Apple iPhone 4S vs. Nokia Lumia 800 – Kerpow!

by Jerry D on November 1, 2011

Watching the Nokia Lumia 800 launch it was easy to be seduced by the N9 design and the pretty tile-based UI of Windows Phone 7.5. This cosy partnership between Nokia and Microsoft might just work.

But on this site, a phone’s greatness is determined by how well it fights its corner against other smartphones. In this case, how does it fare in the ring with the Apple iPhone 4S? Ding. Ding! Seconds away, round one…

XXXX versus graphic Apple iPhone 4S vs. Nokia Lumia 800 – Kerpow! XXXX

Round #1 – Connectivity:

The speedier iPhone 4S is a 3G/HSDPA (14.4Mbps) plus CDMA2000 1xEV-DO world phone with added 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP. In comparison, the Lumia 800 packs 3G/HSDPA (14.4Mbps), Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP and EDR and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.

Score: +1 to iPhone 4S (1-0)

Round #2 – Size & Weight:

As far as size and weight are concerned, there’s not much between the two – the iPhone 4S is 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm, the chunky Lumia 800 is 116.5 x 61.2 x 12.1mm. The iPhone 4S is the more compact handset. It’s also the lighter of the two phones. Just. The Lumia 800 tips the scales at 142g, compared to the iPhone 4S’s 140g.

Score: +1 to iPhone 4S (2-0)


Round #3 – Camera:

The iPhone 4S’s improved 8.0 MP lens features a maximum resolution of 3264 x 2448 plus tap to focus, an LED flash, geo-tagging and 1080p HD video recording with video image stabilization. For video calls and FaceTime, there’s also a front-facing camera.

The Lumia 800 also sports a 8.0 Megapixel camera, which includes autofocus, advanced Carl Zeiss optics, a fast ‘shutter’ speed, dual LED flash, geo-tagging and 720p video recording. All in all, while the Nokia phone might win the round in terms of camera quality, it slips to a draw thanks to a missing front camera.

Score: +1 to both phones (3-1)

Round #4 – Screen/Keyboard:

The iPhone 4S boasts a touch-sensitive Retina display, measuring 3.5 inches across and delivering a superb resolution of 640 x 960 pixels. In terms of pixel density, the pixels per inch (PPI) measurement is a sky-high 329.714.

Apple iPhone 4S
3.5-inch (640 x 960)
Nokia Lumia 800
3.7-inch (480 x 800)

In contrast, the 3.7-inch touch-sensitive AMOLED/ClearBlack display on Nokia’s phone is ever-so-slightly bigger, measuring 3.7 inches. But in this battle, it suffers from a lower screen resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. So compared to its rival, the pixels per inch (PPI) rating of this screen is a lowly 252.162.

Score: +1 to iPhone 4S (4-1)

Round #5 – Processor:

How fast are these two handsets? The Apple iPhone 4S has been constructed around a dual-core Apple A5 chip, clocked at 1GHz. Surprisingly, the Lumia 800 lacks dual-core silicon. Nokia has opted instead for a souped-up single core Qualcomm MSM8255 processor, which revs along at a speedy 1.4GHz.

Score: +1 to iPhone 4S (5-1)

Round #6 – Software:

Apple’s iOS 5 is loaded onto the iPhone 4S by default, while the Lumia 800 uses the Microsoft Windows Phone 7.5 OS, codenamed Mango. Much as we like Microsoft’s pretty mobile effort (and it really couldn’t have been any worse than Windows Mobile), the Windows Phone software is playing catch-up in terms of features and functionality.

Score: +1 to iPhone 4S (6-1)

Round #7 – Applications:

Windows Phone Apps Apple iPhone 4S vs. Nokia Lumia 800 – Kerpow!

Does the Windows Phone software on the Lumia 800 win the app-war? I think you know the answer to this one. In this fight, the iPhone 4S has access to way more downloadable apps than the Lumia 800.

Score: +1 to iPhone 4S (7-1)

Round #8 – Storage:

The 32GB in the iPhone 4S trumps the 16GB capacity of the Lumia 800. The iPhone 4S lacks an expansion slot so 32GB is all the storage you get. Nokia didn’t build an expansion slot into the Lumia 800 either, so 16GB is the maximum capacity.

Score: +1 to iPhone 4S (8-1)

Round #9 – Battery life:

Next: battery life. The iPhone 4S weighs in with 8.0 hours of talktime; while the Lumia 800 boasts a superior 9.5 hours of talktime. In terms of standby times, Apple’s phone can last 300 hours, while Nokia’s model boasts 335 hours. That’s Lumia 800 1, iPhone 4S 0. A rare point for the Microsoft/Nokia phone.

Score: +1 to Lumia 800 (8-2)


Note: The Standby time specification is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile phones under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including: network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic.

Round #10 – Extras:

The iPhone 4S also includes GPS/A-GPS, a digital compass, clever-clogs 3-axis gyroscope, that dual GSM/CDMA connectivity we mentioned in round one and, of course, voice recognition meets virtual assistant in the shape of Siri.

In comparison, the Lumia 800 features a bare minimum of extra frills – GPS/A-GPS, a stereo FM radio with RDS, Nokia Drive, Nokia Music and a digital compass. Nothing to write home about here. Not even a point.

Score: +1 to iPhone 4S (9-2)

BPF Verdict: The Apple iPhone 4S wins!

Not just a win, but a crushing win for the Apple iPhone 4S. While the Nokia Lumia 800 is a decent phone, it’s just not got the technical muscle to run with the big dogs of the smartphone elite. It’s like watching a guy on a bicycle trying to race a Ferrari…

See if these two phones make our Top 20 Best Smartphones list…

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