Published on October 4th, 2013 | by Sean Power


REVIEW: Nokia Lumia 1020

REVIEW: Nokia Lumia 1020 Sean Power



Summary: THE GOOD: 41 MP Camera THE BAD: A resolution of just 1280x768 pixels is a lot less than the Full HD displays most of the high-end competitors


With an almost absurd resolution of 41 megapixels, the Lumia 1020 is an impressive phone. The rest of the specs, however, have remained almost unchanged when compared to the Lumia 925. A phone with such a high resolution has never before been found in a serious mobile device, and with a screen diagonal of 4.5-inches, the Lumia 1020 is slightly smaller than the HTC One, but it suffers from a slightly outdated display resolution of 1280×768 pixels, not quite enough for such a costly device. It comes with a dual-core Krait CPU clocked at 1.5 GHz on-board and is accompanied by 2 GB of RAM.


The Lumia 1020 ships with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 SoC which has been used in a number of Windows Phone devices, ranging from the Nokia Lumia 925 to the Samsung ATIV S. The ARMv7-based Krait dual-core CPU. The only major difference when compared to the Lumia 925: The Lumia 1020’s amount of RAM has been doubled to 2 GB.


Unfortunately, the 4.5-inch display comes with one major disadvantage: A resolution of just 1280×768 pixels is a lot less than the Full HD displays most of the high-end competitors of the Nokia Lumia 1020 have to offer. The average brightness of the OLED panel has been measured at 287.9 cd/m². Due to the Windows Phone system settings, only three distinct brightness values can be chosen manually – this is far less comfortable than for Android or iOS devices. Subjectively, 88% brightness homogeneity is more than enough (although much more than 90% is required for perfect marks in this section). Since the black levels are close to zero, the contrast ratio is basically infinite to 1. This, of course, couldn’t be any better.

Cameras & Multimedia

This is definitely the aspect into which Nokia has invested the most with this high-end phone. The sensor of the main camera comes with a staggering, unprecedented amount of 41 megapixels. The 6-lens Tessar system made by Zeiss is combined with a 1/1.5″ sensor. A bright maximum aperture of f2.2 should help with achieving well-lit pictures even without the help of the built-in Xenon flash. Since the lens comes with a fixed focal length of 26 mm, only digital zoom is possible (3x, almost loss-less). Macro mode works up to a distance of 15 cm. Even though all of these features are rather impressive, none of the pictures can be saved as .raw (raw data format). The camera module comes with optical image stabilization and a backlit image sensor for improved sensitivity.In order to become a useful tool for more ambitious photographers as well, Nokia has included a large number of freely customizable functions, ranging from the shutter speed and the ISO value to exposure and manual focus settings. Browsing the menu also leads to a rather helpful revelation (“capture mode”) which shows that getting a single image with 41 megapixels is not truly possible: It is “merely” possible to choose an image size of 34 megapixels in addition to the standard 5 megapixels (the latter lower-resolution photograph is always saved). Alternatively, switching to an aspect ratio of 4:3, images with 38 megapixels can be saved in addition to those with 5 megapixels.Here is a sample pic taken with the camera,large-sensor-city-viewsmallClick on this Link to see the whole picture in all its 41MP Glory

Battery Life

Using the WP Bench Free app, we have tried to evaluate the minimum possible battery life of the Lumia 1020 while under full load: 2:39 h is on par with the Lumia 925 (2:51 h), but it lags behind recent Android flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the LG G2. During the more relevant Wi-Fi test, we managed to squeeze 10:31 h out of the Lumia 1020’s battery. This is a good value, as is 15:58 h of idle runtime at lowest possible display brightness settings. Recharging the battery takes 2:38 h.


The main camera with its Carl Zeiss optics proves to be a great addition, although Nokia does cheat a bit with the number of truly available megapixels. The Xenon flash delivers especially superb results, leading to homogeneous and lifelike illumination of almost any subject. Luckily, the Lumia is not poised to remain a niche product since it remains a fully functional smartphone without any restrictions (apart from its thickness). But if one deems taking photographs to be unimportant and if one doesn’t see any differences between the pictures taken by the Lumia 1020 and any ordinary smartphone camera with 5 megapixels, then it might be better to have a look at another model within the Lumia range. With an RRP of 699 Euros the Lumia 1020 is certainly no bargain. Video Review from MobileTechReview

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About the Author

Sent to earth from a dying planet, young Sean Power grew to adulthood with a deep love for comics and all things from the local chipper. He has dedicated his life to pedantic ramblings about continuity, superhero superiority, and whether Han shot first. Yes, he is single. He also writes for a number of UK Magazines.

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