The Galaxy S4 has proven to be a worthy successor to the S3 in almost every respect and is the phone we’d recommend if you're shopping in the high-end space right now. We’ve already compared the camera to its predecessor and it’s now time to compare it to the other flagships like the HTC One and the Nokia Lumia 920. Unfortunately, the Xperia Z will sit this one out since we didn’t get one from Sony in time.
We’ve conducted our tests under a variety of lighting conditions and different subjects to see just how good today’s flagship handsets are at imaging. We kept all the settings at ‘Auto’ and the highest resolution was selected for each phone. Portions of the images were then cropped and compared.
Our first test was a portrait, shot outdoors at around 4pm. The Galaxy S4 has the best image quality here with very good exposure for the subject as well as the background. The level of detail is also very good. The Nokia Lumia 920 comes in at a close second giving you a brighter image but the highlights on the face are a bit overblown. The One, on the other hand, managed to capture a very dull image compared to the other two.
The S4 manages the best portrait
In this shot, we check for the colours and level of detail being captured. If you view the full-sized image, you’ll notice that the S4 once again manages to capture a lot more detail and the colours are very accurate as well. Notice the text on the movie banner and the chalk writing on the blackboard. The text is clearly readable in the S4 and the colours are punchier as well. The 920 comes in at a close second with the One having the worst detail.
The S4 once again manages better detail and colours
Colour test – Outdoors
In this test, we check for the accuracy of colours and how the phones handle the white balance. The S4 once again manages this brilliantly, although the reds are a bit too rich. The 920 captures slightly better detail, but the white balance is a bit off, with a bluish tinge on the white flower. Due to this, the greens are also a bit exaggerated. The HTC One produces quite a hazy picture compared to the other two.
The S4 and the Lumia 920 manages very good detail
Colour test 2 – Outdoors
The Galaxy S4 once again manages better colours, but more importantly, accurate colours. The colours of the vegetables are spot on. The Lumia 920 comes a very close second, but the colours are a bit exaggerated. Notice how the reds appear jarring as compared to the S4. The HTC One is not too bad here, but the colours are a little dull compared to the rest.
Punchy and vivid colours with the S4
Depth of field test
All cameras perform very similarly here with very good depth of field. We like the Lumia 920 the best here, as the colours in the background are better defined.
Similar performance across all the handsets