With a lot of people now taking more and more photos on their mobile phones, a decent camera has become something we all look to have.
Until now, the megapixel race hit a wall around the 13 megapixel mark. To be honest this resolution is really good for a mobile phone, however Nokia made the world sit up and listen when they announced the 808 PureView and it’s 41 megapixel camera. Trouble was, running the dying Symbian OS, it was never going to take off.
Sony have just released their Z1 with an impressive 20.7 megapixel camera, but Nokia are never one to be upstaged with this, the brand new Lumia 1020. It runs on the latest Windows Phone OS and also packing a camera anyone would be envious of.
A 41 megapixel sensor allows for some stunning detail, paired with an LED light to help video and a bright Xenon flash for taking photos where a flash is needed, the Lumia 1020 seems to have it all covered.
Many thanks to our friends at Nokia Connects who were kind enough to provide us with the Lumia 1020 to review
So, onto the specs….
- Windows Phone 8.0
- 4.5 inch display with 1280 x 768 resolution
- 41 Megapixel Camera (with LED and Xenon flash)
- DC-HSDPA 42Mb/s
- LTE 100Mb/s
- 1.5Ghz Dual-Core Processor
- Bluetooth, WiFi & GPS
- 32GB Storage
- 2,000mAh Battery
Looking at the top there’s the Nokia logo, a front facing camera and the earpiece for your calls.
The front facing camera is 1.2 megapixels and can record in 720p video. The real use for this second camera is for video calls, especially over Skype as that is built into the phone. Microsoft, after all, own Skype now.
The screen is a a nice size at 4.5 inches with a resolution of 768 x 1280 pixels. Not too large and not to small. Plus, with the Clear Black Display and PureMotion HD+ technology, the screen works well in sunlight. The screen also has Gorilla Glass 3 protection, making it strong as well as very usable.
At the bottom part of the device you have the normal Windows Phone capitative keys seen on all phones. These are for going back a step with the back arrow, a Windows button to take you back to the main screen at any time and finally a search button with quick access to Bing. This is for normal searching plus location, music and barcode scanning.
On the back is the highlight of the device and what everyone will be talking about. A Massive 41….. yes 41 megapixel sensor for taking some amazing photos.
The lens does stick out from the rest of the phone due to the technology needed to pack in all those pixels, but it is no-where near as bad as found on the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and does rather add to the overall design.
When it comes to the camera, Nokia have thought of everything.
The PureView technology in the sensor not only gets a massive amount of information captured due to the 41 megapixels, it also is great for low light conditions, something we also found on the Lumia 925.
But not only that, it comes with an LED light for helping to focus, also for low light video to help bump up the lighting.
Even better, Nokia even included a Xenon flash which is something I have loved on previous Nokia phones such as the N8 and the 808 PureView. This Xenon flash makes all the difference in poor lighting conditions and helps you capture some amazing photos.
The only other part worth noting on the back is the two little dots near the bottom. This is so you can attach a wireless charging case to the back and be able to use a wide range of wireless charges on the market including the speaker by JBL.
When you add on a wireless charging case, you will also notice that it makes the back of the phone flat as the extra bulk of the case matches the camera lens so it will sit flat on a desk.
At the bottom is the microUSB port right in the centre. There is also a large speakerphone grill to the right hand side which is very loud and still keeps really good audio quality even at maximum volume.
Then on the left is something I was so happy to see included. A lanyard / wrist strap loop so you can make sure your Lumia 1020 is safe at all times.
I was recently in New York with a Lumia 925 as my camera. when I was on the top of the tour bus I was always concerned that the phone would drop whilst leaning over the edge. The loop on the 1020 means that this isn’t a concern..
Great thinking from Nokia and another reason this is a camera flagship.
At the top there is the 3.5m headset jack right in the middle. The supplied headset is very good and gives some very good audio quality when listening to music on the go, however you may want to use your own headset instead and this is perfectly fine as it is universal.
On the left op top is where you pop the pin in the hole to get the SIM tray out. The Lumia 1020 takes a Micro SIM so you may need to speak to your network and arrange a SIM swap before you are able to use this, especially if you have a normal large or a nano-SIM at the moment.
On the right up top is the noise cancelling microphone which helps improve call quality, it is also used to record stereo sound when recording a video.
The left side is blank with no buttons anywhere to be seen, these are all on the right hand side of the device
At the bottom is the dedicated camera shutterm, which you would expect to see in a camera flagship these days.
I will be honest in that I have not been the biggest fan of Windows Phone in the past. I have made it no secret that I would love Nokia hardware on the Android OS. However, with that not looking to be a reality any time soon, I embraced Windows Phone and was actually impressed.
There is not much I can mark the 1020 down on, even if trying really hard to nit-pick on things. 32GB of internal storage is a large amount for a phone (64GB if you join on O2), even with the large image sizes and with online storage this should still be plenty for you to have space left over.
The battery easily lasted a day with some camera use, and if you want to really try out the camera there is a special grip case you can purchase to make the camera experience even better and add extra battery power.
The screen is perfect even in sunlight thanks to some clever technology. Some phones I have used in the past made it hard to see the screen in direct sunlight, the Lumia 1020 does not have that problem and is one of the best for using in the sun.
The crown jewel… the 41 megapixel camera complete with Zeiss optics. LED flash for video and a powerful Xenon flash for use in poor lighting conditions.
Add all of that with the professional ‘Nokia Pro Cam’ software for taking full control of the camera settings, and you have a serious piece of kit in your pocket that can replace a digital camera.
Whilst I may never learn to enjoy the OS as much as I do Android, the package offered by the Lumia 1020 is far too good to pass it up and it is so good I would easily consider switching to it.
I enjoy taking photos on a phone but have been more of a point and shoot person in the past. However, since having the Lumia 1020 I have been experimenting with the settings. You do have to hold it still for the perfect night shot, but it has got me into photography more than I ever was, and this is all on my mobile phone!
Nokia have really pulled something special out of the bag with the 1020 and for that I must applaud everyone involved in making this special phone.