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Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s


Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s
Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s
Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s
Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s
Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s


When variety is paramount to enticing consumers, Nokia is in a good position of late considering that they’ve been on a steady pace when it comes to handset releases. Not only have they been focusing on GSM smartphones, but they’ve also been mindful about Verizon’s CDMA based network as well. Last year, we witnessed the return of a prize Nokia smartphone in the Lumia 928, but they’ve continued the trend this year with the upcoming availability of the Lumia Icon.

Naturally, it’s going to contend against the most formidable device on the carrier’s lineup – Apple’s prodigy in the iPhone 5s. For Big Red’s customers, this means that they’ll have solid choices when it comes to iOS and Windows Phone devices. As always, the decision is going to be tough, even more when these two prized smartphones have a ton of lovable qualities to them.


There’s no questioning that a lot of love and care has been put into the design of both smartphones, as they exhibit premium qualities with their constructions to make them solid looking things. Relying on a mostly polycarbonate frame, complemented by a supportive metallic bezel, the Nokia Lumia Icon surely feel likes a sturdy thing. However, the predominately brushed aluminum chassis of the iPhone 5s gives off a slightly more polished feel to its design – thus, coming off as more premium. Minor drops shouldn’t test the constructions of either, but at lengthy heights, we can only imagine the kind of damage metal on concrete can produce.

Visually speaking, it’s really tough to say which of the two we find more appealing. You could argue that the two have generally flat designs – though, there’s a subtle tapered look to the Icon that breaks up its otherwise boxy shape. When it comes to comfort, the iPhone 5s’ form fitting frame combined with its lighter weight, makes it the more ideal device to hold in the hand. Indeed, they both employ metallic bezels around their trims, but for some reason, the Icon feels rather sharp around the edges.

We really can’t complain about the placements of their physical buttons, since they’re in locations we’re commonly familiar seeing them at. For the Lumia Icon, they’re all sitting along the right edge – whereas the iPhone 5s has its power button on the top right corner, and its volume controls on the left edge. Still, we appreciate that we can quickly launch the camera app by pressing down on the dedicated shutter key of the Icon. Nowadays, it’s a process accessing SIM slots on many high-end smartphones, so we like how the SIM slot of the Icon is easily accessible by just prying off the slot with the aid of our fingernail. Continuing to be a rarity amongst smartphones, we can’t deny the usefulness brought on by the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID fingerprint sensor to unlock the smartphone.

Nokia Lumia Icon
5.39 x 2.79 x 0.39 inches
137 x 71 x 10 mm
5.86 oz (166 g)

Nokia Lumia Icon

Apple iPhone 5s
4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches
123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm
3.95 oz (112 g)

Apple iPhone 5s

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


In this day and age, there’s no denying the obvious that the iPhone 5s’ 4-inch 640 x 1136 Retina Display is tiny – even more when we compare it to the larger 5-inch 1080p HD OLED panel of the Icon. Doing the math, the Icon’s pixel density of 441 ppi tells us that it’ significantly superior on paper over the 326 ppi tally of the iPhone 5s. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean a whole lot unless we look at the two display side-by-side very closely, seeing that from a normal viewing distance, we wouldn’t be inclined to say that one is dramatically more detailed than the other.

Factoring in that they rely on different display technologies, OLED for the Icon and IPS LCD with the iPhone 5s, they undoubtedly have their respective highlighting attributes. There’s that iridescent glow attached to the OLED panel of the Icon that continues to make our eyes fall in love with it, more so when its saturated color production gives it that wow factor in a dark room. Although we appreciate the intensity of its color production, it’s nowhere as realistic as the colors put out by the iPhone 5s’ IPS LCD display. Moreover, the stronger brightness output of the Retina Display shows its worth outdoors where the sun can be a glaring problem – whereas the significantly weaker brightness output of the Icon’s display makes it challenging to view.

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 Icon 294
Apple iPhone 5s 587
View all

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posted on 17 Feb 2014, 09:02 2

1. Kishin (Posts: 706; Member since: 30 May 2013)

Waiting for wp8.1... I look for the review then..

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 11:21 1

11. akki20892 (Posts: 3902; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)

1820 wp8.1, above 9 rate.
Will get 9.5/10, my guess.

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 15:30

13. dratomic (Posts: 483; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)

are you high?! pa would never give 9.5 to anything non apple bro. even if it was nokia morph with android and 41mpix with 8k screen with a price tag of just 100$ :))

posted on 05 Mar 2014, 16:12

19. Bioload25 (Posts: 213; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)

and what about Google nexus 5? got a 9.5 as far as my eyes can tell:http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/Google-Nexus-5-Review_id3479/page/4

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 16:39 1

14. Dastrix (unregistered)

WP 8.1 is iOS 7's nemesis. Get ready iOS!

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 09:05 5

2. fouadqr (Posts: 326; Member since: 21 Nov 2012)

ICON all the WAY ..

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 10:21 1

8. dratomic (Posts: 483; Member since: 09 Oct 2013)

i dont know why but i feel icon is more premium. its better build cause you can toss a nokia in the air and it can land on concrete and youll have no worries about it being cracked or broken. you can run over a nokia by a truck and be ok aboutbit. i dont think other manufacturers except sony can rival nokia in build quality

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 09:07 3

3. theminolaboy (Posts: 128; Member since: 18 May 2013)

It's pretty surprising that despite Apple falling short in terms of pretty much everything compared to Android and at some point, Windows Phone, it has a cult following. Blind loyalty indeed.

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 09:18

4. Mxyzptlk (unregistered)

Falling short of what? Android is inconsistent with updates and a lot of times doesn't feel as polished as iOSuperior.

