Samsung just presented the Galaxy S4, its flagship device. It is not only Samsung’s flagship, but also Android’s. The device was hyped at least as much as the iPhone, and it is indeed a great device, but what is exactly new, and can it compare to the flagship Windows Phone?
When it comes to the hardware the S4 is definitely better in most specs when compared to a Lumia 920…
|Snapdragon S4 Dualcore 1.5 Ghz||Samsung Exynos Octa (8×1,6GHz)|
|PureMotion HD+, 1280×768 pixels, 60Hz, 4.5”||Super AMOLED, 1920×1080, 5”|
|PureView camera with OIS, Carl Zeiss optics, 8MPX||13 MPX|
|1024 MB RAM||2048 MB RAM|
|2000 mAh battery||2600 mAh battery|
|Usable with Gloves||Samsung WatchOn|
|Super bright IPS screen||Pedometer|
|Wireless Charging||Wireless Charging|
|Dolby Headphone||WiFi 802.11 abgnac|
These should be the most relevant specs. It should, however, be noted, that not only specs are relevant, but also the resulting experience, and though the SGS4 isn’t out yet, the NL920 has the edge in many areas.
The SGS4’s screen is bigger and has the higher resolution, which means also the higher PPI (sharpness), but the 920 has the better display technology. Both have a PPI over 310, which means there is no real difference visible for the human eye, and while the SGS4’s screen is based on an AMOLED panel, the Lumia 920 does offer a super bright, PureMotion IPS screen. The difference is clearly visible: Colors do look much more natural on the 920 and movements are much clearer. However, the SGS4 has the brighter colors, and even if those are clearly over saturated, some do like those bight colors more.
The Lumia 920 does offer an 8MPX camera with Carl Zeiss optics and optical image stabilization. The SGS4 offers an 13MPX camera with no such things. Some of you may think that the 13MPX do automatically mean better pictures, but that is not true. First, 13 MPX are just too much for such a little camera sensor. This will cause much blurrier pictures in dark conditions. Also, since it has no image stabilization, you won’t be able to make acceptable shots in low-light conditions anyways. I think in day light both phones will be pretty similar, but at low-light conditions the 920 WILL be the better camera phone.
Build quality and materials
The SGS4 is just 7.9 mm thin and 130 grams light. That is pretty impressive, and much better than the 11mm and 180 grams on the 920. However, because of the weight and the thin form the SGS4 is unlikely to be very well build. While both use polycarbonate as a housing the SGS4’s shell is much thinner and less stable. The 920 is a real tank, in every point, which makes it also much more durable.
When the 920 was announced it was full of innovations: The screen, the touchscreen, the camera, and also some software features. Now it should be noticed that the SGS4 does also offer some of those software features: Cinemagramm and the erasing of moving objects are examples. Also wireless charging (which wasn’t new last year either) and supersensitive touch. Well, not at all, but you can use some gestures on the SGS4 without needing to touch the screen, which automatically makes it usable with gloves on either.
Of course the SGS4 does also offer some innovations like smart scroll and smart pause. However, I personally think those features are not things which are really useful in practice, but they are definitely nice to have.
I can’t make a real comparison of both devices. The SGS4 is not out yet and I didn’t have the opportunity to test it. However, a spec comparison is doable and also some assumptions are allowed. The pure specs, however, do say nothing about the final usability of the device. While the Lumia 920 has less than the half of the processor performance of the SGS4, some HandsOns do show that the SGS4 still does not run as smooth as Windows Phone. Also a bigger battery does not automatically mean a better battery life. The bigger screen and the faster processor may cause a worse battery life than on most phones. Of course the SGs4 may also be a big surprise and blow the Lumia 920 away…
… but I personally think it won’t. While the SGS4 will be a great device, it surely won’t reach the user experience of the Lumia 920. The vast majority of us purchased our phones because we like Windows Phone, and until Samsung delivers a GS4 running Windows Phone 8 it’s not going to have what we want, no matter how many cores it runs on.