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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Nokia Lumia 1520

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Nokia Lumia 1520

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Nokia Lumia 1520
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Nokia Lumia 1520
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Nokia Lumia 1520
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Nokia Lumia 1520

Microsoft’s presence in the phablet space is still widely regarded as insignificant, especially when there are only two giant sized Windows Phones in circulation. One of them is none other than the Nokia Lumia 1520, which impressively continues to be relevant in the space – despite being a model that’s a year old. During that time, it has seen significant competition from the Android side, but it surely has a lot to be worried about now that the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is embarking on its quest for domination.


Both have phablet size, but the Lumia 1520 is significantly larger.

Obviously, we’re dealing with phablets here, due to their hand crushing sizes. However, the Lumia 1520 is significantly harder to manage due to its even larger overall size and heavier weight – and it doesn’t help either that its corners are a bit pointy. Despite that, it still has a stylish edge over the Note 4, thanks in part to the way it’s tapered around its edges. On top of that, it has a more profound solid construction as well.

Certainly, some folks will appreciate the new, more premium design of the Note 4, which is accentuated by the metal trim bezel that’s hugging the edges of the phone. It might lack the style that’s needed to win over fashionistas, but its refined and classy demeanor fits the mold of a sophisticated looking smartphone.

There’s no denying that the Note 4 is outfitted with an arsenal of geeky tools, which the Lumia 1520 lacks – so we very much appreciate the amenities that Samsung is so kind to offer with its device. Specifically, the Note 4 features a finger print sensor, pressure sensitive S Pen stylus, heart rate sensor, and an IR blaster.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4
6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches
153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm
6.21 oz (176 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Nokia Lumia 1520
6.41 x 3.36 x 0.34 inches
162.8 x 85.4 x 8.7 mm
7.37 oz (209 g)

Nokia Lumia 1520

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


The Note 4 has ultra high-resolution and accurate colors while the Lumia 1520's display is slightly larger.

We tip our hat to the Note 4’s display, which not only stands out for its impeccable detail, but also for its accurate color reproduction, wide viewing angles, and showroom wow factor. Donning a 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 Super AMOLED display, there’s no denying the amount of detail it’s able to deliver with its pixel density count of 515 ppi. In contrast, the Lumia 1520’s larger sized 6-inch 1080 x 1920 IPS LCD display is still pretty sharp with its 368 ppi pixel density, but we’ve been spoiled by the Note 4’s quad-HD resolution. However, we will mention that the Lumia 1520’s display is more visible outdoors, since it achieves a maximum brightness output of 707 nits – beating out the Note 4’s tally of 468 nits.

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
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 468
Nokia Lumia 1520 719
View all

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posted on 15 Oct 2014, 08:10 8

1. NotAGeek (Posts: 279; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)

Functionality & Features Note 4>Lumia 1520
Experience (Personal opinion) 1520>Note4

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 08:37 14

4. sgodsell (Posts: 4896; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)

The note 3 was better then the lumia 1520, so of course the note 4 is better again.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 08:41 7

5. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

The Note 3 was not better than the L1520. Anybody who has used both will tell you that the Lumia 1520 was better than the Note 3. I can't say anything about the Note 4 since I haven't used it.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 08:54 7

14. maherk (Posts: 4854; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

In what way was the 1520 better than the Note 3?

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:20 6

23. Liveitup (Posts: 1798; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)

For many Lumia 1520 would be a better experience than both Note 3&4 and Vice versa. For many to many features requires you to baby sit your device. . ..

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:23 3

24. maherk (Posts: 4854; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

Again you have no examples to back up your claims.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:32 1

28. Liveitup (Posts: 1798; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)

You have any examples to back up your claim that Note 3 & 4 will be better for everybody, its all about preference.

Here's a video of Note 3 vs Lumia 1520.

Its clear from the comments not everyone wants a Note 3.


posted on 15 Oct 2014, 10:14 3

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

Yup very credible source....lol !

Its no news that Nokia/MS have the biggest fanboys on the internet.

If so many people praise, worship and love their 1520 then why didn't it save Nokia from being MS's bitch ? You can only see fanboys on the internet making slow love to Nokia but in real life the truth is much different.

