Nokia Lumia 1020 Review
Introduction:

Finally! Some would vouch that it was a long time coming, especially when the Nokia 808 PureView has been making the rounds since last year, but we finally have that combination of a Windows Phone and PureView camera from Nokia’s camp. Looking back to last fall, we all believed with enough certainty that the Nokia Lumia 920 was going to be it, but alas, that wasn’t the case. Instead, we had to wait until now to finally see the device that hardcore shutterbugs have been itching to behold.

Everyone talks about how bigger is better, right? In the world of cameras, people are sometimes led to believe that higher megapixels would instantly mean that it would produce better results, but as we all know too well, it’s not necessarily the megapixel count that matters when it comes to delivering sharp shots. At first glance, the 41-megapixel PureView camera that the Nokia Lumia 1020 is packing along its rear will garner plenty of raised eyebrows – especially when that figure just sounds insanely high. However, there’s always this invisible fence that in turn makes us cautious, and to an extent, even skeptical about its effectiveness. Well folks, it’s here in the flesh, and it’s gunning to be the class leader in the camera phone category.

The package contains:
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Lanyard attachment
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Product Safety and Warranty Guide


Design:

If this looks familiar to you, then you shouldn’t be surprised in the very least, since the Lumia 1020 employs all the characteristic design elements of its predecessor(s). By now, the unibody polycarbonate design of the handset is pretty much expected, but instead of sporting a glossy chassis, it has this strange matte finish to it – making it less prone to smudges and fingerprints. Unfortunately, seeing that it’s packing one hell of a beefy camera in its rear, it’s profile is nowhere as bulimic thin as some of the other flagship devices out there.


Honestly, the hump in its rear makes it a bit awkward holding and using the device at first, but after some adjustment, it doesn’t become too much of a nuisance – albeit, it still feels a bit alien. Sure, it’s top heavy due to all the hardware stuffed into its camera housing, but when we think about a 41-megapixel camera, we’re surprised how light it really is, especially over the 808 PureView. Overall, the handset still has an appealing design seeing that it very much looks like a smartphone first with an impressive camera attached to it – as opposed to being designed as camera first, with the smartphone part being secondary.

Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020

Dimensions

5.13 x 2.81 x 0.41 inches

130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Nokia 808 PureView

Nokia 808 PureView

Dimensions

4.88 x 2.37 x 0.55 inches

123.9 x 60.2 x 13.9 mm

Weight

5.96 oz (169 g)

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

Dimensions

4.94 x 2.5 x 0.61 inches

125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4 mm

Weight

7.34 oz (208 g)

Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.95 oz (112 g)

Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020

Dimensions

5.13 x 2.81 x 0.41 inches

130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4 mm

Weight

5.57 oz (158 g)

Nokia 808 PureView

Nokia 808 PureView

Dimensions

4.88 x 2.37 x 0.55 inches

123.9 x 60.2 x 13.9 mm

Weight

5.96 oz (169 g)

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom

Dimensions

4.94 x 2.5 x 0.61 inches

125.5 x 63.5 x 15.4 mm

Weight

7.34 oz (208 g)

Apple iPhone 5

Apple iPhone 5

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.95 oz (112 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



Much like other flagship Lumia smartphones, this is packing the same set of buttons and ports around its body – they include the familiar trio of capacitive Windows Phone buttons, microUSB port, 3.5mm headset jack, noise-cancelling mic, standard mic, power button, volume control, and two-level shutter key.


As for the speaker, it’s placed on the lower left corner of the handset – hidden behind the precision cut microdots. Mimicking a point and shoot camera, there’s a spot in the lower right corner that allows us to attach the included lanyard with it, which goes to show that Nokia is really targeting this as a point and shoot replacement.


Without question the star of the show, the Lumia 1020 is most notable for its mind-boggling 41-megapixel PureView camera – you know, that noticeable bulge in the rear. Knowing that it’s the single most prized feature of the handset, Nokia made sure to arm it with some serious technology. For starters, it features a 1/1.5” sensor, which is actually smaller than the 1/1.2” one in the 808 PureView. Now don’t let that fool you, mainly because its size is what helps to keep the Lumia 1020 far more admiring in size than its far cousin. Rounding things out, it also packs along a six-element lens with ZEISS optics, second-gen optical image stabilization (OIS), backside illuminated sensor, 3x lossless zoom, LED flash, and a Xenon flash.


That’s a mouthful, right? Well, there’s even more in the video side of the camera, as it’s able to produce 720p and 1080p videos in different capture rates – 24, 25, and 30 frames per second. If we take a look at that 1080p video recording quality at 24 frames per second, it’s widely garnered in the video world for having that ‘cinematic’ look and feel. All told, the hardware is already proving itself in more ways than none, but as always, it’s not the higher megapixel count of a camera that counts, so we’ll get into more detail later on its quality.

Display:

We really can’t blame Nokia with this one, just because it’s limited to what the Windows Phone 8 platform is able to handle at the moment. Sharing the same exact displays found in the recent Lumia 928 and Lumia 925 models, the handset’s 4.5-inch 768 x 1280 PureMotion HD+ display with ClearBlack technology is beginning to sound stale. At the very least, we want a 1080p display, just to keep it in the same company as other high-end models on the market. Despite the fact that there’s no improvement with this particular display, it’s still pleasant looking with its iridescent color reproduction, deep black color, and wide viewing angles. And at the same time, its resolution is effective enough for us to make out even fine text in the web browser – albeit, it’s obviously not as sharp as the competition.





Nokia Lumia 1020 360-Degrees View

FEATURED VIDEO

150 Comments

1. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

YESH!!!! YESH!!!! YESH!!!!! Now time to read the review...

27. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Eh? Something tells me you commented before you read it.

97. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

There's quite a bit of noise at full res during daytime, interestingly a LOT of post-processing as well, softness and sharpening. Not as good as the 808, but an improvement over the 920. Dynamic range is a bit tight, there's just a few samples without some part burning out. This is a surprise, I'd guess it has an inferior lens (maybe the 920's). Night samples look... well, just bad, even downsampled to FHD. Right now, let's say this is pre-release test, but as of now Exmor RS beats the current 41MP PureView in raw capabilities, while the 808 laughs all over both, oh well, I might get that one.

100. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Wow, taking a shot took SIX SECONDS after the tap in the video. Saving was an additional 4. It takes TEN SECONDS to take a 2nd shot. That's just ridiculous.

125. sergiobr

Posts: 718; Member since: Feb 25, 2013

Comments in dpreview.com (Pro photographer) ---------------------------http://connect.dpreview.com/post/1305711237/lumia-1020?page=4 --------------------------- By philinnz (7 hours ago) horrible noisy images even in good light. It seems it must be difficult to hold the camera level so you would lose 10mp straightening and cropping. I think I got better results 12 years ago with my old kodak dc-280 --------------------------- By ovibor (7 hours ago) I agree, horrible photos! --------------------------- By Zlik (6 hours ago) The point is to use it as a great 5MP camera which surpasses everything else in smartphone territory (except the Nokia 808). I agree that the full sized images don't look that good, but downsampled to 5MP, they are excellent.

99. Sarajevo

Posts: 38; Member since: Nov 30, 2012

:) PA rate for iPhone 5 was 9.0 - user rate was 8.5 PA rate for Galaxy S3 was 9.3 - user rate was 9.0 PA rate for Lumia 920 was 9.0 - user rate was 9.4 So it is obvious that PA prefer iPhone and Samsung (read Android) and PA is not tolerant toward Nokia :) I hardly wait to see user rate for this monster...

114. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

actually that's dependent on the number of users on each device

122. dexter_jdr

Posts: 1163; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

so youre saying we got more 920 owners than iphone5 and s3?

127. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

No, I'm saying a higher amount of people the morel likely for people to find things they don't like (and more likely trolls to mess with the score if you have been on PA for around 4 years) Devices with lower profiles get more honest reviews from uses

130. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

131. gazmatic

Posts: 822; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

good to know that professional trolls just love to f shiit up

133. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

We had figured this out when a device that was supposed to start arriving to users was already getting low feedback with weird excuses... Its not a pleasant thing to say, also its a lie that a device turns into such a horrible experience that people give them a 1 point score...

145. skyguy7567

Posts: 148; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

Sony PA gave 8.5 for Sony Flagships (User 9.3) other phones 6.5 (Average user reviews are all over 9.2) Just move on and go for GSMArena. I used to highly recommend this site and now I'm telling my friends to just look at the USER reviews.

2. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

My only concern would be how the phone rests on its back. From my experience camera-humps tend to pick up some wear-and-tear near the bottom.

34. UrbanPhantom

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

Hump or no hump, this camera has balls (excuse the sexual metaphor). I would call it a first choice for anybody even mildly interested in photography. It's also a good all round device, even if it does have the same Krait CPU and Adreno 225 GPU as the 920. Personally, I think it deserves closer to a 9/10, but the Android community is always going to be biased against WP smartphones and tablets...

37. No_Nonsense unregistered

Nah, I'd personally call 8.5 fair. TBH, besides the 41MP camera, I expected a larger sensor (1/1.2 vs 1/1.5) and OIS included. Besides, the 1020 doesn't offer a more compelling hardware over the 920 and 925, which obviously matters when you are going to shell around $100 contract free over the 920/925. Also, since it ain't gonna come at less than $700 apiece contract free, I'd want WP more evolved or rather, evolving at a faster pace than at what it does currently, and I ain't talking about the app store.

