Nokia Lumia 1520 vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Interface and Functionality
Ah yes, it’s now onward to their respective platforms: Window Phone 8 with the GDR3 update versus Sammy’s TouchWiz Nature UX experience on top of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Let’s cut to the chase folks, power users will no doubt get more value out of the Note 3, simply for the fact that its customized Android experience is deeper and more diverse. It’s not to say that the Windows Phone 8 experience of the Lumia 1520 can’t dish up the same thing, but as we’ve seen, it’s still playing catchup in several areas.
When it comes to having an animated approach, there’s plenty of that happening with Windows Phone 8, as its start screen really comes to life with the various live tiles on there. Personalization has been enhanced, like how we’re given different sizing options for those live tiles, but it still pales in comparison to the extensive personalization aspect seen over with the Note 3. Particularly, it’s how we’re able to rearrange all of the homescreens with various and useful widgets.
With those live tiles with Windows Phone 8, they also populate various notifications, which can become a messy process because they can be spread out in different areas of the start screen. In comparison, the Note 3’s notifications panel can be accessed at any time with the swipe of our finger – giving us a unified area where everything is aggregated. Not only that, but we’re given some useful secondary functions as well.
To tell you the truth, multi-tasking is handled in a similar way between the two phones, as we’re able to quick move in-and-out of apps by relying on their respective multi-tasking views. However, the Note 3 really ups the ante with its multi-windows feature, which allows for real multi-tasking as two apps can be used simultaneously.
Mainly due to Android’s longer development, it benefits by having a richer ecosystem of apps and a smarter digital personal assistance service. With the former, we tend to see apps come out first with Android – whereas it comes later on with Windows Phone. And when it comes to their respective voice assistance services, there’s no questioning that Google Now for Android is light years ahead of what the Bing experience has to offer over on Windows Phone. Not only does it offer more features, but it’s self-aware and provides us with relevant information.
On the productivity side, we really appreciate we have Microsoft Office is on board with the Lumia 1520. Despite lacking an Office-like app out of the box, we can obviously download something similar for the Note 3. Additionally, Sammy’s offering has a host of useful productivity apps, like S-Note and Action Memo, which both rely on the S-Pen stylus, to extend its functionality well beyond what the Lumia 1520 can offer.
At the end of the day folks, the customized Android experience with the Note 3 is more suitable for those power users. Certainly, Windows Phone has come far from its humble beginnings, but the gap between these two experiences is still wide. We appreciate that the Lumia 1520 is preloaded with several Nokia-branded apps that help extend its worth over other Windows Phones, but it’s still nowhere as all-encompassing to what we can get out of the Note 3.
Processor and Memory
For a good while there, the hardware inside of Windows Phones in general seemed to pale in comparison to what its Android counterparts offered. Well, that certainly changed with the introduction with the Lumia 1520, as it too sports the same processor running inside of the mighty Galaxy Note 3 – a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC coupled with the Adreno 330 GPU. However, it’s worth mentioning that the Note 3 is armed with 3GB of RAM – as opposed to the 2GB in the Lumia 1520. Frankly, they’re both snappy and fast with their performances, but the Lumia 1520’s is just more consistent. It’s not a pervasive issue, but sometimes we experience some choppiness when navigating around the Note 3’s homescreen.
In matching their hefty statures, these two big boys are packing along 32GB of internal storage, a tally that we consider as befitting. Better yet, we’re able to supplement their capacities, seeing that they both offer microSD slots for added expandability. As we’ve mentioned earlier, it’s just easier to access with the Note 3.
Higher is better
GFXBench Egypt HD 2.5 onscreen (fps)
Higher is better
Lower is better
Internet and Connectivity
Okay, did we expect anything but perfection with these two in the web browsing department? As expected, they deliver all the quality elements that make it such a joy to surf the web, but the Note 3 dishes up quite a few tricks that makes its experience deeper. For example, the S-Pen’s usefulness comes into play by providing us with a precise tool that mimics the operations of a mouse cursor – while its Smart Scroll feature lends its help in allowing us to scroll vertically with our eyes and some tilt action.
When they’re aimed for a mass market audience, it shouldn’t be a shocker to people that they’re boasting nearly the same set of connectivity features – such as 4G LTE connectivity, aGPS, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and NFC. Going beyond the usual armament, the Note 3 packs along some additional conveniences such as an IR blaster and video-out functionality with the aid of an MHL adapter.
1. chunk1x (Posts: 248; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)
This review is all about the Gods that rule their platforms. Really hard for me to choose which one wins.
8. alterecho (Posts: 1098; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
For the hardware (build, etc) - Nokia 1520.
For OS - Note 3.
14. JakeLee (banned) (Posts: 1021; Member since: 02 Nov 2013)
You must be kidding.
28. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10443; Member since: 14 May 2012)
Clearly you've never used a Note 3 before and just a blind hater.
36. papss (unregistered)
Oh not true smurf... I've used and still use both platforms (1020 and note 3) and I STILL prefer wp8. What that says is that OS preference isn't fact.
40. SleepingOz (unregistered)
I doubt that since you've always been a nokia fanboy.
Android just offer so much more than WP.
52. papss (unregistered)
That doesn't mean that everyone cares about those features though.. you android fanboys tout choice and my choice is wp8
63. Dastrix (unregistered)
My thoughts exactly papss! I choose WP8 as well, as do a lot of people. There's an obvious reason *that Lagdroid fanboys won't ever acknowledge* why people are switching...
78. SleepingOz (unregistered)
Yeah but this is clearly fanboyism.
'Cause the Note 3 can actually do everything the 1520 can, but better(except may be taking low light pictures) and much much more! And don't come with the build argument, there's a lot of drop tests on youtube that prove that the Note 3 is hell solid.
68. Omar-BHR95 (Posts: 184; Member since: 23 Dec 2012)
but WP doesn't offer malwares and lag after you fill up your memory or multitask
76. alterecho (Posts: 1098; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
WP8 has other problems. WP8 fills up memory on its own, for reasons unknown. My 'other' storage shows 2.45 GB used and system 1.93 GB used. So out of 8 GB, its gobbled up 4.38 GB, on its own.
I can't install apps anymore.
Its a problem with WP8 and exists widely.
Just search 'WP8 other storage problem'
85. Bilpocalypse (Posts: 301; Member since: 13 Oct 2012)
With the 1520, there is no "other" storage, just temporary files. The temporary files can be deleted right in the settings. If you want to compare storage wasted, tell me why WP8 only takes up 2.6GB of storage while Android with TouchWiz takes up nearly 7GB.
39. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)
The Black Note 3 is more beautiful and classy than this Nokia brick.
Check it out.
They on purpose choose always the white one to review.
51. rantao333 (Posts: 322; Member since: 21 May 2013)
some prefer black note3, some prefer 1520 design, its a matter of choice.
58. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)
There is no comparison between note 3 n nokia 1520... note 3 has so much vast advantages over other phablets which are still hard to beat... reviewers usually adopt an approach where they usually use normal praise for samsung and over praise for others... all companies feel threatened from the superiority of samsung... crying baby iphone is so much threatened that it is using cheap tactics of cases in icourts... only company which is truely trying to match samsung is LG... others are far behind, nokia is no exception... nokia's phones do feel solid, so solid that it appears like old era brick phones. About premium finish claim of reviewer, well note 3 clearly looks more premium. May be reviewer got note 2 by mistake, thats why his praise of premium feeling of note 3 is under praised... about over pricing why everyone always forget that iphone has a hardware and specs of midrange phones and hold a price tag of future phone which may be will develop in the year 2020
2. MrKoles (Posts: 368; Member since: 20 Jan 2013)
If phablet, than the only one I choose is the Note line. Big display with numerous functions...congrats Samsung.
