Galaxy S4 vs iPhone 5 drop test aa (18)

You think your new Samsung Galaxy S4 is pretty hot stuff, right? After all, it has mind-blowing processing power, plenty of great Samsung customizations, an amazing 1080p display and Google’s latest and greatest Android Jelly Bean 4.2.

My friend, Samsung and Google are fooling you! You’re being double-Scroogled! Instead, you should ditch the Galaxy S4, and run to the Nokia Lumia 521 with open arms.

Sounds like I’ve lost my mind, doesn’t it? The idea of comparing a dual-core, low-end Windows Phone 8 smartphone to a quad-core (or octa for some), high-end Android phone is absolutely nuts, but that isn’t standing in Microsoft’s way.

The latest Windows Phone promotional video is designed to reach out to folks that are considering the purchase of a smartphone, but don’t necessary want to pay a lot to do it. At just $150 (or less in some cases), the Nokia Lumia 521 is admitedely a well-priced dual-core smartphone and it makes sense that Microsoft would want to promote it as a low-cost alternative to other devices on the market. What doesn’t make sense is the way Microsoft goes about it.

Microsoft’s goal in the video is to show us that for Lumia 521’s low price, you could get the WP8-based handset, accessories and a laptop for the same cost as the Samsung Galaxy S4. It is certainly a cute commercial idea, but one that ultimately falls a little flat.

Microsoft twisting facts to sell more Windows Phone 8 devices

The problem with the advertisement is that Microsoft twists the facts to make the Lumia 521 seem like the “obvious choice”. First, they start by talking about how the Galaxy S4 is $759.99 outright. That might be true at Best Buy, but through places like Amazon, it’s actually only $650.

Also keep in mind that this ad is aimed primarily at buyers in the United States, you know, folks that largely still tend to choose subsidized handsets over buying outright. So the $760 $650 quickly drops even further, with the average person spending about $199.99 upfront.

Leaving price aside, the big kicker is that Microsoft also tries to paint the Lumia 521 (full specs here) as a performance equal to the Galaxy S4. The ad even implies the 521 might be better than the S4:

“Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 has a good camera, a good display, thousands of apps, and the ability to keep you connected to the weather, sports, news, and all of the people you care about”.

“The new Nokia Lumia 521 also has a good camera, a good display, thousands of apps, and the ability to keep you connected to the weather, sports, news, and all of the people you care about and because it’s a Windows Phone, it does so arguably better than Android”.

I applaud Nokia for creating a reasonably attractive low-end, low-cost handset, but Microsoft, what were you thinking with this commercial?

All this ad accomplishes is the use of smoke and mirrors to portray the Nokia Lumia 521 as a premium handset. What happens when these customers buy the Lumia 521 and quickly figure out that it doesn’t live up to your promises?

Andrew Grush
Andrew is one of the three Managing Editors of Android Authority, primarily responsible for the overseeing of US team of writers, in addition to several other projects such as VR Source and more. He loves tech, gaming, his family, and good conversations with like-minded folks.
  • Nathan Borup

    “and because it’s a Windows Phone, it does so arguably better than Android”. right… in what world?

  • My Hyundai Tucson accelerates, steers, and brakes as does a Ferrari. Also, because it is a Hyundai, it does it “arguably better” than the Ferrari.

    I guess if you put the word “arguably” in front of it, you can make any claim.

    • Andrew Grush

      Very well said, Trent. :)

    • Christopher Vanwinkle

      Actually, your Hyundai is better than a Ferrari because it is much more reliable, and it can carry more.

    • Joshua Hill


      • Joshua Hill

        Oh I’m so hurt, somebody didn’t get the allegedly joke and down voted me. Think I’ll go cry in a corner :p

        • MasterMuffin

          I too like talking to myself :P

    • EdSF

      You have it backwards. The ad is about price point. So yeah, your Hyundai isn’t a Ferrari, but its $ vs $$$$. So what else can you do with the $$$ difference. Yeah, you could get x more Hyundais or a couple of Bmers, or a Tesla (or 2).

      Now, what do you have?

      Enough fanboi-ism. It’s that kind of mentality that makes one line up, overnight, to get their hands on whatever Apple says it will sell on day 1, even if it’s just a phone, or worse, a rumor (that seems to drive media nuts too).

      I don’t have a Win phone, I in fact have a N4 and go all the way back to N1, but I don’t do fanboi….

      • kg215

        Just because you “don’t do fanboi” doesn’t mean you have to accept any microsoft/nokia ad in order to stay objective. The premise is terrible here and as it has been pointed out the numbers aren’t close to being accurate. Try using your brain a little.

