Two new smartphones that double as cameras, the Nokia Lumia 1020 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom" are coming to domestic and international markets. The Nokia Lumia was just officially announced today July 11 at the "Zoom Reinvented" event in New York City. Both devices are more camera than they are phone.
We were fortunate enough to be able to attend the "Zoom Reinvented" event and were able to get a feel for the Nokia Lumia 1020, hands-on. With that in mind we are comparing the specs, price and features of the Nokia Lumia 1020 with the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom."
Which cameraphone should you buy?
Nokia Lumia 1020
Nokia Lumia 1020 release date has been confirmed as July 26. The phone will be an AT&T exclusive, something that got some hate during the "Nokia Reinvented" event where AT&T was referred to as a "crummy" partner for Nokia. Nonetheless it's coming by the end of the month.
Nokia Lumia 1020 price is $659.99 with a $360.00 discount if you sign a 2-year agreement with AT&T lowering it to $299.99. Overall the retail price is pretty hefty, no doubt about it. It is about on par with the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom."
Nokia Lumia 1020 specs news has been dominated by the fact that it has a Pureview 41-Megapixel rear shooting camera. That's pretty remarkable considering the camera is somehow more compact than the inferior but more bulky camera you can get on the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom." The camera lens has Xenon Flash, Carl Zeiss optics, six physical lenses and optical image stabilization. It is about as close as you can get to a professional photographers camera while still being able to call the Nokia Lumia 1020 a phone.
The Pureview camera apps are the most remarkable features of the device. Basically the device can use "oversampling" to take in more light allowing it to show more detail in its images. I was able to zoom into a painting on the wall at the opposite end of the room while retaining a surprising amount of clarity and detail. It was quite impressive. There are various other features that allow you to capture movement, and create animated gifs for only certain moving objects.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 screen size is 4.5-inches AMOLED screen that use Nokia ClearBlack and PureMotion HD+ technology layers with a 1280 x 768 resolution at 332 ppi. Basically really crisp, colorful and clear images.
In terms of Nokia Lumia specs, the phone has a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with 2GB of Ram, an Adreno 320 GPU with internal storage of 32GB. You will need it with all the shots you are taken and the phone has an expandable microUSB slot.
Nokia Lumia 1020 design as we mentioned before is sleeker than the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom." The lens is compact and doesn't protrude obnoxiously as you might expect so you can certainly carry it around in your pants pocket. It also has several snap-on case options that allow for different things like wireless charging, full use as a camera and a tripod so there is a good degree of personalization possible.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 OS is Windows 8, it is very much a Windows 8 phone so that might put off Android fans, but at least you can be sure of consistent update support. Nokia has promised that it is pooling resources with AT&T and Microsoft to ensure the phone is a success.
Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom"
The Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom" is currently available on the market.
Price: The Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom" is roughly $671 at retail price. A heavy price to pay for a device with lesser specs.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom" has 16-Megapixel camera with 10x optical zoom and optical image stabilization with LED and Xenon flashes. It also has 1080p video capture with a front-facing 1.9-Megapixel camera. The camera is not as good as what the Nokia Lumia 1020 offers and it has the disadvantage of being a bulky lens that appears haphazardly affixed to a phone when you use the optical zoom which makes the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom" feel unwieldy.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom" camera features include various different scene modes like "camera" and "panorama" but it doesn't come close to the different features the Nokia Lumia 1020 offers.
Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom" specs disappoint the most, the specs are reduced compared to the Samsung Galaxy S4 flagship. It is a downright downgrade with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, down from the quad or octa-core options that S4 has. Though to be fair the Nokia Lumia 1020 also has a dual-core processor so neither company really went all out when it came to that.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom" screen is smaller at 4.3-inches with 960 x 540 resolution which we find bewildering considering the real S4 has a full HD display and larger screen size. Why would you cut corners on the screen resolution of a camera-oriented smartphone? It boggles our mind. An even greater disappointment is the paltry 8GB of internal storage with only 5GB actually available for use because of the Sense UI and other bloat ware. This is miniscule compared to the 32GB internal storage the Nokia Lumia 1020 has, though you can expand it with a microSD card slot.
Finally, the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom" currently runs the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS vs. the Nokia Lumia 1020 which has the Windows 8 OS. It's mainly a matter of user preference when it comes to that, we won't get into a Android vs. Windows 8 debate right now.
Overall, in most regards the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom" specs and features don't match up compared to the Nokia Lumia 1020 specs and features.
We are not going to mince word, the Nokia Lumia 1020 blows the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom" out of the water. If we accept the fact that these two are primarily camera-oriented phones and that users are most interested in using the camera apps on these devices to take good shots then there is absolutely no reason to get the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom" over the 41-Megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020.
Now, we are not saying that the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom" is a bad camera, you can see the pictures and it takes pretty good shots (HERE). It's just that side by side with the Nokia Lumia 1020 it doesn't look to great.
Therefore, we declare the Nokia Lumia 1020 the winner.
Which cameraphone are you planning to get, the Nokia Lumia 1020 or the Samsung Galaxy S4 "Zoom"?