Nokia Lumia 1020 Preview
Here, we, go! Nokia finally unveiled what we were all waiting for at its high throttle event in New York City, with a lot of pizzazz, style, and special effects of course – something that’s befitting of a smartphone that’s meant to be the company’s flagship for this year. Diving right into it, the Nokia Lumia 1020 faces a lot of stiff competition in the landscape, a growing stable of devices that’s constantly redefining the spectrum.
However, as they’ve clearly detailed at the beginning of its fancy event, we’re a society that’s bent on capturing every living experience through photos and videos. With that in mind, that’s exactly what the Nokia Lumia 1020 intends to excel in – thanks mainly to its mind-boggling 41-megapixel PureView camera, which carries along an insane arsenal of high-tech hardware and wizardry to essentially make it the most powerful camera to grace a smartphone. Most people probably wouldn’t fancy over its camera specs, but for those who are serious about it, they’ll be astounded by how much more comprehensive it is from its nearest competitor.
As much as there’s big hype around its camera taking prowess, it still needs to be riding on high gear in order to stand a chance in a market that’s dominated by the likes of the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4, and HTC One. The harsher critics might view this as yet another do-or-die scenario, seeing that Nokia’s presence amidst the smartphone landscape is still filled with uncertainty.
You’d think that a new flagship device like this would be graced with a new display, one that would normally be associated with any successive device – like a bigger and higher resolution screen. Sadly, that’s not the case here, as the Lumia 1020 is sporting a display that is nearly the same as the one used by the Lumia 920 from last year. To be more specific, it’s a 4.5-inch 768 x 1280 (WXGA) PureMotion HD+ AMOLED, which on paper is almost identical to its elder sibling (save for it being an AMOLED panel this time). Certainly, we’re a little bummed by that revelation of course, especially when we’re talking about a device that’s trying to compete against others with 1080p resolution, but it’s nonetheless good enough for most things. Seeing that it’s based on AMOLED technology, you get that dark black color without any milky tones to it, and saturated colors that undoubtedly splash on that wow factor from afar. From what we notice, the screen’s clarity is maintained at all viewing angles too.
And just like before, it’s super sensitive too, so you’ll be able to interact with the display while having gloves on. Topping things, it’s soundly protected by Gorilla Glass 3, which should no doubt give it plenty of protection. As a whole, though, we feel that Nokia could’ve upped the ante somehow, but then again, there are still limitations seen with Windows Phone 8 when it comes to screen resolutions. It’s not Nokia’s fault, but rather, it’s an operating system limitation that’s preventing this one for making the jump up. Regardless of that, the display complements the handset’s striking design.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 features a 4.5-inch 768 x 1280 (WXGA) PureMotion HD+ panel with Gorilla Glass 3.
Whereas we were expecting something more with its display, we didn’t think that Nokia would stray from the design language of its previous Lumia devices. Frankly, we’re astounded the most to find that this beefy camera packing smartphone doesn’t blow up in size, because really, we were thinking it was going to go in the complete opposite direction by being a beastly thing – like the chunky PureView 808. Although it’s nowhere as insanely thin as other flagship devices, the 10.4mm thickness of the Lumia 1020 is indeed surprising.
Holding it, our hands are able to comfortably wrap around its unibody polycarbonate frame, seeing its sides are rounded and hug our hands perfectly. As always, the construction with this is fantastic too, as the combination between its sturdy feel and weight gives it an overall solid quality. Despite our admiration, the design could’ve been treated to something more too – like that aluminum frame found with the Lumia 925. Nevertheless, people will appreciate that this is going to be available in black, white, and yellow. The latter of the three colors, of course, is probably the most polarizing of the bunch, but it would’ve been better if it received the same color options as the Lumia 920.
Checking out every little inch of real estate on the handset, it’s packing all the same buttons and ports found with other Lumia smartphones. On the right edge, all of its physical buttons line up squarely together – and they’re all distinct to the touch and offer tactile responses. These include the power button, volume control, and two-level shutter key. As for the rest, it features a 3.5mm headset jack, noise-cancelling mic, microUSB port for charging/data connectivity, and SIM slot.
Flip it over to its back side, we’re greeted to the handset’s main attraction – its 41-megapixel PureView camera. True, a lot of its notoriety is probably attributed to the 808 PureView, but there are even more high-tech goodness packed into this camera. Specifically, it features a backside illuminated 1/1.2” sensor, 3x lossless zoom, six-element lens with ZEISS optics, LED & Xenon flashes, and a second-gen optical image stabilization suspension. Needless to say, it’s an extensive set for any smartphone, but we’re still curious to see how it fares – we’ll talk more about our initial impressions later. In order to have a camera of this caliber, the compromise is made in that it produces a noticeable hump to the frame of the handset. It’s not terrible, seriously, but it’s nice to find that there’s a cover over the lens to protect it – albeit, it opens up when the camera app is launched.
Nokia Lumia 1020 Preview
1. FlushGordon (unregistered)
''but it’ll be up to consumers in the end to figure out if $300 is really worth the money. Heck, you can get some pretty decent point and shoots at around the $100 mark''
But...but...this iS a cutting edge phone, and megapixels are everything, you can't get 41 megapixels for $300 these days
Nokia will sell plenty of these because of the camera...kids and older people alike, the camera is the first priority, bar none....heck even my 14 year old niece, wants a smartphone with an excellent camera (and he's a die hard gamer!)
Shame on you author, you can't bash NOKIA like that
2. Atrixboyyy (Posts: 267; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)
im a gamer myself and the camera is literally the 1st thing i look at. then processor speed.
4. FlushGordon (unregistered)
EXACTLY...camera is everything, ditto megapixels
I can live with a 420p resolution and a 3 year old cpu/gpu for as long as it has a great camera with ginormous megapixels
21. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)
The article needs to be corrected. The phone has a 1/1.5" BSI sensor.
29. MachidoDen (banned) (Posts: 202; Member since: 30 May 2013)
And according to nokia white papers too
76. KFear (Posts: 137; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)
i'd look into sensors also and the actual software used to "fix" the photos. It's important to actually qualify yourself in the best camera/smartphone. Do you take a lot of night shots? Fast motion? Landscapes? Food/Macro? S4 is awesome for outdoor shots with great sunlight and macro shots. I'll take the HTC one for fast motion and low light.
79. saffant (Posts: 233; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)
Uh no. Contrary to what you might think, but most users of high end smartphones look for the display/resolution as a bigger and more practical priority than any sort of inclination to indulge in a megapixel hunt-fest.
You'll be staring at your smartphone's screen most of the time—thus a display res matters. As well as the performance. However, the camera can't ever be used as much, unless of course you capture footage with your phone 24/7.
86. Atrixboyyy (Posts: 267; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)
the reason i didnt name the reso. was because the chances for a "high end" device coming out without at least a 720p screen are slim. that being said performance and camera tech are first and foremost .
31. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)
Camera is always the first thing i look at in a phone, because i use it a lot, but maybe i will wait for the successor of this phone. I mean, the sensor is 1/1.5, i wished it is the same as the 808. Not a big difference, but i'd like a bump up in specs, no point replacing my 920 with this one. 2Gb of RAM is nice though.
55. Atrixboyyy (Posts: 267; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)
i was going to get this instead of the Gs4 just to try it out. but after thinking im gonna do the same i know the Snapdragon s4 isnt the best they can do and maybe an even bigger sensor then that of the 808? as a manufacturer wouldnt it just want to improve past the original ?
88. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)
The larger sensor on the 808 would've required a thicker profile on the Lumia...which was a no go given the physical parameters set forth in the original design objectives. It's a smaller 1/1.5 BSI vs the 808's 1/1.2...but it's still enormous for a smartphone and benefitting from BSI...which is not present on the 808 sensor. The overall sensor size, coupled with large aperature, latest gen optics, and second gen Nokia 3 axis OIS will make this the best low light shooter on the market, by far.
33. mobilefuture (Posts: 206; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
Your niece is a he? I know it's a typo but that got me confused :/
37. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
shut the hole samsung troll. You have nothing interesting to say what for coming here?
43. Paradox (Posts: 123; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)
This phone ain't cutting edge, it's from last year. This is what the lumia 920 should have been, and what people expected to be. If they pulled this out last year, then it would have been very good for them. Camera isn't everything, because look how many 808s have been sold.
