The Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone is the first smartphone to tout PureView technology with an incredible 41MP sensor. Packing 41MP into a smartphone is no easy feat, as a matter of fact you’ll be hard pressed to find a dedicated camera with such a powerful sensor. For the past 2 weeks, we have been putting the 1020 through its paces, so without further ado, here are 10 reasons why the Lumia 1020 is the ultimate smartphone for the photo enthusiast.
1. With the Nokia Pro Camera app, you can shoot in full resolution, and then zoom in on your subject later. That means you can crop, reframe and rotate an image, afterwards, without worrying about the end product being low resolution.
2. Even the best smartphone cameras struggle to take good shots in an environment like an indoor concert, yet the Nokia Lumia 1020 is able to capture great shots – even if you’re far away up in the balcony, just like we were when we took this photo of Jason Derulo performing.
3. The Nokia Pro Cam app offers intuitive sliding controls for exposure, flash, ISO, Focus and other settings. These settings offer you fine tune control over every shot. We also appreciate the Pro Cam’s apps other intuitive controls which include swiping up to zoom in, and swiping down to zoom out.
4. Despite the powerful camera optics inside, it’s not very bulky – the 1020 measures just 5.1″ high x 2.8″ wide, just .4″ thick, and it also weighs just 5.6 ounces.
5. The Lumia 1020 comes in a choice of 3 cool colors – yellow, white and the more traditional black. They are all made out of a tough polycarbonate body.
6. There are some seriously unique camera accessories for the Nokia Lumia 1020, including a tripod case, a wireless charging speaker, and a super neat camera grip case that doubles as a battery pack.
7. Because the camera model protrudes from the camera’s back on the 1020, that means that the phone can’t lie flat on its back. But that actually ends up working to your advantage because it serves as a stand, and tilts the display up.
8. Between Windows Phone 8, a 1.5 GHz Dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, and support for AT&T’s 4G LTE network, everything from web surfing to general performance is a pleasant experience.
9. It’s 4.5″ 1280×768 334ppi AMOLED display is supersensitive, and can even be operated with gloves or fingernails. Plus, it’s made of Gorilla Glass 3, which means it’s super tough.
10. It comes bundled with some great apps – including Nokia Music, Nokia’s HERE Drive+, Maps, Transit, City Lens, Hipstamatic Oggl Pro, and more.
We do have some minors gripes with the 1020 – the camera occasionally struggles with lighting and focusing on subjects, and requires a reshoot. It also isn’t as fast at taking pictures as most other high-end smartphones. In any case, the Nokia 1020 is not a DSLR or high-end camera replacement, but it is plenty good enough to become your everyday point and shoot replacement. Overall, if your serious about good photography and zoom on your smartphone, the Lumia 1020 offers some of the best quality photos you can get on a smartphone today. Between that and its super solid build quality, nice selection of bundled Windows Phone apps, and the intuitive Windows Phone user interface, the Nokia Lumia 1020 has managed to set itself as one of the leading smartphones on the market today. The Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone is an exclusive at AT&T for now… AT&T keeps getting some great exclusives. Anyway, the Nokia Lumia 1020 can be found for as low as $249 at Amazon, with contract at AT&T. And don’t forget to check out our sample images taken with the Lumia 1020 in the gallery at the end of this post.
The Good: 41mp sensor! Excellent low light performance. Lossless cropping. Provides an amazing amount of zoom without much bulk. Excellent build quality thanks to polycarbonate material and Guerrilla Glass 3 display. Display is supersensitive. Great video quality. Records above average audio. Pretty good battery life thanks to 2,000mAH battery – you’ll get about 12 full hours with heavy usage. It simultaneously saves both a web friendly 5MP picture, and an insanely large 34MP shot (when using the Pro Cam app). Comes bundled with lots of great apps. The size is quite compact despite packing in the powerful PureView camera optics.
The Bad: It’s pricer than most other high-end smartphones. Sometimes lighting and focus in shots are off and a reshoot is required. There is no burst mode, and there is a significant delay in between shots. The device also takes a long time to charge, and tends to heat up often during use.