Sunday, 1 December 2013

Nokia Lumia 1020:At the age of 41

Writing a review about Lumia phones gets challenging after a point since apart from a couple of distinct features, they are essentially very similar. The fact that Microsoft has the hardware and other components locked down tightly means there’s no real surprises in that department either. Despite this, Nokia has managed to differentiate their offerings by adding innovative features like OIS, PureView sensors, etc on the hardware front as well as software tweaks like the recent Refocus app and Pro Cam. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the most expensive Lumia in the series – the 1020. The phone boasts of a 41MP PureView sensor which is modelled around the original that debuted in the 808 PureView. So is this the best camera-centric phone in the market today? Let’s find out. 

Design and Build 
The Lumia 1020 continues the legacy of Nokia’s phenomenal build quality and it’s at its best in this flagship model. The design of the unibody polycarbonate chassis is a throw-back to the Lumia 800 and it looks and feels extremely classy and well put together. The stark contrast between the yellow and black grabs your attention as there’s no mistaking this for any other handset. From the front, the phone looks like any other Lumia with the thick bezel all round and three unlit capacitive buttons at the bottom. We also have the typical layout of buttons on the side and the respective ports gracing the top and bottom of the phone.
Nokia Lumia 1020
Superior build

There’s a significant bump around the back where the sensor sits but it’s not as intrusive as that on the Galaxy S4 Zoom. We also have a Xenon flash and an auto-focus assist light just above the shutter. The 1020 doesn’t have native wireless charging support but you can add a wireless charging jacket. The phone is slightly larger than the Lumia 925 and a bit heavier as well due to the bigger sensor. Overall, the 1020 scores full marks in terms of aesthetics and build quality. It’s also lot more pocketable than the 808 PureView was.
Nokia Lumia 1020
The bump tends to raise the front of the phone

As far as core specifications go, the 1020 is pretty identical to the Lumia 925. The display is the same HD AMOLED panel at 4.5-inches diagonally and their proprietary PureMotion HD+ technology. Text and images are crisp and vivid thanks to the relatively high pixel density of 332ppi. The interface is typical Windows Phone 8 with a sprinkle of some custom apps from Nokia.
Nokia Lumia 1020
Same 'ol Windows Phone 8 UI

The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus SoC (MSM8960) which consists of a dual-core CPU running at 1.5GHz and 2GB of RAM. The interface is smooth for the most part but we found that Nokia’s Pro Cam app slightly sluggish when tinkering around with its settings. The phone also ships out-of-the-box with the Nokia Lumia Amber update. While there’s no expandable memory, the 32GB onboard storage should be enough.  

The Lumia 1020 is a well-equipped media device thanks to Dolby’s Headphone Sound Enhancement and Dolby Digital Plus. This adds a pleasing punch to your music which sounds good even with the stock earphones. There are equaliser presets in the main settings menu and you can also toggle the Dolby enhancement mode and audio levelling. The enhancements work on a system-wide scale and not just for the music player. You also have a choice between the stock player and Nokia’s Music Player. Both are essentially the same with the only difference being the layout.
Nokia Lumia 1020
Very good media playback

The video player is capable of reading a few MOV, MP4, WMV files but AVI refused to play. Full HD videos also playback just fine and the colours are fairly vibrant with good detail. 


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