I don't have problem believing you are good at photography. I don't know how good I am, but was playing with my dad's rangefinders since I was 7, got my first SLR (second hand Nikon F801s) in '91, my first DSLR in 2005... so I did gather some knowledge along the way.
I don't see washed out bright details on that photo, which, by definition, is result of overexposing. I don't mind or care how you choose to call that, but in my eyes it remains that Nokia's gathered much more light and gave significantly more pleasing photo than iPhone, whose image was heavily underexposed.
Anand, much as I was following Anandtech, appears to be camera enthusiast as well, so completely clueless he isn't. Could he be tricked without noticing? Maybe, but not that likely. End of the day, Lumia 920 does have some cool tech in that camera, as described here:
So defending current iPhone 4s camera, in my mind, doesn't make much sense. It is great phone camera, likely the best in its time, but this good it isn't. The only question for me is, what will Apple do for new iPhone's camera. Technology like back lit sensors and image stabilisers is not invented by Nokia, Apple can implement all that and more. I hope they did for 5. I want imaging technology to progress as quick as possible.
My last photo gig was running a medium size commercial photo lab in NYC for over two decades. I can recognize over exposure. In addition, as I said before, there was a lot of processing done there. Too much.
No where am I "defending" the 4S camera. Why would you think that? If you compare something new, that hasn't even come out yet, to something that, in this world of fast moving technology, is considered to already be old, as a new one will be out in just a couple of weeks, then it's not a great comparison. There's no doubt that we had a spate of announcements this week because Apple will be doing their own next week.
After all, these phones aren't near being ready! They could have waited until the new iPhone was out, and then done their comparison.