The Sony Xperia Z1 and Nokia Lumia 1020 both have the potential to be game changers in their own way. They both have enormously impressive cameras, while the Sony Xperia Z1 is also an all round powerful handset. If you’re wondering which of these phones is the best for photography or just the best overall then read on as we put them head to head.
Sony Xperia Z1 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 – Build quality
The Sony Xperia Z1 is a luxurious handset with a glass back and metal frame. There’s very little plastic in its construction and it looks almost as good as the HTC One. On top of that it’s also dust and waterproof, keeping it safe from the elements.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 doesn’t impress quite so much at first glance. It’s covered in plastic and if it wasn’t for the impressively large camera lens on the back it would look quite cheap. It certainly can’t compete with the quality of the Sony Xperia Z1.
Sony Xperia Z1 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 - Display
The Sony Xperia Z1 has a 5 inch 1080 x 1920 display with 441 pixels per inch, while the Nokia Lumia 1020 has a 4.5 inch 768 x 1280 display with a pixel density of 332 pixels per inch. Whether or not bigger is better is largely subjective, but there’s no denying that the screen on the Sony Xperia Z1 is sharper thanks to its higher pixel density, so for that reason it edges the win.
Sony Xperia Z1 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 - Power
The Sony Xperia Z1 has a 2.2 GHz quad-core processor alongside 2GB of RAM, which puts it up there with the very most powerful smartphones in the world.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 has far more modest specs with just a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM. That’s still enough power for it to zip through most tasks, particularly as Windows Phone 8 isn’t as much of a resource hog as Android, but it falls a long way short of the Sony Xperia Z1.
Sony Xperia Z1 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 - Camera
For many people who are considering these two handsets the camera is likely to be the main deciding factor, as it’s really the headline feature of both phones. The Sony Xperia Z1 has a 20.7 megapixel Exmor RS sensor, which is supposedly equivalent to the one found in the Sony Cybershot HX50. That combination of megapixels married to a sensor that is of the same quality as one found in a mid-range compact should ensure that the camera is capable of stunning snaps. It’s backed up with a wealth of shooting modes and a 2 megapixel front facing camera. Plus it can shoot 1080p video at 30fps.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 has a 41 megapixel sensor with a Carl Zeiss optics lens, giving it similar quality and an even higher megapixel count than the Sony Xperia Z1. Those extra megapixels are only likely to be particularly useful when zooming in on things, as it should allow for lossless zoom, despite being a digital zoom, however, coupled with a similarly impressive selection of scene modes that should be enough to top the Sony Xperia Z1.
Sony Xperia Z1 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 – Battery life, memory and connectivity
The Sony Xperia Z1 has a 3000 mAh battery while the Nokia Lumia 1020 has a smaller 2000 mAh battery. The Xperia Z1 has a quoted standby time of 850 hours, talk time of 15 hours and music playback of 110 hours, all of which is also higher than the quoted times on the Lumia 1020.
The Sony Xperia Z1 has 16GB of built in storage and a micro SD card slot to add more. The Nokia Lumia 1020 has 32GB of storage but no micro SD card slot- so it’s something of a draw, depending on whether you’d rather have more storage out of the box or the potential for more overall.
Both handsets support 3G, 4G and NFC, but the Xperia Z1 supports Bluetooth 4.0 while the Lumia 1020 only supports 3.0.
Sony Xperia Z1 vs Nokia Lumia 1020 - Conclusion
Each of these handsets is a winner in its own way. The Sony Xperia Z1 is the better handset overall, with superior build quality, far more power, a slightly better screen and better battery life. However the headline feature of both these phones is the camera and in that area the Nokia Lumia 1020 comes out on top. So if you’re primarily after a camera phone that can replace your compact then go for the Lumia 1020, but if you want a great all rounder then it’s hard to argue with the Xperia Z1.