy S4 (2nd, with 20% of the votes) and the iPhone 5s (3rd, with 11% of the votes) far, far behind. The other three smartphones that took part in the competition were left with the laughable 2.6% for the LG G2, 1.5% for the iPhone 5c, and 1.3% for the HTC One.

When you think about it, the Nokia Lumia 1020 was obliged to win this one. After all, it's so thick and bulky and uninviting, only because of the camera it packs. Well, Windows Phone itself also has a hand in it being so uninviting, but that's a different story. Anyway, now that we've revealed the cameraphones, are you surprised by the results?


Phonearena polls
sort by
Which cameraphone do you like best?
2.64%
141 votes
(141 votes) LG G2
20.91%
1117 votes
(1117 votes) Samsung Galaxy S4
1.52%
81 votes
(81 votes) Apple iPhone 5c
11.4%
609 votes
(609 votes) Apple iPhone 5s
62.17%
3322 votes
(3322 votes) Nokia Lumia 1020
1.37%
73 votes
(73 votes) HTC One

5343 votes

191 Comments
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posted on 07 Oct 2013, 10:09 36

1. Vireak (unregistered)


No surprises there.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 11:09 13

62. Finalflash (Posts: 1903; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


It isn't, the 1020 has a great camera. But they need to do the test with better control, because some of the pictures were just taken at different times, at slightly different angles and some even had motion blur. They need to do it with a tripod that puts all the camera in the same situation and reduces human error as much as possible. And also name the items in the chart differently, for some reason I kept reading "Phone 5" as iPhone 5 in this article and the poll (automatic now I guess). Still, hopefully this becomes a thing, where maybe they do this once a month and average scores as time goes on.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 12:21 12

91. haseebzahid (Posts: 1836; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


err yeah lame escuse so what the point of OIS in 1020 then if you need tripod O_o its not a 2013 tech it was there for 10++ years in camera why you want to do that when u wont hold u precious iphone in tripod every time you take a picture

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 12:48 4

104. Shatter (Posts: 2031; Member since: 29 May 2013)


I think they should have a high end DLSR in these comparisons as a reference photo.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 14:12 7

119. brrunopt (Posts: 552; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


do you always take a tripod with you ?

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 15:41 1

138. ardent1 (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Apr 2011)


That only makes senses for INDOOR shots.

The ceteris paribus condition doesn't work as well for outdoor shots.

posted on 08 Oct 2013, 14:13

175. ghaniosman (Posts: 64; Member since: 06 Jun 2013)


adding lumia 1020 in the comparison was itself bias in the 1st place, since its a camera with a smart?phone in it and others were smartphones with cameras in them

posted on 09 Oct 2013, 13:06

180. venimus (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


Really? Is this all you could come to?

posted on 15 Oct 2013, 22:16

191. ShenAlJoker (Posts: 112; Member since: 19 Jul 2013)


oh shut up! lumia rules!!!!!!!!!!!

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 11:09 24

63. ianbbaa (Posts: 223; Member since: 20 Mar 2013)


I am not surprised that people are not blind...but probably someone in iPhone Arena will be fired to leave S4 in front of iP5s

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 20:30 2

150. htainlintha (Posts: 34; Member since: 20 Mar 2010)


Dude, SGS4 is a clear winner in compared to ip5S, do you think phone can go over it? overall, SGS4 rocks with great camera,slimmer, removeable battery and expandable micro SD,13MP shooter with focal length 2.2 aprture(same with ip5S)but bigger megapixel provide more details,ip5S high-pixel density is as fail as HTC one, SGS4 has stereo recording and has capability of recording slow-motion at 1/2,1/4 and 1/8 speed. LOL! why do you think ip5s's crappy camera is better than SGS4?
youtube.com/watch?v=DXddteoA-Ms
youtube.com/watch?v=_p6fYDPdQ7E

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 11:31 10

75. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5953; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Quite true. And in other news, the L1020 will be a sales fail in the U.S. courtesy of Nokia's carrier exclusive with AT&T. Hopefully MS ends the stupidity of carrier exclusives.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 12:59 2

106. Shatter (Posts: 2031; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Its Microsoft, don't expect anything from them.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 14:23 1

121. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5953; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Ordinarily, I wouldn't hold out hope for MS. But they don't normally do things that are against their self interest (increasing the market penetration of WP, in this circumstance). The carrier exclusive was a plan to fail and the only justification was the marketing $ that AT&T was going to put on the table. MS doesn't need AT&T's marketing $, so I am hopeful the carrier exclusives are over with.

posted on 17 Oct 2013, 09:55

192. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)


Elop probably chose to go with the AT&T exclusive because he was worried that his chair in the corner office in Redmond might be getting cold. A 1020 hit would've made a sale of D&S to MSFT less likely, or at a much higher purchase price...neither would've made his handlers at MSFT very happy.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 11:56 10

83. akki20892 (Posts: 3653; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


true no phone can't even compare with 1020, i was telling you guys that Phone-5 is Nokia Lumia 1020.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 16:02 3

