Introduction


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.

Design


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

Nokia Lumia Icon

Dimensions

5.39 x 2.79 x 0.39 inches

137 x 71 x 10 mm

Weight

5.86 oz (166 g)

Apple iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 5s

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.95 oz (112 g)

Nokia Lumia Icon

Nokia Lumia Icon

Dimensions

5.39 x 2.79 x 0.39 inches

137 x 71 x 10 mm

Weight

5.86 oz (166 g)

Apple iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 5s

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.95 oz (112 g)

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



Display


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.




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