Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Nokia Lumia 920
Introduction

Let's face it – Nokia has been struggling to become relevant again for the last few years, and even with Windows Phone 8, it's still having a lot of trouble gaining any real traction. Meanwhile, Samsung has been enjoying increasingly bigger profits thanks to its efforts in the Android market. The two companies have recently switched their places, as Samsung has become the biggest cell phone maker, and Nokia has been left licking its wounds and trying to come up with a comeback plan. Well, that plan was Windows Phone and the best Nokia has managed to do with it is the Lumia 920. As Samsung has just introduced its newest flagship, though, the Galaxy S4, we think it'll be more than interesting to see how the biggest phone makers by volume stack up against each other.

Design

Could the Galaxy S4 and Lumia 920 be more different as far as design is concerned? Hardly! Samsung's device is made from a somewhat flimsy feeling plastic, although in theory, it should be polycarbonate, which is the same as what the Lumia 920 uses for its construction. However, Nokia's handset feels much sturdier and more durable than its opponent. This has come at a price, though, as the Galaxy S4 is definitely the slimmer, lighter and more compact smartphone of the two, which is a big deal, considering that it also has a larger screen.



Display

And by larger, we mean 0.5" larger, which is not a small thing. Not only that, but the GS4 also has a higher resolution display – 1080p vs 768p, so it's a lot sharper too, although image quality with the Lumia 920's display is also very good.

The Lumia 920 sticks to the tried and true LCD IPS technology, while Samsung is counting on its Super AMOLED, but don't worry, that's not the oversaturated and cold AMOLED that we once had in Samsung's phones. Well, it could be, but it can also look a lot more natural now thanks to a couple of screen profiles that Samsung has built in. Even then, the screen of the Lumia 920 is just superior in terms of overall quality.

The Lumia 920 is not super-bright, but it's still a bit brighter than the GS4, and that makes it a bit easier to view outdoors. Meanwhile, its colors appear more natural-looking, as they have that warm and balanced appearance. The GS4 is not far behind, though, and it also has its 1080p resolution to make up for the areas where it loses.




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92 Comments

95. cbeltrancol

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 22, 2013

The Nokia 920 is a great phone, but it has a big limitation with the handling of the contacts. Windows phone sincronize the contacts with Contacts in Outlook.com and not accept nor syncing over 1500 contacts. To me that is a big limitation. Anybody Knows if Microsoft will be change this limitation?.

94. cocorad

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 05, 2013

this is the most biased comparison i've ever read! look.. Display resolution & Interface: 920: 9.8 | s4: 9.3 (s4 still has a bit of lags and stutters, 920 perfect) Built: 920: 9 | s4: 8.5 (920 : built like a tank, unibody, s4 : doesn't look durable) Specs: 920: 8 | s4: 9.9 (no competition) Battery: 920: 8 | s4: 9.5 (s4 battery lasts longer and is removable, 920 for heavy users, it wont last a day) Apps: 920: 8.9 | s4: 9.5 (wp8 has less apps than android, although common apps are already available for wp8, and built in apps from nokia are really awesome!) Camera: 920: 9.9 | 9.3 (920 is so much better once you've used them, what phone arena did is to give it all for s4 camera and just talk less about 920 camera. very disapointing what phonearena did) Design: 920: 9.8 (sexy & flawless) | s4: 8 (dull)

