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Nokia Lumia Icon vs Samsung Galaxy S4


Nokia Lumia Icon vs Samsung Galaxy S4
Nokia Lumia Icon vs Samsung Galaxy S4
Nokia Lumia Icon vs Samsung Galaxy S4
Nokia Lumia Icon vs Samsung Galaxy S4

Nearly a year has gone by, and it’s hard to believe that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is still in contention – its heart still beating profusely in light of the heavy competition around. Over on Verizon’s lineup, the Nokia Lumia Icon is giving the carrier a contemporary Windows Phone that customers have been craving, which is a refreshing addition taking into account the rarity of Windows Phones in general.

One new smartphone, another widely regarded as aged, both are no doubt going to compete against one another to earn loyalty amongst Big Red’s customer base. Right off the bat, it’s looking mighty favorable for the Lumia Icon because it’s brand spanking new, but don’t count out Sammy’s flagship from giving it a good run for its money.


There’s a distinctive styling attached to Nokia’s line of Lumia smartphones that make them oh-so appealing from a design standpoint. Of course, the Icon follows all of those design principles to give it the slightly favorable design over the Galaxy S4. For starters, the Icon’s construction, which consists of a polycarbonate body sandwiched together by a metallic frame, radiates a significant amount of sturdiness over the Galaxy S4’s slippery polished polycarbonate casing.

Looking at them at a glance, it’s almost difficult to say which of the two has the smaller frame, but on paper, it’s actually Sammy’s product that’s thinner, lighter, and more compact – though, it isn’t all that much. Taking them both into our hands, we surely appreciate the rounded edges of the Galaxy S4’s sides, as the metallic bezel of the Icon is rather sharp to the touch, which causes it to feel uncomfortable to grasp with a single hand. Even though it has some design elements we’ve seen with previous Lumias, the Icon’s design continues to be more appealing over Sammy’s offering.

Sure, we’re able to access their respective power buttons and volume controls with little fluff, but we like how the set on the Icon are more pronounced to the touch – plus, it’s helpful that it has a dedicated shutter key. They both feature microUSB ports for charging and data connectivity, but it’s only the Galaxy S4 that gives us video-out functionality as well with the aid of an adapter. Finally, we should point out that Sammy’s flagship packs along an IR blaster that allows it to double as a universal remote.

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

Samsung Galaxy S4
5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches
136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm
4.59 oz (130 g)

Samsung Galaxy S4

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


Interestingly enough, they share very similarly spec’d displays that rely on OLED technology. To elaborate more on that, it’s a 5-inch 1080p ClearBlack AMOLED display in the Lumia Icon, and a 5-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display with the Galaxy S4. Knowing that they have the same screen sizes and resolutions, they produce the same level of detail – giving even the most miniscule of text an effective amount of clarity to allow us to make them out in a zoomed out view in their web browsers.

Furthermore, their saturated color productions, in combination with the stellar viewing angles, allow for minimal distortion at various angles. When bright and vivid colors are in abundance, you know for sure that these two displays have the wow factor to keep our eyes affixed to them. Neither are actually great with outdoor visibility, as the two displays barely get close to the 300 nits brightness level.

As we’ve seen, the two displays match one another in several areas, but there’s more tech involved with the Galaxy S4’s display. Specifically, it’s able to track our finger as we’re hovering over it, which works in tandem with the handset’s various Air View functions. Throwing that aside as we look at the big picture, there’s not one display that we greatly prefer over the other.

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
Samsung Galaxy S4 289
View all

  • Options

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 05:48 4

1. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


posted on 18 Feb 2014, 06:57 5

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

Software wise we have to wait for 8.1, because 8.1 bringing a lot features, a lot.

