Sunday, 27 October 2013

Nokia Lumia 1020 review

Product Nokia Lumia 1020
Website Nokia
Specifications 4.5in WXGA 1280x768 resolution 334ppi AMOLED touchscreen display, dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB or 64GB internal storage, 41MP rear-facing camera, HD 720p front-facing camera, GSM 850/900/1800/1900, HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100, 4G LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, 2,000mAh battery, microUSB port, headphone jack, Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system, 130x71x10.4mm, 158g
Price £550

FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia is keen to assert itself as the market leader when it comes to camera phone devices. First, we had the 41MP Nokia Pureview 808, and now we have the Nokia Lumia 1020, also featuring a top-end 41MP camera.
Getting one up on the chunky Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, the fairly svelte Nokia Lumia 1020 targets budding photographers, with the Finnish phone firm claiming that its latest flagship handset can give dedicated cameras a run for their money.
However, with Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 onboard, complete with its lacklustre apps offering, Nokia faces a challenge in convincing buyers to choose the Lumia 1020 over an iPhone or Android alternative.
Design
The look of the Nokia Lumia 1020 is likely to divide opinions. With the Lumia 1020, Nokia has reverted back to its classic, vibrant Lumia design, and were it not for the giant circular black lens on the rear of the handset it would be nearly impossible to distinguish it from the Nokia Lumia 920.
We got our hands on the yellow model, which likely won't appeal to everyone's tastes. Saying that, we've grown to love it during our time with the handset, particularly given the attention it receives when we're on the London Underground.
Nokia Lumia 1020 body
However, we're not so keen on the size of the handset. While we appreciate the high-end feel that the handset's weightiness provides, we found that at 158g, the Lumia 1020 soon became uncomfortable to hold, albeit not quite as much as the Lumia 920. It can be tricky to hold neatly too, and with measurements of 130x74x10.1mm - and a huge camera sensor on its back - we often found it tricky to get the phone to sit comfortably in hand.
In fact, it's pretty much impossible to clasp the handset without your fingers dirtying the camera lens, and we found ourselves having to clean the phone's rear a couple of times a day. That's also thanks to the rubberised polycarbonate material, which proved susceptible to picking up fingerprints and grime.
ScreenThanks to the Nokia Lumia 1020's ability to capture detailed images with its 41MP camera, we were hoping that the Finnish firm would have equipped the device with an HD 1080p display. Unfortunately, that's not the case, a matter that likely is down to Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system, rather than a decision made by Nokia.
Nokia Lumia 1020 screen
Instead, the handset features a 4.5in WXGA 1280x768 resolution touchscreen display with a pixel density of 334ppi. While lacking the HD 1080p resolution we wanted, the Lumia 1020's screen is still impressive. Thanks to Nokia's Clearblack Display technology, the screen matches those of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One in colour vibrancy and deep blacks, and its viewing angles and outdoor visiblity beat most of its Android competition.

Performance
The Lumia 1020 has a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, which compared to the quad-core, octa-core and 64-bit chips now appearing in rival smartphones sounds a little disappointing on paper.
We perhaps shouldn't be so negative though, as we rarely noticed a stutter from the Lumia 1020. For everyday tasks such as checking social networks, gaming and emailing, the Nokia Lumia 1020 performed smoothly and never showed signs of slowing.
We were using the Nokia Lumia 1020 on O2's newly-launched 4G LTE network, and reached peak speeds just shy of 18Mbps during our time with the phone. Microsoft's pre-loaded Internet Explorer web browser seemed to handle these speeds well, and the phone offered an all around smooth browsing experience.
Operating system
Of course the Lumia 1020 runs Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 mobile operating system, combined with Nokia's own app selection and the latest Amber update.
The software on the phone barely differs from that on the Nokia Lumia 920 and 825 handsets, although we found it a much more generous offering than the Windows Phone software found on devices from Samsung and HTC.
That's thanks to Nokia's own app selection, which somewhat makes up for the lack of apps available at the Windows Store. Adopters of the Nokia Lumia 1020 will find apps including Nokia Here Maps and the Drive, Local Scout and Lens apps. Nokia's custom camera apps are also onboard, but we'll cover those in the next section.
Nokia Lumia 1020 three quarter
Nokia's Here maps app is perhaps our favourite, offering a more visually pleasing mapping experience than Google's market leading alternative and more accurate directions than Microsoft's Bing Maps app. The Lens app builds on this, offering a futuristic augmented reality experience when wandering the streets to highlight attractions such as shops and resturants.
Beyond Nokia's own custom app selection, the Lumia 1020 is somewhat lacking when it comes to apps, aside from Microsoft's pre-installed business focused apps that outdo those found on iOS and Android. While some big name titles are starting to make their way to the Windows Phone mobile operating system, such as Spotify and Netflix, browsing the Windows Store can still be a frustrating experience. A quick browse of the "top apps" section of the Windows Store doesn't show much of interest, for example, and that's unlikely to change any time soon.
Customisation is limited on Windows Phone, too. While we're fans of the colourful user interface, it is starting to feel stale, something that we hope will be rectified in Microsoft's GDR3 update, which will also finally add support for quad-core chips and HD 1080p.

