Comparison with Nokia Lumia 925 puts the Xperia Z1 in great light

by: Bogdan PetrovanSeptember 16, 2013

xperia z1 lumia 925

We’ve recently seen a gallery of impressive shots taken with the Xperia Z1 at nighttime, and now Alvin Wong from UnleashThePhones is back with another demonstration of the Z1’s low-light prowess. This time, the Singaporean blogger compared Sony’s new flagship with a device that received great reviews when it came to its camera, and low-lighting photography in particular – the Nokia Lumia 925.

Equipped with an 8MP sensor with PureView technology, optical image stabilization, and Carl Zeiss lenses, the Lumia 925 has been praised by users and pundits alike for the quality of its low-light and nighttime pictures.

So how does the Z1 fare against the 925? Quite good actually. Alvin Wong compared the cameras of the two devices on a poorly-lit waterfront promenade, and, while the 925 produced sharper images in a few situations, the Z1 was never far behind. Moreover, Sony’s flagship consistently produced colors that were more true to life than the Nokia’s, as you can see from the photo gallery below.

For this comparison, both the Xperia Z1 and the Lumia 925 were set on their automatic modes, while similar levels of exposure compensation were applied in some cases.

xperia z1 vs lumia 925 low light sample 5 (2)

Xperia Z1. Click to enlarge

xperia z1 vs lumia 925 low light sample 5 (1)

Lumia 925. Click to enlarge


xperia z1 vs lumia 925 low light sample 3 (4)

Xperia Z1. Click to enlarge

Lumia 925. Click to enlarge

Lumia 925. Click to enlarge


Xperia Z1. Click to enlarge

Xperia Z1. Click to enlarge

Lumia 925. Click to enlarge

Lumia 925. Click to enlarge


Xperia Z1. Click to enlarge

Xperia Z1. Click to enlarge

Lumia 925. Click to enlarge

Lumia 925. Click to enlarge


Xperia Z1. Click to enlarge

Xperia Z1. Click to enlarge

Lumia 925. Click to enlarge

Lumia 925. Click to enlarge

For full sizes, 100% crop comparison, and more samples visit UnleashThePhones.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Sony Xperia Z1 will become the gold standard in smartphone photography in the Android world. The phone itself is very capable, and the QX10 and QX100 lens attachments can make it even better.

  • EnX$$

    sony wins

    • shonsony

      LOL Lagdroid / sux screen fans ..they just have a problem in their eyes ..925 is da best

      • MasterMuffin

        Yea Lagroid suX and cant b comprd @ SWAG!

      • RaptorOO7

        Crack smoking Windows Phone Fan.

    • ScaryBiscuits

      These photos look as though they have been chosen deliberately to Sony’s advantage. In the first photo pair, you’ll notice they’re not the same view; the Nokia has been pointed slightly higher, including the light, which obviously affects the quality as it is having to cope with a far greater dynamic range. Ditto the picture of the buses and the road scene: in both the Nokia is showing headlights which don’t appear in the Sony shots. The one shot where the images are identical, the ships, the Nokia captures far more information. The last shot, at point blank at a log, the stronger flash on the Nokia would obviously over-expose. Also, the author doesn’t say which shots were done with manual adjustment of the exposure but applying ‘similar levels of exposure compensation’ adds another biasing effect as different cameras will require different compensation.

      • Rogue

        The shots were all done in auto settings there was no manual tweaking and this is to close for me to call but i don’t like how nokia’s processing gives these surreal colors even the 1020 is guilty of it in several photos i’ve seen.

  • E. Tasche

    I think they both have their moments, but the Sony won for me.

  • Tasos

    Are you kidding??? Do you think we are blind or sth?? The Nokia is far better, except regarding its colour balance which is clearly off most of the time!

    • André Barretto

      I must agree with you, IMO the sharpness, detail and noise were much better on nokia, but I like sony’s colors better, they look more natural.

    • knightpt

      Sony pictures look more natural and with a warmer color, Nokia ones seem to capure light better but they seem to have a weird blue tint to cheat a little on that light… On the other side, nokia sheems sharper and with less noise than sony.

      if i had to choose, i would choose the cheapest of the two since they both have their ups and downs in comparation.

    • Ole fra trondheim

      Go check your eyes.

      Xperia Z1 wins this hands down

  • foggyflute

    Keep in mind this is 925, not 1020 the 41mpx beast. But the sample 4 is pretty amazing. Z1 able to win the second best Lumia camera by large margin there.

    • Colby Leong

      I really want to see how the Z1 does with shots where the main object is moving. Something Sony said there camera can excel at.

    • lil bit

      What, that overexposed noisy out of focus image? Check the source, AA did a mixup here, the darker clearer image with true colors is the one shot with Z1! As usual the Nokia is the one to overexpose, look at the distant lights so overt blown they are. You really need to look at the full size samples to judge this.

      AA, fix number 4, you switched them.

      • dfq

        actually the 2nd and 4th pairs of photos are misplaced/wrongly labeled

    • dfq

      1020 is not good with low lighting conditions under auto mode but it does well with manual.

  • EvenInTheDarkestHour

    After looking at these, and the source photos, it seems like it’s a toss-up. To chose between the two depends on what you use your phone camera for. Well done by both..,.

  • Sinbad

    I’m going to pick Sony because it offers more natural color in low light than the Nokia. The Nokia looks a little bit washed out, the first picture being a prime example. Both are really good. I’d be happy with either.

  • Rajkumar

    Well done sony… its android again !!! Gud bye nokia u have lost your key selling point

    • What? How.. when there’s the Lumia 1020, have they lost anything…

  • Balraj


  • Jacob

    Exposure in Nokia should be slightly reduced for better comparison. Sony’s color temperature is warmer (Yellowish) than Nokia (Bluish). Nokia is producing very good details in shadows. I couldn’t see 1:1 crop to compare noise. And Nokia’s lens is wider so you have larger field of view. It would be a good idea to take a portrait shot to see how they perform on skin tone.

    • dfq

      not really warmer. it’s the actual color. that’s according to the guy who took those photos. he said the cityscape lights were amber and not white as shown by the lumia 925.

  • Teo Jia Rong

    Yay for Singapore! We got a great blogger out there!

  • jazztronik

    Both image sensors are made by Sony…

    • weed

      No, Nokia design their own sensors and has them manufactured by someone who is into cmos sensor manufacturing, probably in Taiwan but could be even USA, Micron for example has the production tech and high capacity. Does not matter much who manufactured them since Nokia are the ones to do all the development and design.

  • Richard

    Is Z1 out in Singapore? I thought early Oct?

  • Sadman Hossain

    Personal preference really comes into action here. The Xperia Z1 produces warmer toned images whereas the Lumia 925 produces pictures on the more cooler side. Personally i prefer the Z1. The pictures seem more true to life. Looking forward to how the Z1 stacks up against the lumia 1020.

    • townay

      That would be lumias aggressive white balancing. Orange-ish street lamp lights don’t magically turn bluish white.

  • alfreduran

    Hi! I prefer Z1’s camera, the pics look more natural, very realistic, while Nokia’s camera, the pics look too bright, no natural. Great analysis… best regards! :)

  • Vishank Shah

    Low light performance is better in Lumia but Sony thrashes out color reproduction against Nokia.

  • Acaa Aca

    the color is better on sony. nokia seems to overexposed it a bit.

  • Chirabrata Bhattarjee

    Sony you have won my heart!!

  • taz89

    have to admit, sonys usually always lets you down with the camera but this z1 camera looks to live upto there claim.

  • Assa7in King

    Sample 1 – Sony
    Sample 2 – 925
    Sample 3 – Sony
    Sample 4 – Sony
    Sample 5 – 925.


    SONY – 3
    925 – 2.

    Well off-cource sony wins here..

    Although other SAMPLES could have been a little better….

