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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

We give the Lumia 1020 3.5 stars because of its camera. We'd probably knock off the half star if it weren't for the 41MP shooter. While this Lumia phone is a premium device, its platform is its major drawback. And though the camera is the best there is on any smartphone in the market, you're probably going to spend more time interfacing with the operating system than shooting photos.

We liked

The camera is the obvious winner here. While 41MP seems like overkill for a smartphone, it does have its benefits. Images are sharper at larger sizes, and the 5MP photos are more crisp than what you'd normally find on any other 5MP or even 8MP smartphone camera. Lossless zoom is also nice to have, coupled with the full resolution photo of the entire scene that's stored along with the zoomed-in photo. To top it off, battery life wasn't bad on the Lumia 1020, so that gives us a little confidence when leaving home without a charger or battery pack.

We disliked

Unfortunately, Windows Phone 8 still has a way to go in terms of competing with Android and iOS. Aside from a lack of great apps, the platform desperately needs a better notification system. It's easy to miss e-mails, messages or app notifications if the tiles aren't in plain sight. Because of these things, the highly advanced camera just doesn't seem all that appealing. It would be like putting a Ferrari engine in a 1998 Toyota Corolla. We would probably give it better consideration if it didn't cost so much, either. $299 is steep for what you're getting with this device.

Verdict

The incredible camera on this phone would benefit from apps that are found on iOS and Android, but missing on Windows Phone 8. Apps like Instagram, Snapseed and Vine would be terrific additions to Windows Phone 8, and it would really help this camera shine. But with the lack or slow development of those types of apps, there is more incentive to go with Android or iOS.

We would recommend this phone for those who don't spend too much time in apps, and find themselves messaging and e-mailing and browsing the web more than playing around in apps.

In terms of the camera, we can't say this will replace your point-and-shoot or compact camera. However, if you're looking for incredible smartphone camera photos and the flexibility of huge image files while making a few concessions by switching to Windows Phone 8, we might be able to recommend this phone for you. Except it's $299 on contract and that's just a tough price point to justify for the Lumia 1020.

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