Camera
The camera on the Lumia 1020 is of course the handset's standout feature. The handset features a 41MP rear-facing camera, complete with Carl Zeiss optics, optical image stabilisation, automatic and manual focus, and both Xenon and LED flash. The Lumia 1020 camera offers 5MP, 34MP and 38MP modes.
As you'd perhaps expect from a phone with such a camera, the Lumia 1020 beats mosts of its rivals at taking photographs, including the camera focused Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, with even 5MP images shot with the Lumia 1020 rear-facing camera looking noticeably more detailed than those taken on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5S, for example.
This likely is because of Nokia's Superpixel technology, which makes the 1020 oversample pixels captured in the high-res shots and condense them down to create a Superpixel image that is then used in the 5MP image. This means 5MP images should feature better colours, look crisper and in general feature a number of details most other cameras would miss.
The handset really proves its worth when taking images in dark lighting. We took a number of shots in near pitch-black surroundings, and the Nokia Lumia 1020 - thanks to the onboard Xenon and LED flashes - was able to produce images that look natural and full of colour.

Battery
The Lumia 1020 is a fairly heavy device, so we were hoping it would have an equally beefy battery under the hood.
The handset has a 2,000mAh battery, which Nokia claims will offer around 13 hours of talk time while the phone is connected to 3G. This matched our tests, and we found that, unlike some other handsets on the market, the Lumia 1020 breezed through a day of average to heavy use.
Nokia also claims that the battery will support 6.5 hours of constant video viewing, so we put this to the test and found that the Lumia 1020 lasted around seven hours.
Storage
Thanks to Nokia's partnership with O2, the Lumia 1020 beats most of its competition with a 64GB storage model, which we used for our review.
The handset, which is also available in a 32GB model, unfortunately doesn't have a microSD card slot, but with 32GB and 64GB storage models and 7GB of free Skydrive storage, users shouldn't miss that too much.
In Short
The Nokia Lumia 1020 is the Finnish phone firm's best Windows Phone device yet. It's not the most attractive phone on the market and Microsoft's mobile operating system is still seriously lacking in apps, but the handset is undoubtedly the best camera phone we have had the pleasure of using.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 has a 41MP camera and comes in yellow
With the Lumia 1020, Nokia has carved out a niche market. Samsung tried it with the Samsung Galaxy Zoom and didn't quite get it right, and neither did Nokia previously with the Pureview 808 smartphone, which despite its 41MP camera ran Nokia's ageing Symbian mobile operating system.
It's not just the camera that sells the Nokia Lumia 1020. The phone's design, while unlikely to appeal to everyone, makes a nice change from the endless stream of black slab phones, and the phone also boasts great battery life and plenty of onboard storage. µ
The Good
Market-leading camera, quirky design, smooth performance, decent battery life
The Bad
Design is bulky, no HD 1080p support
Nokia EOS (Lumia 1020) price in India is arount Rs. 41K to 49K