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Nokia Lumia 1020 Review

Nokia is very known for making smartphones with great camera. Remember the Nokia N95? Yeah, the 5 megapixel camera on that smartphone was incredible back then and then we had the 12 MP camera of the Nokia N8 and the 41 MP camera of the Nokia 808 Pureview. And now, Nokia has introduced the the Nokia Lumia 1020. It is equipped with a 41 MP Pureview camera with an amazing low light capabilities. Basically, the Nokia Lumia 1020 combined the awesome low light capabilities of the Nokia Lumia 920 and the 41 Megapixel camera of the Nokia 808 Pureview. And yes folks, this is the most awesome Nokia Lumia smartphone that I’ve tried.

I’ve always said in my review of every Nokia Phone, I love how Nokia make its smartphones. It’s unique, it’s solid (Remember the 3310? Yeah, you can’t break that thing) and it’s very colourful but the design of the Nokia Lumia is getting old, I mean the design of every Nokia Lumia phone is very similar. The design can be traced back to the Nokia N9. Don’t get me wrong guys, I like the design but I feel that Nokia should do some major changes.

Unlike the Nokia Lumia 920, the Nokia Lumia 1020 isn’t glossy. The feel was like the Nokia Lumia 800. The feel of the Nokia Lumia 1020 was very premium and sturdy. Despite having a larger 41 megapixel camera, the 1020 isn’t as thick and heavy as the Nokia Lumia 920. The weight and the thickness was between the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Nokia Lumia 925. The only thing that I really hate in the Nokia Lumia 1020 is the big bulge at the back. I know, the 41 megapixel sensor needs a larger space however, the big circle at the back doesn’t really look that good to me.

If your smartphone boasts an amazing camera, you should provide an accessory for it and fortunately, the package of Nokia Lumia 1020 in the Philippines comes with a camera grip. The camera grip of the Nokia Lumia 1020 has the same texture and it has some battery juice inside it. So yeah, not only it acts as a camera grip but it also acts as a power bank. The camera grip has a shutter button but unfortunately, there were no other buttons in it. I hope that they can add an adjustment ring that lets you adjust the settings similar to other point and shoot and DSLR cameras in the next generation. But hey, I think the camera grip was really worth it. Oh, and be sure to match the color of the camera grip to your Nokia Lumia 1020.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 still have that 4.5” display which is similar to the last year’s flagship. And no, Windows Phone doesn’t allow 1080p displays when they announce the Lumia 1020 so yeah, if you want a Windows Phone with a larger resolution, go for the Lumia 1520. I didn’t notice any dramatic changes with its display compared to its predecessors so yeah, nothing really new about the display. But for those who didn’t know yet, the sunlight legibility of the Nokia Lumia 1020 was great but it was not the best display on the market right now. The display was quite good but it was not the best.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 packs LTE inside but unfortunately, I haven’t tried that because I didn’t have an LTE sim when I was at Macau and Hong Kong and I don’t want to ruin my vacation by browsing the internet all day. I found the 32 GB of the Nokia Lumia 1020 sufficient for me despite having a 34 MP and a 5 MP copy for every shot that I’ve made. But if you record a LOT of videos, you might find the 32 GB of the Nokia Lumia 1020 too small for you. And no, there’s no OTG nor MicroSD card slot for expanding the storage.

During my vacation, I mostly used the Nokia Lumia 1020 for taking photos and I was able to squeeze out the juice at after 14 hours of average use (mostly taking photos) but thankfully, there’s a camera grip with a built-in battery so I was able to use the Nokia Lumia 1020 for more than a day. The audio quality of the Nokia Lumia 1020 was pretty good too but I barely used the loudspeaker while listening to my playlist on the Nokia Lumia 1020. The speaker grill were placed below along with the micro-usb port.