92. so-damn-cool

Posts: 1; Member since: May 29, 2013

I disagree with this article and the 920 is a superior phone. I would like to confirm that the Samsung does have a Quad Core Processor, and gives you access to far more apps. However, a smart phone may be more useful if its well built, streamlined, and functional; rather than poorly constructed, bloated with unnecessary features. If you need to play games, and toys, the Samsung is the phone for you; its Quad Core will make sure of that. However, if you want well built, well functioning, speedy and streamlined phone, than the Nokia Lumia is going to kill this Galaxy S4. I started using Samsung Phones back in the 90s; I used them up until 06 when I purchased my first blackberry. This article confirms, what I remember about Samsung: Flimsy built, semi functional phones, loaded with useless features, sold to a mass market type of consumer. Nokia's reputation has always been to make expensive and nice phones, and that is what the Lumia 920 feels like. During my time with Blackberry, I started to get into GPS on the phones. Blackberry had an ok system, but it was blown away by the google maps that came with the iPhone 4. I bought an iPhone 4 around 07 or so, its what I replaced the blackberry with. When ios 6 came about, Apple removed the google maps, and replaced with apple maps. This was a disaster. I had to wait for the google maps app to be released. When the google maps app arrived for ios 6, I found that I had to sign into google to use this application for its full feature set. Everywhere I went, if I used google maps, google new exactly where I was going. Using that info, obviously to make a better advertising product. To target me, with more of their garbage. I traded in an iPhone 4 for a Lumia 920, and I knew full well that Nokia Maps had a great reputation. I want to tell you, that I have tested Nokia Maps on a drive across the state of Florida, USA, and no doubt.. The GPS on the Nokia Lumia 920 is the best I have ever used. The are other things: The construction of the Nokia feels solid. The screen is sharp. The camera, "works for a phone camera." The Win 8 mobile operating system? That's kind of a personal/opinionated thing. I happen to love it. Others will hate it. Some will have no opinion either way. I want to be out of apples ecosystem. I want to be out of googles ecosystem. This article confirms that Samsung still feels like, "a flimsy phone." A quad core processor on your smart phone maybe great for playing games. If you are a professional, a dual core will run, with good speed, all the things you need. There are certainly more reasons than, "maps," to look at the Lumia 920, but I feel like I have said my peace, and the rest of you, can just go and figure it out for yourselves.

89. yorcharturo

Posts: 10; Member since: May 23, 2013

The problem with Lumia 920 is not Nokia, they do have great design and intentions, but no longer make them (are now made by third party factories). The problem is MSFT, they set the hardware rules, the chip it will support the resolution, the memory card and so on, since Nokia can not mess (improve) the OS as Samsung does they can not do anything but follow the rules, that is why the camera is bad, the phone is slow (compared to Samsung's) It is still amazing the fact that the Nokia 808 is one of the most powerful phones. If MSFT let Nokia improve the OS I'm sure they would set the bar higher. MSFT sets the hardware rules in current technology (so Snapdragon S4 was the best and the resolution was impressive back then) and until WP9 there will be no change. Hopefully all WP8 phone will be upgradable, and not like WP7 hardware that was disposable.

88. Salarzae

Posts: 1; Member since: May 14, 2013

After owning and testing alot of smartphones (iPhone, Nokia, Samsung, Sony, Motorola) and logical thinking, all I could get my hands on was a Lumia 920, albeit hesitantly. Why? The simplicity of the OS won me over. I don’t care about millions of app if I don’t want to and can’t use them. All I needed was a few good useful apps (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pandora, spotify, Foursquare, Flicker, Skype and best of all SkyDrive). Apart from that my most used application is offline GPS (since I travel a lot and don’t want to pay roaming charges on A-GPS), support for my documents & presentations, good battery life (Samsung as well as androids suck at this and you’ve to constantly close background apps) and of course a sturdy phone which I can put in my jeans/back pocket, sit-jump-walk and never care if it will every break. Camera came in as a good surprise, especially low. At first I thought the camera was not at all good (after using SLR, you'll definitely compare it that way) but when I compared it with other top of the line smartphones, there is no way they can beat Lumia in most circumstances. I’m more than happy with the overall performance I wanted another phone too (I backed off & instead used my old N900) and went out to get Samsung Note II, but when I compared it with a local brand (XTouch X508) with almost similar specification; I preferred that one since they are similar in style, same quality, similar warranty and 1/3 the price of Samsung. Not to mention that XTouch sport dual sim, extra battery as well a free bookstyle quality case. Each of smartphones out there is for different tastes, different lifestyles, so different opinions are expected but I felt that I was getting bored quite early with Android devices. And since every Tom, d**k & Harry owns one, I prefer to be have something different, out of norm.