Nokia, you guys have great design team. Keep it up. Beautiful design.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 14:11 3

14. sgodsell (Posts: 4856; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

The Galaxy S4 has removable battery and micro sd card slot. Not to mention all the other sensors that were not mentioned barometer, temperature, humidity, gesture, IR. The usb port is a full host port, usb otg, and TV-out mhl 2. All of which are on the Galaxy S4 and none of them on the Nokia Icon.
WP8.1 comes out in July/August time frame.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 15:06

16. Dastrix (unregistered)

Well, tell me who cares about all these sensors anyway? No wonder only the S4 has them because the majority of people don't care about these, and that's a fact. In my opinion, it just makes everything so much more confusing when you have so many options and sensors crammed in, and defeats the purpose of being user friendly in the first place. It may be functional and convenient, but it just doesn't work for the average user, which the majority of people are. 90% of S4 users probably don't even know 90% of what their phone can do.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 18:07 3

18. joey_sfb (Posts: 6600; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

Let me tell you 96% of the people avoided WP phone. So tell me again who's care!

The overall majority already know what they want its not like wp phone was release yesterday.

WP fan such as yourself make such sweeping statement.

I use such apps when I conduct my site survey I guess you don't even know such apps exist being such a hardcore wp fan.


posted on 18 Feb 2014, 15:12 3

17. Dastrix (unregistered)

One year ago, it would be blasphemous to compare a Windows Phone flagship to an Android flagship. This year, the Nokia Icon came out on top. I can't wait what's in store for next year!

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 18:14 1

19. joey_sfb (Posts: 6600; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)

I respect PA for the detailed comparison, after all the two phones are within the same price bracket.

Nokia Icon may be a valid option but your thinking is really out of your league. Remember WP is still the overall minority, with only 4 per cent market share. Most of my colleague would not even touch one. Anything from their mouth about WP would be negative. I just nod in agreement because its not my fight. I just buy what the BEST and its Android for now.

WP fan really out of touch with the rest of the world.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 05:51 5

2. emadshiny (Posts: 1144; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)

That sexy Lumia for me.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 07:44 1

7. tech2 (Posts: 3487; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

I wouldn't necessarily say almost 10mm thick phone sexy but different strokes for different folks.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 06:19 6

3. livyatan (Posts: 867; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)

Hardware wise, Nokia wins for build quality, processing power and camera.
But it still has drawbacks compared to S4..non removable battery, non expandable storage (a big flaw), and weight.
Overall better, but not a sweeping win at all

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 07:41 2

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

Yeah, hardware wise Nokia is better (except if GS4 is Snapdragon 800 version (4G+), then performance difference ain't noticable). Not much, but bit. And it's worth considering that GS4 is MUCH older.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 07:41 1

6. tech2 (Posts: 3487; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

Exactly ! Not to mention Icon released almost a year later than S4.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 08:12 1

8. zuckerboy (banned) (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)

I would prefer nokia. good design, good specs, good performance.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 08:46

9. pookiewood (Posts: 631; Member since: 05 Mar 2012)

I really need this phone on AT&T!

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 09:08

10. sergiobr (Posts: 713; Member since: 25 Feb 2013)

C´mon ! Wait and compare with S5 !

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 09:22 1

11. Sheharyar13 (Posts: 4; Member since: 11 Feb 2014)

Nokia Lumia set have such a good build quality,just wished they had choosen android

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 10:34 2

12. SleepingOz (unregistered)

Hardware : Nokia
Software : Samsung

posted on 19 Feb 2014, 02:58

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

exactly. btw s4 is great outdoors i donno why pa insists that its not ok. and also nokias have been traditionally champions of outdoor viewabilty!

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 11:14 1

13. rodneyej1 (Posts: 3576; Member since: 06 Jul 2013)

The Icon is the better phone inside, and out this time around.. No surprise.
We can pit the S5 up against new WP8.1 devices that are to be revealed soon..

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 14:15

15. sgodsell (Posts: 4856; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

Too bad WP8.1 won't be available to the public until July/August time frame.

posted on 17 Mar 2014, 12:25

21. kineticcc (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Mar 2014)

Switched to the icon after owning many Droid handsets...the latest being the s4. loving my icon. I can say I pretty much never used the gimmick features of the s4. Can't wait for 8.1!

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