The iOS 7 music player is exactly the same as the one in iOS 6, its appearance is in line with the new iOS design. You can create playlists, delete songs right from within the player and reorder tabs whichever way you like. There is also an Album view you access it by flipping the device landscape. It lists all the covers to the albums you have in your library. Tapping on an album thumb lists all the tracks in it.
The iOS 7 offers non-configurable equalizer presets in the Music app settings.
Apple iPhone 5s equalizer menu
If you are logged in with a US Apple ID (the service will roll out in more English-speaking countries in early 2014), your iOS 7 music player will get an additional iTunes Radio tab. It's a music streaming service with the entire iTunes content available for streaming.
The music player on the LG G2 also looks much like the one inside the Optimus G and the G Pro. The interface is simple, easy to use, but still offers a lot functionality. The Now playing interface places a big album art image in the center with controls above and below it. Swiping the album art left or right is the easiest way to skip songs back and forth.
A press and hold on the album art will bring up a search menu, if you need to look up the title, artist or the album. After that you can pick where to search - your music collection, YouTube or a general Internet search. Flipping the device to landscape mode while on the Now playing screen squeezes in a list of other songs by the same artist.
There are equalizer presets and you can even create custom ones.
There's an FM radio on the LG G2, which can play over a set of headphones or the loudspeaker, but the headphones need to be plugged-in either way (they act as an antenna). You can also scan for radio stations, and save up to six channel presets. There is RDS support just fine.
Nokia is pushing its own music service called Mix Radio ahead on the default Music + Video app. It offers free music streaming (it works out of the box) and has an extensive library of tracks. While it is mostly streaming oriented, you can make tracks available offline in Mix Radio (they remain on the device only temporarily though).
The music hub has a simple and straightforward interface. You won't have any difficulties using it. However there are some things missing, like an equalizer. Another missing feature is the ability to scrub through a song - you have to press and hold on the FF/rewind buttons to simply jump back and forth.
As a music player, it's pretty standard - your tracks are sorted by artist, album, playlists or you can view all songs. The interface is very similar to that of the stock music player, but under the album art it lists the next three songs to be played - really helpful if you're using shuffle. There's no way to manually reorder the upcoming songs, but you can reshuffle them if there's one you don't like.
Nokia's music app also offers equalizer presets from its dedicated settings (including a custom one) and it has Dolby Headphones enhancements.
The equalizer and Dolby Headphones settings
There's an FM radio on board the Lumia 1020, thanks to the Lumia Amber firmware. You can use the loudspeaker for the FM radio, though you still need the headset connected as it doubles as an antenna. To enable the loudspeaker playback, just tap and hold on the station and select the appropriate option.
Nokia Lumia 1020FM radio interface
Winner: LG G2. The G2 music player might not be the best looking, but it offers customizable equalizer presets, handy search and sorting options. The G2 also comes with an integrated FM tuner.
Runner-up: Nokia Lumia 1020. Nokia Lumia 1020 comes with a free music streaming service, just like the iPhone 5s. It also comes with a skilled music player with equalizer presets. What it has over the iPhone though is a regular FM radio.
Third place: Apple iPhone 5s. The iPhone offers free music streaming, the music player is quiet the looker with its simplistic design, but it lacks customizable equalizers or other value-added features and the 5s has no FM radio.
The LG G2 speaker managed a Below Average score, which puts it at the bottom of the trio. The iPhone 5s has an improved speaker compared to the previous generation and it now gets an Average mark. The Nokia Lumia 1020 tops them both with a Good score though.
Neither phone managed spectacular results, but the iPhone 5s and the Lumia 1020 will be heard in all but the noisiest environments. It's a good thing the LG G2 has notification lights on both sides of the phone - it really needs them, being too quiet.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overal score|
|Apple iPhone 5s||68.7||66.3||69.2|
|Nokia Lumia 1020||69.8||66.6||72.5|
|HTC One mini||68.0||68.7||78.1|
|Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4||70.6||66.2||77.3|
Winner: Nokia Lumia 1020. It's a simple game of numbers here and the Nokia smartphone wins it.
Runner up: Apple iPhone 5s. Three second places in the three tests secure the iPhone 5s the silver medal here.
Third place: LG G2. Consistently the quietest of the three.
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