The Samsung Galaxy S4 has rapidly emerged as the default point of comparison for smartphones new and old, for good reason. It succeeds the top-selling Android handset of 2012, and is very well positioned to compete against all comers in the smartphone landscape. That said, it might be a good time to compare the handset with the Nokia Lumia 920, the Finnish company’s Windows Phone 8 flagship.
From the outset, the Galaxy S4 brings newer and more impressive hardware to the table. Its 5-inch 1080p display has a pixel density that’s challenged only by its fellow full HD flagship smartphones, while its Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 or Exynos 5 Octa processors perform far better than any older chip. In contrast, the Lumia 920 only has a 4.5-inch 1280 x 768 pixel screen and dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 places it firmly within the scope of a 2012 flagship.
The Samsung handset also outstrips its competitor in terms of storage flexibility. The Nokia is locked down to a single 32GB option, while the Galaxy S4 gives Samsung’s usual 16/32/64GB options plus a provision for a 64GB microSD card.
That said, the Lumia 920 does have its own advantages, chief among them is its camera. A recent test by a Russian website shows that the Nokia’s optical image stabilization of its PureView camera is far superior to the Samsung’s. This would allow not only more stable video capture, but also the usage of longer shutter times without blurriness due to shaky hands—which could add up to better low-light performance.
There’s also the question of operating system. Windows Phone 8 is a usable operating system, but it lacks the absolute flexibility of Android. This flexibility and the absolute performance advantage makes the Galaxy S4 the superior all-purpose handset, but heavy camera users who don’t mind the relatively unestablished app ecosystem for WP8 would definitely be satisfied with the Lumia 920.