Once again, I will list out the phones we are comparing here for your reference.
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S3
Nokia Lumia 920
Sony Xperia ZL
Apple iPhone 5
There is a reference chart at the end of the post which will make it easier for you to decide as well.
Since indoor photography is a huge challenge when it comes to any smartphone, it is only right for us to first compare the indoor capabilities of these phones. The main reason for this difficulty is usually the lack of a decent enough flash. The LED flash present on most handsets can't create enough light in most cases. When you talk of these 5 smartphones, it appears the Galaxy S4 and the iPhone 5 come out on top in this category. The Lumia 920 too should get an honorary mention here because of its low light imaging capabilities and something tells me the Lumia 928 (with its Xenon flash) is going to outright blow away the competition in this department. One of the major problems with indoor photography in phones like the Lumia 920 of Xperia ZL is the lack of proper colors. And when you look at the picture quality of the Galaxy S3 you just know that Samsung has made a drastic improvement in the photography department with the Galaxy S4.
The next most obvious thing to compare among these smartphones is their night photo capability. It is here that the two phones with 13 MP cameras outshine the rest. The Galaxy S4 and the Xperia ZL Showcase their superiority over the other phones with their larger megapixel count. While the other 3 phones aren't all that bad, the image quality you get is nothing close to the quality of the Galaxy S4 or the Xperia ZL. Is this mostly because of their larger megapixel count? I feel so. The biggest problem with the other three phones is the lack of color in their pictures.
All of these phones are capable of taking videos at 1080p with 30 fps (frames per second). But if you really compare the quality of video among all 5 phones you will find the iPhone 5 gives the most realistic output. What's surprising to know here is that the Galaxy S3 too provides for some pretty decent videos. The only reason the Lumia 920 isn't number one in this category (you know they have optical image stabilization that can make some amazing videos) is because the shadows are a little too detailed and the colors look very unnatural. As far as indoor video recording is concerned, the Galaxy S4 is a clear winner. There is very little noise in its videos and while the Lumia 920 can produce decent videos as well, it just can't match up to the S4. As far as the Xperia ZL is concerned, Sony will have to put in a lot more work if they want to wow users with video recording.
In terms of sound quality the Lumia 920 and Xperia ZL are the best. While both the Galaxy phones do manage to give out loud enough sound the quality might not always be that great. For the iPhone 5, it is evident that sound quality wasn't ranked too high on Apple's development list.
Finally, we come to the user interfaces of these phones. The Samsung Galaxy S4 clearly is the winner here because of the large number of features it offers its users. Then again, considering it is the most recently released phone, you wouldn't expect anything less from them. DualShot is an excellent feature. Another great addition is the story album. Plus, HDR (High Dynamic Range) imaging. Sounds like a winner to me.
So you see it is the Galaxy S4 that comes out on top in this comparison. But don't fret. I will be back in 3-4 days with a comparison between the Galaxy S4 and the Lumia 928. Will fit in a little more detail regarding the camera there. Don't forget to check out the comparison chart below. I worked hard on it and the scoring system seems fair.
(All below scores are out of a possible 10 points)
|Category||Indoor Photography||Night Photography||Video||Sound Quality||User Interface||Overall|
|Samsung Galaxy S4||9||9||9.5||8||10||9.1|
|Samsung Galaxy SIII||4||7.5||8||8||8.5||7.2|
|Nokia Lumia 920||7||8||8||9||6||7.6|
|Sony Xperia ZL||8||9||5||9||8||7.8|
|Apple iPhone 5||8.5||8||9.5||5||8||7.8|