Nokia Lumia Icon vs Samsung Galaxy S4
Interface and Functionality
Something we’ve compared in great detail in past comparisons, we’re yet again faced with the timeless question of which of the two mobile platforms reign supreme – Android or Windows Phone? It’s more of the same here, as Android’s maturity in tandem with Sammy’s diversified secondary features with its TouchWiz Nature UX experience shows its deeper comprehension over what Windows Phone 8 with the GDR 3 update has to bring to the table.
We won’t argue that Windows Phone 8 has an appealing style and presentation, as its homescreen is dazzling with its dynamic Live Tiles, and how the Modern UI is employed in many aspects of the platform’s interface. However, it doesn’t quite match the vast personalization of Android as a whole, but more importantly, the expansive features that Sammy has sprinkled into its TouchWiz experience. When you have secondary features on the Galaxy S4, like Air Gestures, Smart Pause, Smart Scroll, Air View, and the host of S-branded apps, it really puts itself in a higher class.
Wondering why we find the customized experience of the Galaxy S4 superior to that of the Windows Phone 8 experience of the Lumia Icon? We really just need to look at their respective multitasking and notifications systems. By in large, the Galaxy S4’s implementations are more effective in handling the tasks. Not only are notifications aggregated in one, easy to access area, but its Multi-Window feature gives us true multitasking.
Microsoft’s own Bing service offers a small fraction of functionality that Google Now delivers with the Android experience, so when it comes to various organizer functions, we’ll stick with the Galaxy S4. Better yet, the various Air View features of the smartphone is a neat touch that provides pertinent information – such as email, appointment, and text message previews.
When it comes to ease, we prefer the simpler layout of the Lumia Icon’s on-screen keyboard. On the flip side, the Galaxy S4’s keyboard gives us access to several characters and symbols directly from the main layout – though, it can sometimes feel overwhelming to absorb.
Windows Phone 8 has been making considerable strides when it comes to apps that matter to us, but it still doesn’t have the same breath that Android offers its users.
Processor and Memory
Newer technology always has its perks, which is evident here with the Lumia Icon’s quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 330 GPU. It’s noticeably snappier with its performance than the S4, powered by the older quad-core 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 SoC coupled with 2GB of RAM and the Adreno 320 GPU. For basic things, it’s almost hard to determine the faster of the two, but just navigating around their homescreens, we continue to see some slowdown with the Galaxy S4.
Verizon’s version of the Galaxy S4 is available in 16GB and 32GB capacities, while the Lumia Icon is only offered in 32GB. Laying claim to a microSD card slot, it’s a comforting thing to find on Sammy’s product.
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S4 24701
Nokia Lumia Icon 23719
GFXBench Egypt HD 2.5 onscreen (fps)
Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy S4 39
Nokia Lumia Icon 46
Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy S4 1082.9
Nokia Lumia Icon 550.6
Internet and Connectivity
Surfing the web is ideal with the two, as their spacious high resolution displays, speedy 4G LTE speeds, and smooth navigational controls, all come together to give us a satisfying experience. However, the Galaxy S4’s various Air View and Air Gestures with its stock browser provides us with additional interaction.
4. akki20892 (Posts: 3703; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)
Software wise we have to wait for 8.1, because 8.1 bringing a lot features, a lot.
Nokia, you guys have great design team. Keep it up. Beautiful design.
14. sgodsell (Posts: 1537; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)
The Galaxy S4 has removable battery and micro sd card slot. Not to mention all the other sensors that were not mentioned barometer, temperature, humidity, gesture, IR. The usb port is a full host port, usb otg, and TV-out mhl 2. All of which are on the Galaxy S4 and none of them on the Nokia Icon.
WP8.1 comes out in July/August time frame.
16. Dastrix (unregistered)
Well, tell me who cares about all these sensors anyway? No wonder only the S4 has them because the majority of people don't care about these, and that's a fact. In my opinion, it just makes everything so much more confusing when you have so many options and sensors crammed in, and defeats the purpose of being user friendly in the first place. It may be functional and convenient, but it just doesn't work for the average user, which the majority of people are. 90% of S4 users probably don't even know 90% of what their phone can do.
18. joey_sfb (Posts: 3504; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
Let me tell you 96% of the people avoided WP phone. So tell me again who's care!
The overall majority already know what they want its not like wp phone was release yesterday.
WP fan such as yourself make such sweeping statement.
I use such apps when I conduct my site survey I guess you don't even know such apps exist being such a hardcore wp fan.
17. Dastrix (unregistered)
One year ago, it would be blasphemous to compare a Windows Phone flagship to an Android flagship. This year, the Nokia Icon came out on top. I can't wait what's in store for next year!
19. joey_sfb (Posts: 3504; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)
I respect PA for the detailed comparison, after all the two phones are within the same price bracket.
Nokia Icon may be a valid option but your thinking is really out of your league. Remember WP is still the overall minority, with only 4 per cent market share. Most of my colleague would not even touch one. Anything from their mouth about WP would be negative. I just nod in agreement because its not my fight. I just buy what the BEST and its Android for now.
WP fan really out of touch with the rest of the world.
7. tech2 (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)
I wouldn't necessarily say almost 10mm thick phone sexy but different strokes for different folks.
3. livyatan (Posts: 772; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)
Hardware wise, Nokia wins for build quality, processing power and camera.
But it still has drawbacks compared to S4..non removable battery, non expandable storage (a big flaw), and weight.
Overall better, but not a sweeping win at all
5. ihavenoname (Posts: 1546; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)
Yeah, hardware wise Nokia is better (except if GS4 is Snapdragon 800 version (4G+), then performance difference ain't noticable). Not much, but bit. And it's worth considering that GS4 is MUCH older.
6. tech2 (Posts: 2573; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)
Exactly ! Not to mention Icon released almost a year later than S4.
8. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
I would prefer nokia. good design, good specs, good performance.
11. Sheharyar13 (Posts: 4; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)
Nokia Lumia set have such a good build quality,just wished they had choosen android
12. SleepingOz (unregistered)
Hardware : Nokia
Software : Samsung
20. dratomic (Posts: 483; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)
exactly. btw s4 is great outdoors i donno why pa insists that its not ok. and also nokias have been traditionally champions of outdoor viewabilty!
13. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3562; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)
The Icon is the better phone inside, and out this time around.. No surprise.
We can pit the S5 up against new WP8.1 devices that are to be revealed soon..
15. sgodsell (Posts: 1537; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)
Too bad WP8.1 won't be available to the public until July/August time frame.
21. kineticcc (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Mar 2014)
Switched to the icon after owning many Droid handsets...the latest being the s4. loving my icon. I can say I pretty much never used the gimmick features of the s4. Can't wait for 8.1!