x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Nokia Lumia 920

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Nokia Lumia 920

Let's face it – Nokia has been struggling to become relevant again for the last few years, and even with Windows Phone 8, it's still having a lot of trouble gaining any real traction. Meanwhile, Samsung has been enjoying increasingly bigger profits thanks to its efforts in the Android market. The two companies have recently switched their places, as Samsung has become the biggest cell phone maker, and Nokia has been left licking its wounds and trying to come up with a comeback plan. Well, that plan was Windows Phone and the best Nokia has managed to do with it is the Lumia 920. As Samsung has just introduced its newest flagship, though, the Galaxy S4, we think it'll be more than interesting to see how the biggest phone makers by volume stack up against each other.


Could the Galaxy S4 and Lumia 920 be more different as far as design is concerned? Hardly! Samsung's device is made from a somewhat flimsy feeling plastic, although in theory, it should be polycarbonate, which is the same as what the Lumia 920 uses for its construction. However, Nokia's handset feels much sturdier and more durable than its opponent. This has come at a price, though, as the Galaxy S4 is definitely the slimmer, lighter and more compact smartphone of the two, which is a big deal, considering that it also has a larger screen.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left, bottom) and the Nokia Lumia 920 (right, top) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Nokia Lumia 920
The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left, bottom) and the Nokia Lumia 920 (right, top) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Nokia Lumia 920
The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left, bottom) and the Nokia Lumia 920 (right, top) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Nokia Lumia 920
The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left, bottom) and the Nokia Lumia 920 (right, top) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Nokia Lumia 920
The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left, bottom) and the Nokia Lumia 920 (right, top) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Nokia Lumia 920
The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left, bottom) and the Nokia Lumia 920 (right, top) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Nokia Lumia 920
The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left, bottom) and the Nokia Lumia 920 (right, top) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Nokia Lumia 920
The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left, bottom) and the Nokia Lumia 920 (right, top) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Nokia Lumia 920
The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left, bottom) and the Nokia Lumia 920 (right, top) - Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Nokia Lumia 920

The Samsung Galaxy S4 (left, bottom) and the Nokia Lumia 920 (right, top)


And by larger, we mean 0.5" larger, which is not a small thing. Not only that, but the GS4 also has a higher resolution display – 1080p vs 768p, so it's a lot sharper too, although image quality with the Lumia 920's display is also very good.

The Lumia 920 sticks to the tried and true LCD IPS technology, while Samsung is counting on its Super AMOLED, but don't worry, that's not the oversaturated and cold AMOLED that we once had in Samsung's phones. Well, it could be, but it can also look a lot more natural now thanks to a couple of screen profiles that Samsung has built in. Even then, the screen of the Lumia 920 is just superior in terms of overall quality.

The Lumia 920 is not super-bright, but it's still a bit brighter than the GS4, and that makes it a bit easier to view outdoors. Meanwhile, its colors appear more natural-looking, as they have that warm and balanced appearance. The GS4 is not far behind, though, and it also has its 1080p resolution to make up for the areas where it loses.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Nokia Lumia 920 371
Samsung Galaxy S4 289
View all

  • Options

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 04:36 27

1. _Bone_ (Posts: 2154; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

The Lumia 920 wins the low-light camera and violent drop test but that's about it. Look how small the screen is on the 2011 spec brick!

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 05:11 22

12. Emily1985 (Posts: 127; Member since: 08 Nov 2012)

phoneArena, Ray S,
The video from the Lumia 920 is 1080p?
Are you sure that you do not have faulty device?

this is from GSMArena.com Video Compare Tool, s4 vs 920 vs 808

Good light and low light , the Lumia 920 look sharper and have more details(Look at the grass and the written signs).
How can you explain the differences?

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 07:16 22

29. raunak (Posts: 507; Member since: 12 Oct 2011)

S4 obviously wins.
But didn't know Snapdragon S4, OIS and a touch screen that works with gloves on was '2011 spec'.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 10:12 9

46. shreyas.s666 (Posts: 80; Member since: 24 Aug 2012)

2011 spec has these things but not in 2013 specs????