        • EdSF

          My brain? Who didn’t grok the price point gist of the ad? Please watch the ad again – it’s not that difficult to grok. And btw, try to get context to what I’m replying to…use my brain?….use your eyes, then ditto.

      • Joshua Hill

        Surely Micro$oft’s advertisement was a textbook case of how fanboi’s react.
        Did you even read the comments??? The closest comment to fanboisim here is you alleging others of fanboisim.

        • EdSF

          Really? I don’t have an MS phone – as stated a Google N4. Don’t quote me and try jumble words in an attempt to be smart. If you didn’t get the gist of the ad, it’s ok. You can watch it again to grok it.

          • Joshua Hill

            When did I accuse you of owning an MS phone? When did I quote you?

            Keep up the excellent rebuttals, they’re doing a lot to convince people your not a silly fanboi.

  • Reginald Spence II

    Arguably? You mean the same way you tried to argue that it’s faster to access weather and other info on a Windows phone than on an Android device?

  • SeraZR™

    Joke of the Century !

    Thousands of Apps is a bunch of bollocks!
    I think he never visited the Google Playstore

    • turdbogls

      in his defence, the windows market (or whatever its called) does have Thousands of apps available….where the play store also has thousands of apps…..just hundreds of thousands compared to tens of thousands.

      • SeraZR™

        yea i was trying to make a comparison betn the no of apps in playstore than windows store

  • lester

    well, dont get me wrong, I LOVE both Galaxy S4 and Lumia 520 (or 521 in this case). I planned to get both of them later this year.

    but telling they are both equal is ridiculous.

  • 윌 스튜어트

    No apps, no games, no nothing – the Lumias are overpriced feature phones. Though that Asus laptop looks nice..

  • Felix

    1. You dont need to buy an xbox music membership to hace a ton of music on the S4, just plug it on the pc and copy what you own.
    2. Under the cloud view, you dont need to buy a memory, you have google drive and dropbox.
    2. Dude! Dont buy that Notebook! It has Windows 8 on it!

    • DetroitTech

      Haha good point on that Windows 8!

      This actually wasn’t a bad idea for marketing. However I think they went in the wrong direction and excluded a couple things. Since most if not 99% of all smartphone users are not power users. All they use their GS4 for would be Facebook, web surfing, texting/emails and taking photos. They should have done a comparison with those examples from each phone. The Nokia probably would have beat it in photos and been identical(excluding screen size) to the other comparisons. So it could have gone like:

      “And not only does the Nokia do all these functions identically if not better as shown, I also have an XBOX, sweet headphones, a 1 year membership to Netflix/Xbox Music and a new puppy”!

  • Alfredo Manuel Gonzalez II

    Sorry this video is crazy ha! I got my S4 and its Aazing also hav my Samsung Chromebook which is amazing too sorry Microsoft the only thing I love that you make is my XBOX!! Can’t wait for the ONE!!!

  • vampyren

    LOL you got to be stupid to take this video serious, it makes them look like fools! If you want the best of the best in hardware you cant substitute it with other gadgets, its like saying i can get 10 cars instead of one Ferrari! Sure you can do that but the person going for Ferrari is not interested in 10 toyota cars even if they are good cars :)

  • tomn1ce

    Who thought of this commercial, those numbers were all wrong…and to think that many people will fall for this… -_-

  • Vince Cannava II

    since Apple has forgotten how to innovate in its post Steve Jobs era it still would be nice for Google to have some competition. Secretly I’m pulling for Microsoft to do well but this certainly isn’t the way…

  • You have been Sam-scroogled! There is no way the high end HD phone beats a low end phone in reverse land

  • Peter

    Well, obviously this is stretching it, but not as far as some people may think.

    Of course if you specifically are looking for a S4, the 521 is no alternative. You will be looking at a HTC One or perhaps a Lumia 920/925/928.

    But reality is many buyers buy a S4, because, well because. Many people who buy a S4 don’t buy it because they need or even want the specfic features that make the S4 almost without a doubt the better phone.

    So this commercial does make you think about; do I really need to buy an S4 that cost so much more. Do I really need that extra stuff or rather spend the money on other cool things? (Of course that does not mean the 521 is the best alternative.)

    BTW the contract argument is invalid, as buying a S4 or any phone on-contract doe snot mean you pay only 199. it just means you are paying the rest in monthly parts. In most places in the world, and increasingly also in teh US, bringing your own phone does give a significantly lower phone bill each month.

