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Nokia Lumia 1020 review

Puts Samsung's Galaxy S4 Zoom to shame
Mon Oct 21 2013, 16:01

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.

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.

Thanks 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.

Next: Performance, operating system


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