Real consumers don't troll internet but vote with their wallet. The sales is the true representation how the phone is received amongst general consumers.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 10:29 3

31. maherk (Posts: 4854; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

Better screen to body ratio and smaller dimensions, S-pen, better battery life with replaceable battery and much faster to charge, QHD screen, IR blaster, fingerprint scanner, tons of multiwindow features, much bigger and better app support, back is much grippier than the slippery plastic on the Lumia. I can count more, but I ll wait for you to motion 10 things that make the Nokia the better device.

posted on 15 Feb 2015, 09:16 1

58. mattypaul (Posts: 17; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)

Seeing as no one replied to you with the slightest bit of intelligence I'll happily attempt to!

First of all I'd like to point out that the Note 4 does not have better battery life.

Secondly, the Lumia 1520 is not made of slippery plastic. The red version is gloss, however, the black, white, yellow, and green versions are all matte and all provide good grip.

1. Larger screen with more screen real estate.

2. Far better outdoor visibility with 42% more nits and far superior assertive display technology (look it up).

3. Larger battery + no QHD + more power efficient OS = unequivocally better battery life!

4. Better camera. With the new Lumia Camera app you get faster load times and faster picture times, 4K, and HDR, thereby filling in the weaknesses that it had before.

5. Better audio quality. You get better headphone output, a fully customisable equaliser, and with all of Dolby's new technology.

6. Better audio recording. 4 HAAC mics that can record full surround sound, or plain old stereo, up to 140 decibels distortion free. It can also record in Dolby Digital Plus 5.1.

7. The unibody polycarbonate design feels higher quality, scratches much less easily due to the colour being inherent to the material, and comes in 5 colour choices. It is also a far more distinctive and original design.

8. A fool proof OS that is simple to use, very smooth, and has a guaranteed upgrade cycle supporting more than the length of the handsets life cycle. In 2015 it is still at the forefront of every single update despite being launched in 2013.

9. More memory. Both handsets come with 32GB built in but the 1520 supports 128GB extra, whereas, the Note 4 only supports 64GB extra.

10. Value for money. The 1520 is dramatically less expensive.

11. Environmental impact. The entire polycarbonate shell of the black and green models are made from 100% recycled material. Also, Nokia is consistently ranked as the greenest phone manufacturer.

In my opinion both are superb smartphones that are similarly capable in so many ways. I think the 1520 is very impressive due to the fact that it is still competitive in the market today yet it was launched so long ago. I'm not saying either one is better but it's only fair to give Nokia their due credit with the 1520.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:26 3

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

Haha.....and what features need babysitting in android and does not in WP ? Can you elaborate.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:04 4

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

Do you actually have points as to why L1520 is better rather then useless blabbering ?

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:19 2

21. ph00ny (Posts: 1518; Member since: 26 May 2011)

I use both and I like the Note 3 whole lot better than my att lumia 1520. I specially hate that slippery plaatic finish on the lumia. Dropped it twice and forced me to get a case for a phone thats already too large

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:19 3

22. Lememurilo (Posts: 31; Member since: 13 Oct 2014)

Note 3 is real phablet, much better than the Lumia 1520 that is just a big phone, that does not take advantage of the screen size

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 10:44 2

34. Andrewtst (Posts: 679; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

After I play my sister son Microsoft phone, I just know the available apps is so poor.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 08:42

6. NotAGeek (Posts: 279; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)

Yep,you're right.The 1520 is already a year old anyway.MS should be serious about making the successor

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 08:45 6

9. SonyFindOneDroidple (Posts: 854; Member since: 11 May 2013)

I think u will still get signfcant amount of it with note 4 more than lumia..
Cant see anything that the note 4 cant do which the lumia can.
And besides, note 4 arguably does everything better than any phone out there.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 08:52 5

13. DogeShibe (Posts: 1116; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)

Lumia 1520 running WP8.1 ≥ SG Note 4 w/ Touchwiz.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 w/ stock android ≥ Lumia 1520 running WP8.1 .

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:05 3

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

and why is that ?

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:09 3

20. DogeShibe (Posts: 1116; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)

WP = Stock Android > Touchwiz.

Touchwiz > Stock Android = WP

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:25 4

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

and on what basis you came to that conclusion ? Did you use both to comment on that ?

WP got better performance. No credible reviewer ever said Note4 lags or is lacks adequate performance.

You can check benchmarks or you can check hardware. In all Note 4 will comprehensively and categorically come on top.

