At its big iPhone launch event, Apple made a point of emphasising the camera of the new flagship iPhone 5S. Among the upgrades it boasts are a 15 per cent larger sensor, an f/2.2 aperture, and larger pixels that measure 1.5 microns across.
If you're a Nokia or Windows Phone fan, that instantly brings to mind the Lumia series – specifically, the Nokia Lumia 1020, which currently has the most advanced smartphone camera going. The Lumia 1020 does something similar, in that the handset employs its 41-megapixel sensor for oversampling (in one mode, at least), shooting 5-megapixel images that are more detailed and less noisy at higher ISO settings than usual.
There's more to buying a phone than its camera, of course – which brings us to this article. Here's a side-by-side look at the Apple iPhone 5S and the Nokia Lumia 1020, not just in terms of camera specs, but everything. Which smartphone should be your next purchase?
Let's start with the way they look. They're both phones with touchscreens, of course, but the similarities pretty much end there, as these two handsets are about as different as they could be otherwise. The Lumia 1020 measures 130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4mm and weighs 158g. That's partially thanks to its 4.5in 720p touchscreen, but the rest of the weight is mostly from the camera assembly, which protrudes slightly from the back of the phone.
The iPhone 5S is svelte in comparison, measuring 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm and weighing just 112g. The iPhone steps down to a 4in, 1,136 x 640 pixel touchscreen.
Powering the iPhone 5S is a new 64-bit A7 processor and M7 motion coprocessor, which should be ideal for running the next generation of apps under the new iOS 7. The Lumia 1020 features a now-standard 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, which is typical for Windows Phone 8 devices in general.
As far as the operating systems themselves are concerned, both phones are very different. Keeping in mind that these are blanket generalisations, but Windows Phone 8 is much more customisable, and its live tile interface is fun to use, while iOS 7 is a fresh makeover of an aging OS, and Apple's app and game catalogue is second to none. It's definitely worth trying both out before plunking down cash on your next phone.
Now let’s move onto the two cameras. The iPhone 5S has a laundry list of features, including True Tone flash, a backside illumination sensor, a hybrid IR filter, and the usual face detection, panorama, and burst modes. Both phones record high definition 1080p video at 30 frames per second, and both phones can take still shots while recording video. The iPhone has a new slow-motion video mode that grabs 120 frames per second, plus it boasts improved video stabilisation.
The Lumia 1020's camera is a 2/3in design, which is about the same size as you'd find in a high-end premium compact camera – and that’s very impressive. It's also backside illuminated to reduce noise, and has a wide-angle 27mm (35mm equivalent) field of view in 4:3 mode. Like the iPhone 5S, the Lumia 1020's aperture is fixed at f/2.2, but you can change white balance, ISO, shutter speed, exposure compensation, and focus.
In our review, we found the Lumia 1020's camera to be just as good as you'd expect, with the only negative being that it has a slow shot-to-shot time. Our camera expert, Jim Fisher, found the Lumia 1020 takes 6.1 seconds to launch the camera app and shoot a photo, and anywhere from 3.6 to 4.2 seconds between each photo after that depending on file size. It's also working with up to 38-megapixel shots, but even 5-megapixel shots take that long. The A7 processor on board the iPhone 5S could help make it feel faster, but we won't know for sure until we get one in for review.
Will the iPhone 5S camera measure up otherwise in terms of actual photo results? Indeed, will the phone itself measure up? Keep your eyes peeled on ITProPortal and we’ll have a full iPhone 5S review for you soon.
And finally, let's turn the stage over to you. Which phone do you prefer: The iPhone 5S or the Nokia Lumia 1020? Let us know in the comments section below.
Nokia Lumia 1020
Apple iPhone 5S
1,280 x 768 pixels
1,136 x 640 pixels
Processor and battery
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
Claimed 3G talk time
Up to 13 hours
Up to 10 hours
Storage and memory
32GB / 64GB (O2 exclusive)
16GB / 32GB / 64GB
1080p @ 30fps
1080p @ 30fps
802.11 a / b / g / n
802.11 a / b / g / n
Yes (with accessory cover)
130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4mm
123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm
Windows Phone 8
Price (SIM-free unless otherwise stated)
£550 on Three PAYG (32GB)
£549 (16GB) / £629 (32GB) / £709 (64GB)