Nokia Lumia 900 vs Apple iPhone 4S

Stirring things up on AT&T’s lineup, smartphones need to be aware that the Nokia Lumia 900 is out for blood and setting its eyes on some of the best of the best in the market. Rightfully so, we think it’s relevant to pit Nokia’s flagship against, you know, Apple’s pride and joy in the iPhone 4S – since they’re both so gosh darn lovable in many ways. Obviously, there’s a huge disparity in the pricing department as the Lumia 900 undercuts its rival by flaunting a $99.99 on-contract price right from the get-go, but more importantly, will it be enough to offset the prestige and unflinching performance that normally accompanies the iPhone 4S?


Well, what can we say about their designs? For starters, some of the words that come to mind are things like unique, solid, and premium – and the more we think about it, those are all the required ingredients in making a smartphone compelling. Indeed, the Lumia 900 is a bit larger compared to the iPhone 4S, but it’s pretty sweet that they both employ top-notch quality materials with their constructions. However, it’s worth pointing out that the Lumia 900 retains a cleaner appearance thanks to its unibody polycarbonate design, while the iPhone 4S is somewhat more prone to smudges and fingerprints because of its glossy looks. In the end, their iconic looking designs are both favorable in our eyes.

Since the physical buttons on the iPhone 4S are more prominent, we prefer them over the flat feel of the Lumia 900’s set of buttons. Furthermore, we can say the same thing about the iPhone’s springy home button, because nothing beats having a physical response – whereas the Lumia 900 resorts to the using the usual set of capacitive Windows Phone buttons. Around their sides, we find common items such as their noise cancellation microphones, internal speakers, and 3.5mm headset jacks, but the Lumia 900 sticks with a traditional microUSB port, whereas the iPhone 4S maintains its proprietary 30-pin dock port.

Honestly, you can ditch that point and shoot camera of yours because these two are packing some juicy things with their respective cameras. On the iPhone 4S, it’s a 8-megapixel snapper that features an LED flash, backside-illuminated sensor, and a wide angle F2.4 lens. Meanwhile, the Nokia Lumia 900 sports an equally compelling 8-megapixel camera that features a dual-LED flash and an F2.2 aperture lens. Rounding things out, video chatting is in full effect thanks to their front-facing cameras – well, it’s a 1.3-megapixel one in the Lumia 900 and a VGA one in the iPhone 4S.


Alright, we can agree that these two handsets boast some lovely looking displays from a far glance, but upon closer inspection, we find the Retina Display of the iPhone 4S to be the more favorable one. Sure, the Lumia 900 has the advantage of having the larger 4.3” display, but its WVGA (480 x 800) pales in comparison to the 640 x 960 resolution of the iPhone’s Retina Display. Ultimately, the difference in detail is most recognizable in the web browser when viewing web sites in their entirety, as we’re able to distinguish fine text with the iPhone 4S – whereas, it appears garbled on the Lumia 900. Furthermore, since the iPhone 4S relies on an IPS LCD panel, its color production is more accurate over the saturated tones of the Lumia 900’s AMOLED panel.

Nokia Lumia 900 360-degrees View

Apple iPhone 4S 360-degrees View:



1. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Not to spoil the review but.... THE LUMIA 900 WON!!!!! I CAN't BELIEVE THIS!!!!!!!! THIS IS AWESOME!!! And who says being cheaper isn't better.

5. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

No it didn't

24. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

lol you might want to read the review first before posting.... This is embarrassing.

31. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

they both won categories, so it depends on whats most important to you. After looking at the pix and vids and such, even with the iphone's 1080p advantage, it only won in the pix by a smidge. You are talking a $100-200 advantage for the 900 (depending on where you get it.)... if you want great without spending, the 900 is the clear choice. If you want great and have money to spend, then its up to you. Apple definitely beats it in apps and minorly beats it in other features exept for calling and screen size.

65. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

PA 101: IPhone Wins= "We're going to have to go with the IPhone in this one." Lumia 900/Competitor Wins= "You can't go wrong with either one of these devices."

