Spec Shootout: Lumia 1020 vs Lumia 925 vs Galaxy S4 vs HTC One vs iPhone 5

Now that the Nokia Lumia 1020 has finally been unveiled, here's a comparison between its specifications and some of the specifications of devices currently on the market. Note that we've highlighted the best specs, on paper, in bold, however this may not necessarily translate into the best real-world results.

  Nokia Lumia 1020 Nokia Lumia 925 Samsung Galaxy S4 HTC One Apple iPhone 5
3G/4G HSPA+ and LTE HSPA+ and LTE HSPA+ and LTE HSPA+ and LTE HSPA+ and LTE
Display 4.5-inches
AMOLED
1280 x 768
332 ppi pixel density
4.5-inches
AMOLED
1280 x 768
332 ppi pixel density
5.0-inches
Super AMOLED
1920 x 1080
441 ppi pixel density
4.7-inches
Super LCD3
1920 x 1080
469 ppi pixel density
4.0-inches
IPS LCD
1136 x 640
326 ppi pixel density
Processor Qualcomm-made
Snapdragon S4
1.5 GHz dual-core
Krait cores
Qualcomm-made
Snapdragon S4
1.5 GHz dual-core
Krait cores
Samsung-made
Exynos 5 Octa 5410
1.6 GHz quad-core
ARM Cortex-A15 cores
1.2 GHz quad-core
ARM Cortex-A7 cores
or
Qualcomm-made
Snapdragon 600
1.9 GHz quad-core
Krait 300 cores
Qualcomm-made
Snapdragon 600
1.7 GHz quad-core
Krait 300 cores
Apple-made
Apple A6
1.3 GHz dual-core
Swift cores
Graphics Adreno 225 Adreno 225 PowerVR SGX544MP3
or
Adreno 320
Adreno 320 PowerVR SGX543MP3
RAM 2 GB 1 GB 2 GB 2 GB 1 GB
Storage 32/64 GB storage 16 GB storage 16/32/64 GB storage
microSD card slot
32/64 GB storage 16/32/64 GB storage
Connect Wi-Fi a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 3.0
A-GPS
NFC
Wi-Fi a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 3.0
A-GPS
NFC
Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.0

A-GPS
NFC
Infrared
Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.0
A-GPS
NFC
Infrared
Wi-Fi a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
A-GPS
Camera 41 MP camera
Zeiss lens
Xenon + LED flash
OIS

1.2 MP front camera
1080p video recording
8.7 MP camera
Zeiss lens
Dual LED flash
OIS
1.3 MP front camera
1080p video recording
13 MP camera
LED flash
2.0 MP front camera
1080p video recording
4.0 MP camera
2.0µm pixels
LED flash
OIS
2.1 MP front camera
1080p video recording
8 MP camera
LED flash
1.2 MP front camera
1080p video recording
Battery Li-ion 2,000 mAh
Non-removable
Li-ion 2,000 mAh
Non-removable
Qi wireless charging
Li-ion 2,600 mAh
Removable
Li-Po 2,300 mAh
Non-removable
Li-ion 1,440 mAh
Non-removable
Launch OS Windows Phone 8 Windows Phone 8 Android 4.2
TouchWiz 
Android 4.1
HTC Sense UI 5
iOS 6
Launch
Date
Jul-13 Jun-13 Apr-13 Mar-13 Sep-12
Size &
Weight
10.4 mm thin
158 g
8.5 mm thin
139 g
7.9 mm thin
130 g
9.3 mm thin
143 g
7.6 mm thin
112 g

 

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48 Comments

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Because the internal memory is more than enough these days for most people, plus they are kind of difficult to place on unibody devices. I'd understand an SD slot if the usable memory in the phone was less than 10GB, but for phones with 32/64GB chips in them, a MicroSD card isn't needed.

KRazpopov said,
Because the internal memory is more than enough these days for most people...

True
but for thouse cheap ass like me buy's a 16GB version of phone and buys extra SD= "cheap" phone with high storage ;D .

You'd need to get a high-class card to get read/write speeds closer to those of the intergrated memory/NAND chips. That isn't a bad idea though, if you use the card for music files or something that doesn't require that much speed.

Specs aren't so important when the OS's use the hardware differently and one OS could be less optimized than the others.

The OS is only to serve the Games and other Apps people use. The OS should run on slow hardware but what if you cannot run the Apps???

This table is a basic comparison... As someone wrote above in the comments, the Lumias have far more unique features and specs that are not even mentioned on this table.