If you are referring to Note 4's Touchwiz, then I've used GS5 and despite of haters say it does not lag.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:52

29. DogeShibe (Posts: 1116; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)

Please double check every comment of mine in this article and tell me if i mentioed the word 'lag'?

It's just my opinion you are making big deal of :)

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 02:09 3

46. snowgator (Posts: 3604; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)

Lag had BETTER not be present in the Note 4 in reviews. A brand new, out of the box top end device used for a couple of days? With the premium price attached? That thing better sing like a Blue Bird.

However, there is a point here which still stands: Android needs a user who understands how to keep it running well. As a rule, so much more is going on in the background and can be happening without the user knowledge that over time any Android can become a tad laggy. Period. But I am past blaming Android devices. Users need to understand what they are downloading, how apps work, and what happens when you do not keep an eye on your device.

But there is something that even the top Android user has to admit: WP devices tend to work seamlessly with very little effort. It is the way the OS is designed. Over a 2 year cycle, a L1520 will sing. It will not lag. It has been updated to WP 8.1 and it still has no complaints about lag.

Incidently, the Note 3 has held up well. I have heard very littl complaints about it lagging over time. Both the Note 2 and original Note 1 (which I still own) DID have problems. I expect the Note 4 to be fine.

I am a WP user. Right now, I would in no way say the L1520 wins in a head to head VS the Note 4. But I will say that even right now I know you can get the L1520 and in 2 years it will still work seamlessly.

posted on 06 Jun 2015, 01:29

63. zkyevolved (Posts: 5; Member since: 06 Jun 2015)

I saw so many youtube reviews about the Note 4... (after having so many android devices like the note 2, galaxy s4, s3, xpera z2, g3 (with 3gb ram))... I never expected the Note 4 to be so unreliable with battery life, lags in the camera and recent apps button, also reviewing images... God... I've had it now for a few months, and the rumored 5.1.1 fixes. If it doesn't, I'll never buy another Samsung. They ALWAYS have the same issues and they have reviewers in their pocket or something! Reviewers only keep the device for a week, so the device never gets "old." So they never see the wear and tear of a device over "time." God Samsung pisses me off right now! I did have the 1520, and I have to say, it's build and UI is far superior to Android. Every day on Android I need to see what app could be draining my battery. Ironically, half of the time it's a Samsung feature or samsung app that would need to be frozen or forced close... Not an issue on the 1520. Screen quality is better on Samsung, but that's expected... They make great displays! But I'd always prefer an LCD over OLED just because most of my screens are white, and OLED uses more battery and heats up more reproducing whites; but those blacks are GORGEOUSLY turned off! haha.

Anyways, there is no clear winner because Android has customizability and WP has fluidity. Android APP data base, WP ... doesn't! haha. but as a long time user of Android, I prefer the UI of WP. It's just awesome.

Hopefully MS will change and allow full on multitasking one of these days and let me go back :P The lack of it was the main reason I changed back to Android...

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 09:27 3

27. SonyFindOneDroidple (Posts: 854; Member since: 11 May 2013)

And why?
Why are u all so obsessed w/ stock android? It's plain boring. And we're talking about experience ;)

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 10:40 7

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

let me clear this out guys,

Note 4 is best android Phablet.
Lumia 1520 is best wp Phablet.

fair enough,
now just choose OS, whichever you want to use.

posted on 16 Oct 2014, 02:09 1

47. snowgator (Posts: 3604; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)

This case is now closed. Move along, nothing to see here....

Thanks, akki.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 17:31 2

43. rsiders (Posts: 1101; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

Yes I agree 100% but anybody who's used a 1520 knows that they set the phone up with the absolute worst settings to take these kind of night shots. For this reason alone PhoneArena can't be trusted in keeping things fair. When have you ever seen the 1520 put out that much noise? The ISO had to be turned up high and I will post pictures from my 920 with no enhancements handheld with the correct settings just to show how bogus this is. The Note 4 has the better camera with more functions in video recording but come on PhoneArena don't make one look bad just to make the other stand out.

posted on 15 Oct 2014, 19:49 1

45. rsiders (Posts: 1101; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)

Handheld with no edits from Lumia 920.

posted on 17 Oct 2014, 08:56 2

53. ucristian (Posts: 6; Member since: 15 Feb 2014)

you shard to us your whole OneDrive ...be carefull

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