The Samsung Galaxy S4 is shaping up to be a pretty amazing device. Normally we're wary of making such predictions ahead of time, and usually shy away from them. But short of a colossal screw-up, it's tough to imagine a way Samsung could blow the Galaxy S4's release next month, even considering the company's ill-conceived, over-the-top production surrounding its unveiling at Radio City Music Hall last week.
The Nokia Lumia 920 also has its share of dedicated admirers, though. But could the Galaxy S4 be good enough to sway even those people to Android? Let's break it down and find out.
Make no mistake: The Lumia 920 is a beautifully crafted phone. While both devices are made of plastic, with the exception of the glass screen, the Lumia 920 looks and feels more expensive, thanks to its thick polycarbonate construction and rolled edges. However, you pay for that in the weight stakes; the Lumia 920 weighs a hefty 185 grams, which is 55 grams heavier than the sleek, thin Galaxy S4.
The Galaxy S4 also gives you a better screen, as nice as the Lumia 920’s display is. The Galaxy S4's 5in, 1,920 x 1,080-pixel (1080p) Super AMOLED panel is a significant jump over the Lumia 920's 4.5in, 1,280 x 720-pixel (720p) ClearBlack screen. In the real world, that may matter a little less than it first appears. Despite the 0.5in difference in size and lower resolution on the Lumia 920, both screens look gorgeous, though it's tough to deny the advantages of having all that extra real estate to play with.
Processor-wise, it's no contest. The Galaxy S4 LTE's quad-core 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 should benchmark considerably faster than the Lumia 920's dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4.
There's no need to rehash the app wars here, but while Windows Phone 8 is a pleasure to use throughout, its app catalogue, while considerable, still lacks ports of many popular iOS and Android apps. That doesn't bother many Windows Phone fans, because there are alternatives in almost all cases; they're just different, that's all. On the other hand, the Galaxy S4 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the latest version of Android with Google Now, Photo Spheres, and Miracast support, plus all of Samsung's considerable enhancements to the OS.
Nokia makes a big deal about the Lumia 920's camera, and with good reason. While it's down on megapixels versus the Galaxy S4 (8.7 to 13), the Lumia 920 delivers top notch photos and beautiful 1080p video recording in many conditions. Still, it's not perfect, as we found in our review. Samsung has a real chance to beat the Lumia 920 with the S4’s higher resolution rear sensor and 1080p front-facing camera, along with some clever software tricks. (For more on the S4’s snapper, check out our article here – the Samsung Galaxy S4 camera: More megapixels, more software features).
So on paper, at least, the Galaxy S4 has made a small but significant advance over the Lumia 920 in most respects, notably in terms of the screen, the processor, and the two cameras. Let's turn it over to you now. Do you think the Galaxy S4 beats the Lumia 920, or does the Lumia 920 still win out thanks to its Windows Phone OS and well-tuned camera? Let us know in the comments section below.
Finally, here’s the table with the full rundown of comparative specs:
Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE
Nokia Lumia 920
1,920 x 1,080 pixels
1,280 x 768 pixels
Processor and battery
Snapdragon S4 Plus
Claimed 3G talk time
Storage and memory
16GB /32GB / 64GB
1080 @ 30fps
1080p @ 30fps
802.11 a / b / g / n / ac
802.11 a / b / g / n
Integrated wireless charging
136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm
130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7mm
Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
Windows Phone 8