  • JGaLaXY

    *sigh* this has to stop…I use Air Gesture EVERYDAY to answer my phone and look at messages without touching it, the screen ALONE is the best screen i’ve ever seen or used on a phone, I can also control my TV and get recommendations with my S4…and the AMAZING CAMERA FEATUReS IS WHY PEOPLE BUY THIS PHONE…oh yeah and EXPANDABLE STORAGE, who wants to rely on a network all the time for CLOUD STORAGE…anyway the Lumia can’t do this…

    OK that’s it, have a nice day whoever is hating on this phone, I love my S4

    • swannanoa72

      Really good photo…

    • MasterMuffin

      whoa pretty high quality even with that camera mode!

  • Rob

    Im sorry.. My Samsung Infuse, 2 years ago had those specs and before I gave it to a family member was running Jelly Bean very well. But to compare the Infuse (or in this case 521) to a Galaxy S4??? WOW… I despise Steve Ballmer, he is everything that is wrong with MS. At least Steve Jobs may have been a tyrant, he knew tech, and he knew how to package it. Steve Ballmer is very late to a party he should have never gone to. I’d buy a Blackberry before a WP8. (Don’t have to worry about that choice, very happy with my Galaxy Note 2)

  • Ahmad Siddiqi

    I think its a very effective commercial in raising interest in the windows ecosystem and you have to experience to realize how effective and complete it is. Plus I dont get this Octa core nonsense. Its complete bull as the java runtime doesnt handle multicores correctly. On the other hand ms uses multicores very effectively.

    • Joshua Hill

      You mean the way they have very effectively handled amd cores for the past few years. I think amd would beg to differ.

      OS’s have to be optimised for particular cpu architectures and features. At the moment android doesn’t effectively handle Samsungs 4 + 4, big + little core arrangement. That doesn’t mean this will the case. I doubt WP8 could effectively use the Exynos chipset either.

  • wonshikee

    They aren’t comparable in spec comparison of course. I don’t think anyone would argue it.

    But what Microsoft is trying to imply isn’t too off field, I have a Lumia 521 at work as our WP8 test device (I’m a web developer, we didn’t bother with a WP8 device since the market is so low but given that it’s growing and the 521 was only $141 after tax, we grabbed one anyway). Anyway, the phone is surprisingly good for the cost and while I would never use it, I would definitely recommend it to any person who just wants a smartphone and doesn’t need the latest greatest and isn’t tied down to Google services, it’s comparable to a $300 android device, but WP8 is a much more efficient OS so it runs very smooth.

    So while I think the way Microsoft delivered the message is absurd, what they were trying to say makes sense.

    For most casual users who just want a smartphone and are looking to go to T-Mobile (since Lumia 521 is a t-mobile device), it’s a very intelligent way to go.

    • Timmy

      I’d second the smoothness of WP. My son has a Lumia 900 (WP7.8) and recently, I was updating the APN settings when we switched to T-Mobile, I found the screens to be very responsive and fluid. Maps, texting, email, and browsing were all very good. As a generic user, that would be perfect for many and at a significantly lower cost than a high end Andoid device.

      My son is a big X-Box user and has a subscription to Zune so for him, it’s no big deal to transfer music. He loves Sky Drive and has customized the tiles (which look a lot like BlinkFeed) so he can get to anything very quickly.

      I still prefer the Google experience but it seems the Windows phones get a lot of performance out of a lot less power.

  • Peeyush Malik

    So I think Microsoft wants to say that instead of buying their Surface Pro, buy the recommended similar speced asus machine (with more storage) and save your rest of your money to buy anything you like.

  • technology

    Microsoft is losing it :(
    I miss Bill Gates :(

    • Jok Joa

      Hope Microsoft dies quickly

  • so according to MS , both Lumia 521 & Lumia 920 (or whaterver) is same and I should get 521, Lumia 521 seems to be great phone for that price range but shitty ad of MS to promote it .

  • EdSF

    Outside of the Android-ism world where money, I guess you didn’t “get it” which is probably fine if you’re such a fanboi, matters.

    Yeah, my VW can’t do 0 – 60 in 4 secs., so it’s “shitty” compared to a 911 Tubo. So what can I do to make me feel better with with the cost difference. Yeah, another VW, or maybe a Tesla (which btw, gets me to 60 in same time).

    Now, is that easier for you to grok?

    I’m a droid N4 user and love it and go back to the N1. But I don’t have “fanboi” mentality.

  • Sri

    There are things that S4 does that Lumia521 does not – and having said that, Lumia 521 is a champ of features per dollar.