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 09:37

6. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)

iPhones don't have best specs on paper, but in real life they are at least as capable as any other phones.

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 17:09

16. verty (Posts: 125; Member since: 07 May 2012)

Blind loyalty indeed. Open your eyes and don't be a slave no more.

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 09:37 3

5. ABDULGHAFOOR (Posts: 104; Member since: 04 May 2012)

in the first pic of display section ,the map in iphone display is over exposed as compare to Nokia icon display,which looks pretty much better
NOKIA all the way

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 10:00 1

7. Cesar (Posts: 140; Member since: 16 Aug 2012)

prefer iPhone 5S, better performance, A7, 64 bits, and best UPDATES!

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 10:28 4

9. NEO2598 (Posts: 5; Member since: 17 Feb 2014)

I guess you have an Iphone 5s.That's why you're saying that.All you care about is updates and performance?The S800 in the Lumia Icon is very powerfull.I realy think that you'd love to have a smarthpone with Icon's display.

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 11:13 2

10. imran86 (Posts: 178; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

There can never be a phone in this universe that can ever beat Iphone according to iphonArena. Shame on you

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 11:23 2

12. imran86 (Posts: 178; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

Talking about iphone being simple to use, 2 of my friends bought latest iphones last week, couldn't set a song as the ring tone after 2 days of googling, messed their music and files by itunes and switched it for a Note 3 on 3rd day. not to mention the lack of a file manager, no bluetooth support, no in-app settings and more

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 17:05

15. verty (Posts: 125; Member since: 07 May 2012)

Same here. I have not even bothered to load songs on my iPhone yet. Why make a simple thing so complex. That's the specialty of Jobs. Will sell my I phone for note 3 soon. Hehehehehe

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 17:37

17. elitewolverine (Posts: 5192; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)

You keep saying polished apps, every single review apps this or apps that.

The question we should ask you PA, is what apps are you comparing it too?

What apps did you compare side by side to make such a comment?

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 22:54

18. imran86 (Posts: 178; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)

He is referring to the 1000 torch light apps.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 11:09

20. NOLATechy (Posts: 17; Member since: 08 Nov 2013)

Looking at the display side by side comparison, the iPhone picture looks a bit washed out. The Icon's colors are a bit more pronounced while the iPhone's brightness causes the colors to fade out. Notice the green sweather - the shadows fade out causing the colors to blend. This makes the folds in the sweater flatten out and aren't as "realistic" as the Icon picture.

posted on 02 May 2014, 17:26

21. blazblu82 (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 May 2014)

About two months ago, I decided to upgrade from my HTC 8X WP. My initial intentions were to get an Iphone 5S or the new HTC One M8. However, the HTC One looked unappealing and the external speakers were below my expectations and I had my doubts about the 4 Ultra Pixel camera. So, I moved onto the Iphone 5S. I picked it up, looked it over, got a bad feeling in my gut and walked away. Even though most people I know have the Iphone, I cannot get myself to become another ifollower.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with WP8 since owning the HTC 8x. Nothing about the OS has let me down. The only drawback is the lack of 3rd party support like the Iphone has; but that is a moot point to me. So, after drooling over the superior specs the Icon has over most other phones, even the Iphone 5S, I concluded that I would stick with a WP and bought the Icon. Transisitoning from an 8MP camera to a 20MP was like night and day. I cannot believe the clarity and quality that comes from the Icon camera. Additionally, the Nokia camera software and their editing software is superb!

With superior features such as longer battery life, better camera, faster processor, more on-board memory, and a fluid UI, I can't imagine how much better the 8.1 update will make this phone! Long live the new Microsoft and Nokia partnership!

posted on 02 Jun 2014, 10:43

22. NOLATechy (Posts: 17; Member since: 08 Nov 2013)

I have already downloaded and installed the WP8.1 Developer Preview and let me tell you, it is GREAT! The difference between WP8.0 and WP8.1 is greater than 8MP to 20MP camera. It's more like 8MP to 1,000MP camera. Action Center, Cortana, File Manager, Swipe Keyboard, Transparent Live Tiles, just to name a few of the MANY upgrades you will get. If you want to wait for the update so you don't void your warranty, I understand, but when you do receive WP8.1, be prepared to be AMAZED! I mean REALLY AMAZED! iPhone doesn't even have File manager yet or swipe keyboard yet, but we do! Also, Cortana is only in BETA and already beats Siri in some situations, like setting personal reminders to tell a contact something the next time you talk to them, or having the ability to type your questions to Cortana instead of having to speak them (comes in great in a noisy environment or a meeting when you don’t want Cortana speaking out loud in the meeting – typing indicates to Cortana that you don’t want her to speak out loud – pretty smart don’t you think?)

Also, I’m not sure what program this guy used to perform the battery test (and noticeably doesn’t provide that info – hmmm) but every person I know who owns an iPhone 5s can’t come close to the actual everyday battery life I am getting on my Icon. And I mean NONE OF THEM! My Icon, even with WP8.1 upgrade is getting at least 3 to 4 more hours of use then my friends and family get on their iPhone 5s. Now that’s the only test I need!

posted on 16 Jul 2014, 09:46

23. NOLATechy (Posts: 17; Member since: 08 Nov 2013)

One other thing...not sure who does your ratings, but there is only one place that ratings actually count and that's with ACTUAL USERS. Go to Verizon Wireless webpage and review the user ratings. Apple iPhone 5s has a user rating is 4.5. Lumia Icon has a user rating of 4.6. Enough said.

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