The Nokia Lumia 1020 is a follow up of the Nokia 808 Pureview model that was launched last year. The 1020 come with a similar 41MP lens, but this time around, it is encased in a much more modern and contemporary design. It has a similar profile as the Nokia 920, which is slightly larger heavier that your average smartphone. But we think it is a small price to pay in exchange for the top-of-its-class 41MP lens. The unibody external casing sports rounded edges and a seemingly seamless surface, giving it a rather sleek feel.
Size and weight is not the only factors that paid the price for housing the 41mp camera. Just like the previous model, the lens protrudes a little on the back of the phone, which means that I can’t really lay completely flat on any flat surface. The protrusion also makes it a little awkward to hold in your hands, since the bulge reduces surface contact between your fingers and the back casing.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 not only looks like the 920 model but is also almost identical in specs. The 4.5-inch display has a 768 x 1280 resolution produces crisp and clear images with accurate color reproduction. It is worth mentioning that the touch screen works even when you are wearing gloves thanks to a proprietary technology from Nokia. The phone is powered by a dual-core, 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB of RAM and has 32GB of built in storage. While using the 1020, we did discover some noticeable improvements with the shutter button on the side of the phone. It seems a little more sensitive to the touch, more so than then older models. Thanks to the increase in sensitivity. It was now much easier to half-press the button to focus shots, without accidentally pressing too hard where you would prematurely take the shot.
The highlight feature on the Lumia 1020 is of course the 41MP lens. Its performance has been receiving truckloads of rave reviews and really, it is hard to not fall in love with it. Thanks to the high-resolution lens, the phone can take 38MP photos as well as record 1080p HD videos. The quality of the photos and videos taken using the phone is, needless to say, very impressive. The quality is on par, if not better, than many point-and-shoot digital cameras out there.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 is by far, the best camera-smartphone in the market today (at the time of writing). But like everything else in life, the camera feature on the phone is not without flaws. The came quality of the photos taken under low light and less the optimal lighting conditions, although still better than other smartphones, is less impressive that those taken during the day and in brighter conditions.
The phone’s ability to take high-resolution 38MP photos indirectly lends a ‘high-zoom’ utility to it. After taking a high-resolution photo, you can zoom in significantly on objects in the photo, without any significant loss in quality. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities in photo editing on your phone. As opposed to the usual LED flash found on most smartphones today, the Lumia 1020 makes use of a Xenon flash, like those found on regular cameras. So instead of coming for a couple of seconds when the shot is taken, the Xenon flash just, well ‘flashes’ for a fraction of a second when the shutter button is pressed. This makes it a much pleasant experience for your people subjects, especially when taking a shot of them at close range.
The top-of-its class 41MP lens on this phone is coupled together with an equally impressive proprietary software called the Nokia Pro Cam. Using the software, you have access to a wide variety of settings and modes including white balance, iso settings and even the lens’s shutter speed. The list of features that are available on the phone is very similar to those found on many regular point-and-shoot cameras and even some DSLR cameras. As impressive as it is, it does come with some drawback. The Nokia Pro Cam app is a pretty heavy-duty software and resource hungry where it can at times slow down the phone a little when it is in use. But most of the time, the experience of taking high-resolution images and recording 1080p HD videos on the phone prove to be a seamless experience.
The battery life on the Nokia Lumia 1020 is pretty decent, lasting up to one and half days on moderate-heavy use. If you make use of the phone’s optional camera grip accessory (which contains a separate battery pack), you can easily get up to 2 days of use on it. One of the biggest flaws of the camera is the lack of apps that can be used with the 41MP camera, especially when compared to the variety that is available on Android and iOS operating systems. It would be awesome if Nokia/Windows could add more, or woo developers to make more apps that can be used with the camera.
Overall, the Nokia Lumia 1020 proves to be an amazing camera-phone thanks to its impressive photography and video shooting features. As a smartphone, the design and features is as good as it can be when you are housing a super-powerful camera lens (for a smartphone anyway) and the powerful set of specs also provides a breezy enough of an experience for daily use. To date, other than being the best camera smartphone in the market, the 1020 is also one of the best phone models that Nokia has ever made.
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