Also, your niece who is a he wants a smartphone with an excellent camera?
6. fo0ling (Posts: 17; Member since: 07 Jul 2013)
Well, i hope they have an android version for this :) i have hope you nokia! :)
7. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
I have not been a fan of the Lumia series neither do i believe that camera makes or breaks the deal with smartphones but thats just me. I marvel and admire Nokia's engineering with the Lumia 1020. To say that point and shoot are worth more than this is a pretty lame thought considering that one doesn't carry their point n shoots in their pockets everyday.
Photography is about moments and portable alongwith power of the Lumia 1020 gets a biiiiiiig thumbs up from me.
11. FlushGordon (unregistered)
''neither do i believe that camera makes or breaks the deal with smartphones but thats just me''
it isn't just you, it's the present trend..I'll say this again and again, NOKIA used to get away with almost everything during the early 2000's, great cameraphones were their main selling point, they sold millions and and rightfully so
But I don't think that's the case nowadays, whether these fanboys would want to admit it or not. If I want to spend my hard earned $300, I'd make sure that i can get the BEST, WELL-BALANCED smartphone at the moment (great specs, Good software support, prolly a good camera to boot)
Having just a great cam with an outdated internals is not enough, would i buy it if it's $350 unlocked? heck I would, in a heartbeat, the thing is, after taxes, this thing would prolly cost north of $700, WHICH IS SOOO NOT WORTH IT!!!!!and let us not forget, it is a Windows phone! (which many carriers refuse to sell)
13. -box- (Posts: 3882; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)
"many carriers refuse to sell". Name one. Please. And inclusde a validated and confirmable source for the REFUSAL (which is not the same as just not doing it)
84. jromy (Posts: 114; Member since: 26 Feb 2013)
Why? and simply look at prepaid like virgin or boost. and what refusal do you need besides there being no windows phone on their line up?
23. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 949; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)
Dear FlushBordom, the Lumia 1020 doesn't offer just a great cam: it offers the very best camera unit that is currently available in a single smartphone device. It also offers quality dual HAAC microphones for recording audio, and stereo speakers for playback. The internals are certainly not "outdated", and while higher resolution displays do exist for some Android devices, the lack of 1080P or a Snapdragon 800 CPU is certainly not a deal breaker in my opinion. It has 2GB of system RAM, and ships with either 32GB or 64GB internal storage memory. It runs on WP8 OS, which some people hate, but which is generally quite fast and secure, and the platform now has a growing number of apps and games that make it more accomodating than before. The device weighs about the same or less than the Galaxy Note II, and comes in a Polycarbonate shell that ships with black, white, or yellow for coloring.
Is this device going to replace a DSLR camera? No! However, for those who want to discard a point and shoot compact camera, the Lumia 1020 offers good enough performance to avoid making any major compromises when it comes to basic photography. No other smartphone devices that currently exist on the market can offer the same option without making significant sacrifices in picture and/or video quality, which is why the Lumia 1020 is worth it's selling price. If you don't care about the quality of your photos/video/audio, then stick with something else, okay?
83. saffant (Posts: 233; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)
You just massively contradicted yourself.
Earlier u said "EXACTLY...camera is everything, ditto megapixels
I can live with a 420p resolution and a 3 year old cpu/gpu for as long as it has a great camera with ginormous megapixels"
and now u say something completely different.
What does that say about your credibility?
8. Edmund (Posts: 656; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)
here we go... and so the negative spin begins, right from day one. Pathetic
9. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1294; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
1. It has the best camera in a smartphone
1. It's basically a Nokia 920 (no improvement if you use it as a smartphone)
2. Carrier exclusivity (Doesn't matter if it's released a few months later on other carriers; it's old out the gate)
3. $300 price on contract (Your paying $200 to $300 to say you have the best smartphone camera (I've seen the Nokia 920 free on contract)
4. $80 camera accessory. (It's just a spare battery case with button.) Why not just buy a dedicated camera if you want to lug an accessory around? Mind boggling!!!
15. papss (unregistered)
My god... I've never seen so much trolling...
Use a WP8 device and tell me about specs... It's a great device that feels organic.. This is nothing like the robotic feel of your my space ran frisbees... I can't see myself ever going back to android.