Sorry Android fans, Microsoft has recently planned on buying the Nokia mobile division which is expected to be finished by 2014 so say good bye to your Pureview Android dreams. The Nokia Lumia 1020 still runs on Windows Phone 8 GDR2 but it is expected to have the GDR3 update soon. And yes, up to this moment the Windows Phone 8 is still plagued with app problems. There are only a few apps that are still available on the Windows Phone marketplace but it is catching up already. But hey, Vine and Instagram are already available in the Windows phone marketplace.

When I was in Hong Kong, I noticed most shops and boutiques has their own app. Unfortunately, most of them didn’t support Windows Phone. The only local app I saw that supports Windows Phone is the bus app from a certain bus liner in Hong Kong. Same case happens here in the Philippines, most apps that are widely used in iOS and Android aren’t available on the Windows Phone.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is still powered by the same Qualcomm dual-core Krait processor but this one has a much larger 2 GB RAM. I notice the increase in performance when I was rendering photos at Nokia Camera and when I was multi-tasking. I didn’t experience and slowdowns or lags when I used it. Speaking of the Nokia Camera, why don’t we get to the most exciting part of the Nokia Lumia 1020 – the camera.

To give you a little idea about the camera of the Nokia Lumia 1020, the 41 Megapixel Camera inside the Nokia Lumia 1020 is the largest on a smartphone and this is probably the best camera on a smartphone. I know, most of you would probably tell me if the camera inside the Nokia Lumia 1020 is better than the most recent DSLRs. The answer is no, it might have a larger and bigger megapixel than most of DSLRs but it doesn’t guarantee you a better images than the DSLRs. Why? Because most DSLRs have larger sensors than the Nokia Lumia 1020.

Zooming on the Nokia Lumia 1020 isn’t a problem, it was actually one of the best. I don’t need to go nearer to the place that I need to picture, All I need is to take a photo and crop it later at the phone. And yes, cropping and rotating the photo was seamless and easy. Don’t worry about zooming guys because when you zoomed in the camera the quality won’t be compromised (Remember? It’s a 41 MP camera not 13 MP!). You know what, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is even better than my Micro 4/3 camera. Well, my Micro 4/3 is getting old already but hey! The Nokia Lumia 1020 was better than my Micro 4/3 camera and most of the point and shoots that I’ve used.

Another thing that you would surely love about the Nokia Lumia 1020 is the low light capability. If you’ve seen the lowlight capability of the Nokia Lumia 920 and the Nokia Lumia 925, be prepared to be amaze again! Well this time, we have a much larger resolution and a better quality. Again, the Nokia Lumia 1020 didn’t fail to amaze me with its lowlight shots. Why don’t you just take look at these shots from Macau and Hong Kong:

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Unfortunately, I lost the video that I took when I was in Macau. But luckily, I also took a video when I came back to the Philippines. This video will show you how good the Nokia Lumia 1020’s 41 MP Pureview camera is. Why don’t you see it for yourself.

BTW, if you feel that you really need to brighten up your image, there’s a xenon flash which is already powerful enough. But if you’re taking a video, there’s a LED flash too. Got no complaints with that too. Most of the shots that we took at night didn’t used the Xenon flash. I was already happy with how the Nokia Lumia 1020 handled those low light shots.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is probably the best Windows Phone that you can buy right now in the Philippines. When it comes to processing power and design, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is very similar to its predecessors but the 41 Megapixel Pureview camera was really a big leap. I don’t know why other Android manufacturers can’t catch up with Nokia in terms of camera performance. If you are really into camera, get the Nokia Lumia 1020. You don’t have to worry about Instagram too because it is already available in the Windows Phone store but of course, there are still a lot of games and apps that aren’t still available on the Windows Phone marketplace. And yes, the Nokia Lumia 1020 can beat most of the point and shoots around and even some old Micro 4/3. Yeah, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is really amazing.

Jam Ancheta
Jam Ancheta
Jam Ancheta likes to create content about tech. But he also hates tech.


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