140. Shatter (Posts: 2031; Member since: 29 May 2013)


It was pretty obvious it was going to win, its about as good as a mid range point and shoot.

posted on 08 Oct 2013, 01:18

163. Trex95 (Posts: 571; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)


Seems that you forget about PV 808 still better than Lumia 1020 in camera dept.

posted on 08 Oct 2013, 07:48 2

169. akki20892 (Posts: 3653; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


I don't mind as longest phone is Nokia.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 14:19 3

120. Immolate (Posts: 288; Member since: 17 Jun 2011)


I'm sure this has been said a thousand times already, but why was the Z1 left out? If you didn't have the phone in time, you maybe should have waited, or now that you do have it, I'd do another comparison. That said, I've looked at Z1/1020 comparisons extensively and, as a result, I bought the 1020. Should be here today.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 14:34

124. downphoenix (Posts: 2415; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


credit where it is due, but it is still pretty strange. I remember ther was an LG G2 comparison done with other phones a while back (including the Lumia 1020) which wasnt a blidn comparison, and the G2 was way above the lumia.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 15:36 1

137. hmmm... (Posts: 61; Member since: 05 Jun 2013)


I remember those comparism. There was no verdict for that, so how was the g2's camera better than 1020?. The G2 actually fail to even focus on the bowl of chips on the table.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 10:09 13

2. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3305; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


What? No Xperia Z1? Why PA why?!

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 10:22 23

21. brar.arsh (Posts: 158; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


This test was for the Second position.
Z1 has been kept aside and already crowned the BEST. :p

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 10:42 34

34. raunak (Posts: 505; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)


Keep on dreaming. Anyone who is not an idiot will realise that a 1/2.3" sensor cannot even come close to a 1/1.5" one. That is as long as they are similar in other aspects, which they are. And sony always messes their cameras (and screens) up. Xperia Z's camera was terrible, and I hoped sony will finally cure that with a bigger sensor, but no. Z1 is no better than S4. Read some reviews and you'll know.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 10:56 13

47. emadshiny (Posts: 1142; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


It seems you have never hold Z in your hands or you won't post such a bullsh*t. Z problem was its software and after first update it became great but the problem of people like you is that you trust in whatever some biased sites say.
and about Z1. its quality came near 1020 with half of its resolution and smaller sensor.
So i think its you who must read some reviews.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 11:04 4

55. ianbbaa (Posts: 223; Member since: 20 Mar 2013)


Every company sometimes release a bad firmware - regarding SONY, when i was SONY customer - i was always reading "update will solve it" - never did, so SONYs problem is not software, but all the time - a bad made phone. So, forget SONY for some time...do not mention Z1 - as already we know Z2 is on the way that should polish the bugs of Z1 (Z1 is mentioned to polish bugs of original Z) - so FORGET FIRMWARE UPDATE!!!!! SONY needs every half a year a SAME flagship...

P.S: Samsung also messed totally JB update of original NOTE1 that i had to sell it. No company is perfect, but at least my NOTE1 worked fine since GB through ICS untill JB...SONYs phone usually do not work from "out of the box".

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 11:09 3

61. emadshiny (Posts: 1142; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


But i never had such a problem.
maybe you were unlucky with your Sony!

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 11:07 4

58. raunak (Posts: 505; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)


It's quality improved only a little bit with update. It's still not as good as other top end phones. And NO, Z1 never came close to 1020, never.
Those "comparisons" that surfaced when Z1 was launched were from sony themselves, and were extremely biased. All the reviews that came after that have said what I just said.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 11:17 1

68. emadshiny (Posts: 1142; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


LOL, they were biased?
i suggest you look at the quality of Z1 camera through different firmwares.
http://www.xperiablog.net/2013/09/05/sony-xperia-z1-photo-samples-through-different-firmware-revisions/
and its shots at night
http://www.xperiablog.net/2013/09/13/xperia-z1-low-light-snaps-look-great/

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 11:22 20

70. raunak (Posts: 505; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)


xperiablog? Yeah, that sounds very unbiased.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 12:23

94. DAddYE (Posts: 48; Member since: 04 Oct 2013)


.................

posted on 08 Oct 2013, 02:54

167. emadshiny (Posts: 1142; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


It is not an official website of Sony
and just use your eyes, firmware and generally camera is not something to be biased about.
It only shows how it works with different firmwares and different conditions.
and here is another unbiased one:
http://blog.gsmarena.com/shootout-teaser-6-best-smartphone-cameras-go-head-to-head/

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 11:39 6

79. shashi.map (Posts: 30; Member since: 16 Oct 2011)


XperiaBlog ?? really ??

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 11:48 14

81. cezarepc (Posts: 608; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


Alright stop the fight. My question is: why is PA thrash-talking the Lumia 1020 about it being bulky and about it running WP (that's a different story yada yada).

I thought this was a blind CAMERA comparison? Nothing else matters. Just the CAMERA.

posted on 09 Oct 2013, 09:44

179. shashi.map (Posts: 30; Member since: 16 Oct 2011)


I've noticed that in other articles too...... lumias get criticized a lot for that eventhough it's not a huge drawback !

