Samsung Galaxy Note 3 vs Nokia Lumia 1520 – Camera Comparison

The Nokia Lumia 1520 has arrived on the Malaysian scene, heralding the first true phablet in the Finnish mobile giant’s smartphone stable. Those looking for a larger screen smartphone are bound to consider the 1520, along with Samsung’s flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note III released in September 2013.

One of the most notable features of the 1520 is its 20-megapixel rear-facing camera, and we wanted to see how this impressive phablet holds up against the equally noteworthy Note 3. Scroll past the break to see head-to-head image comparisons for both devices.

See our comparison in Bahasa Malaysia

The 6-inch 1520 runs on Windows Phone 8, and Nokia has made a habit of turning out reasonably good imaging technology for its smartphone cameras. Whatever the faults of WP8, the 20MP camera with autofocus and dual LED flash works on Nokia’s proprietary PureView camera technology, the same tech as the excellent 41-megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020’s camera with Carl Zeiss optic lenses.

The Android-based Galaxy Note 3, on the other hand, has a 13-megapixel rear camera sporting autofocus and uni LED flash, with images captured and viewed on its excellent 5.7-inch IPS HD display.

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As you can see from the side-by-side images, despite having 7 megapixels less than the 1520, the Note III’s rear shooter shines in close ups and is surprisingly robust in low light settings, but it truly shines in daylight snaps.

The 1520 is similarly impressive in natural light, but does not have the same sharpness and clarity in low light as the Lumia 1020 or the HTC One. Despite this, we would give the daylight capture edge to the Lumia, but when zooming in or in close up it looks like the Samsung device is sharper, probably due to its maximum display resolution of 4128 x 3096p.

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Both cameras have a wide array of features such as face detection, geo-tagging, and panoramic capture modes, but the Galaxy has the ability to capture simultaneous HD video and images using both the rear and front-facing 2-megapixel camera, which can also record video in 1080p.

The Lumia 1520 and Note III alike can record video in high-definition, but the impressive Note 3 records frames at a rate of 30 frames-per-second in whopping 2160p resolution, whereas the 1520 has an excellent HD  display but does only the now-standard 1080p at 30fps.

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In fact, the LTE version of the Note III captures video in 1080p at a rapid 60fps, so we would have to give the HDR edge to the Korean phablet. The still image performance of the Note 3 was likewise surprisingly good; still we wouldn’t rule out the 1520 which held up well in certain scenarios and does possess better image stabilisation abilities for motion blur and on-the-move picture-taking.

Both devices have an enviable selection of camera modes and editing apps at your disposal, with both the Google Play Store and the Windows Store further supplying a bunch of downloadable applications to edit and add various filters, stickers and more to your snaps.

The Nokia Lumia is  available in Malaysia now for RM1,895 while the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is going for RM2,219.