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Nokia Lumia 1020 Review
By Steve Rhys 17.09.2013
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Nokia Lumia 1020 Review

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Best Price £1599

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Dislikes

  • No expandable memory
  • Slightly awkward to hold
  • Few bugs need fixing

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Nokia Lumia 1020 Review

Nokia is pushing the camera phone frenzy to another level by fitting a 41MP sensor to the Lumia 1020 – but will it convince photo-shoppers?

…………………………………………………..

 

Overview

Nokia has put the focus firmly on photography with the Lumia 1020 – a smartphone that packs a whopping 41MP camera on its rear. With this much photo-snapping power in your smartphone you can ditch your point and shoot digital! Or can you?

 Nokia-Lumia-1020

For starters the 1020 comes with a £550 asking price for a sim-free model. Then there is the classic conundrum of multi-tasking devices – Jack of all trades and master of none! So what’s it to be for the Lumia 1020?  For this kind of money you should expect a top-end smartphone with a quality camera. Nokia have already proven they are capable of producing both – but can they put both in one device?

 

Nokia-Lumia-1020

The Nokia 1020 packs a whopping 41MP camera on its rear

 

If you’re familiar with Lumia handsets, the 1020 fits right in with the latest range of Nokia Windows Phone 8.  Similar in appearance and size to the Lumia 920, it´s a huge relief the 1020 is more smartphone than camera in terms of size. Actually, the 1020 is impressively slim, all things considered.  Except for a half-inch camera module poking out the rear, the Lumia 1020 is slightly thinner than the 920. 

The one drawback is that the camera module starts where your middle finger would naturally sit.  No matter how you hold it, the camera piece gets in the way, which coupled with the smooth matte finish makes the 1020 slightly awkward to hold. However, that´s only when you hold the device vertically as you would a phone.  Flip it 90-degrees into landscape and you’ll have no problems holding the 1020 around its edges.

Nokia-Lumia-1020

4.5-inch 1280 x 720 display and with a pixel density of 334ppi, makes a cracking screen – not literally of course!

 

The XL 1020 easily fits a 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 display and with a pixel density of 334ppi, makes a cracking screen – not literally of course!  The AMOLED display is supersensitive too, which means you can operate the touchscreen wearing your favourite pair of gloves or even your fingernails.

But the Lumia 1020 is all about the camera and with 334ppi to admire you couldn’t ask for more clarity.  It’s a top-notch display, whichever way you look at it.  The Nokia beats the Galaxy S4 Zoom for resolution and screen space, but if you like the Samsung colour saturation you’ll probably prefer the Galaxy.

Under its Lumia skin the 1020 hides a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor, 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage.  That means you can keep a pretty hefty collection of your pics in your pocket.  The killer is there’s no expandable memory which means once you’ve filled your 32GB (and it’s actually less than that don’t forget) you’ll have to start juggling things about.

Nokia-Lumia-1020-

1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor, 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage

 

To wake your 1020 double tap the screen and you will find some neat additions. The Lumix 1020 comes with Amber, the latest version of Windows Phone 8 that for now is exclusive to Nokia. It’s hardly an OS revolution but there are some nifty little features.

Sadly however, the OS still lacks an adequate notification system.  With iOS and Android your notifications and updates are always clearly visible and accessible via a drop-down bar whereas Windows still seems to think this is an unnecessary feature and leaves it up to you to check yourself – something of a grumble with Nokia owners.

So what about this here camera? First off there’s a Zenon flash which produces much better results than your standard smartphone LED flash.  It’s bright, powerful and the results are there to see.  The bottom line is you’ll get much better flash photographs from the 1020 than any other smartphone camera.

 

However, it´s the standout 41mega-pixel lens that’s making the 1020 headlines.  Sounds amazing, right?  But that doesn’t mean you’ll be uploading 41MP images to Twitter or Facebook.  That’s just not how it works.  You’ll still be limited to the 5MP upload like everyone else.  Your high-resolution images will be purely for sticking on a computer and editing in a photo-editing suite.

 

Although the picture quality of the  Lumia 1020 is excellent – for a smartphone – the Nokia Pro Cam app itself is too slow to operate so you’re bound to miss some of those magic moments.