Stats are very misleading. Even the camera stat. I was finally starting to think that as consumers we are moving beyond the myth that more megapixels means a better picture, then this crap comes out, I am not impressed!! The truth is that higher density sensors return less accurate information per pixel due to cross-talk between neighboring pixels (aka, sensor noise), so higher is not always better...in fact sometimes it is worse.

sphbecker said,
I was finally starting to think that as consumers we are moving beyond the myth that more megapixels means a better picture, then this crap comes out, I am not impressed!! The truth is that higher density sensors return less accurate information per pixel due to cross-talk between neighboring pixels (aka, sensor noise), so higher is not always better...in fact sometimes it is worse.

You pretend like you know all about camera sensors... how come you know nothing about how the Lumia 1020 41MP sensor works? And why it's better? Do a little research. You mention sensor noise... no idea how it removes noise?

So you know, they didn't just add a 41MP sensor and call it a day.

Enron said,
Have you seen the Lumia 1020 pictures? They're great.

And so are the pics from the awesome 13mpix camera of S4...

rfirth said,

You pretend like you know all about camera sensors... how come you know nothing about how the Lumia 1020 41MP sensor works? And why it's better? Do a little research. You mention sensor noise... no idea how it removes noise?

So you know, they didn't just add a 41MP sensor and call it a day.

Yes, as a hobbyist photographer with a $2,000+ camera rig I do know quite a bit on the subject. Techniques to remove sensor noise have been improving for a decade now, it is nothing new, using on-board processing power and combining multiple layers of sensors is not new either. I never said they didn't make good attempts at doing so, but if you assume they discovered some magic bullet to eliminate noise you are mistaken and very gullible. I also never said the camera was bad or would take bad pictures. The only thing I said was that MP does not equal quality, which is true.

Feel free to try the following test when you get your 1020.
-Do NOT use zoom or flash for any of the below steps
-Take an outdoor picture on a slightly overcast day as the sun is setting (keep the sun behind you as a light source--basically the most ideal condition to shoot in)
-Pick a subject pretty far away, about 100 feet and take a picture of it with the 1020
-Take another phone generally considered to have a decent camera (S4 or iPhone 5) and take the same picture, but reduce the distance to your subject to about 1/4 of what it was with the 1020 (so if you where 100 feet away, get 25 feet away)
-It will not be exact, but the 1020 image and the other image (assuming 8-12 MP camera) should appear pretty close in size when viewed at 100%
-Compare the two images at 100% and compare the level of detail.
-This is a common industry benchmark test for comparing sensors noise of cameras with unlike resolutions.

I clearly have never used a 1020, but I would bet money that the cropped image from the 1020 will not contain the same level of detail as the native image from the other camera. What does this prove? That each pixel on the 1020 is less useful than that of your other camera, aka, the 41 MP doesn't mean the camera is 4 times better.

It may very well be true that taking the same exact picture with both phones will show the 1020 with an overall better image. I never said it wasn't a good camera. It probably is better than other existing smartphont cameras. Read what I said and didn't say before you jump to conclusions.

Even extremely high end professional cameras have this same issue. Sensor noise is nothing new to the photography industry. Companies like Cannon have been working on their Digic processor for a LONG time to do the same thing, reduce noise.

Edited by sphbecker, Jul 12 2013, 2:05pm :

Again and again spec shooters think bigger screen is better and use it on their tables.

But screen size is not a feature that can be compare that better or worse.

Now in this table, in terms of screen size, htc one is worse than S4. But better than S4 with ppi? WOW! Same resolution with smaller screen gives you just better ppi number.

BSOD!

i'd still rather have a larger screen, not really a need for more than 1080x1920, so ppi is kinda pointless when the resolution is what's important

hardly anyone talks on their phones now, it's mostly using it for games or internet, so 5-6" screen is important

Buttus said,
i'd still rather have a larger screen, not really a need for more than 1080x1920, so ppi is kinda pointless when the resolution is what's important

To you maybe, but screen size is a customer preference not a 'feature'. Some people like them big, some smaller.

I agree, screen size has become personal preference. If they had a ratio of device size / screen size, that would be a legit stat. No one will argue that it is better for a device to have more dead space around the screen.

sphbecker said,
Technically they should have highlighted iOS because it is "the World's most advanced mobile operating system."

The only thing "advanced" about it is its age and how advanced in age the typical user is. Ain't that right, gramps?

sphbecker said,
Technically they should have highlighted iOS because it is "the World's most advanced mobile operating system."

How is ios the most advanced when it's based on 20+ year old UNIX. You must be drinking the cool-laid.

lol, ill agree that iOS isn't the most advanced in most ways, but just because its based on an operating system that's been around for a while, doesn't mean its not advanced. Its not like they haven't updated unix in 20 years.

sn0wbl1tz said,

How is ios the most advanced when it's based on 20+ year old UNIX. You must be drinking the cool-laid.

