Nokia Lumia 1020 Review
Check out our Lumia 1020 features video
Written by Charlotte Kertrestel
The Nokia Lumia 1020 is Nokia’s latest Windows Phone offering, focussed around a massive 41MP camera.
So will the device be able to take on the big dogs of the camera world, or will it just prove to be like any other brightly coloured Windows Phone device?
Check out our YouTube review of the Nokia Lumia 1020
The first thing to note about the Nokia Lumia 1020 is its startling design; although it’s available in four colours, we were lucky enough to road test the luminous yellow model. And rather than making the phone look garish, the hazardous yellow simply adds a welcome splash of colour to your life.
Colour aside, the Lumia 1020 has a really soft, smooth outer shell which feels comfortable in the hand despite it weighing in slightly on the heavy side at 158g. See even more phones in the Nokia Lumia family
There are three control buttons located on the side of the handset; a volume rocker, the lock button and another to quickly snap photos like a traditional camera. The only problem I had was that my thumb naturally fell upon the volume button rather than the lock button, which often meant unlocking the phone took longer than necessary.
The Lumia 1020 offers a really vibrant display on its 4.5-inch screen with 332ppi, which adds an extra vivacity to the Windows Phone operating system.
My only other issue with the phone’s build is the slightly obtrusive camera lens which sticks out of the back of the handset. Although this is a small price to pay with having- what Nokia claims to be- such an amazing camera, it did put me off slightly.
Phone Set Up
As mentioned above, the Nokia Lumia 1020 runs Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system. This means that the phone’s home screen is comprised of dynamic tiles which update regularly. So if you’re an avid sports fan and you want keep abreast of the latest cricket scores, you can be updated without even having to move away from your home screen.
You can choose which icons are displayed on your home screen- moving all the rest to an alternative screen for safekeeping- resizing them to suit your habits. And the colour scheme of your live tiles also mimics the overall vibrancy of the Lumia series, which makes a change from the almost mundane appearance of Android smartphones.
Another really positive feature of the Nokia Lumia 1020’s set-up is that it’s really easy to type on; because the keys are really tall, I found myself making far fewer mistakes than I do on my Android device.
Because the Nokia Lumia 1020 is all about the camera, there are a number of built-in camera features to compliment the phone’s giant snapper.
Alongside your normal camera app, you’ve got Smart Cam, which takes multiple photos so you can pick the best shot, a motion focus shot, an action shot and also a mode which removes any moving objects in the background.
The Nokia Panorama app also allows you to take panoramic photos really easily, which I found much better than with the iPhone. Nokia’s Cinemagraph app lets you apply a number of artistic filters over your photos, which is a relatively new addition to the Nokia creative suite.
Saying that, now that Instagram is finally in the Windows Store, you can easily edit and publish your photos in one fell swoop like with most other Androids and iPhones.
With the Lumia 1020 running a Microsoft-built OS, it seems obvious that it offers Microsoft Office on all Windows Phones. And this is a key feature for a lot of business users; rather than using MS-compatible apps available on Android and iOS, the Nokia Lumia range offers the real thing, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Nokia Mix Radio
Nokia phones are also well known for their music apps, and the Lumia 1020 is no exception. With Nokia Mix Radio, you can add up to three of your favourite artists and the app will automatically create a playlist of all their biggest hits.
Camera & Video
As we’ve already mentioned, the Lumia 1020’s main selling feature is the massive 41 megapixel camera which features Carl Zeiss optics and not one, but two flashes.
And although I was all ready to argue that megapixels aren’t everything when it comes to camera lenses, the Nokia Lumia 1020 stepped in to prove me wrong.
All the photos I took- whether it was in the bright daylight or in a dimly-lit room- were crisp and showed real detail of the object I was capturing. As you can see from the images on the left, the xenon flash (which is almost blinding, by the way), showed no difficulty in illuminating the beautiful Christmas scenery from a recent late night shopping expedition.
Even when zoomed in to the max after you’ve taken a photo, the Lumia is miles ahead of most other smartphone cameras. Here you can see a comparison of the Nexus 5 and the Lumia 1020 at maximum zoom:
|Nokia Lumia 1020|
Take a look at the photos taken with the 1020 at Alton Towers’ Scarefest by the guys over at Phones4u for more proof of how good the Lumia camera really is.
Where the Nokia Lumia 1020 falls back into line with other smartphones is with its battery. Although the device didn’t disappoint, it simply sat in the middle of the road as far as its battery life is concerned.
After taking a few snaps and then leaving the phone idle overnight (remember it has a dynamic screen), I had about 50% juice left, which isn’t too bad compared with some similarly-priced handsets.
That said, I really like the battery app built into the device, which gives you all the battery-related stats you could ever need, including the last time you plugged it in, discharge speeds, and full recharge times.
Also, you can also get your hands on a range of wireless charging devices compatible with the Lumia 1020, and we managed to sample out the charging pad (also luminous yellow, of course!). However, I found that the wireless charger was novel at first, and worked well when I was sat at my desk, but as soon as I wanted to make a call, or send a text, I had to remove it from the charging dock, making it easier to just plug it in with a traditional charger.