 

As far as picture quality goes, the Lumia 1020 is excellent – for a smartphone.  Colour capture and contrast levels are strong from the instant you hit the shutter.  But the problems start with the Nokia Pro Cam app itself.  It’s too slow to operate meaning you’re bound to miss some of those magic moments. You still get better result than you would from a point and shoot, but for this price you can pick up a pretty decent compact system camera.

The annoying thing about the 1020 is it is normally a pretty smooth and fluid operator, but ask it to take some photos and it gets the jitters.  The app lags too much and there’s an unpredictable delay between hitting the shutter and getting your photo.  This makes any kind of action shot a tad messy.

So is the Lumia 1020 a replacement for a digital camera?  No – which kind of scuppers Nokia´s unique selling point and all that mumbo-jumbo! It’s a great portable snapper, but it lacks too many features you can get from even budget point-and-shooters.  All things considered, the iPhone 5 and HTC One are better camera phones.

On a brighter note, the battery life is pretty good with the Lumia 1020.  A 2,000 mAh cell doesn’t sound like much but there’s every chance you’ll make it through a long working day on a single charge.  Naturally, heavy photo sessions will drain the battery quicker – especially with the flash.  But the 1020 keeps going for longer than we expected.

 

Who is it for?

The Lumia 1020 does photography better than your average smartphone but is disappointing against other high-end rivals.  If you can sacrifice some quality for not needing to carry a separate point-and-shoot, you might have found your ideal phone.

 

Value for money

Not really.  At £550 value isn’t the word that springs to mind.  Nokia’s aim – or at least its marketing strategy – is to encourage consumers to replace your point-and-shoot with this smartphone, but the 1020 camera does not perform well enough to convince us this device is a worthwhile replacement.

 

Final thought

The Lumia 1020 is a decent handset with a very good (phone) camera.  And it should be at this price.  It’s a relief Nokia hasn’t just stuck a high-spec camera on a half-assed smartphone – which is what a lot of us were expecting. There is actually a lot to like about the Lumia 1020.

In actual fact the phone aspect out-performs the camera and a keen photographer will be somewhat disappointed in this cameras performance. Sure enough, with a 41MP lens the Lumia takes a great photo, but given you can only load 5MP of that to Facebook, there is little point for most people having a powerful sensor. For £550 there are better options on the market than the Nokia Lumia 1020.

 

Nokia Lumia 1020 Review

Nokia is pushing the camera phone frenzy to another level by fitting a 41MP sensor to the Lumia 1020 – but will it convince photo-shoppers?

…………………………………………………..

 

Overview

Nokia has put the focus firmly on photography with the Lumia 1020 – a smartphone that packs a whopping 41MP camera on its rear. With this much photo-snapping power in your smartphone you can ditch your point and shoot digital! Or can you?

 Nokia-Lumia-1020

For starters the 1020 comes with a £550 asking price for a sim-free model. Then there is the classic conundrum of multi-tasking devices – Jack of all trades and master of none! So what’s it to be for the Lumia 1020?  For this kind of money you should expect a top-end smartphone with a quality camera. Nokia have already proven they are capable of producing both – but can they put both in one device?

 

Nokia-Lumia-1020

The Nokia 1020 packs a whopping 41MP camera on its rear

 

If you’re familiar with Lumia handsets, the 1020 fits right in with the latest range of Nokia Windows Phone 8.  Similar in appearance and size to the Lumia 920, it´s a huge relief the 1020 is more smartphone than camera in terms of size. Actually, the 1020 is impressively slim, all things considered.  Except for a half-inch camera module poking out the rear, the Lumia 1020 is slightly thinner than the 920. 

The one drawback is that the camera module starts where your middle finger would naturally sit.  No matter how you hold it, the camera piece gets in the way, which coupled with the smooth matte finish makes the 1020 slightly awkward to hold. However, that´s only when you hold the device vertically as you would a phone.  Flip it 90-degrees into landscape and you’ll have no problems holding the 1020 around its edges.

Nokia-Lumia-1020

4.5-inch 1280 x 720 display and with a pixel density of 334ppi, makes a cracking screen – not literally of course!

 

The XL 1020 easily fits a 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 display and with a pixel density of 334ppi, makes a cracking screen – not literally of course!  The AMOLED display is supersensitive too, which means you can operate the touchscreen wearing your favourite pair of gloves or even your fingernails.