87. iguano

Posts: 101; Member since: May 10, 2012

lol phonearena I don't know how do you test of the cameras but you are the only webpage on the internet that said that the s4 have better camera than the l920...

90. yorcharturo

Posts: 10; Member since: May 23, 2013

Actually many sites do mention that of all the flagships Samsung has the best camera. Lumia's camera are not bad either, but a step back for Nokia own standart, N8 and 808 are amazing cameras, not a single phone can compete with those. Can't post the links due to the fact that just today registered here, but just google it.

86. trexnkrumpets

Posts: 45; Member since: Jan 15, 2013

Wow. Lol. How can you even compare any phone camera without OIS to one with. 920 still wins. I'd choose the htc one as my android shooter. WP "blue" '13 should bring it closer to par with android. Xbox messaging needs to be integrated into the main message hub, a notification hub, ability to create folders/subfolders. And I think than I can gladly use just my WP.

85. jellmoo

Posts: 2687; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

What on earth are you doing to your 920 to produce pictures like that? Rubbing it with a potato? Every 920 I have used so far (in the area of 10-12 different ones) has produced way nicer photos than that. But then on top of that you completely gloss over the low light photos and optical stabilization with nothing more than a casual mention. In a lot of ways the Galaxy S3s is a better phone, no doubt. It has the advantage of having significantly newer tech and a more mature platform. But the camera *really* isn't one of them. Skewing the camera results against the 920 is just plain silly.

83. david90531

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 24, 2013

Nokia Lumia 920 any day. As a much newer phone S4 really just didn't bring enough innovations and even surprises for design and hardware.

81. recond9

Posts: 50; Member since: Jan 11, 2013

The Lumia 920 is a good phone (somehow) but is a bit outdated compared to the recently announced Android monsters.But anyway the S4 would still win against an updated Windows Phone device,as its app ecosystem lacks lots of popular and often used aplication and games.It's weird why the developerss show no love for WP.It would make this OS a real competitor for IOS and Android,if they did.

79. X55526622233

Posts: 17; Member since: Apr 14, 2013

warmer colors in lumia 920

78. kimyhang

Posts: 14; Member since: Jul 17, 2012

c'mon guys 2012 vs 2013 ? -_-

93. cocorad

Posts: 3; Member since: Jun 05, 2013

yeah. and what's mind blowing is 2012 wins!

77. TechUser

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 14, 2013

There is no intelligence on the internet. Here is my review: 1. Spec sheet: Lumia 920: 6 - Samsung crap: 10 2. User Experience (speed, responsiveness): Lumia 920: 9.1 - Samsung crap: 9 3. Camera: Lumia 920: 9.5 - Samsung crap: 8 (the phone arena folks are drunk. Who said they can write a review when they are drunk? WTF!) 4. Display: L920: 9.5 - Samsung crap: 9 (highest refresh rate, super sensitive on L920. Sorry I don't think bigger is better. And I do think 1080p on a phone is stupid.) 5. Build quality: Is there a competition here? Try the Samsung crap under a 24 ton cat truck, then we talk. 6. Design: Why do we even talk about this? Summary: Lumia 920's Camera is still not challenged, with daylight still photo on par to each other (again the phone arena folks are drunk), and low light still photo and video still best in class. Lumia 920's design is one of the best in market. Samsung crap's design is one of the worst in the market. Frankly, no one should put the two together, because it's cruel. You can clear see that in above video. Lumia 920 still has the best display in the market, and I mean it. And frankly, based on what I see on the device, the 1080p display is abuse of technology. Samsung crap pack a lot of gimmicks, it fools some spec sensitive geeks, but gimmicks are not real deal, and real people won't care. Lets just skip build quality, user interface. Overall score: Lumia 920: 9.2, Samsung crap: 8.9 (maybe I am too generous giving such an ugly phone a 8.9 score)

