Interface and Functionality:

Maturity definitely has its perks, which is so plainly obvious here when we look at Windows Phone 8 on the Lumia 1020 and Sammy’s TouchWiz Nature UX experience on top of Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean on the S4. 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 tertiary features on the Galaxy S4, like Air Gestures, Smart Pause, Smart Scroll, Air View, and the host of S-branded apps, it really puts to shame what the Lumia 1020 has to bring to the table with its own mixed bag of goodies.


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.

Certainly the 5-inch display of the S4 is appreciated when it comes to typing messages, but the Lumia 1020’s own keyboard layout is just as spacious, despite its smaller display. Naturally, both are responsive enough to keep up with our hasty pace. Lessening the need to move elsewhere, it’s nice to find a dedicated row for numbers and quick access to certain punctuations from the main layout with the S4’s keyboard. Due to the hump caused by its camera gear, it makes for some awkwardness trying to type with the Lumia 1020.



Processor and Memory:

Now here’s a perfect example of why specs don’t dictate performance. For starters, the Lumia 1020’s dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus processor with 2GB of RAM equally matches the finesse and execution of its rival's more contemporary quad-core 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB of RAM. Running the same set of operations, the two exhibit enough smoothness and response with all actions – so whether they’re basic or complex, they handle them with little impact to their performances.

With our review units, the Lumia 1020 boasts 32GB of internal storage, which is double over our S4’s 16GB capacity. Still, it’s very handy to find a microSD card slot with the Galaxy S4 to complement its storage.


Internet and Connectivity:

Donning 4G LTE connectivity and mighty processors, these two hot stuff smartphones pack enough lovable elements to make the web browsing experience so enjoyable – like their hasty page loads, quick page rendering, and fluid navigational controls. Adding some depth to the experience, we like how the S4 utilizes Smart Scrolling and various Air Gestures to give us more control in how we interact with web pages.



As we know all too well at the moment, the Lumia 1020 is available in GSM form through AT&T in the US – whereas the S4 is made available in GSM and CDMA flavors. Supplementing their cellular capacities, they boast all the common connectivity features. Obviously, they consist of aGPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC. However, it’s the S4 that gains video-out functionality with the aid of an optional MHL adapter.

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75 Comments

1. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

A 5 inch screen phone has the almost same size as a 4.5 inch phone. And easier to hold. This is critical for me.

3. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

A 5" full HD Super AMOLED screen. Best screen on the market. :)

18. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

I disagree. The 5.5 IPS display on the LG Optimus Pro G has better color representation, and is just as crisp. It's also easier to see in direct sunlight.

25. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

You prefer IPS and that's fine, but I could never go back to anything other than Super AMOLED. The colors and the blacks are stunning, especially when watching a movie in full 1080p.

31. papss unregistered

See I have to agree I prefer ISP over alomold for the more accurate colors and I'm having a hard time with the blue tint when I tilt my phone. Pictures look great though

52. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

It's the only thing I don't like about the 1020. My 920 has a clear black IPS vs the 1020 having the clear black AMOLED. You can really see the difference when you look at the settings menu with a black background. The white letters have a yellow hue on the 1020. Both of them, however, have better blacks than the GS4. The GS4's screen is superior to the 1020, but IMO the 920 has a better display.

56. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Don't forget you can change your "color profile" in the "display+touch" setting.

69. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

Yeah... I noticed that a couple days ago on our demo. It helps, but the AMOLED still has that yellow hue.

64. sectime unregistered

Sorry but words like stunning and movie when referring to any 5 inch screen is silly.

50. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

u r wrong dude, in my home we have gs4 and htc one, and i seen differences between both phones, it looks more yellowish in gs4 and looks clear & pure colors in htc one.

65. skyguy7567

Posts: 148; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

HTC One and Nokia has a more realistic screen than the gs4. gs4 colors might look good, but they are FAKE.

2. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Galaxy S4 > Lumia 1020 Lumia 1020 is a hyped phone. Galaxy S4 is a smartphone rather than a cameraphone.

9. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

I think you nailed it - smartphone vs. cameraphone. Next up is what? HTC One vs. L1020? If so, I think the outcome will be similar - HTC wins everywhere but camera. Which is why the One scored a 9.1 to the L1020's 8.5. I hope PA does a Droid Ultra vs. L1020 comparo when the Ultra ships.

23. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

TechnoBuffalo says otherwise. The camera on the HTC One performed better than the Lumia 1020. http://www.technobuffalo.com/2013/07/25/nokia-lumia-1020-vs-htc-one-camera-comparison/

32. papss unregistered

Now that's just silly.. I have both and its not even close. Technobuffalo really? Lets reach harder shall we?

42. Thefraggot

Posts: 21; Member since: Jan 09, 2012

Man thats a huge bias going on there... look at the comments ..hilarious. Those droid fans are just pathetic

10. Thefraggot

Posts: 21; Member since: Jan 09, 2012

Lumia 1020 perfectly delivers what it promised. So how its hyped ? Or over hyped ?

27. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

It's over hyped. The 41MP camera isn't that as great as Nokia advertises it to be. It's on par or slightly better to what's being offered now.

33. papss unregistered

Another fanboy comment... It is that much better and embarrasses all other phones in the camera department.

35. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Lol at the fact you think I'm a fanboy. I'm giving my opinion. Shots taken from PA are way different from shots taken from other websites. And judging from other websites, the camera doesn't blow away phones as it should. In PA's camera comparison, the Lumia barely beat the S4. On TB HTC One vs. Lumia 1020, comparison, HTC One performed better. Again, opinion.

38. Thefraggot

Posts: 21; Member since: Jan 09, 2012

Should i quote 'The verge' or 'engadget' ? There is no other damn smartphone which can even think of competing with the 1020

43. Thefraggot

Posts: 21; Member since: Jan 09, 2012

PC Mag Best camera ever on a smartphone. Excellent manual camera controls. Easy-to-use OS. The Nokia Lumia 1020 is the best camera phone on Earth. That’s a given. The Verge The cameraphone to end all cameraphones The 1020 is one of its best devices yet, and certainly the easiest to sell — if you really love cameras, you’ll really love the Lumia 1020.

44. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Pro photographers gave their ratings on the 1020 and were disappointed. Just throwing that out here.

47. Thefraggot

Posts: 21; Member since: Jan 09, 2012

So they liked HTC one more ? If thats the case ,then their proffesionalism is at stake

66. skyguy7567

Posts: 148; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

The thing about photo-taking is it has to include 'zoom'. 4MP HTC one when zoomed makes terrible blurry photos.

57. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Do you have a source to back that up? Because several pro photography sites I follow and am a member of consider it superior to many point & shoots and some entry-level DSLRs, save the fact (for the DSLRs) that you can't swap the lenses out for different situations. They especially praised the Camera Grip accessory and having the built-in tripod mount, something they view as a necessity as anything trying to purport itself as a strong imaging device, regardless of OIS.

53. Bilpocalypse

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 13, 2012

Judge all you want by the websites... or just go try the phones yourself. I get to show off these phones everyday, and I'll tell you that the 1020 takes way better pictures than the One or the GS4.

4. twens

Posts: 1180; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

aside the camera on the Lumia , S4 has pretty much everything going for it including the camera also. i have used a friends s4 and its pictures are one of the best i have seen on a mobile device so i think the s4 wins here.

67. skyguy7567

Posts: 148; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

Of course, the colors are applauding, but where's the real feel? Colors look brighter. Although the photo looks better, it's nowhere close to realistic. Nokia and Sony's phones offer that point. You have used a friend's s4 to take a picture? Wow, that's almost no tryout experience.

5. nobelset

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

My friend's gonna need a new phone to replace his iPhone 4S and he wants a phone that can take top notch quality photos and a responsive phone so I suggested the lumia 1020. And being a former windows phone user it is very similar to ios so I suggested this. Any thoughts guys? P.S All the apps he needs already exists in wp.

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