But the Lumia 1020 is all about the camera and with 334ppi to admire you couldn’t ask for more clarity.  It’s a top-notch display, whichever way you look at it.  The Nokia beats the Galaxy S4 Zoom for resolution and screen space, but if you like the Samsung colour saturation you’ll probably prefer the Galaxy.

Under its Lumia skin the 1020 hides a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor, 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage.  That means you can keep a pretty hefty collection of your pics in your pocket.  The killer is there’s no expandable memory which means once you’ve filled your 32GB (and it’s actually less than that don’t forget) you’ll have to start juggling things about.

Nokia-Lumia-1020-

1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor, 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage

 

To wake your 1020 double tap the screen and you will find some neat additions. The Lumix 1020 comes with Amber, the latest version of Windows Phone 8 that for now is exclusive to Nokia. It’s hardly an OS revolution but there are some nifty little features.

Sadly however, the OS still lacks an adequate notification system.  With iOS and Android your notifications and updates are always clearly visible and accessible via a drop-down bar whereas Windows still seems to think this is an unnecessary feature and leaves it up to you to check yourself – something of a grumble with Nokia owners.

So what about this here camera? First off there’s a Zenon flash which produces much better results than your standard smartphone LED flash.  It’s bright, powerful and the results are there to see.  The bottom line is you’ll get much better flash photographs from the 1020 than any other smartphone camera.

 

However, it´s the standout 41mega-pixel lens that’s making the 1020 headlines.  Sounds amazing, right?  But that doesn’t mean you’ll be uploading 41MP images to Twitter or Facebook.  That’s just not how it works.  You’ll still be limited to the 5MP upload like everyone else.  Your high-resolution images will be purely for sticking on a computer and editing in a photo-editing suite.

 

Although the picture quality of the  Lumia 1020 is excellent – for a smartphone – the Nokia Pro Cam app itself is too slow to operate so you’re bound to miss some of those magic moments.

 

As far as picture quality goes, the Lumia 1020 is excellent – for a smartphone.  Colour capture and contrast levels are strong from the instant you hit the shutter.  But the problems start with the Nokia Pro Cam app itself.  It’s too slow to operate meaning you’re bound to miss some of those magic moments. You still get better result than you would from a point and shoot, but for this price you can pick up a pretty decent compact system camera.

The annoying thing about the 1020 is it is normally a pretty smooth and fluid operator, but ask it to take some photos and it gets the jitters.  The app lags too much and there’s an unpredictable delay between hitting the shutter and getting your photo.  This makes any kind of action shot a tad messy.

So is the Lumia 1020 a replacement for a digital camera?  No – which kind of scuppers Nokia´s unique selling point and all that mumbo-jumbo! It’s a great portable snapper, but it lacks too many features you can get from even budget point-and-shooters.  All things considered, the iPhone 5 and HTC One are better camera phones.

On a brighter note, the battery life is pretty good with the Lumia 1020.  A 2,000 mAh cell doesn’t sound like much but there’s every chance you’ll make it through a long working day on a single charge.  Naturally, heavy photo sessions will drain the battery quicker – especially with the flash.  But the 1020 keeps going for longer than we expected.

 

Who is it for?

The Lumia 1020 does photography better than your average smartphone but is disappointing against other high-end rivals.  If you can sacrifice some quality for not needing to carry a separate point-and-shoot, you might have found your ideal phone.

 

Value for money

Not really.  At £550 value isn’t the word that springs to mind.  Nokia’s aim – or at least its marketing strategy – is to encourage consumers to replace your point-and-shoot with this smartphone, but the 1020 camera does not perform well enough to convince us this device is a worthwhile replacement.

 

Final thought

The Lumia 1020 is a decent handset with a very good (phone) camera.  And it should be at this price.  It’s a relief Nokia hasn’t just stuck a high-spec camera on a half-assed smartphone – which is what a lot of us were expecting. There is actually a lot to like about the Lumia 1020.

In actual fact the phone aspect out-performs the camera and a keen photographer will be somewhat disappointed in this cameras performance. Sure enough, with a 41MP lens the Lumia takes a great photo, but given you can only load 5MP of that to Facebook, there is little point for most people having a powerful sensor. For £550 there are better options on the market than the Nokia Lumia 1020.

 

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