The first thing Iâd like to say is that I am not a big fan of marketing hype, and boy, oh boy, is there a lot of marketing hype surrounding the Nokia Lumia 1020. Youâll come across articles calling it a beast, the best camera phone in the world, the perfect smartphone for imaging and so on. Now, as I have come to understand, the Lumia has an incredibly potent camera that can take crisp and clean high-res images, but before you put down some serious cash and go on a social media frenzy, uploading images of your cool hipster-stash left and right, letâs see how it stacks up against other good offerings in both the smartphone and digital camera department. All Iâm saying is that the new Nokia can sure talk the talk, but can it walk the walk? Is it going to be just some new novelty item that all the cool kids simply have to own or will it be a practical and functional tool that can help make your daily life much easier and more fun?
Letâs get down to the nitty-gritty
The Nokia Lumia 1020 boasts a 41 megapixel PureView camera with a Xenon flash, which is its primary selling point, but also has a secondary 1.2 megapixel camera. The processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, a dual-core processor running at 1.5 GHz. The display is 4.5 inches with a WXGA resolution of 1280x768. There are some great features like the display being made of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and the screen itself being very sensitive to the touch, that earn the Lumia 1020 some bonus points when it comes to being a functional smartphone. Some other good phone features include a maximum talk time of about 12 hours, max. music playback time of over 50 hours, max. video playback time of 6.8 hours and max. standby time of 16 days, with the ability to charge the battery wirelessly.
As far as memory goes it comes standard with 2GB RAM, 32GB total memory and 7GB of free cloud storage. It utilizes the Windows Phone 8 interface and comes with Internet Explorer 10 (which made me chuckle). The Lumia 1020 also has voice recognition, an ambient light sensor, magnetometer, proximity sensor, gyroscope and accelerometer. There are some great features for the music lovers as well. You can stream music with Nokia Music and the Mix Radio free streaming service, and you have the opportunity to create your own mixes or choose pre-made mixes compiled from a constantly updated catalogue of over 22 million songs. Among the accessories you will find a JBL Power Up Wireless Charging Speaker with base, which allows you to charge your phone while you listen to your favorite music.
How does it compare to other quality offerings?
Well, at a thickness of 10.4 mm and a weight of 158 g itâs not the slimmest phone out there, and putting on the Camera Grip that comes with the phone will bump up the thickness to a chunky 27 mm. This is great for snapping pictures, but chances are you will leave them on and then have to carry around a not so comfortable lump of plastic with you for the rest of the day. Even with the slimmer frame on, the primary camera protrudes slightly, so you wonât be able to lay it down flat. The Windows Phone 8 OS is pretty intuitive and user friendly, but it does lack the vast sea of apps that iPhone and Android platforms have readily available. The 41 MP camera has little ball bearings incorporated in the design, which help stabilize it, allowing for a sharp and clear image even if you canât hold your hands very steady. However, megapixels arenât everything and this article shows you the quality difference between photos taken by a professional 40 MP camera versus the Nokia 808 PureView camera. This being said, the camera on the Lumia 1020 is the best youâll get on a smartphone, and even with the chunky Camera Grip it is far smaller and easier to carry than your average digital camera - itâs a lot cheaper than professional high megapixel cameras as well.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 has a very impressive camera, and although you would get clearer images with a professional camera with the same megapixels, those cameras will cost thousands of dollars and are not very compact or light. When it comes to being a phone the Lumia 1020 has some pretty good characteristics, although the lack of app diversity and the âbig blocksâ interface of the Windows Phone 8 make it more suited for people new to smartphones and Instagram enthusiasts. Overall it is the best camera phone out there currently and a pretty decent smart phone.