Nokia Lumia Icon vs Samsung Galaxy S4
You would think that the Lumia Icon would have the upper hand when it comes to shooting modes and controls, but surprisingly enough, the Galaxy S4 is also packing an equally compelling set. To be fair, we do prefer the styling with the Lumia Icon’s camera interface, since its on-screen rotating dial menu pays homage to what we find on regular cameras. Conversely, the S4 sticks to a more straightforward menu approach when it comes to changing settings. However, we really appreciate that all of the Galaxy S4’s shooting modes are baked into its camera app – whereas we have to rely on alternate ‘lenses’ and third party photo apps with the Lumia Icon.
Don’t let the Galaxy S4’s age fool you, just because it’s one great device for snapping photos – more so when lighting is plentiful in the shots. Ultimately, the single factor that differentiates their qualities is the amount of detail that the 20-megapixel PureView camera of the Lumia Icon captures. With its higher resolution 19-megapixel samples, we see that fine details have improved definition. Beyond that, the qualities are nearly identical to one another. Still, we have to give the 13-megapixel camera of the Galaxy S4 some credit, as it matches toe-to-toe with what the Lumia Icon composes with its photos.
As expected, the qualities from both smartphones are diminished when it comes to snapping things under lower lighting situations. Details are softer and grainier, but the Lumia Icon’s camera is adept in brightening up its shots better than the Galaxy S4. In fact, we can see that its shots under low lighting dealing better when it comes to drawing out details – unlike the Galaxy S4’s results, which masks them due to its under exposed results. At further distances, the Lumia Icon’s dual-LED flash maintains a consistent potency when it comes to lighting up the scenery.
It’s also a close race with their 1080p video recording qualities, since they boast several delicious looking visuals – like their smooth recording and sharp looking visuals. Then again, we’d be more inclined to use the Icon’s camera due to its optical image stabilization and its 3x lossless zoom. They in fact are features we wouldn’t necessarily find too often with most smartphones.
1. Nokia Lumia Icon Sample Video
2. Samsung Galaxy S4 Sample Video
Whether it’s the stock Windows Phone or Nokia MixRadio music apps, we’re constantly finding ourselves affixed to its enchanting presentation – more so than the TouchWiz music player in the Galaxy S4. It’s tough initially to decipher, but as we listen more intently, we realize that there’s a slightly stronger volume output with the Lumia Icon’s speaker. Well, it’s still pretty loud with the Galaxy S4.
Our eyes are instantly glued to both displays as we play several different high-definition videos, thanks in part to the mesmerizing saturated colors produced by their displays. The size and resolutions of their screens aid in the process too, but the Galaxy S4’s secondary features, like how it’s optimized for multitasking, really diversifies the viewing experience.
Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Nokia Lumia Icon 0.54
Samsung Galaxy S4 0.38
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Nokia Lumia Icon 79
Samsung Galaxy S4 77
4. akki20892 (Posts: 3652; 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: 1433; 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 (Posts: 617; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)
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: 3222; 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 (Posts: 617; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)
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: 3222; 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: 2436; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)
I wouldn't necessarily say almost 10mm thick phone sexy but different strokes for different folks.
3. livyatan (Posts: 753; 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: 1519; 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: 2436; 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: 476; 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: 3561; 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: 1433; 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!