    • lil bit

      Did you check the source?

      AA did a mixup on number 4, the darker clearer image with true colors is the one shot with Z1!

      As usual the Nokia is the one to overexpose, look at the distant lights so outblown they are. You really need to look at the full size samples to judge this, you will see that the dark image from the Z1 is the best.

      For now, according to you, you think Z1 won set 4, but its actually the 925 pic you like, so in your book the score is SONY-2 and 925-3.

      Go to the source and look at all the photo sets in full size, the 5 presented here does not tell the full story.

      • Assa7in King

        Man ! the source page is not loading any pics !!!!

        • dfq

          you can check the link of the photos. they have the labels themselves. you can see 925 or z1 in the links.

  • Scalzinator

    Even being an android fan i must admit the lumia 920 looks better!

  • Trappist

    This is like comparing Apples to Oranges. Lumia 925 costs 50% less than Z1. A more reasonable comparison point is Lumia 1020. But then, that phones demolishes the Z1.

  • Q.

    Amazing shots taken by the Z1! Clearly the best camera on Android phone!

  • Alexandana Theng

    I can believe this unless i see videos comparison on both devices. Lumia 920 with only 8mp takes better pictures than Xperia Z with 13mp in all aspects.

    • D

      this is Xperia Z1, not Xperia Z…. Be clear on the object before u trying to argue something.

  • SContrerasMer

    Both are great, sony and nokia make excelent cameras, with really good sensors (iSigth cameras are sony sensors) and both xperia and lumia serie’s camera feature excelent Carl Zeiss lens

  • Eduardo Ríos Trujillo

    I like the sony pictures better

  • APai

    this is a huge letdown for nokia/ microsoft/ lumia series. the only strong point they had is being demolished. the Z1 is slim compared to a chunky nokia, plus the android eco system is way more attractive than windows phone. sony’s sensors will find its way into samsung and apple in the not too distant future, so nokia’s demise will not be missed

  • lanister

    I think the screen alone will bring in sales for this device as the majority of people dont even know what rooting or custom roms are. without comparing with next Nexus 5 & Galaxy ace 3

  • Jav11 .

    The lumia 925 produce nice pix but is also overexposed in some.. And yes xperia z1 makes true to life image’s…

  • lanister

    The Z1 should be able to handily beat the 925 but it holds its own quite well, but that’s not really its competition, is it? Lets bring out the big gun 1020 or even the 1520 when its released and see what the results will be. i want a new comparison beetween ipad mini 2 and galaxy note 3 pas cher :p

  • Assa7in King

    Guys THIS is the ALLEGED PICTURE of Z2 !!..

    3 GB RAM
    5.5 inch iGZO Triluminos screen with a 540ppi pixel

    20.7 Mpx CAM with XENON Flash
    3500 mAh..

    Allegedly its gonna be unveiled on CES 2014.


    8 MP vs 20 MP camera comparison how it can make any sense , as there is a huge 12 MP difference almost close to GS4 camera :-) ….!!!
    What ever if a camera can produce sharper image in low light condition definitely it wins as talking about producing close to natural color makes the picture more dark only in a low light condition where you can hardly find any details.

  • Angel Mõĵõ Guzman

    z1 burst mode can take 61 photos in 2 sec :D …Sony z1 wins for me :D

  • LakeLevel The

    Are you looking at the same pictures that I am? The Sony is not even close. The Sony is darker fuzzier and smeared. No contest. You people are delusional.

  • Maxi Albarracin
  • somebodytolove

    well , now compare the price tag for each phone , lumia 925 is more budget friendly that the 700$ overpriced sony (with avarage photo ability)

    winner if you are choosing a phone to buy is lumia :)

  • gabrelov

    Definitely not a valid comparisson, nokias camera lens was pointed to the lights to produce bad photos. Nokia won pictures 2 and 4 looking at the clarity and the noise.

    Again low light comparison is done not pointing the camera directly to the lights and lamps, this blinds the camera. This comparisson is invalid.