74. wendygarett unregistered

The iphone is clearly a loser... due to its dated, fragile, and crappy looking... Stop compare the iphone to the 3.5-inch above handsets please...

3. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

Lumia 900 is a beast. Less than a week and I'll be owning one myself. I've been waiting too long for this device.

6. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

I think Nokia and Windows will be a winning combination. Android is in trouble.

16. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

i fully agree... they are some great phones... and just saying but a little mention about the ip4 vs the 900 might be quite relevant... they would seem to be more competition at the pricepoint

39. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Lol, no..Android is just leagues and worlds ahead of WP at the moment..just a no comparison at all. Nokia Lumia is a great value for money, but it's actually just a desperate try(backed up by Microsoft's cash) to gain some market impact - i think that Nokia is actually on zero margin per unit with this price for Lumia 900. And even if it sells great, that's just one phone, a drop in the ocean that the overall market is. It can't stop WP from sinking even lower in the smartphone OS market share. I predict it will fall under 2 percent worldwide in the next 2 quarters. While android will reach 60 percent actually. Here again, just to grasp how much circles Android runs around WP:

49. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

lol yes... maybe u should list some valid points instead of just talk? and wp7 has been gaining market share... is it going to plunge with the introduction of a great device? does that make any sense at all? and yes its desperate... but desperation often creates the best of products -- look at apple... they almost failed as a company but their desperation created some amazing products that lead markets today.. nobody wants wp7 to be the next android... it is very different and needs to stay that way-- and yes, the marketshare will come from android as ios is extremely stable, and i am not sure how much more the "other" category can lose

51. c.hack

Posts: 614; Member since: Dec 09, 2009

I would much much rather get the 900 over any Droid. If not for the innovative OS design MS has come up with (instead of a clunk iOS copy like android), then for the nice hardware and great performance. Good battery life, good reception, and good call quality is unmatched by any droid. It has a better camera than most droids and gets better performance out of one core than most droids get out of two. If nothing else, this points out how lame Android is after 2 years of trying to copy iOS and doing nothing innovative except stuffing more cores into an antiquated OS - the old Dalvik machine that android uses. Most droid users don't even know that their OS can only use one core.

63. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

That's a pretty bold statement you made there. Explain to me how exactly Android is a "copy" of iOS in your words.

71. yodanim

Posts: 7; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

static icons, home screens, samsung (the most successful android OEM, continuously copies hardware and software designs like Touchwiz looks like the "friendly" iOS icons, their Galaxy S2 and Tab look like their respective phone / tablets, hence their continuous lawsuits - not that I blame Samsung, they make the A5/6 chips and the Retina Displays), other than that - Widgets are the only things that sets Android apart - Oh and their horrible design UI, that they are trying to fix by hiring Matiias Duarte and telling developers to have some cohesiveness in ICS, along with some direct copies of WP7.5 by adding sharing to almost every screen via all social netoworks, and trying to become more typographically centered (Roboto Font). Android is not exactly a stolen product, but it has strengths and weaknesses in it's open-source mentality. The most-customizable OS, and the most unstable. I prefer android 4.0 to iOS 5, but the marketplace is a wild-west and I don't have the time to root and flash ROMS,so the happy middle was windows phone for me. I have used them all original iPhone, iPhone 3G, 3GS, HTC Surround, HTC Titan, Lumia 900, iPad, and Motorola XOOM.

32. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

nokia and windows are a great challenge... windows is a decently controlled and closed OS (though way more open than apple to hackers).. so id say iOS is in more trouble than those that prefer a totally open OS like android.

35. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Apple has a very loyal customer base. iPhone users are much less likely to switch than android users. There's a lot of dissatisfied android users looking to switch. The ones who don't want to give Apple a try will go windows. I predict in a few years the big 3 will be iOS, android and Windows. I think iOS will maintain it's market share while android drops to the 30's and windows will be up in the 20-30% range.

40. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Yeah, haha. And the Earth will start spinning in the other direction.

42. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i love your predictions. they are always the opposite of reality.

48. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 2012

I agree about the loyal customers.

