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Camera comparison: Nokia Lumia 925 vs Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy Note II

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Camera comparison: Nokia Lumia 925 vs Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy Note II
Introduction:

Not many of Nokia’'s smartphones are worthy of bearing the PureView badge. The title is given to only the maker’'s best cameraphones, among which is the Nokia Lumia 920 from last year. This particular smartphone, however, wasn'’t quite as capable as the competition, and an extensive camera comparison that we did a while ago proved that.

Yet now, the Nokia Lumia 925 is here to show us, hopefully, that PureView handsets shouldn'’t be underestimated. It comes with an upgraded 8.7-megapixel shooter backed up by optical image stabilization and six-element optics, controlled by software algorithms thoroughly refined by Nokia'’s camera team. And if that’s not enough, the Nokia Lumia 925 can shoot photos at ISO3200, which may come in handy in tricky low-light situations.

So yeah, the Nokia Lumia 925 is supposed to be a great cameraphone, but is that really the case? And is the smartphone's camera as potent as those on the current high-ends? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out. We'’ve brought along a handful of smartphones to compare the 925 against – the 13MP Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One with its 4MP “Ultrapixel” camera, the iPhone 5 with its 8MP snapper, and the Samsung Galaxy Note II packing an 8MP camera. All of these devices are known to be pretty decent cameraphones, so the battle will surely be heated. Oh, and there’s also a Panasonic Lumix GH2 thrown in – a stand-alone, Four Thirds digital camera with its stock 14-42mm lens, serving the purpose of a reference device.

Before we begin our camera comparison, allow us to make a few things clear. All of the photos and videos have been taken with the respective smartphone set to automatic mode, unless stated otherwise. No tap to focus has been used, leaving each phone to decide for itself what it should focus on and which object it should expose best. Also, HDR mode has not been used while taking any of the photo samples you'’re about to see.

With that out of the way, let’ us get this camera comparison started!


Overall presentation:

Before we dive into details, let us first take a look at some scaled-down photos. All of the images here have been downsized to a width of only 1920px as that's sufficient for most people'’s needs. The goal of this is to present the photographs from a typical user'’s point of view. That'’s how the average Joe would view and use them – posted on a social network or a photo sharing web site, for example. And by the way, a digital photo of this size is perfectly suitable for making 6”” by 4”” hard copies. They all look pretty nice, don'’t they? At low resolutions, many of the imperfections associated with smartphone photography, such as digital noise and inadequate detail levels, are barely noticeable. Other factors, however, are still into play.

The Nokia Lumia 925 pleased us with its balanced performance. Its photos have pretty accurate exposure and color representation, but could use a little bit more detail. Even better results are delivered by the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note II, which manage to pack a great amount of detail in their photos, all the while retaining the color saturation down to a neutral level. The pictures captured with the iPhone 5 have an overall warmer tone, but they still look very pleasing to the eye. Besides, this is the smartphone producing best indoor photos, given enough light, of course. As for the HTC One, its camera gets the job done and has the most neutral color balance, but some scenes aren't exposed sufficiently.

Camera comparison: Nokia Lumia 925 vs Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy Note II




126 Comments
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posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:29 15

1. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)


umm wheres xperia z..

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:33 36

3. _Bone_ (Posts: 2104; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


And why would you include that terrible performer in a test of the best?

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:44 8

11. pyradark (Posts: 738; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


HAHAHA!! you forgot the last test they did, Xperia Z is 3rd behind Iphone 5 and S4!! So Hahahaha

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:45 7

12. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Haha... never stop trying to bash Sony, last time you said Xperia ZU have terrible viewing angle, now Xperia Z

you better check this before you say anything about Xperia Z camera
http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_xperia_z_gets_firmware_update_improves_camera_quality-news-6041.php

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 05:06 16

19. eisenbricher (Posts: 970; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


What viewing angles have to do with the camera?

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 05:55 2

35. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Because bone keep talking about BS

Last time he said Xperia ZU have terrible viewing angle.
Now he said Xperia Z have terrible camera

I just proved it that all the things he said is ONE BIG LIES

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 07:24 3

45. abcdefgh (banned) (Posts: 471; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)


xperia zu indeed has terrible viewing angles.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 07:56 3

50. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Hahaha it seems you have to much s**t in your eyes
go check thishttp://blog.gsmarena.com/check-out-this-epic-16-minute-sony-xperia-z-ultra-hands-on-video/

posted on 20 Jul 2013, 04:40

124. t0litzsanity24 (Posts: 4; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)


i have a question...why is it that viewing angles is a big deal to you?...what are you goin to do if u wanna use or view ur phone?..sideways??

