Nokia Lumia 1020

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The Nokia Lumia 1020 is a new offering from the once great market leader Nokia and is a new addition to the Lumia range. It also happens to include a 41-megapixel PureView camera, probably the best available in a smartphone.

However, the camera aside, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is a bit of a disappointment, unless you happen to love Windows Phone 8 as your operating system of choice and have a fair amount of money to spend.

But let’s look on the bright side first. The 41-megapixel PureView camera is coupled with a Xenon flash unit that provides good white light coverage compared with the rather blue hue found on other smartphone cameras. While the camera has the capability to take large size pictures, in reality most pictures will be 5-megapixel, oversampled ones, the default mode.

These smaller pictures are suitable for sharing on Twitter or Facebook, but still retain high image quality and detail not found on other smartphones. By changing the aspect ratio on the Nokia 1020 to 4:3 or 16:9, your pictures will be 38-megapixel or 34-megapixel respectively. In effect, Nokia are using a 41-megapixel sensor to produce ultra-high quality 5-megapixel pictures.

 While the camera can take exquisite pictures, the 4.5-inch display has a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels, a pixel density of 334 pixels per inch, which doesn’t do those pictures justice. However, the display is sharp and easily readable under sunlight and other high ambient lighting conditions.

Inside, the Nokia Lumia 1020’s 130.4mm x 71.4mm x 10.4mm one-piece polycarbonate shell contains a Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 2GB RAM. The 2,000 mAh battery is adequate to power the dual-core processor to give a claimed 13 hours of talk time, pretty good from a relatively small capacity battery.

The disappointment with the Nokia Lumia 1020 lies in the Windows Phone 8 operating system. Nokia has used a version known as Amber, which does offer a few new capabilities, double tapping to turn on the display, or turn the phone over to silence it, but otherwise it’s the pretty standard Windows Phone interface.

Which is where the problem lies. While most of the popular apps are available for Windows Phone 8, there are a significant number of omissions, such as Instagram and Vine. There are just so many more apps available for Android and iOS users, and the lack of sympathy shown by Google exacerbates the problems with Windows Phone 8.

So what’s the verdict? The Nokia Lumia 1020 is a great camera with mobile phone capability. If you absolutely love Windows Phone 8 and taking superb pictures, then it’s a good buy, but if you want a great smartphone with reasonable camera features then perhaps it’s not for you.

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