42. juandante (Posts: 396; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)
Why you call trolling people who don't like this limited OS ? It's not accidentally everyone don't like this old OS, I read reviews, I have tried it, and I know how limited this software is. It's not to people to stop bashing this old OS, we don't have nothing to do with that, it's Microsoft to make an effort for this old OS to be better and loved and Nokia to make good choice and listen to customers for their phone to sell. It's not at all people's fault. You will not force people to like something they don't like even calling them trolls. We are in real life.
53. the_best (Posts: 137; Member since: 14 Oct 2012)
If you dont like the os why even bother with checking out this phone?
This many reactions from fandroids can only mean ýou see something you want but cant have.
If you want good pics im sure the gs4 zoom will take good pics for you, but dont come Crying here when it lags to hell on android who btw is way older than wp8.
54. juandante (Posts: 396; Member since: 23 Apr 2013)
D!ckhead, here it's a hands on, so people must and have all their right to come and see what journalist thinks about the phone before they get their own impression of it. So, it's all legitimate to, after reading the review and the comments, to give my own advice about this hardware and watch the article, and for bad people like you to stop advising incorrectly the ignorant ones. Are you a Nokia marketer ? NO ! So stop saying sh!t and be realist now.
80. saffant (Posts: 233; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)
Quit being an idiot. The reason people "even bother with checking out this phone..." is cuz this is a freakin tech site. OBVIOUSLY people will check out what's available in the market.
And please.. enough with the corny "Android lag" insults. Time to grow up, sonny boy.
17. rsiders (Posts: 318; Member since: 17 Nov 2011)
Obviously no matter how good the camera is it depends on what you're focusing on that will determine what is visually clear(in the case of the badge the old guy was wearing). This guy is a trip. But I'm almost certain if you focused on him or even used the manual focus you could get a much more detailed shot. Happy for all the lucky AT&T customers while T-Mobile gets a half the storage albeit sexy Lumia 925.
18. iguano (Posts: 101; Member since: 10 May 2012)
lol 100$ nice point and shoot? what are you talking about? this phone have 41MP!!!!!, 1/1.2" SENSOR!!!! (almost the size of the Nikon cx sensor that they use for theirs mirrorless) Vibration Reduction lens, 32gig of inside storage, 4.5" hires screen, tell me where I can find a camera with this specs for 100$ and ill going to buy it right now!!!! and believe me when you take a picture of 41mp you are going to use all that!
sometimes phone arena fall to low in theirs reviews be serious man, this is a camera phone!...
this specs just piss on the galaxy zoom.
19. Jason2k13 (Posts: 658; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)
I wouldn't mind buying this phone just to test out the camera, but Nokia should improve the whole phone not just the camera if they wanna sell millions. Carrier exclusive won't help them either.
Right now I just see a lumia 920 with a big camera. I personally don't see many females buying this phone, they seem to care more about thinnest and portability.
20. iguano (Posts: 101; Member since: 10 May 2012)
if you know something about photography you would know that NICE point and shoot cameras who has smaller sensor than this phone cost 400$, if you want a point and shoot camera with a bigger sensor than this phone you have to pay 600$ or more, MUCH more.
25. fanboy1974 (Posts: 1294; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)
Yes but your not locked in a contract that will cost you over $2000 after 2 years.
That $600 dollar camera does not sound bad if all you care about is the camera. Pretty silly to pay this for a camerphone if all you care about are pictures.
38. Veigald (Posts: 240; Member since: 13 Jan 2012)
That contract is for the phone, not the camera. So you cannot use that argument to counter his point and shoot statement.
24. DontHateOnS60 (Posts: 863; Member since: 20 Apr 2009)
Phone Arena, you do realize that the stock WP gallery doesn't give you clear photos, right? This is a known issue, much like how Android did the same thing when it was at 2.2. You need to download HD photo viewer if you want to see all the details on the phone. Otherwise don't make ridiculous statements about photo quality without seeing full res shots where the details can be clearly seen.