31. PapaSmurf (Posts: 10443; Member since: 14 May 2012)
I honestly don't know what John is talking about. The Note 3 has a really bright screen. I can perfectly see clearly under direct sunlight with the brightness set at half or at auto.
Never regret buying this phone off contract.
34. maherk (Posts: 3542; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
True that. I have a note 3, and I live in sunny Dallas, and I never ever had a problem with the brightness of this phone, I just set it at automatic and I am good to go. The screen is so bright that I set the brightness at 1/4 when I am indoors. And when it comes to design, you can still notice notice how phonearena are still biased, the lg g2 is glossy plastic and they always have noe problem with it, but nooo samsung must be criticized in some way about their back plastic panel that can be replaced by leather/metal/carbon fiber and even wood panels for less than 10$ off ebay.
37. Commentator (Posts: 3677; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
"...an uninspired, plastic design... without any fancy appearance characteristics to make it stand out in any positive way... the occasional creaking sounds made by the back sure are irritating."
From the G2 review's design section. Doesn't seem like they have "no problem" with it.
57. maherk (Posts: 3542; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)
I made a comparison between the review you just mentioned and other reviews where the g2 was compared to other handsets. You can go and check it by yourself, they gave the G2 heads up in the others, and I pointed out that it was hypocritical. And guess what, I got my comment deleted and recieved a warning.
67. Commentator (Posts: 3677; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
Fair enough. At any rate, you make a good point about the S4/N3's replaceable back. At least if you don't like plastic, you can replace it with something else.
89. gamblor77 (Posts: 105; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)
He obviously did not have it on auto brightness. Samsung changed their auto brightness option to crank the brightness well past the regular 100% mark while in very bright light.
Here is an excerpt from displaymate who are very reliable:
--"Impressive Brightness -
Up until the Galaxy Note 3, OLED displays have been somewhat to significantly dimmer than competing LCD displays. The Note 3 has changed that in a big way…it’s an impressive 55 percent brighter than the Note II and a solid 25 percent brighter than the Galaxy S4. For most image content it provides over 400 cd/m2, comparable or higher than most LCD displays in this size class. Even more impressive is that when Automatic Brightness is turned on, the Note 3 hits an incredible 660 cd/m2 in high ambient light, where it’s needed (85 percent brighter than the Note II and 40 percent brighter than the Galaxy S4 with Automatic Brightness) – the brightest mobile display we have ever tested in the Shoot-Out series. An impressive achievement for OLEDs!"--
4. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)
It's hard to choose, both are great phones!
6. sbw44 (Posts: 433; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)
lol I knew it even before I read the review! If its not android it wont win! Why dont you guys stop being so biased and review whats in front of you!
I bet if the 1520 had 10 days battery life it still would have lost because it does not run android!
90. Bioload25 (Posts: 213; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)
The thing is that android is indeed a more developed OS with tons of features and possibilities,and windows phone is still growing and somehow fits better in low end devices
nobody said that windows phone is crap or that android is the best,but,let us be realistic,marketplace cant compete with google play yet,and the system as a whole has several things to improve,like notification system,'fast configurations' (i mean,little switchs to turn on or off wifi,bluetooth,gps,etc, present on android) and other minor things that can be enhaced for a better user experience
7. sergiobr (Posts: 697; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)
1520 is wp and low light camera. Note 3 is everything you allways wanted from a smartphone. I´m still discovering new things to do with it. Gorgeous smartphone. If you want a good camera ...buy a camera. By the way, I´ve a Nokia 808. No wp !
15. sbw44 (Posts: 433; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)
Why do you have a 808 then and not a camera? how stupid can you be!
18. sergiobr (Posts: 697; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)
You must be very dumb. I have an old Nokia (better than wp) and obviously ... a camera too. And Note 3. You should try, will make you clever.
12. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1345; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
I still remember when people made fun of the original Note's size. Now it's got phones above it. But Samsung is still the granddaddy of the phablet.