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 12:28

98. haseebzahid (Posts: 1836; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


nice Spam noob telling us unbias review which is on web named after their sony phone get a life please

posted on 11 Oct 2013, 21:16

188. MistyFog (Posts: 3; Member since: 29 Jan 2013)


Dude, I checked out the images in your links, the image qualities are terrible especially the lowlight ones. An 1020 owner would be quite embarrassed to share those.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 18:38 2

145. jbpianist21 (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Oct 2013)


every photographer knows the bigger the sensor the more light gets in ,, thus a better photo,
are you people on the site just plain dumb???

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 15:22

132. timaustin2000 (Posts: 35; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


I have a Z1 and can testify to the camera quality. It easily bests any other Android. The G2 lost horribly to it in a recent DP Review shootout, as did the Galaxy S4 Zoom. Having taken some truly outstanding shots with the thing, I'm not particularly surprised.

It IS a very, very good cameraphone.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 15:27 1

133. timaustin2000 (Posts: 35; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


Initial firmware for the Z's camera was dire. The 4.2 update fixed it entirely and made it a really solid contender - easily as good as the S4.

The hardware was fine.

The hardware on the Z1 is much better, camera wise, and the initial firmware has been decent. Updates have already re-balanced the ISO and reduced noise. I've never (with the exception of the 1020) seen a phone camera capture the amount of detail that my Z1 can capture.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 22:43 1

153. Alex123 (Posts: 227; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)


Agreed. Almost everybody in the world know that the Sony-made camera produces a bad quality images.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 12:24 1

95. haseebzahid (Posts: 1836; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


yeah hell of post processing on sony camera output its easy to do it than make a hardware capable to do it

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 15:30

134. timaustin2000 (Posts: 35; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


You want post processing? Sony have nothing on LG! And the 5mp images from the Lumia 1020 are very heavily post processed.

Sony post process, sure, but the Z1 pulls in so much detail that the artifacts are few and far between when shooting at 8mp.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 11:32 1

76. artealis (Posts: 98; Member since: 15 Dec 2010)


sony make believe "next firmware update will solve it"

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 10:11 9

3. THE.DARK.KNIGHT (banned) (Posts: 269; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


Where is the Z1!!!?????!!!!! Where is it! I am angry!!!!!!

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 12:23 5

93. -box- (Posts: 3878; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


It already lost. It's about even with the LG G2 in some tests, and slightly better in others. Nokia just has more experience, better hard- and software, and a strong head start in the camera department.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 15:35 3

136. timaustin2000 (Posts: 35; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


It didn't need to beat the 1020 - it's foolish for anyone to believe that it would. It'd have been interesting to see how it fared against it's Android competition, though.

The recent DP Review shootout between the 1020, Z1, G2 and S4 Zoom, the G2 failed miserably and was trounced by the Z1, especially in low light. The two aren't remotely comparable.

posted on 08 Oct 2013, 00:58

162. adk199 (Posts: 23; Member since: 04 Oct 2012)


I have the G2 and i since i have a RX100 the Z1 (or 1020) would still be half a camera for me. The G2 is decent and i'm impressed it was in the shootout with dedicated cameraphones at dp. And even matched them in some areas. I got the G2 because of a decent camera but mostly everything else :-)

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 10:11 3

4. parvsingh05 (Posts: 98; Member since: 11 Jan 2012)


Areyy it had to.. Wid dat camera sensor. What do u expect.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 10:11 17

5. SupermanayrB (Posts: 207; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)


And in other news, Porche has put an engine in a Daewoo Leganza & it beat the Corvette & Ferrari.

Translation: at the end of the day, it's still running Windows OS. So what if it has a better camera?

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 10:15 33

11. raunak (Posts: 505; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)


At the end of the
day, it's still a camera comparison. Your post is irrelevant.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 11:21 8

69. SupermanayrB (Posts: 207; Member since: 20 Mar 2012)


Camera PHONES.......are only as good as the OS they're using.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 11:51 4

82. alterecho (Posts: 1091; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)


But in this case, the 1020 breaks all the rules.
It breaks away from its leash (windows OS) and bites the competition. hard.

But i must point out that 1020's predecessor, the 808 pureview, is still better than this beast.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 12:55 1

105. Shatter (Posts: 2031; Member since: 29 May 2013)


Nokias handsets next year will fail Microsoft is cancer and they have fully taken over Nokia.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 14:58 6

128. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3561; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)


Who say's that the OS is bad, you, and a bunch of biased haters❔

If you haven't used WP for a fair amount of time then your opinion about the OS is invalid.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 15:57

139. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)


i have a WP and i can say one thing.....im switching back to android!!

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 19:33 3

147. papss (unregistered)


I thought you already did? Or was that fabricated?

posted on 09 Oct 2013, 13:11

181. venimus (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)


He probably got a Lumia 500 for free with contract.

posted on 07 Oct 2013, 10:15 20

12. Penny (Posts: 1262; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


This was a camera comparison, for those that care about cameras. I think you're waiting for a "blind OS comparison" article. Good luck with that.

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