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 19:28 18

60. shadez10 (Posts: 427; Member since: 15 Jan 2012)

as usual... its phonearena... they won't let nokia win... hahahha...

ive seen so many video comparison and phonearena have a different output from thier L920... maybe its busted... lol

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 08:33 7

40. akki20892 (Posts: 3901; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

GS4 is winner, but i'm waiting for Nokia World that nokia will announce 1080p and quad core phone may be "Catwalk"

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 21:09 8

61. ChiX017 (Posts: 308; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)

Definitely, the Lumia 920 was their 2012 phone and it's still competing with 2013 devices. Let's all wait for their 2013 hardware.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 04:38 24

2. thethird (Posts: 72; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)

No questions for the S4 beating the Lumia but the Lumia has a great camera. :) [+]

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 04:39 11

3. iluvsmartphonexpdx (Posts: 48; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)

Still S4...

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 04:42 8

4. _Bone_ (Posts: 2154; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)

BTW PA is keep dissing the GS4 keyboard when their pre-release model simply doesn't have the the Samsung-optimized SwiftKey already present on fresher firmwares. Update the damned thing at the local Samsung store for crying out loud!

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 04:46 13

5. haseebzahid (Posts: 1853; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)

L920 vs S3 was valid this test is not even valid as they both are from different time line same will go if they put iPnone5 vs SGS4 also invalid comparison

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 04:49 14

6. mrtee (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 Apr 2013)

Phonearena has some of the worst reviews and comparisions in the tech world...this comparison like many comparisions this year seems so rushed and lacking in detail. seriously Ray S, was this article written in less than 5 mins? cause it surely feels like it. Phonearena needs to step up its game.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 04:51 3

7. N-fanboy (Posts: 543; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)

Hahahahahaha Nokia wins... Again! Just kidding lol but i don't think its nokia's faults thoug, its MS' limited OS. But the HTC ONE is the best phone in the world right now even tho sam-fans won't admitt it.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 15:05 2

56. asteala8 (Posts: 17; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)

Please explain how the One is better than the s4. Aside from the "premium" materials of course. Those are clearly subjective. If you wanted an easily scratched aluminum phone you'd get an iphone. Slower hardware. Weaker camera. Battery killing HTC Sense. I don't see how the one is better.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 05:02 10

8. emadshiny (Posts: 1144; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)

this comparison makes no sense
two phones which have features of different years and more important, have different OSs.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 05:03 11

9. Kreft (Posts: 84; Member since: 27 Dec 2012)

I'd pick the S4 over the 920 if it had stock android. Otherwise 920 ftw. I don't need touch wiz crap. Leave the os to Google, stop messing with it.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 07:03 3

27. abdane (Posts: 494; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)

then buy a nexus... is it that difficult ? :/

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 07:25

31. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)

Well if you don't like Touchwiz, you can install Apex Launcher or Nova Launcher™

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 08:10 4

35. SleepingOz (unregistered)

"touch wiz crap"
If TW was crap like you said, I wonder why it is the most praised and most supported oem's skin/framework on XDA. Any idea?

posted on 01 May 2013, 02:03

84. vampyren (Posts: 22; Member since: 26 Apr 2013)

I was also negative towards TW but after using it man I like it. It has lots of useful features and run very well. I wish some apps could be uninstalled but i can disable most of them. Pros are more then cons.

posted on 11 Apr 2013, 06:45 1

69. TheBitterTruth (unregistered)

+1 for you. I hate touchwiz too. Well, its my personal choice.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 05:06 1

10. iluvsmartphonexpdx (Posts: 48; Member since: 26 Mar 2013)

Top 10 phones!

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 05:10 5

11. amansingal14 (Posts: 309; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)

In screen, we want vivid colors (S4) and in camera, we want natural colors (again S4).

