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Nokia Lumia 1020 review

Can a brilliant camera alone save the once-great brand?

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 32 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 41 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 19.10 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Great camera
  • Slim design
  • Good battery life

Against

  • Windows Phone 8 app ecosystem
  • No expandable memory
  • $299 is a little pricey
Ratings in depth
Nokia Lumia 1020 review

Nokia Lumia 1020 review

Nokia Lumia 1020 review

Nokia Lumia 1020 review

Nokia Lumia 1020 review

To review the Nokia Lumia 1020 is to review a compact camera that happens to have some phone features tacked onto it. Essentially, you would only buy this thing for its 41MP PureView camera with Xenon flash. If you weren't already a Nokia fan, why buy Windows Phone 8?

When we first heard about the 41MP smartphone camera in the Nokia PureView 808, our initial thoughts were, "What a shame to put such a nice camera on a Symbian device." Now that the camera is coupled with a marginally better platform, we can breathe a small sigh of relief.

If you're familiar with the Lumia line of phones, the 1020 shouldn't look that foreign to you. Its curvature and overall shape are reminiscent of the Lumia 920, and the smaller Lumia 820.

Nokia Lumia 1020 review

On the face of the device, you'll find a 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 touchscreen display. The left edge of the device, if you're facing the screen, is clean and free of any buttons or ports. The right side has a volume rocker, power/standby button and a dedicated camera button.

At the base of the device you'll find the micro-USB charging port and speaker/microphone. Up top, there is a SIM card tray, 3.5mm headset jack and another microphone for noise cancellation.

Nokia Lumia 1020 review

The back of the device is perhaps the most noticeable, with its large camera module, Xenon flash, LED light and camera lens. It protrudes enough from the device that it never lays flat on its back.

The following video is sponsored and made by O2 Guru

Even without the bulky camera, it's a substantial device as far as modern smartphones go. It's not the slimmest or lightest by any means, but it is somehow slightly slimmer and lighter than the Lumia 920.

To give you an idea of its dimensions, this Lumia phone is 130.4mm tall, 71.4mm wide and 10.4mm thick and weighs 158 grams. As you can see, it's pretty wide and bloated by today's smartphone standards.

Nokia Lumia 1020 review

Despite its size and weight, you eventually get used to maneuvering your way around the device. It's the camera that makes it tricky to hold. Do you keep your fingers around it, or grip the phone right over the camera? Decisions, decisions.

Our review model came in matte black, and it's slightly more slippery than its glossy predecessors. The Lumia 1020 also comes in yellow and white.

Nokia Lumia 1020 review

For those of you interested in internals, there is a Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB on-board storage and a 2,000 mAh battery.

Interface and performance

Windows Phone 8 resides inside the Nokia Lumia 1020, and if you've ever used Windows Phone before, it will be incredibly familiar to you.

This version of Windows Phone 8 is called Amber, available only to Nokia devices, and it's the latest version of the Microsoft platform. It adds a few nifty new features to the software, but it's not a major overhaul of the platform or anything.

Nokia Lumia 1020 review

You can do new things with the Amber update like double tap the display to turn it on, or flip your phone over to silence it. And if you love customizing your device, there are a handful of new wallpapers added.

Otherwise, it's just plain old Windows Phone 8. The live tile system works pretty nicely to give you app updates and any other relevant info you might want to see. The tiles are also customizable in size, so you can make them large or small and arrange them into clusters when you shrink them down.

If you swipe to the right from the main screen, you'll see a list of all your apps, including the settings. It's a mostly intuitive platform, but what it's seriously lacking is third-party app support.

Most of the big-name apps are on Windows Phone 8, like Facebook, Twitter, CNN, Foursquare and more. But it's also missing incredibly popular apps like Instagram and Vine. This lack of app support is what usually turns people off from adopting the Windows Phone platform.

Another sorely missing feature is a centralized notification system. With iOS and Android, you can see all your notifications and updates in a drop-down pane, whereas Windows Phone 8 leaves you guessing with the live tile system. If you get a notification for an app that isn't immediately within view of the display, you have to scroll around just to make sure you haven't missed anything.

In terms of everyday performance, I experienced no lag or hiccups at all. Well, other than the camera, but we're going to cover that issue. Scrolling through the home page or within apps is smooth, unlike the Android experience on some handsets. The apps and tiles have cool animations, too, when you're opening or closing them or watching your notifications.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Service ProviderAT&T
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Built-in Memory32 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotNo
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value0.76 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyLumia
Cellular Generation4G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution41 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Phone StyleBar
ColourMatte White
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameNokia
Battery Talk Time19.10 Hour
Product Model1020
Screen Size11.4 cm (4.5")
Screen Resolution1280 x 768
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)158 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityChina RoHS, EU RoHS, WEEE, REACH
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Operating System VersionWindows Phone 8
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log, Call Waiting, Call Forwarding, Conference Call
Pixel Density334 ppi
Height130.4 mm
Width71.4 mm
Depth10.4 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerNokia
Product NameLumia 1020 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon S4
Product LineLumia
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass, Barometer, Magnetometer, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberATTLUMIA1020WHT
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.nokia.co.uk
Marketing InformationYour moments captured like never before

The Nokia Lumia 1020 takes photos and video that no other smartphone can match with a 41 megapixel camera sensor, PureView technology, Optical Image Stabilisation and amazing high-resolution zoom.

Zoom. Reinvented

Nokia Pro Cam on the Nokia Lumia 1020 lets you shoot in super high resolution, which means you can zoom in close to your shot after you've taken it. Then rotate, reframe, crop and share new images as many times as you want.

Package Contents
  • Lumia 1020 Smartphone
  • Micro USB Charger
  • Charging and Data Cable
  • Headset
  • Quick Guide
  • SIM Door Key
Limited Warranty2 Year