Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom v/s Nokia Lumia 1020

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, Nokia Lumia 1020
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, left, and Nokia Lumia 1020 duke it out for smartphone camera greatness.
(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)
With their focus on photography, Nokia's Lumia 1020 and Samsung's Galaxy S4 Zoom are the smartphone industry's camera big shots.
While both strive for smartphone imaging prowess, these two devices are really very different. It's best to think of the Lumia 1020 as a smartphone with a good camera, and of the S4 Zoom as a point-and-shoot that can make calls.
For now, I match up the phones' specs and lay out some strengths of each. I'll come back and flesh this out with many more comparisons -- including image quality -- after fully testing the Zoom. The Lumia 1020, for its part, has been fully reviewed.

Camera resolution
Most of the time, the higher-resolution information goes into lossless cropping. It's all explained here.The Lumia 1020 has a 41-megapixel resolution, which is a bit of a misnomer because photos resolve to 5 megapixels by default. You can peel off the full resolution images manually, through the computer.
Samsung's camera grabs 16-megapixel shots, but its sensor is smaller than on the Lumia 1020. It is easier, however, to get to the full-resolution output. We'll need to wait on a photo quality shootout to decide which ones takes the better photos.
The Zoom is basically Samsung's WB30F compact camera, says CNET camera reviewer Joshua Goldman, turned into a phone and using the 16MP BSI CMOS sensor found in Samsung's higher-end compacts.
PhoneNokia Lumia 1020Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom
OSWindows Phone 8Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
U.S. carrierAT&TTBA
Camera41 megapixels16 megapixels
Zoom3x digital10x optical
Sensor size1/1.5-inch
BSI CMOS
1/2.3-inch
BSI CMOS
ApertureF 2.2F 3.1-F 6.3
Focal range26mm24-240mm
Front-facing camera1.2-megapixels1.9-megapixels
Video recording1080p HD rear;
720p HD front
1080p HD rear;
720p HD front
Processor1.5GHz dual-core
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4
1.5GHz dual-core
Pega-Dual +XMM6262
Screen4.5-inch AMOLED4.3-inch Super AMOLED
Resolution1,280x768; 331ppi960x540; 256ppi
Dimensions (inches)5.1x2.8x0.5*5x2.5x0.61*
Weight (ounces)5.67.3
Battery2,000mAh, embedded2,330mAh, removable
Internal storage32GB8GB
Expansion slotNoYes, up to 64GB
4GLTELTE
RAM2GBNot listed
Bluetooth version3.04.0
NFCYesYes
*At their slimmest points. The Lumia's camera mount extends 0.5 inch; the Zoom's is 2 inches away from the face.

Zoom in on it
The Zoom has all the advantage with a 10x optical zoom that should handily smash the Lumia 1020's 3x digital zoom.
At least that's what we expect for a physical zooming lens. As a general rule of thumb, optical zoom produces higher-quality images than digital zoom, among other things. Of course, we won't know for sure until the test results come in. Stay tuned!
Settings and controls
Apart from high-resolution images and the larger sensor size, Nokia's manual camera controls are a high point. There aren't any preset modes in the default Nokia Pro Cam app, which isn't great (you have to switch camera apps or add lenses,) and the camera doesn't handle close-ups well in automatic settings. However, the sliding controls are convenient for creative snaps.
Samsung has its manual controls, too, which you access through an Expert mode. That's a small part of the setup, though. Casual and avid photographers can also turn on presets like night mode, macro, and landscape.
It's also easier with the S4 Zoom to switch to the front-facing camera using an onscreen button.
The 1020's Nokia Pro Cam app (the default for getting those high-res images) makes you open a menu before flipping cameras.
One area where the Lumia 1020 excels is in loading up the camera in the first place. Press and hold the shutter button and it'll snap open the camera app, even if the phone is locked and asleep. Not so with the Zoom. You'll have to go through the unlocking process before pressing the shutter button to wake the app.
You can also open the camera app on both phones through their respective app icons.
Portability and design
The Zoom's optical upper hand comes at a cost. Its shape as a point-and-shoot makes it the most outrageously awkward smartphone I've ever tried to carry around.
If you're seriously thinking of using it as your primary device, invest in an excellent Bluetooth headset now.
The cost quotient
Apart from image quality and portability, cost is going to be a huge deciding factor for serious mobile photographers. The Lumia 1020 is a hefty $300 on-contract with AT&T, and even more if you're buying a global model of the phone unsubsidized.
In the U.K., the Zoom costs 440 British pounds, or about $675. There's been no official U.S. announcement yet, but given the ambitiousness of this cellular-ready camera, I'd expect a carrier to pick it up eventually.
Stay tuned for an update to this story after we've had a chance to fully review the Galaxy S4Zoom. In the meantime, read our hands-on with the Zoom, and my full review of the Nokia Lumia 1020.

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