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 05:17 11

13. Timmehor (Posts: 599; Member since: 09 Mar 2013)

Two beautiful phones.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 08:30 9

39. akki20892 (Posts: 3901; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

only one NL920

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 05:24 21

14. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2071; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

This review is completely biased. This guy has always been a Sammy fanboy.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 06:56 7

25. voxmarc (Posts: 332; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)

So you want them to lie and tell the world that the NOOOOOkia is better.......lol

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 12:30 2

53. SleepingOz (unregistered)

You're the biased one buddy! Deal with it.. =]

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 05:25 17

15. kaliil10 (Posts: 145; Member since: 16 May 2012)

It's not new to me that Phonearena is always against Lumia phones. Every aspect of this comparison they handled the Lumia negatively. They compared to it with even midrange phones and they said its not fascinating like the other phones. But the good news is that the all other Mobile websites like the verge, endgadjet, techradar, gsmarena they said Nokia Lumia 920 is one of the best smartphone of all the time. even Eva the editor of uoobe.com said, Lumia 920 has the sharpest camera phone ever.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 05:38

17. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)

Here's a "RED thumbs from me"™®©

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 08:11 3

36. SleepingOz (unregistered)

"Nokia Lumia 920 is one of the best smartphone of all the time."

Links please..

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 10:11 8

45. shreyas.s666 (Posts: 80; Member since: 24 Aug 2012)

there you go
http :// ww w . engadget.com/2013/02/20/winners-2012-engadget-awar​ds-readers-choice/

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 05:34 5

16. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)

" go ahead and try a wp8 or a betterL920"

I did and I returned the L920, it had few games and no major apps, and it was buggy as knightmare!

No bbc iplayer
No skygo player
No instagram
No youtube
Skype on WP sucks
My local bank had OS and ios but no wp apps
All games were old and crap
Could only attach 1file to email
Couldn't attach pdf to email
Couldn't set different ringtones for sms, texts, alerts etc
My live tiles froze and crashed
Drained battery in couple of hours
Random reboots
No Gmail sync

Go to Nokia support, and see all the complaints, hell even wmpoweruser done a poll other day and over 20% of L920s were returned, with 10% being returned multiple times! Sevral people were on there 5th L920 in few months, hell even paul thurrot was sent a faulty unit to review!

Now a recall by Nokia to fix dust getting inside the phone and stopping sensors working and blaring the camera, the abide - don't put your phone in your pocket!

Should I go on™

And you are telling people to switch,,,,? Wise up will ya®

O yes why does every Wp/Nokia fan site link to this and get hordes of fanboy skew voting????
Lol 8000 votes last on PA was scammers! How sad and pathetic and loooooo can you go™

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 05:58 17

21. murati (Posts: 21; Member since: 29 Apr 2012)

I have my lumia 920 for two months now. It works just perfectly. I can't say that andorid has more games, but i am nearly 30, i don't play games anymore. If we are talking about apps, i have find them all. I use youtube, fb, some apps for gym and that is about it. Gmail works normal, also i love the syhronization for outlook and office. I am using navigation all the time (have that kind of job that i spend lots of time on the road) and i LOVE the camera and video. It is making such a great photos. So, for normal user WP8 is great, and i love the fact that even on my girls 620 WP work smooth and nomal. She had experia j before, we put instagram and what'sup on it and it was just another slow brick.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 10:16 11

47. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 949; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)

TROLL, you never owned a Nokia Lumia 920 - but you do operate multiple accounts and post with a variety of alias, always bashing Nokia's Lumia smartphone devices. So, who's paying your salary? Given that you never have anything new or compelling to say, I would suggest they're paying you too much ;o)

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 05:47 8

19. Edmund (Posts: 656; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)

wow, not even I thought phone arena could take the term pathetic to this level. The Lumia photos were all taken at iso 100 to make them look dark

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 23:06

64. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

There's been conjecture for months that PA's Lumia is either defective, damaged, it has been altered. Darn near every other site has different results from their 920s.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 06:05 22

22. jeevan28111992 (Posts: 23; Member since: 15 Mar 2013)

IF a iphone is compared with any other android phone, you people say its user choice. When its comes to WP8 " The winner is the opposite phone " WOW what a review. If you people hate WP8 that much then why are you comparing???