75. Altair

Posts: 367; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Useless article writed by Android fanatic. Yawn

74. Altair

Posts: 367; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

"Samsung's handset is definitely the more convenient phone to use, as it's much lighter and thinner, while at the same time it packs a significantly larger display. But that is not all. The Galaxy S4 also has a much better camera" Laugh. More convenient phone to use, as it's MUCH lighter and thinner. You and other weaklings must have problems to raise a cup of milk too? Better camera? Where do you get all nonsense? Nokia Luma 920 still beats S4 camera easily. WP 8 is also A LOT better than android with another row of icons.

73. odin09

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 21, 2012

While comparing a brand new Samsung phone to a 6 month old Nokia is somewhat of a farce it is an interesting read. I think phonearena discounts build quality far to much. When buying a premium handset I want it to feel premium. The GS2 felt flimsy and cheap when I tried it. I also hated how light it was, I prefer something with a little more heft. I would of course disagree with the operating system comparison. The grids of android and ios still look stale and boring to me. I am not a Nokia fanboy and have never even owned one but phonearena is consistently more negative towards the camera and video than other sites. The beauty os that we can all choose the phone that has more of what we find important. I look forward to more of these comparisons even if I don't think the writers truly understand windows phone.

71. SuperSport

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 12, 2013

The Lumia is harder to learn for a newbie? Wow! What world is that in? VERY biased article, but it happens a lot lately on most of the sites. They are not TRUE reporters, but rather bloggers. They can state their personal opinions all they want, and it creates page hits for the sites, which in turn equals income. One more thing. There's almost 1/2 a year between these phones. Why isn't the S4 WAY beyond the Lumia by this time? Aren't THEY the ones playing catch up?

68. tryingHARD

Posts: 64; Member since: Dec 31, 2012

Lumia FTW!

67. Nephylim

Posts: 134; Member since: Apr 04, 2013

Samsung wins !!!! Best SMARTphone 2013 :)

80. X55526622233

Posts: 17; Member since: Apr 14, 2013

obviously, you're a fanboy

59. Nephylim

Posts: 134; Member since: Apr 04, 2013

congratz Sammy !!!! S4 for me !!

57. KashAli

Posts: 105; Member since: Apr 01, 2013

How is this working... You guys are on websites doing reviews and taking Galaxy S4 out and testing? I mean the phone is not even released yet! :-s

91. yorcharturo

Posts: 10; Member since: May 23, 2013

The manufacturers gave them the phones prior the release and state a date until they can publish the review, which commonly is after the release (official announcement) some reviewers do a first review with those and then a second review with a phone from the street. That is common practice, in fact Nokia suffered bad comments from Gizmodo when they returned the phone to Nokia and claim they will no longer review Nokia, because acording to them nokia was irrelevant. I remember that in fact, Nokia gave away in a contest that specific phone. You can google it, I can not post links (being less than 7 days registered)

55. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

LMAO! I still can't believe how big the Lumia 920 is. And moronic Nokia fans are calling the GS4 too big, look at the fatty in your camp first.

58. UrbanPhantom

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

Taters, size does matter - that's why your ex gf left you, remember?

51. Seany

Posts: 94; Member since: Sep 28, 2012

Sorry Phone Arena your photo tests are really poor. Look at the photo of the man standing with the hat on. The Samsung is clearly over exposed and is blurry and the Nokia is correctly exposed with clear definition. It seems to me Phone Arena you have really poor knowledge of testing cameras.

50. KashAli

Posts: 105; Member since: Apr 01, 2013

Yeah Bloody Galaxy S4 is £150 more expensive then Lumia 920 (do not forget that).

66. Abbath

Posts: 99; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

Yes but Lumia 920 has been in the market for just over 5 months now

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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