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:45

13. MachidoDen (banned) (Posts: 202; Member since: 30 May 2013)


BONE :D:D
:D
:D

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:47 2

14. MachidoDen (banned) (Posts: 202; Member since: 30 May 2013)


BONE??
i think You were the one
Who said bad viewing angles for zu
And later after giving many links to u
U just went off??
Everyone is waiting for ur reply on that article

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 05:44 9

31. _Bone_ (Posts: 2104; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


U mad Sony's blurship was left out? The flashless ZU won't make it either haha. No flash on a $900 device.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 05:50 6

33. raunak (Posts: 495; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)


That is true. Instead of making it so slim, they could have used a better camera and a bigger battery. 3000mAh just won't cut it for a display and processor like that.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 07:18

42. pyradark (Posts: 738; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


Im more to slim due to its huge size, the batt. Is OK, bigger batt means its like carrying small ipad (not the mini)

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 08:37

54. flynfree (Posts: 374; Member since: 09 Jun 2013)


And the battery .. can't compare to note 2, it suck with that 6.44 full hd display, just plain phablet, no pen slot, better stick to note series.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 12:27

91. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


being able to use anything as stylus is great and combine that with 6.44" full hd and sharp display you have nothing to worry about productivity.

i still remember when people bashing and comparing Xperia Tablet Z small battery (6000 mAh) with bigger battery in Nexus 10 (9000 mAh),
but according to battery life test on gsmarena Xperia Tablet have about the same battery life like Nexus 10 only about 1 hour less when it comes to web browsing.
so i think Xperia ZU battery life will be just fine.

and according to Sony Xperia ZU can have
up to 16 hours 3G talk time
up to 7.5 Video Playback and
up to 120 hours music listening
we all know in real life situation the result can be much worst than that, but for now those official numbers are good enough for big device with small battery

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 10:55

85. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6122; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


N y youre being biased against SONY?

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 23:08

109. bgdkid (Posts: 13; Member since: 30 Aug 2012)


hmm let me see last time i checked iphone and samsung cameras are MADE BY SONY..

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:35 10

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


First of all congrats to PA for a mobile optimized site! Better late than never!

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 05:05

18. anirudhshirsat97 (Posts: 378; Member since: 24 May 2011)


i came here to say that only...

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 09:26

64. Potato. (banned) (Posts: 607; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


..NO. U didn't

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 10:54 5

84. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6122; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Phonearena are BIAS AGAINST Sony phones.

posted on 30 Jun 2013, 02:10

117. Kal-el (Posts: 91; Member since: 14 Dec 2012)


I have note 2 & i love it ...not cuz it's samsung, i've owned everything (htc, moto etc) ....literally LMAO but QUESTION!!!!??? are any of the modes changed in the photo taking such as Night mode to ensure the camera's full potential...NOOOOO!...making this "shootout" ARTICLE of a "CAMera review" redundant. Nokia should have killed everything in night mode at least thus keeping at least 2nd in the list if ANYthing. NOOB-Arena

posted on 30 Jun 2013, 03:31

118. mayur007 (Posts: 356; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


even thr bravia engine cannot reduce the noise
and increase the sharpness of thr camera pics... :p
The company know for making camera is bashed by others comapny in camera quality..

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:32

2. quyenqchau0813 (Posts: 78; Member since: 22 Mar 2013)


I have too much bias toward Nokia that I think I should compliment on the iPhone pictures ^^!

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 05:24 7

23. eisenbricher (Posts: 970; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


This is a terrible camera comparison. Some photos are taken from far, while some from nearer place.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 08:01 3

52. -box- (Posts: 3707; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


The phones also have different depths of field and apertures; they may have been taken from the same distance and cropped badly or just the nature of the setup.

posted on 13 Aug 2013, 10:25

126. faune (Posts: 2; Member since: 02 Aug 2013)


They are taken from the same distance. Focal distance in Lumia 9xx is further than others.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:35 7

5. Cesar (Posts: 125; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)


HTC ONE takes more detail :o

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 09:27 4

65. Potato. (banned) (Posts: 607; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


Exactly.. do not believe on these comparisons..

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 14:28 2

98. Fallout09 (Posts: 412; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


And has a wider field of view to boot.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:36 15

6. shadez10 (Posts: 395; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)


Bias everywhere.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:57 6

17. tusshharish (Posts: 341; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


another bad comparison............and again nokia is @ bottom place.....

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 16:17

99. akki20892 (Posts: 3238; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


we can totally see NL925 photos are really bright and pure color. but can't do anything else because of sammy fans around here.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 05:38 2

29. raunak (Posts: 495; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)


http://www.memecenter.com/fun/1740857/bias

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 21:03

103. skinny95black (Posts: 113; Member since: 06 Jan 2013)


You go to memecenter you're awesome

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 09:20 1

60. Potato. (banned) (Posts: 607; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


Welcome to phonearena.com

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 09:31 8

68. GTR722 (Posts: 222; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


From the beginning, we al knew this "comparo" will feature two things:
-Not a Sony Device
-iP5 or GS4 as the winners

PA is so obvious

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 12:41 4

92. Whodaboss (Posts: 176; Member since: 18 Nov 2011)


But "my" eyes told me different. I'll take the Nokia 925 everytime.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 10:33 6

74. Dastrix (Posts: 570; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


+1. PA = fanboyism at its best. How can Samsung ever have better camera than Nokia and HTC? Where's Sony? Oh nevermind, how's your paycheck from Samsung, PA?