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 09:49 1

43. MartyK (Posts: 816; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)

I thought I was the only person who noticed that!, every time any phone up against iPhones, it becomes, "user taste or we don't compare different platform crap"

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 06:19 8

23. rusticguy (Posts: 2828; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)

When will NOKIA launch a "420" Lumia :D

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 06:36 1

24. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)

What about the Lumia320™

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 07:57

34. zippolite28 (Posts: 106; Member since: 28 Sep 2012)

What do u mean by Section "420" .... :P

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 07:00 1

26. voxmarc (Posts: 332; Member since: 22 Aug 2012)

just as expected.....

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 07:09 9

28. shreyas.s666 (Posts: 80; Member since: 24 Aug 2012)

all i can say is this an biased article.it clearly shows the Ray.S is a sammy fan.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 08:39 2

41. akki20892 (Posts: 3901; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

i think.....GS4 win screen sharpness, but NL920 win screen tech,
NL920 win camera, design, and toughness.
GS4 win in OS.
GS4 win in processor.
NL920 win in sound - Dolby, HAAC

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 07:22 4

30. twens (Posts: 978; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)

And I thought the s4 was ugly.lol

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 08:11

37. Mobile-X-Pert (Posts: 565; Member since: 20 Dec 2010)

That's because you haven't seen the white, red, cyan or yellow Lumia 920. The black one looks pretty ugly compared to those colors.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 14:01 1

54. muhsen (Posts: 281; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)

well, eyes probably r having problems, cuz ur implying that s4 is better than the 920 in design is most ridiculous thing in the comments!!

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 07:25 2

32. hate_dc (Posts: 10; Member since: 26 Dec 2012)

s4 win in all of rounds..why they did not include the battery life of this two phone (the most important at all).. that iknow lumia will eat dust...but in s4..you can buy how many battery u want..that u can bring even in the planet without source of electric....
the build quilty of your lumia is better but it nonsense if your phone is poor in battery.........

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 07:30 14

33. Mobile-X-Pert (Posts: 565; Member since: 20 Dec 2010)

That Lumia 920 hasn't even been updated to Portico. Phones should be updated to the latest firmware before comparing.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 08:21 2

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

im waiting for the next lumia flaghip

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 09:23 1

42. jlp34876 (Posts: 80; Member since: 02 Dec 2012)

I tried to look the exif data on camera shots. on the picture of fruit stall gs4 was shot at around 2pm while the lumia 920 was around 4pm. WTF?? At every shot there was a big time differences which means lighting scenes must have changes in that time interval.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 10:09 7

44. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 949; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)

Another "hack job" review from PhoneArena, brandishing results that are typically not in line with the stated results published other legitimate tech review sites. So, who is Ray S, and what exactly are his qualifications again? My guess is that he has no background in photography, and his testing procedures amounted to taking a few random shots using auto settings. He claimed the Lumia 920 experienced problems with excessive "noise", and yet the majority of reviews posted on the internet state the opposite. The Samsung Galaxy IV certainly has a good camera, with more mega-pixels, but suggesting that it has a much better camera the Lumia 920 is really going out on a limb, especially given the 920's proven ability in low light situations.

Absent from the review is also any mention of wireless QI charging, which is built into the 920, but not so for the SG IV. The author also goes on to state the merits of the Android operating system, and the failures of WP8, but he makes no mention of the fact that the former is much less secure, and malware is a chronic problem for all Android devices. As well, little is discussed about audio recording and playback features and quality for both smartphones, at which the 920 excels. Ray S only mentions that the call quality for both devices is average, but that the Samsung model "edges" the Nokia. While he does point out the 920 has optical image stabilization for video, which the SG IV lacks, I felt that he did so because his review would fall apart in terms of credibility if he had tried to suggest otherwise. Screen quality is debatable, and while the SG IV has a 5' 1080P display, and better resolution (440 ppi vs 332 ppi) the actual advantages of a slightly better ppi at this size are questionable, to say the least.