52. c.hack

Posts: 614; Member since: Dec 09, 2009

I completely agree. I got so sick of android after 2 years of use I tried the iPhone and love it. But I would just as likely have switched to the 900. It looks like a decent phone. Unlike Android, MS will support it and provide updates. I'm sure a lot of users will switch.

69. u76200

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 08, 2012

I have at home a fair amount of Apple hardware: 2 MBP's 1 MB Air 1 iMac 1 MacMini 1 MacMini server 2 iPads 2 iPhone 4 (me and my oldest son) I think the iPhone is one of the worst phones I have ever had. The battery life is dreadful, connection quality is poor and I keep on making accidental ghost calls - I really hate the touch screen. It is, however, a wonderful pocket computer and PDA. I am seriously contemplating getting the new Lumia, so so much for loyalty.

12. ReturningToNokia

Posts: 130; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

Both devices have their pros and cons. As John V. mentioned, it really will boil down to what the consumer is looking forward to using (for the next 1-2 years). For some, the $100 price variance may sway them to the Nokia Lumia 900 if their heart is not set on the iPhone 4S.

13. ahhxd717

Posts: 332; Member since: Dec 08, 2011

I'd personally go for the Lumia, since iOS is getting stale, and I couldnt use a phone smaller than 4" comfortably. That being said, the 4S is also great. My mom has one and loves it, but she's much more familiar with iOS and doesn't wanna deal with anything new. Mainly just a matter of preference on OS.

17. droiddomination

Posts: 203; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

this phone totally rocks. i will venture out of my android domain and order it. if it sux arse, i will take it back and get the lg nitro hd. very nice as well. apple sux balls and is just so played out. it is very obvious this author is an isheep. he is trying so hard to make iturd look relevant. i love how they are always saying that android phones with physical buttons are middle grade, old, etc. capacitive is the rage, then when we listen to this isheep, he is dogging out the capacitive buttons and praises the iturd 2007 single button. another example, if you look at this authors review of the lumia 900, he is dogging the camera big time, and also the video, and in this article..they are like neck and neck...just oozing bias! ps. who is the loser 666 kid with a insecurity problem trying to rip off the borg style lines? very are a disgrace to the borg..and will def not be assemilated! most likely you will be jetison'd with the core!

18. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

I'm going to do a comparison of the 900 vs my N8 in the camera department when I get one just to see how it differs quality wise. It annoys me to no end that I've read multiple times now that the camera is just "average," and yet, I've almost expected it to turn out that way for some reason. I really hope Damian is reading these reviews and looking into what's going on here.

28. ShibeshMehrotra

Posts: 9; Member since: Apr 03, 2012

No need, N8 will win hands down. Bigger sensor, Xenon flash. Unless the same camera module or at least Xenon flash is added to the Lumia series, the camera will remain average. Until at least an year, after which they will kick ass with PureView. P.s. Love the username. :D

22. T00muchF00D

Posts: 98; Member since: Nov 27, 2011

i will be buying this in june when my upgrade is due!!! =]

27. ShibeshMehrotra

Posts: 9; Member since: Apr 03, 2012

I think the two parts where the Lumia gets beat is display resolution and camera. While the resolution is a standard set by MS and Nokia can't do a hing about it, the cameras in the Lumia series have been known to disappoint, but improve on Software Updates. Maybe we can expect that in a couple of months time? Also, with Apollo, PureView for Windows Phones becomes a reality. Can't wait to check out the sweet combination. :)

30. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

To summarize the review: Lumia 900 is an excellent device and a great value at $99.99 on contract (or less!), with obvious deficiencies because of its platform (resolution, primarily) and on typical Nokia fashion, it's an almost-perfect PHONE, with a few sacrifices in other areas to make it widely available and affordable. It's not made by underpaid workers in crummy conditions, so it's guilt-free, and actually worth its price. The iPhone, on the other hand, ever the perennial favorite (for good or ill) has some advantages, but its flaws weren't presented fairly in this review: the OS is old and bland, the design uninspired, it still has antenna and battery issues, it's fragile, and its origins are shockingly bad, and the company is still corrupt and oppressive, and continues to exploit patent law for its own gain

41. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Nokia uses Foxconn factories by the way

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