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Nokia Lumia 1020: A Windows Phone that’s Picture Perfect?

The Nokia Lumia 1020 has been unveiled as the Finnish firm’s new Windows Phone flagship, and thanks to its 41 megapixel PureView sensor it marks a new chapter in smartphone photography.

There has been a huge amount of speculation about the handset  in recent weeks, and during the official launch in New York, Stephen Elop, Nokia’s CEO, said: “The Nokia Lumia 1020 will change how you shoot, create and share pictures forever.”

Nokia has always excelled in putting together remarkable camera phones, with the Nokia N8 and 808 PureView both housing impressive sensors. This is the first time the company has bought the 41 megapixel version of its PureView camera to Windows Phone 8, which is over five times more powerful than the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.

 

During the event Elop showed off the Lumia 1020’s exceptional image capturing capabilities, which produces some outstanding results even in low-light settings. He also demonstrated manual adjustments including exposure and white balance. The sensor currently stands as the largest in any consumer product, but what else has been packed into the handset to meet the firm’s promise of making “pictures come to life”?

  • PureView Technology
  • Six element wide-angle Carl Zeiss lens
  • Mechanical shutter
  • Nokia Pro Camera App
  • Optical Image Stabilisation
  • Xenon Flash
  • Lossless Zoom

The handset also uses a process called ‘over sampling’ which combines the pixels within an image to make for a smaller, five megapixel picture. As well as removing any unwanted visual noise the device lets users save both image types at the same time, to ensure that you always get the perfect shot.

And it’s not just high-resolution photos that make the Lumia 10

20 stand out from the crowd, as it is also capable of 1080p video capture at 30 frames per second. Users will be able to zoom in up to four times while recording, and up to six times in a 720p version, without the risk of losing any quality or detail in their shots.

Flagship head to head

Features Nokia Lumia 925 Nokia Lumia 1020
Display 4.5-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen (332ppi) 4.5-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen (332ppi)
Processor 1.5GHz dual core 1.5GHz dual-core
RAM 1GB 2GB
OS Windows Phone 8 Windows Phone 8
Camera 8 megapixel 41 megapixel
Secondary camera 1.3 megapixel 1.2 megapixel
Video Recording 1080p 1080p
Internal Storage 16GB/32GB 32GB
Weight 139g 158g
Thickness 8.5mm 10.4mm

Design

The handset adopts a similar style to that seen on other Lumia devices, and the smooth polycarbonate unibody chassis on the Lumia 1020 will be available in white, black and yellow variants. On the back there’s a large circular area which houses the ample camera, and while it sticks out slightly the overall build quality feels fantastic and it sits comfortably in the hand.

 

Windows Phone

In order to accommodate the extra-powerful sensor Microsoft has made some changes to its Windows Phone 8 software. Kevin Shields, Nokia’s vice president, said the OS “played a critical role” in the creation of the Lumia 1020.

 

Shields went on to add: “It’s easy to get fixated on this one feature, but there was a lot of unseen work on the Windows Phone side that went into plumbing and UI changes to bring out the best of that component. Our collaboration with Microsoft was super important to making the Lumia 1020 the great product that it is.”

The Lumia 1020 is said to combine the 808’s large sensor, the image stabilisation of the Lumia 920 and the increased power of a Windows Phone device, making for the best camera phone seen to date.

Verdict

Aside from the Lumia 1020’s image capturing capabilities its other specifications point to a capable Windows Phone 8 model. However, without the 41 megapixel lens there is little else that makes Nokia’s latest offering any different from its former flagship, the Lumia 925.

That said the Finnish manufacturer is making no secret that it is placing all its focus on the camera, which it hopes will become an instant hit with potential consumers and stand tall amongst the raft of other Mobile Phones on offer.

In a space where smartphone manufacturers are working tirelessly to bring new innovations to the fore, there is no doubt that the Lumia 1020’s camera functionality alone will help boost Nokia’s profile in what is a hugely competitive mobile arena.

This guest post was written by Sarah Hazelwood of Dialaphone, the home of all the latest smartphone deals and reviews.

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