x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s



The iPhone’s camera app doesn’t make any strides to give users control. On one hand, we appreciate its simple operation and minimal fuss, as it’s all about having a frustration-free experience. And on the other, it would be nice to have some functions and features at our disposal. Fortunately for the Lumia Icon, we get just that with its rich camera app. Not only do we have manual controls to help give us the best composition for our shots, but there are several ‘lenses’ and Nokia-branded photo apps to diversify its arsenal.

Camera UI of the Nokia Lumia Icon - Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s
Camera UI of the Nokia Lumia Icon - Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s
Camera UI of the Nokia Lumia Icon - Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s
Camera UI of the Nokia Lumia Icon - Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s

Camera UI of the Nokia Lumia Icon

Camera interface of the Apple iPhone 5s - Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s
Camera interface of the Apple iPhone 5s - Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s
Camera interface of the Apple iPhone 5s - Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s
Camera interface of the Apple iPhone 5s - Nokia Lumia Icon vs Apple iPhone 5s

Camera interface of the Apple iPhone 5s

Before diving right into their qualities, let’s briefly talk about the camera gear that’s in tow with each. Over on the Lumia Icon, it’s outfitted with a 20-megapixel PureView camera, which features ZEISS optics, a wide-angle f2.4 apertures lens, optical image stabilization, and dual-LED flash. Not to be outdone, the iPhone 5s bears an 8-megapixel iSight camera that pack along a 1/3” backside illuminated sensor, f2.2 aperture lens, and a two-toned LED flash.

Yeah, there’s a huge discrepancy looking at the two cameras on paper – more so when the Icon’s 20-megapixel sensor just makes the 8-megapixel one in the iPhone 5s appear tiny in stature. To tell you the truth, the iPhone 5s does a magnificent job to match the Icon’s outdoor image quality. Heck, it’s almost hard to say which of the two delivers the sharper visuals unless we zoom into the shots through a computer. However, it’s only when we rely on the Icon’s larger 19-megapixel samples that we have a clear indication that it captures the stronger details. Beyond that, we’d be hard-pressed to decide.

Under low lighting situations, we continue to see them paralleling one another, as shots are generally bright in tone to draw out details in the scenery that would otherwise be missed. They’re usable no doubt, but the Icon’s camera is more prone to blurring due to its longer exposure, which isn’t much of an issue with the iPhone 5s. As a whole, we can’t deny the obvious here – it’s that they’re a cut above the rest in this particular area.

Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Nokia Lumia Icon 8.5
No data
Apple iPhone 5s 3
View all

At the end of the day, both handsets excel dearly in this specific area. However, the one defining characteristic that gives the Nokia Lumia Icon its slight advantage, is in how its 19-megapixel snapshots meticulously captures the stronger details under bright conditions. Beyond that, we could argue that the two closely match one another.

Shooting high-definition 1080p videos is another specialty with these two, especially when the overall package is just smashing on so many levels. Mimicking the results we already saw with their still image capture, they’re able to produce videos that are rich with detail, balanced colors, and moderate exposure adjustment. However, we’re inclined to give the Icon the advantage primarily due to the additions of having continuous auto-focus and 3x lossless zoom features.


Whether it’s the stock Windows Phone or Nokia MixRadio music apps, we’re constantly finding ourselves affixed to its enchanting presentation – more so than the iOS 7 stock music player. It might be the smaller of the two, but the iPhone 5s’ internal speaker does a great job in nearly matching the output of the Icon. Yet, it’s Nokia’s latest smartphone that churns out the stronger audio from its speaker.

When you have the larger and higher resolution screen, you’re sure to impress folks when it comes watching high definition videos. Of course, the IPS LCD panel of the iPhone 5s is stunning on its own, but the iridescence and glowing aura of the Lumia Icon’s OLED panel is more potent in catching our eyes.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
Nokia Lumia Icon 0.54
Apple iPhone 5s 1
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
Nokia Lumia Icon 79
Apple iPhone 5s 74
View all

  • Options

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.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories