Nokia Lumia 1020 Review – Epitome Of Photography

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In times of constant innovation, it has become very difficult to capture the attention of consumer with something special, something out of the way, something special. And even though Nokia has been down and out but it has been a constant innovator in mobile industry. Overshadowed by Samsung, Apple for quite sometime now, Nokia has managed to deliver a master piece in the form of Nokia Lumia 1020. Running Windows Phone 8, Lumia 1020 is a photography centric handset delivering 41 megapixels of imaging awesomeness. Let’s take a look at other aspects of the device and get started with Nokia Lumia 1020 review.

Build Quality

If you have ever used a Nokia device, you’d very well be aware of the strong build a nokia device possess. Nokia Lumia 1020 is no exception. Made of polycarbonate material, Lumia 1020 has smooth curves around the edges making the handset comfortable to use.

At the front there’s 4.5″ inch display made of ever so strong Gorilla Glass 3 which blend in well with the polycarbonate casing seamlessly. Below this are the three standard Windows Phone capacitive buttons viz. back, menu and search, no physical buttons. On the reverse, as mentioned earlier, the back is made of a unibody polycarbonate chassis with a matte finish which, unlike plastic material used on Galaxies, feels really comfortable in the hand.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Back

What really gets your attention is the giant camera protruding out of the back. This does feel a bit awkward but you do need some place to put in camera prowess! Moreover, in my view, though looks odd but this protruding “camera eye” is what distinguishes it from other devices.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Sideline 2

Moving on, at the sidelines, on the left side of the phone there aren’t any buttons while the right side has a dedicated camera key (and rightly so), a multipurpose Power/Screen Lock button and volume rocker. Located at the top of the phone is 3.5mm audio jack next to which is the microSIM card slot. At the bottom lies the micro USB slot, speaker grill and lanyard hole. Usual business.

Display

Nokia Lumia 1020 features a 4.5″ inch 720p screen. With the resolution measuring 1280 x 768 pixels, it isn’t a Full HD panel but AMOLED technology coupled with PureMotion HD+ panel make the experience satisfying. The phone carries a rather huge bezel on the side of the display but the use of the AMOLED display and inherent color scheme makes them gel with one another very well as much as you won’t be noticing the bezel during regular operation.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Front Display

There’s an option to make the display adjust brightness automatically, which works very well especially under sunlight providing perfect readability.

Software

Nokia Lumia 1020 runs on Windows Phone 8 (Lumia Amber). Carrying 41 MP rear camera, it makes sense to first talk about camera performance. The camera is supported by a powerfull Xenon flash and LED flash which can be toggled on while recording video; and the ability to shoot RAW images.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera

A range of dedicated camera specific Nokia applications are pre-installed including Camera360, Creative Studio, Nokia Pro Cam and Nokia Smart Cam. Each one offers a distinct set of features to handle camera output.

Amongst all these, I found using Nokia Pro Cam app the most and I must say it has an exhaustible set of camera controls. For the novice user, the Auto mode does all the heavy lifting but for the more advanced user, these controls prove very useful, from managing white balance, manual focus, ISO control, shutter speed to managing exposure compensation, there’s a lot to tinker for capturing that perfect image!

Lumia 1020 Camera Options

Then there is Nokia Smart Cam which allows you to take a series of shots and then let’s you play around with the results, including the ability to select the best shot, change the faces, remove objects, create motion blur, etc. To be very honest, considering the plethora of camera options Nokia Lumia 1020 provides, I am under-qualified to comment on it :p Anyhow, check out our Nokia Lumia 1020 Camera Samples.

In terms of video capture, Lumia 1020 captures video in 1080p resolution at 30 fps (bit rate ~20 Mbps), you also have the option to adjust resolution to 720p mode and adjust the frame rate to 24 or 25 fps. Another special feature is the ability to zoom in while shooting video (upto 4x for 1080p and 6x for 720p).

Now to the operating system, Windows Phone 8 running on the device. To being with as an OS in its own individuality, Windows Phone has really matured. A lot has improved since it was first introduced in market. But it still lacks much when compared to other platforms. I will keep this short, if you have been previously using a Windows Phone device then you’ll certainly enjoy Lumia 1020 running Windows Phone 8 (amber update). I have been using it for over a week now and not once did I face even a slight lag. Everything has been silky smooth. I haven’t switched off the device during this time so it’s very reliable and stable. But on the flip side, things get worse if you are someone switching over from an android device, more specifically rely heavily on Google ecosystem.

Performance

Nokia Lumia 1020 features a dual core 1.5 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 8960 chipset alongwith an Adreno 225 graphics processor, well supported by 2 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage with no option for external SD card. In terms of connectivity, the phone offers Bluetooth, WiFi b/g/n to GPS, GLONASS, NFC. There is no wireless charging though (external shell is available which adds this functionality).

These specifications may not sufficient enough to compare it with prevailing flagship devices like Xperia Z1, Note 3 or even Nexus 5 but amongst Windows devices, Lumia 1020 does offer marked improvements. Refer the following images for some benchmark tests I ran.

Again, in my opinion, it would be unfair to judge Lumia 1020 with other devices on other platforms based on these benchmark scores since Windows Phone 8 is an altogether different OS, capable of running smoothly even on much lower hardware configurations. With these specs, Lumia 1020 operates like a dream.

Battery Capacity

Nokia Lumia 1020 comes with a non-removable 2000 mAh battery. This is slightly on the lower side however using it as a daily driver I was able to have it my disposal for almost an entire day. This time may vary depending on your pattern of usage. For me, it has been a couple of gmail accounts (with sync set to 5 min check), a hotmail account (with push notification), connected facebook and twitter account, an hours of calling and roughly 40 minutes of video playback (720p).

Concluding Words

It’s a no brainer that Nokia Lumia 1020 is THE best camera phone you can buy, far far better than any other device in market right now. Period. The hardware may sound mediocre considering current standards but for Windows Phone dual core processor, 2 GB RAM and dedicated GPU are more than enough to make the device “fly”!

What let me down, as an android user, is the fact that Windows Phone struggles to cope up with what Android or iOS have to offer. Plus severely limited app store doesn’t help either. However, your experience can be different if you are switching from a previous lumia phone or aren’t dependent on Google ecosystem.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Images

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