Nokia Lumia 1520 versus Nokia Lumia 930

In this post you'll find my translation of the review/comparison I just posted in The Netherlands for my Dutch site It's becoming quite impossible to maintain that site next to what I do here at the PureViewClub, but sometimes it's simply irresistable to write a review there - like when you're the first to get your hands on the Nokia Lumia 930 :-)

People have been asking me to write a Lumia 930 review here at the club as well, so I decided to share the same comparison. It's not as much about the PureView camera as you are used to read here (working on that one) - it's a general comparison of both Lumia smartphones. Here we go, I hope you'll enjoy it :-)

Ladies and gentlemen... The Nokia Lumia 930: 20MP Carl Zeiss PureView in a great design!

It is exactly two years and five days ago that I was incredibly proud to write " ladies and gentlemen... we got him". Back then, it was the first commercial sample of the Nokia 808 PureView - and I was the very first blogger on the planet (!) to get my hands on it.

This might be a bit less exclusive (lots has been written about the Lumia Icon already, which is basically the same device) and it's "just" a prototype, but still, today I was extremely happy to receive the Nokia Lumia 930.

Being a prototype however, it still ran on Windows Phone 8, so I installed the Developers' Preview to enjoy many of the benifits we may expect after Windows Phone 8.1 (Cyan) is officially released.

This post is about its design mainly. You'll see it captured in close-up with the Nokia 808 PureView, alone and with his two important predecessors: the Nokia Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520.

The 1020 has a more or less similar size but completely different hardware and design. The 1520 has a completely different design but very similar hardware.

Since I'm from the Netherlands, my contact thought it would be a nice idea to send me an orange version, which makes for a nice contrast with the yellow Lumia 1520.


I'm not 100% sure about this, but you see the lens looks a lot smaller on the Lumia 930 than on the 1520. As far as I've been able to check, the specifications are exactly the same however: both have a 20 MP sensor, 4992 х 3744 pixels, Carl Zeiss optics, optical image stabilization, autofocus and dual-LED flash.

Now the screen size is of course the most noticeble difference - and the difference between 5 inch and 6 inch is immense. Here's a bigger picture with both PureView devices combined to get you an idea of the exact difference in size.


See what I mean? Remember the Lumia 930 has the same full HD resolution as the Lumia 1520, so on its smaller 5 inch screen your content (shots, videos, apps) looks even sharper - in fact it's 441 PPI, where the Lumia 1520 has 367 (which is still a joy to look at!).

Now even if just for fun let's have a look at the three Lumia sensors before I start piling them up. Here's the Lumia 1020, 1520 and 930. Most striking difference of course is the sensor size and the Xenon flash on the Lumia 1020, which both the 1520 and 930 must do without.

Scenes from Crete (3) – captured with the Nokia 808 PureView, Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520

So here it is, my third post with shots from Crete - mostly captured with the Nokia 808 PureView and the Lumia 1020. I did make quite a few shots with the Samsung Galaxy S5 too, for panoramas (which I will share on Flickr later), to test its HDR results, and to capture the family (pics I don't share here at the club).

In this post you'll see a few shots I took with the Nokia Lumia 1520 as well. Did I bring four phones to Crete? Yes, afraid I did - but I didn't bring them all four on my daily trips of course. Nevertheless there are two shots I'd like to share from the 1520. The first one was taken at the pool...


Also, do you remember the first shot I shared in these series? Well, I found it on the Lumia 1520 as well:


In fact it's more realistic than the full res result I shared from the 808 PureView (which not only had ND filter on but also its flash for some reason - so basically that was my doing).

Here's another scene from that same beach, captured with the Nokia 808 PureView.


A low light ode to Nokia (808 PureView and Lumia 1020 and 1520, compared to Galaxy S5)

To tell you the truth I'm not sure where to begin this post. I have in fact a few dozens of shots to share with you, taken in several settings with the Nokia 808 PureView, Nokia Lumia 1020, Nokia Lumia 1520 and Samsung Galaxy S5.

It's the result of a brainwave I had early this morning: I really wanted to share some more low light shots before going on a short holiday, but doing so is pretty hard during daytime.

So I thought of a weird place in my basement. Logically, it's a few meters below the ground, but there is a very small window just in case you need to get out (a "fox hole" it's called here I think).

Anyway: that would provide me with what I needed: a very dark place and just a little bit of light. And after reading that Nokia's handset division is about to become " Microsoft Mobiles" I thought of the subject to capture in that low light as well: a weird collection of old and more or less rare Nokia devices.

Here's the original scene, captured with the Nokia 808 PureView with flash - so you'll get an idea about what I've been up to before you see the low light results.

Nokia 808 PureView - original scene with flash 2

So that's quite a remarkable bunch, itsn't it? It doesn't belong to me though, I borrowed all from a friend and what you see is far from complete even, but at least it gives me a colorful collage to capture in near darkness.

All shots are handheld. I made several shots with all four devices in all different settings and the best results were selected.

Where to start? The Nokia 808 PureView on ISO 50? Why not. Here's a resized version of the 38MP result in 16:9 aspect ratio - the 808 PureView needed the full 2.7 seconds (!) to capture this result:

Nokia’s PureView flagships, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, Sony Xperia Z1 Compact and: Jolla (2)

Let's go outside for a change. To a very small general aviation airport in my neighbourhood.  Carrying three Nokia PureView devices, the Samsung, Sony and Jolla.

Yes, I know the comparison isn't completely fair, the Jolla being cheaper and never "camera centric" and all that. True. But its camera sotware has been recently updated and the Jolla still costs you €400: you might expect a pretty good smartphone camera module for that kind of money as well I guess?

There has been some confusement about the amout of MP the Jolla's camera has - and I've been adding a bit to it as well, I'm sorry to say. Based on a too quick glance on the internet  I thought 3264 x 1840 pixels equals 4MP - but obviously (just do the math) it's 6MP.

Now why is Jolla mentioning 8MP for its camera? Probably because the sensor is that big - you know, like the 808 PureView and Lumia 1020 have a 41MP sensor, but you will only get 38MP in 4:3 and 34MP in 16:9 aspect ratio.

Like - for instance - the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 has a 13MP sensor but will only give you that in 4:3, and "only" 9.6MP in 16:9. The Jolla gives you 6MP in 16:9 and you can't change the aspect ratio to 4:3. So I guess it's 8MP when you would have had the possibility to use 4:3 - maybe after a future update.

Enough numbers. Let return to the small aviation airport. The light was bright, it was a clear afternoon and the clouds on the horizon made for an impressive scenery. All camera settings were on automatic - I didn't change the white balance, didn't put any focus to "infinity" (although that might have been wise in this case).

The shots aren't very interesting from an artistic point of view (although the clouds are beautiful). But to see how the different cameras cope with the contrast of the bright sunlight and the darker foreground - I think that's what makes these shots worth your while. And the 640 x 360 crops, of course, showing which offers you the best detail.

First the two smallest resolutions, 5MP coming from the Nokia Lumia 1520 and 1020 (shown in that order). Both devices chose ISO-100, the difference is remarkable - the light was exactly the same.

7 Nokia Luma 1520 Sky

7 Nokia Lumia 1020 Sky 5MP

Now one might argue the grass looks very green in the last shot, but on a very bright sunlit afternoon, it actually looks this green. I think the 1020 has done a better job here - maybe because of the bigger sensor? Who knows... You'll see quite a bit darker shade of green in all the other shots though.