19. sbw44 (Posts: 433; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)
1520 is better for me because of :
Better build quality
Better audio capture
Longer battery life
And way better exclusive apps like Refocus,Cinemagraph, City Lens etc!
44. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)
Then why don't you sell your iphone and buy Nokia 1520.
By the way the whole list that you wrote is WRONG.
50. rantao333 (Posts: 322; Member since: 21 May 2013)
he is right actually. and there is nothing to do with an iphone here
60. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)
Better screen? Did you have ever seen and compared videos on both screens? I am 100% sure you didnt, or if you did then may be you were without specticles and have a blured vision during watching on note 3... better camera? Both cameras are very nearly close despite a big difference is mega pixel count... better design? Well nokia's design is an obvious design as compared to premium looks of note 3... better navigation? well in this sector google is the best but nokia is not far behind either... about wireless charging and longer bettery well I dont have anything to disagree, your point is valid here... about apps? well google store is light years ahead of WP in this sector
79. sbw44 (Posts: 433; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)
LOL dude here you go!
have you not read the review that when the sun goes down the 1520 thrives! and that's not just a close difference! Don't forget that the 1520 has loseless zoom as well as capturing RAW photo's!
Obvious that you mention Google being better at maps because of Google Maps! but the truth is Nokia Here maps has way better offline maps which is the most important feature!
84. livyatan (Posts: 867; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)
That was because the adapt display on the Note was turned off.
Trust me, even if Nokia is better visible outside, Note 3 is still more than adequate in that regard.
In the all important display merits, the Note 3 is outstanding.
Here's a true expert analysis for you:
70. utg001 (unregistered)
Annnndd there is:
Less lag on updating
better looking apps
I think Android is not gonna win me back any time soon
86. Nizamani.Zulqi (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Nov 2013)
same here bro , looking forward for first windows to own and that will be 1520
45. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)
If someone read your commens here iboys, will get impression that most of the ppl like Nokia 1520 better than Note 3. And that Nokia will outsell Note 3. LOL
49. rantao333 (Posts: 322; Member since: 21 May 2013)
why? he dint said anything? he just express his choice. keep ur hate for urself
25. Carlitos (Posts: 506; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
Note 3 hands down. Only phone in the market besides the note 2 itself that utilizes the screen size with great features and cutting edge tech. And its much much more comfortable, even for a phone if its size.
26. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
note 3 is definition for what phablet is... 1520 is good but wp is killing it.... nokia's apps is good btw.... itdoesnt mean this is phablet just because device has big screen....
35. Commentator (Posts: 3677; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
"Faux-pas" leather? Don't you just mean "faux?"
Man, what a faux-pas!
38. papss (unregistered)
I have a note 3 but would trade it for a 1520 tbh because the os..
53. papss (unregistered)
Not at all sir. I like the note 3 but do not like the os.. my space isn't for me.
41. Long1 (banned) (Posts: 399; Member since: 18 May 2013)
Nokia has no chace here.
Note 3 is best in everything. Black version of Note 3 is much more beautifull that the Nokia brick. And S-Pen just nail the 1520's coffin.
54. papss (unregistered)
While the note 3 is the first ss with a good design it's by no means premium. The plastic rim coated chrome is super cheap.
61. nasznjoka (Posts: 400; Member since: 05 Oct 2012)
this review is amistake. Howcome you compare the 'big' phone to Note 3?
71. nxl2610 (Posts: 49; Member since: 14 Aug 2013)
I know bashing Samsung is a trend now ,but no matter the hate ,Sammy will always raise to the top .Sale figures said it all :)
72. orielwindow (Posts: 107; Member since: 23 Sep 2010)
I've been very underwhelmed with my Note 3. Compared to my Note 2 the camera doesn't seem like much of an upgrade and the reception for wifi and cell signal has been actually much, much worse than my Note 2 (the constant zero bars in a rural setting and "You are disconnected" followed by "Connected to wifi...." notifications make web browsing a nightmare.) I'm reluctantly returning it and trying a different phablet, hopefully one that has better reception.