There's no contest in terms of CPU and GPU, although the 920's 32GB of memory is still plenty in most cases. Many people tend to forget that external SD memory is much slower than something internally wired, and while an SD slot is an added bonus, it's less critical especially now that cloud storage is common place. There is also the important matter of retail selling price, and it goes without saying the best bang for your buck isn't always the latest and greatest hardware just released. The SG IV is probably selling for around eight hundred dollars or more, while the Lumia 920 is much less. The end user experience is roughly on par for both devices, though, unless .5 inch's of screen and Android are all that you crave. Ray S was correct about the SG IV being more future proof for games, given it's superior processor and GPU, but that's only relevant if you actually play games on your mobile device. Many of us don't, and so that point is relatively moot...

The best and only way is to try both devices yourself, but if money is an issue, then I'd suggest waiting a few months for the price of the SG IV to drop, by which time Nokia's next generation Lumia EOS (aka Catwalk) will probably be here...

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 21:20 3

62. Penny (Posts: 1648; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)

Looks like you put more thought into your comment than the author put into this review, and I think your analysis of the shortcomings in this review is spot on. Kudos.

When comparing two very different products, you can't set the bar at exactly what one product offers and then compare them to see if the other product meets those exact expectations. I wouldn't set the bar at the Galaxy S4 and say the Lumia 920 is worse because it fails to be a better S4 than the Samsung. That's like saying the Galaxy S4 is worse than the Lumia 920 because it fails to be a better Lumia 920. They have different personalities and offer different advantages, and that perspective has to be there for any sort of useful, objective review. Feel free to pick a winner based on your overall experience and preferences, but at least have the basic understanding that the competing products might be trying to give you a different experience, and base your judgments on how successfully they achieve that experience.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 22:28 4

63. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 949; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)

Hi Penny: thanks for responding, and I do appreciate your input and compliments. It wasn't my intention to attack the author, but the results of this comparsion lack credibility. There are certain areas in which the S4 truly excels and easily beats out the Lumia 920, but the rear facing camera isn't one of them. There are many other reviews which clearly indicate the the 920's still photos and video quality to be superior, despite it having less mega-pixels. However, while the pro-sumer Nikon DSLR 3200 has 24 MP, and the Nikon D4 only 16MP, there's no question the later is the better quality device, and gives better images. The average smartphone buyer is not a photographer, but if they are going to compare cameras, then I would expect for a professional to do the testing...

You are also correct in stating that each of these devices offers different capabilities, and their respective OS's allow them to do certain things differently as well. The beauty of WP8 is that it isn't cluttered with a million different technical options, and still gets the job done. It's ideal for slower devices, because it's less resource hungry. That isn't to say Android has no place in the world, aand some users want flexibility as well as functionality. I am certainly not against Android, but I am against those who ignorantly bash all WP8 devices, especially the Lumia 920. It's a great device, robust and durable, and it's the ideal product for photography enthusiasts.

Thanks again for commenting, and fpr stating your ideas and opinions in a mature and intelligent manner :o)

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 23:09

65. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

In fairness to ray s., a known apple apologist (or was around the ip5 launch) he did the initial review on the 920 and praised it.

posted on 14 Apr 2013, 15:53

76. Cuthbert (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Apr 2013)

You sound like a buthurt fanboi.............

Go to Nokia's own support site and read all the complaints about the camera over there.

The only reason I would buy a lumia is if I wanted to take pictures at night while wearing gloves !!!!

The S4 is the better device, no question. deal with it.

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 10:17

48. mobilefuture (Posts: 214; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)

I don't think anything should be compared to the galaxy s line anymore. They are awesome phones, but so are the others. These reviews have really been getting a bit harsh for the other competitors. But at least it doesn't affect my choice. The second WP8 get just a few more quality apps ill be happy to upgrade from my HTC explorer :)

posted on 10 Apr 2013, 11:08

49. husser94 (Posts: 24; Member since: 28 Mar 2011)


posted on 10 Apr 2013, 11:22 1

50. KashAli (Posts: 105; Member since: 01 Apr 2013)

Yeah Bloody Galaxy S4 is £150 more expensive then Lumia 920 (do not forget that).

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories