Will the most advanced imaging hardware ever to be placed on a smartphone be enough to get the once mighty Nokia back on top?
To help you answer that question, we’ll review one of Nokia’s latest Lumia handset – the Nokia Lumia 1020.
When we first heard about the Lumia 1020, we knew right away that its biggest sell is that it’s boasting a 41MP camera with Xenon flash. Judging from the range of products that Nokia has been pushing forth lately, it’s obvious that their strategy is to inundate the market with options containing the characteristic that they are well known for – their optic capability. True enough, not since Nokia’s very own Pureview 808 have we seen such a smartphone that feeds off its powerful camera. And to maximize the already established prominence of Nokia’s brilliance in imaging technology, the company decided to launch the Lumia 1020 with the very same “Pureview” branding.
However, it isn’t going straight up to some of the most commanding top-tiered smartphones being powered by Android or iOS without a fight; this time Nokia is offering their respected hardware with the expertise of Microsoft when it comes to software. Hence, the Lumia 1020 arrives with the Windows 8 mobile operating system.
Now the question is, would the combination of the most powerful smartphone camera and Windows 8 be good enough to yield a more positive result and bring Nokia the smartphone market share they have been fighting for?
The camera seems like the best place to start when attempting to come up with a review. With its 41-mega pixels, the Nokia Lumia 1020 offers the best resolution by any camera in its market by a mile. It also sports a Xenon, which is able to brighten up angles that were previously left dimly lit in any other smartphone camera. Its Xenon flash packs a punch equal to around 5,600-5,800 Kelvin, which is able to make low-light situations look like they’re actually taken in daylight. Wherein if an LED flash is used, it simply is impossible because of all the blue hues that would be visible.
Generally, flash photography in smartphones is hideous and is rarely used. Nokia has finally managed to make it acceptable at least.
Perhaps learning from past lessons that user experience is half the battle, Nokia built its own camera for the Lumia 1020 called the Nokia Pro Cam. Its intuitiveness is set to improve the experience of using the Lumia 1020 to that of DSLR users.
Because of the incredible resolution capability of its camera, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is able to use the technology called oversampling, which is another feature not available in other smartphones. It may sound complicated, but for the sake of not prolonging this review, the main takeaway from the feature is that a user would be able to crop a photograph taken on a Lumia 1020 and not suffer any quality loss. And of course, it has the optical image stabilization, which allow users to capture images in low light situation with ease.
We can all agree that the Lumia 1020’s camera module is its killer feature; however, its design is nothing to sneeze at as well.
Looking at the face of the device, you’ll be greeted by a 4.5-inch display that rocks a 1280×720 resolution. Because a smartphone display is often what separates it from being top-tiered or being tagged as mid- level, Nokia spared no expense by equipping Lumia 1020 with an HD Clearblack Technology display and a Corning Gorilla Glass 3 scratch resistant protection.
On the right side of the device is where the volume rocker can be located. The bottom is where the USB/Charging port can be found. Beside it are the device’s speaker and microphone. All the way at the top is where Nokia placed the sim tray, the headset jack and another microphone that serves as noise cancellation.
Call Quality, Connectiviy And Battery Life
Through several tests, we didn’t experience our friend on the other end breaking up. He reported the he heard us just fine as well. Outdoors, we realized that its earpiece isn’t as loud as some of the smartphones and it could be better.
The Lumia 1020 is able to connect to Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n networks. Bluetooth 3.0 nad LTE bands 2, 4, 5 and 17 are supported as well. It also has NFC, which isn’t found in every high-end smartphone although it is gaining in popularity.
As for its battery life, it packs 2,000 mAh, which isn’t the best when compared to other android phones, but it’s decent enough to last the day.
Overall, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is able to set itself apart from the competition with its optics – as is expected. Whether it is enough to influence people to hand over their smartphone upgrade cash has yet to be proven. What is proven though, is that the Lumia 1020 will catch the attention of everyone who has photography at heart; especially those who are already sick of carrying another device (a point-and-shoot or a DSLR user even) just to capture moments.