40. UrbanPhantom

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

No_Nonsense, you have been exposed for your lack of knowledge about the Lumia 1020: it does come with OIS, which is active even during 1080P video captures. You will have to do better in order to convince myself and the rest of the crowd that you actually know what you are talking about...

42. iushnt

Posts: 3156; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

u hv turned into a nokia fan..

46. No_Nonsense unregistered

Well, I'll simplify it for you then: I wanted a 1/1.2 sensor along with OIS and a better processor along with WP's fast pace of development in building an OS that is as feature rich as Android/Symbian back in the day. The 1020 is likely gonna be more expensive than the 920/925, and I can't justify the $100 more that I'll have to shell out if I bought one contract free. Besides, I already have the 808, and I wanted a total package that would justify shelling that amount of money. The 1020 is likely good, but I personally find it difficult to justify the premium it asks for, considering it isn't notches above in terms of h/w over the 808 (in terms of camera) and a bit of hardware increments over the 920 series, not just adding an extra gig of RAM. TBH, it's gonna be difficult to recommend it to anyone other than a smartphone enthusiast over a 920 if they wanted a WP device. It's one thing to like a company's devices and wanting them, but another to trying to want your opinion on a device to be the same as everyone else's. If the 920/808 didn't exist, and only the 925/1020 did, then it wasn't hard recommending it. And yes, I already knew that the 1020 had OIS. So before you say, someone's lack of knowledge has been exposed, why don't you comprehend what he's written above?

50. UrbanPhantom

Posts: 949; Member since: Oct 30, 2012

No offense, but the 808 is a bulky machine running on a now obsolete OS. It weighs more, does less, and does not compare well to the new L1020 in terms of true value. The L1020 is far slimmer, and the OIS video feature is a big plus not to be discounted. The L920 was already an excellent smartphone, and adding the 41MP camera to it has made it an even better solution... Also, the difference in sensor size between the 808 and 1020 is marginal at best, and is hardly worth taking into consideration. You are basically hanging onto an older prototype that has been perfected. It's up to you to decide if the 808 is worth keeping, but Symbian is a dead platform. Those who want the best camera available on a smartphone are unlikely to buy an outdated 808; the L1020 should be their one and only option.

52. No_Nonsense unregistered

56.25% smaller area isn't marginal by any means. Symbian is a dead platform, w/ arguably no support from Nokia for the time being, agreed upon, but there's no denying Symbian is more feature rich than WP. Lumia 920 was good for its time, and for the price it sells here, its great. But the same hardware offered 10 months later, (this sits on MS's head, not Nokia's) isn't great. Those wanting the best camera on a phone are gonna buy the 1020, agreed.

55. EXkurogane

Posts: 863; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

808PV does not have BSI sensor, remember than, 1020 has BSI sensor to allow more light in, to make up for the smaller sensor.And to maintain slimness, this change makes sense.

62. Altair

Posts: 367; Member since: Feb 02, 2012

Not to mention 2GB ram which will be in great need in Amber update (better multitasking).

73. utopium

Posts: 5; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Yes, 808 is thicker/heavier, but easier to hold in hand as it is 10 mm less in width. And it does not do less, it's quite the opposite: 808 has HDMI, SD Card, FM Transmitter, USB OTG, replaceable battery, profiles, real multitasking, widgets, file browser, offline alarm, bigger sensor, ND filter, sharpness/contrast settings, more image resolutions to chose from, other browsers beside the one offered in the box, etc. Sure, 1020 has better/bigger screen, faster processor, more apps, more developer attention, OIS, BSI, bigger apperture, manual focus, shutter time setting, it's slimmer/lighter, it has that interesting grip with extra battery, but 808 is still a tough competitor for it and 1020 is not quite an obvious upgrade from 808, esspecially considering the price. I am tempted to wait for 1030 or something, or at least for its price to drop seriously and WP to evolve more before even thinking of droping my 808. Maybe in 9 months 1020 will be more attractive for me (WP updates, smaller price, Flipboard, Instagram, more premium software, etc), now it is not yet enough.

88. No_Nonsense unregistered

You hit the nail on its head.

63. EXkurogane

Posts: 863; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

And, phonearena says bad battery life, engadget says good battery life... =.=;

101. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Battery life is so subjective from device to device. Who knows if you will win that lottery or lose it. Fingers crossed everytime you get a new device.....

3. mi55u unregistered

same old design, same old processor, same old everything... s4 zoom is way better than this

5. arsenaljimenez

Posts: 198; Member since: May 03, 2012

delusional

6. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Well all power to you if you want to walk around with a digital camera pressed up against your face all the time.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Lumia 1020
  • Display 4.5" 768 x 1280 pixels
  • Camera 41 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus, Dual-core, 1500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 2000 mAh(13.3h 3G talk time)

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