Last summer, I upgraded my phone from the iPhone 4S to the Nokia 1020. The reason why I went with the Lumia 1020 is because of two things. First, I wanted a phone built around a camera. The Lumia 1020 was just that, even today it is considered one of the best smartphone cameras out there. Second, I wanted a bigger screen. The iPhone 5S was a disappointment when the specs were officially announced. Yes it was longer, but the width was the same.
I really enjoyed using my Lumia 1020. I loved the integration between Windows Phone 8.0/8.1 and their apps/social media. But again, the main reason why I switched was because of the camera. Even now I am still impressed with the images I am getting out of the Lumia 1020, especially in low light. To me Nokia (now Microsoft) hit a home run with the camera (and specs). I really wish more mobile phone companies would take note and put better cameras in their phones, especially in their flagship phones.
If I enjoyed the Lumia 1020, why did I switch. Well it was primarily because of the apps/apps development. For the most part, WP 8/8.1 has most of the apps or comparable apps. But the the apps would not be updated as fast or have all the features as their Apple/Android counterparts. Also there were a few specific apps that were not available (and probably would not be available to the WP for some time). The apps that I could not live without for those who really want to know are VSCO Cam, Fujifilm PhotoReceiver (I have a lot of Fuji X cameras and enjoy full tethering to these cameras) and Fuji instax SHARE (for my Fuji instax printer). I am sure there might be others, but those are the primary ones.
Now to my 2 week evaluation of the iPhone 6 Plus compared to my “old” Lumia 1020.
The chart above lays out all the hardware specs between the two devices. To me they both performed smoothly. I never experienced any lag/slowdown/etc. Now what I am surprised is that Apple only used 1GB of RAM in both of their devices. I would think they would put 2GB of RAM in their latest and greatest flagship devices. I think all other manufactures are putting 2+GB of RAM in their mid to upper devices. Even my almost 2 year old Lumia 1020 has 2GB of RAM. I like that Apple has different storage options available, even though it’s surprising that they went from 16GB to 64GB and no 32GB offering. When I purchased my Lumia the only option was 32GB which they eventually released a 64GB version.
The Lumia 1020 has 4.5” screen and 1280 x 768 resolution AMOLED screen. To me the 1020 is a great balance between size and readability. I like to read a lot of news, websites, etc. The Lumia 1020 had a wonderful display. The colors were accurate, it was sharp, text looks great and the viewing angles were good.
Now the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5” screen and 1920 x 1080 resolution IPS LED screen. Just like the Lumia 1020, the iPhone 6 Plus has a stellar display. It is sharp, viewing angles are fantastic, colors look accurate and the text look great.
Comparing the two smart phones, I feel the iPhone 6 Plus is missing some nice features that I enjoyed with the Lumia 1020, such as glance and Sunlight readability mode. While the iPhone 6 Plus is bright (sometimes to bright), I think the Lumia manages/does a better job with their displays.
The specifications for both cameras are listed above.
Let’s start with image quality. Both smartphones deliver pretty good image quality, but the Lumia 1020 exhibits a far superior image quality. The images were sharper, there is more detail and better color reproduction.
Here are some comparison samples from someone who compared both cameras.
I know not everything is about image quality. There are other factors such as features, camera speed and apps. The iPhone 6 Plus is fast at taking pictures. I was surprised how fast it was. With Lumia 1020, the picture usually turned out better, it was slow. Also Apple camera app has more consumer-friend features integrated into it. Lumia has some of these features built in, but they are hard to get to. But something I fell in love with the Nokia camera app is their camera’s manual controls, which I used all the time. The last thing worth mentioning is there are more apps developed for Apple. Some of my personal favorites are Snapseed and VSCO Cam. While Microsoft has a few comparable high quality apps, to me it’s not the same.
Low light capability. One thing Lumia excels at is their lowlight ability (with and without flash). Typically I do not like using flash on my smartphones. The Lumia allows me to capture decent images without flash (most likely due to the larger sensor). When I have to use flash, I am always impressed with the Xenon flash on the Lumia 1020. So far I am not really impressed with the two-tone LED flash on the iPhone 6 Plus.
The iPhone 6 Plus has an aluminum body with a front glass layer. It has a fantastic build quality; there is a premium feel to it. The buttons/style feels similar to my wife’s Samsung S4. While I have not experienced any bending, I can see this phone maybe an issue for a few people. Something I have noticed with the iPhone 6 Plus, it feels like it wants to slip out of your hands (without a case). I have to take extra precautions when it is in my hands. I am sure this feeling will wear off in time. I would definably recommend a case for the iPhone 6 Plus..
The Lumia 1020 has always felt solid in my hands. I have dropped that phone on concrete, asphalt, tile, etc.. And still no scratches.
Coming from a iPhone 4S, the Lumia battery life was stellar. The iPhone 4S had to be constantly charged during the day/all the time. Even with a lot of the apps/features that are known to suck up battery life. When I first bought the Lumia 1020 I was amazed how good the battery life was. I could go a day or two without charging and it would still have some battery life left. With the iPhone 6 Plus, I was concerned the larger screen battery life would be okay. But Apple advertises the battery life on the iPhone 6 Plus was one of its features. Well so far the battery life has been great. I know it can go two days without charging with moderate use. Only time will tell if the iPhone 6 Plus battery will still continue to impress.
There are a few things I miss about my Lumia 1020. First I love the interface, you get a more expressive and useful grid of live tiles. These tiles allow you to display lots of information from weather, calendar, emails, rss feeds, etc. You can organize it the way you like and size any tile the way you like. Having these tiles you can get by without launching any apps. Also I love that you can change your tiles or make it transparent. With Apple, you’re stuck with the same old icons and you can only arrange them into the preset gird that apple allows. Also I can add a lot of useful information on my Windows Phone lock screen; with apple you get a clock and today’s date. There is so much wasted real estate. I am sure that (or hope) that Apple allows more freedom in allowing the owners of their products to customize their devices. Well if not, there is always jailbreaking (Which my phone is currently jailbroken).
Also I miss the integration. Everything was access in certain hubs, from photos to social media feeds. Also I like that MS Office documents were native to the Windows Phones. No additional add-ons/apps. I know that Microsoft just released office apps for iOS, but still it relies on additional apps (that take up a lot of space). And just like android, Windows Phones had cool features built into their OS like swipe typing instead of pushing buttons. I know I can install apps to do this, but again it’s not native.
The iPhone 6 Plus is certainly a fantastic smartphone. Of course, it is overhyped as well as I cannot say I am converted 100% as of yet. But would I do it again, yes I would.