Wow, even with such an outlandish clam using Apple's BS marketing in quotes you guys still didn't realize it was a sarcastic statement?

They'll have to do a refresh within 3-6 months (before the holiday season) with:

- SD slot
- 802.11ac
- 4 CPU cores
- 1080p 5" display

And it'll conveniently convince all the current haters. Go Nokia, go.

I was hoping this phone would have all that and Bluetooth 4.0.

But WP8 first needs to support 1080p and quad core before Nokia can make the hardware for it. It's a shame, if this phone had all that + this camera it would easily be the best phone around. It would be the killer phone that WP/Nokia need. Like how the Galaxy S2 hardware was for Samsung and now look how well they're doing. MS don't update WP quick enough with significant features.

The table misses half of the features in the Lumias. I'd argue that the combination of the higher refresh rate, polarization filter, sunlight readability and super sensitive touch features of the screen on the Lumias presents more advantages to the user than the higher resolution of the Android phones. At these screen sizes a 1080p resolution offers no benefit at all.

There's also no mention of the superior microphone arrays in the Lumias.

The S4 also has sensitive touch. You can use it while wearing a glove etc. But yeah, they did miss out a few of the Lumias good features.

Aside from the higher refresh rate, which you don't really notice in real world usage, the Galaxy S4 display has all those features, just FYI (it could even have a high refresh rate but it's not documented).

Also, the majority of LCD displays have a polarization filter, because it's critical to the way they're constructed.

Scorpus said,
Aside from the higher refresh rate, which you don't really notice in real world usage, the Galaxy S4 display has all those features, just FYI (it could even have a high refresh rate but it's not documented).

Also, the majority of LCD displays have a polarization filter, because it's critical to the way they're constructed.

The S4 does not have 'all those features'...

Do a laymen test, of black levels and readability in sunlight and you will notice the S4 isn't packing the same display technologies.

However the daylight readability and black levels aside, the most annoying aspect of the S4 and other 1080p displays in this size range is the visible subpixel mesh.

The S4 has a visible between pixel mesh which negates the higher resolution as this effect hinders the display of solid colors making the display less accurate for color reproduction.

(The S4 uses a diamond variation of pentile which makes it easier to create a higher resolution display, but increases the masking area between subpixels.)

The 925/928/1020 also use pentile; however, it uses the square and more solid 'lighting' subpixels, which makes the subpixel space virtually nonexistent.

Here is a sample that compares it to the HTC One, which ALSO has a slight problem with a visible mesh.
http://myandroidchief.com/wp-c...age-composite-1-645x241.jpg
(S4 is on the left.)

Here is a close up of the 928 display:
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets...is-absolutely-screentastic/

Here is a full article on the S4 display compared to the HTC One.
http://androidtopnews.com/gala...htc-one-display-comparison/


The S4 is a brilliant screen, but getting the extra pixels has a trade off and that is true of almost all 1080 displays in this size range today.

Mobius Enigma said,

However the daylight readability and black levels aside, the most annoying aspect of the S4 and other 1080p displays in this size range is the visible subpixel mesh.

Oh you mean the "visible subpixel mesh" which isnt visible to the naked eye?? Yeah that really gets to me. All my friends with lumias laugh at me when we put our phones under a microscope... /S

At this resolution you cannot see the mesh so it doesn't matter. It may minimally affect colour accuracy but they can simply take this into account when they display colours. If the mesh is grey then essentially all you have to do in order to display the correct colours is to alter them slightly so they include less of this colour. In a room, the s4 display looks a lot nicer than lumias in most respects. The lumias absolutely smash the s4 in sunlight though; you're right about that.

Draconian Guppy said,
Should add the S4 now has an LTE-A variant with the new snapdragon 800, as well as wireless charging but sold separately

That will be a plus for someone like me who demand higher hardware than what's being offered. I wished it was like buying a PC with different configurations being offered.

Wireless charging comes when you use a snap on shell.

During the event Steve Elop said that there was too much packed into the phone they couldn't include wireless charging and that they strongly support it and it will be in all of their devices either integrated or via a shell.

techbeck said,
Why remove wireless charging from the 1020? Or just a spec that hasnt been verified yet?
Like the 925 you need a wireless charging shell.

techbeck said,
ahh, ok. Thanks for the info. So a shell will eventually be developed for the 1020 if it isnt already.

I believe it is already.

I don't think everyone uses it enough to make it worth bundling in every phone, even the most premium one. I know I and my father don't use wireless charging even though it's built into our Lumia phones. Not to mention it adds thickness to those that don't use it. It's better as a separate optional shell.