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 10:40 2

79. iushnt (Posts: 598; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)


dont worry, its Samsung Style:p lol..i prefer s4 camera over HTC..But Nokia has great camera..

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 10:48 1

83. Potato. (banned) (Posts: 607; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


You will be banned.. :)

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 10:57 2

86. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6122; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


It like PA are more BIAS just like BGR. And I don't see Xperia Z on that list.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:38 17

7. boosook (Posts: 894; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Guys, I don't understand why in the end you gave the same rating to the GS4 and iphone. I'm not a Samsung fan nor a samsung user at all, but I think that the difference in detail between the GS4 and the others, iphone included, is remarkable and the GS4 is simply a step ahead, it can be seen very clearly in the 100% crops.
It's not easy to be not biased towards the iphone, but the truth is that the iphone is just an average cameraphone, it lacks an optical stabilizer and it has a resolution that is now standard in mid-range phones so it does not have nor the benefit of the high resolution of the GS4 nor of the stabilizer of the One and 925. Overall, I would not recommend it as a cameraphone nowadays and I can't understand how it could get such a high rating.
I also do not agree with the low rating you gave to the HTC One: when you start viewing the pictures at screen size, and not 100% crops, the One pictures are among the sharpest, this means that its camera is so sharp that, when the resolution is enough (i.e. whenever you look at pictures on a computer screen or TV, or print them at reasonable size) it can easily compensate the lower resolution and the camera yelds results comparable with the GS4.
Finally, I think that the test does not emphasize the benefits that the optical stabilizer can give.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 07:42

48. juandante (Posts: 232; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)


I'm a Nokia fan (thanks to the now dead Symbian, not WP) and I admit the HTC One is pretty good. If you don't crop the pictures, they are better in my taste than the iPhone, at least. The colors are good and the image is sharp. So why did the HTC perform worst than the iPhone, at least ?? ... For a Facebook usage it's far better.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 11:01

87. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6122; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


It's because they are incompetent when it comes too reviews. I usually go too mobile tech review they actually do great reviews on phones & they are a non bias site unlike PA/BGR.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:39

8. Omar-BHR95 (Posts: 184; Member since: 23 Dec 2012)


i wonder if they took the 925 with touch capture cause touch capture is not good as the shutter key

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 08:03

53. -box- (Posts: 3707; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


They said on page one they used automatic mode with auto-focus, no touch-to-focus, letting the camera software decide what to focus, unless otherwise noted.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:41 5

9. sri_tech (Posts: 187; Member since: 21 May 2013)


Galaxy note II has better camera than Lumia 925?

I have read so many reviews about both phones and everyone said Note II has just average camera.
920 has better low light capabilities but day light is not great. But 925 takes best low light and day light photos.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 08:51 2

56. muhsen (Posts: 238; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)


after the 1308 ..the 920 daylight shots have been better than that of all the competition...even gizmodo proved that with their camera shootout...but it seems phonearean hasn't got the update yet ?? or they r not willing to update it ??!

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 04:42 8

10. asingha94 (Posts: 286; Member since: 08 Apr 2012)


biased! ! Samsungarena!!!

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 05:22 16

22. MrKoles (Posts: 296; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)


God gave you eyes. Why don´t you use them? It´s obvious that Galaxy S4 has the best camera among smartphones.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 05:26 2

25. asingha94 (Posts: 286; Member since: 08 Apr 2012)


what about note 2!

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 05:32 15

28. MrKoles (Posts: 296; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)


I´m definitely pleased with the Note2´s results. I´m not saying that I´ve never seen better photos, but they are far even from average. This is my opinion.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 09:26 4

63. Potato. (banned) (Posts: 607; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


God gave us eyes, We use them.

God gave you mind, you are using it for making biased comparisons. Sad.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 10:33 6

73. iushnt (Posts: 598; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)


this is not biased..gs4 takes awesome shots..

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 10:38 2

78. Dastrix (Posts: 570; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)


No, trust me. This is biased.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 10:43 6

81. MrKoles (Posts: 296; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)


I think you are hopeless, but I´ve never waiter more from a Potato, like you.

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 10:47 2

82. Potato. (banned) (Posts: 607; Member since: 14 Jun 2013)


Use your brain for the sake of god!

posted on 27 Jun 2013, 12:43 2

93. MrKoles (Posts: 296; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)


It doesn´t make sense from you.

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