27. Taters (Posts: 3606; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Lol! That looks terrible. The hump is big enough to look terrible and small enough to look terrible. Either make no hump at all or flaunt it like a real camera. This bipolar looking hump looks really bad. LOL
49. CanYouSeeTheLight (Posts: 928; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)
You always have to find something negative to say of everything that isn't Samsung don't you? This is a good phone with an excellent camera, Nokia did a great job with this.
57. UrbanPhantom (Posts: 949; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)
Taters, get a life and stop pretending you have something worth writing on here...
28. MachidoDen (banned) (Posts: 202; Member since: 30 May 2013)
Phone arena make some corrections please
The Lumia 1020's sensor is 1/1.5-inch type and, according to PureViewClub.com and confirmed by Nokia's white paper, the pixel size is 1.1 µm (micrometer). By comparison, the 808 had 1.4 µm pixels for its 1/1.2-inch type sensor
89. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)
True, but the 1020 has 1) a BSI sensor, 2) a second gen 3 axis OIS, 3) a latest gen 6 element Zeiss lens, and 4) improved algorithms. The comparison is not as straightforward as sensor size, though I would agree that in certain scenarios the 808 will out perform the 1020...just as in certain scenarios the 1020 will outperform the 808.
34. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
Lol'd at john v's reaction about the haziness of the details after maxing out the zoom. Of course, it would be hazy. Try that with your s4 or ip5 or even a p&s camera.. pft.
39. sabretigger (Posts: 23; Member since: 15 Sep 2012)
The best images are captured with your eyes, mind and imagination.. Save yourself $300 and get a pigeon instead.
45. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
anandtech explained it quite good. 2 gig were put into in order to omit cpu limitations in camera´s resolution. Nokia couldn´t use broadcomm chip as they did in 808 so they had to change the architecture of krait. That´s a great achievement anyway.
46. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2872; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)
Now this is innovation... with such a small sensor.
47. FanOfNone (Posts: 5; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)
it's lens size is 1/1.5" and not 1/1.2'' ! careless phonearena !
48. rromerof (Posts: 37; Member since: 28 Nov 2012)
I don't know what is the problem with you guys of PA. Sincerely you suck as reviewers. FANBOYS!!! You write biased notes. Who cares about the resolution of the screen, I really doubt that your cross-eyed sight can even distinguish every single pixel, unless you has microscopes in your eyes with cataracts.
If you don't like this phone, then is not for you. Shame on you.
51. Dastrix (Posts: 623; Member since: 23 Nov 2012)
+1 Exactly. I don't see what's the fuss about subpar ppi and the resolution. The majority of people couldn't care less about these. All they care about are screen size and design. Who cares if the resolution is less than some other phone? Heck, try to ask someone at the mall what are the ppi/resolution/specs on his/her phone, and chances are, he/she will just be like 'I don't know. I just like it cuz it's cool.' I think that it's the reviewer's job to compare, however. As long as the reviews are objective, it's fine.
82. saffant (Posts: 233; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)
It's competing with the likes of the S4/HTC One etc. They all have Full HD screens. If you can't figure out why that matters, and still keep defending Nokia's poor attempt of lack there of to opt for a better screen, then I guess that there's no point in talking :)
58. jking92 (Posts: 2; Member since: 13 Jul 2013)
Please phone arena correct this post,lumia 1020 is not nokia flasgship model for 2013,rather its there cameracentric flagship model for 2013. An upgrade to the lumia 920 should be coming around the same release period of the original 920,and that should be by the ending of 2013 jst b4 the holidays
59. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
big lol...if PA judges pictures quality looking at the phone´s screen.....:D
I thought you should be a bit more pro. and use a tv or a computer. Guess I was wrong.
61. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
one thing I´m afraid of is that after Damian D. left Nokia they are not so keen on making photos as neutral as possible. ND filters and alg implemented in N8 and 808 were because of Mr Dinning wanted them to look the closest to reality. I hooe Nokia won´t screw his idea and won´t go toward oversaturation or bumbing up colours like for example iphone
62. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
modexposure and manual focuc...holy crap...I´ve been waiting for it since N8
64. jimjam (Posts: 246; Member since: 28 Jun 2011)
$300 with a contract. So that's like $2500. You can get a DSLR for that with some decent kit.
69. jackhammeR (Posts: 1548; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
another kid with "buy a separate device" argument