Nokia Lumia 1020 Review

Interface and Functionality:

Guess what folks? This is a Nokia-made smartphone running Windows Phone 8, which means that the experience is identical to what we’ve seen already on other recent prized Lumias.

You have your homescreen with Live Tiles that are very basic-looking, yet providing live info about relevant things. For example, the Calendar tile will show you your upcoming appointment, while the People tile will display the profile pictures of your contacts.

The Windows Phone 8 main menu is still a simple list of all the applications on your phone, which absolutely isn't the most convenient way of organizing your apps, especially if you have lots of those. Sure, you can always pin the most important ones to the homescreen, but if you do that for too many apps, the homescreen will also start to look as one big app list. At the end of the day, it would be cool if Microsoft comes up with some different main menu layouts as alternatives to the current list view.

The Nokia Lumia 1020's (and every other Windows Phone's) customization options are limited to rearranging the tiles on the homescreen, switching between their available sizes and changing the color theme. It's definitely not the most customizable experience, but that's how Microsoft guarantees consistency across the Windows Phone portfolio. Being a device from Nokia’s stable, it naturally benefits over other Windows Phones from its rivals, seeing that it carries many of Nokia’s own branded apps – like Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive, Nokia Music, and much more.


Hey, hey! It’s the usual Window Phone keyboard on here, which shouldn’t surprise anyone seeing that it’s standardized. Although we’re presented with ample room with its on-screen keyboard, the hump in the back of the phone where the camera is housed, makes it feel a bit awkward typing messages up. Who knows what it is exactly, whether it’s how our fingers lightly brush against the hump’s bezel or something else, but we find ourselves being a bit more cautious typing things up initially. After some adjustment, though, we’re better able to maintain a consistent and mistake-free rate.

The Hotmail email application works very well. You can easily switch between all email, only the unread mail, flagged or urgent. We had absolutely no problems with the setup of various types of accounts, but one thing we'd like to see Microsoft do is to come up with some form of easy switching between inboxes, because right now you either have to work with a unified inbox, or return to the homescreen and open a new inbox from there.


The Nokia Lumia 1020 and Windows Phone 8 in general provide a powerful set of organization options. We like the Calendar application for its simplicity and speed, which makes the creation of new appointments and quick and easy process. It isn't perfect, though, because it lacks a 'week' mode, which is quite the omission. The Live Tile functionality of the calendar is on the right track as it always shows what your next appointment is and when it's scheduled to occur, but even with that, the calendar Live Tile still has a lot of empty space that could be used for another couple of upcoming appointments.

Processor and Memory:

If you haven’t noticed it yet, the Lumia 1020 is spec’d similarly to the 920, 925, and 928. Surprised at all? Again, we were hoping to see something new, something more cutting-edge, but instead, it’s flaunting hardware that would otherwise be regarded by high-end Android smartphones as outdated. Nevertheless, don’t let it fool you for one bit, as its dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus processor coupled with 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 225 GPU is able to deliver a performance that’s meaningfully swift – just like most Windows Phones in general. Heck, even some arduous tasks don’t test it out, seeing that it merely maintains the same level of finesse with all operations. Time after time, it just goes to show that pure hardware specs don’t dictate performance.

Billed on the box as boasting 32GB of internal storage, it actually boils down to 29.12GB of free memory, which is nice and all, but considering that it produces 5-megapixel and 38-megapixel stills with each snapshot, it can easily become eaten up quickly. Honestly, for a camera centric device, it would’ve been lovely and beneficial to find expandable storage support with this – just for easy sharing with other computing devices.

Internet and Connectivity:

Already showing its might with its smooth performance, it helps to keep it flowing in the web browsing department as well. Donning fast page loads thanks to its 4G LTE connectivity, we can’t complain one bit about the experience, as page rendering, kinetic scrolling, and navigational controls all have that silky smooth instantaneous performance to make browsing a joy to do.

Global travelers will have no issues with this, since it’s compatible to work with the broad range of GSM networks sprinkled throughout the world. Domestically, it’s enabled for 4G LTE connectivity through AT&T’s network. Just like its contemporaries, it features aGPS, Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, and NFC. Sadly, this particular Lumia lacks wireless charging, which is only accomplished if you buy an optional case accessory.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless