Nokia Lumia 1020 Review

It's nice to know that Nokia's making a steady comeback with the Lumia series. It took them a while to spring back to the blooming mobile industry, but as always, it's better late than never, right? :D

Last year, Nokia Philippines made me try their newest Lumia phone, Lumia 1020 which is supposedly their high end smartphone to date. Gadget experts have been singing praises about this thing, especially on its photo and video quality.

The Lumia 1020 combines the groundbreaking PureView Phase 1 and Phase 2 mobile camera technologies of Nokia for the first time. It matches a big 1/1.5” 41 MP sensor with optical image stabilization tech, and allows 3x lossless zoom without any moving parts in photo, and up to 6x in 720p video mode. The six-element lens ZEISS optics and Nokia's pixel binning technology add to the unrivaled picture and video quality that are more akin to a prosumer camera than to a humble mobile phone. Nokia didn't stop here, though, and equipped the Lumia 1020 with HAAC mics capable of high-fidelity stereo recording, for the ultimate media machine on the go.

Now please manage your expectations. This ain't going to be an ala-Yugatech review (with specs, comparisons, and the likes) because I can be clueless sometimes when it comes to technology, so I'm just going to talk about its overall usefulness, feel, and performance.

For the full specs, please visit GSM ARENA.

Check out my review after the break!

Nokia Lumia 1020 comes in a couple of bright colors, but I think the Yellow one stands out the most. Accessories include earphones in the same hue of the mobile phone, extra earbuds, and a battery booster pack which is a very nice add-on, although I don't know if it comes with the package or you'd have to buy it separately.

Lumia 1020 is also applauded for its bigger resolution, but bigger resolution means bigger size too-It's almost like a micro tablet already. I'm not really a fan of the size because I like putting my mobile phone inside my pocket. The overall design is pretty luxe: the back portion is coated with a semi- matte layer, while the LCD seems to be in glass. It's not as pricey as an iPhone, but the feel is pretty close to it. It's a lil' heavy though.

This phone runs of Windows-it connects to wi-fi easily, responds pretty quickly if you're just navigating, but loads pretty slow when you're browsing the net or downloading apps. I find the crisp, clear, animated homepage pretty cool though, and the presence of Microsoft Office lets me edit my advertorials and draft blog posts while I'm on the go.

Now this is the secondary home page, where the rest of the phone's apps can be seen in list form. Sometimes, I'm having a hard time navigating through it, or maybe that's just me getting used to a whole new interface as I've been an iPhone user for 3 years now. It can accommodate certain Social Media apps such as Facebook and Twitter, but sadly, there's no Instagram. I read that there's an alternative to IG and that's Oggl Pro, but I prefer the former app thankyouverymuch.

At least it does one intelligent thing and that is it helps you prevent overspending by setting a limit on your 3G usage with Data Sense.

Our mobile phone is basically our overused gadget every single day, thus we're always left with zero juice so it's cool that Lumia 1020 has its very own battery pack-there's also a button on the pack that lets you shoot photos and videos easily too.

Lumia 1020's camera bears the highest pixel quality too at 41 megapixels. Camera is still by Carl Zeiss and it features the Gyroscope lens that allows the shutter to stay open for longer, which is very useful when taking photos under low light conditions.

This phone's significant feature is the Nokia Pro Cam that has DSLR settings.

No DSLR? No problem. The Nokia PRO Cam bears some important features of a DSLR camera that will allow you to capture perfect photos under any lighting condition.

Let's see how the 41-megapixel camera fares:

Front Camera, Ambient Lighting:

It takes pretty good photos using the frontal camera. It's not ideal though as it tends to appear a bit grainy, but by far, Lumia 1020's frontal camera produces the most decent photos in my opinion. Compared it with the one taken by my iPhone 5:

I will always be an iPhone gal, but this time, I gotta give it to Nokia Lumia 1020's less noisy and richer photo quality!

Back Camera, Ambient Lighting:

As always the back camera takes the best photos, and that goes for any smartphone. (Well depends on the quality of the smartphone too) Took a shot of my French Onion soup and I loved how it captured all its textures and colors.

Harsh Lighting

- This thing can capture good and true-to-color product shots too. I noticed that it automatically adjusts to any lighting condition it's in, thereby allowing you to take the right photos easily.

It also features the Xenon flash, which to me is actually better than LED flash. Xenon flash helps reduce blur and minimize that nasty glare.

I tested the Xenon Flash in the following photos:

Flash turned on

- There's minimal to no glare, and I like how it captured the colors and textures of my bags nicely.

No flash

- In this photo, I didn't use any flash at all. I just turned on all the lights in my bedroom and I still got a pretty nice photo, but with a soft feel to it and colors are still true. As much as possible, I try to avoid using flash in photos (regardless if it's LED or Xenon) because they could be a lil'...unflattering.

Auto Flash

- Image quality is pretty much the same as the one wherein I used flash, except that this appears a lil' warmer. Methinks the Auto Flash option is better used when taking FOTD or EOTD shots under low light: It lights up the subject perfectly, but doesn't appear overexposed.

Here's a shot using Nokia PRO Cam:

Low Light

- Crikey! This thing really takes good photos under low lighting conditions! I have used Auto Flash in here, tweaked the ISO settings for a bit and voila! Denver now has a new and swell profile pic. :D The photo looks so 'alive', doesn't it? Gotta love how it captured the texture of Denver's fur, not to mention colors still appear rich in spite of the flash.

If you want to take quirky and interesting photos, this phone also has the Nokia Smart Cam that allows you to take sequence photos. Other than that, it can capture HD- like videos too. Battery life can last for 8-9 hours when I'm watching videos or surfing the net, and lasts for about 18 hours if it's just on standby mode.

I used to think that IPhone 5 has the best picture quality, but Lumia 1020 has just challenged this belief of mine. The 41-megapixel claim is indeed true, and it's the perfect gadget for photo savvy peeps out there. I just wish downloading capability were faster, size were a bit smaller, and that it will welcome Instagram to its system soon. If you can live without Instagram, I would recommend this phone because it feels really luxurious and fairly affordable at P26,000.00 for a mobile phone that acts like a DSLR and video camera!

For more information about this product, please visit NOKIA PHILIPPINES on Facebook.

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8 Lovely Thoughts

  1. I'm really impressed with the camera. Woah 41 megapixels? That's like a big leap from the other smartphones. It's a good thing they have bounced back from almost being non-existent. I hope people will still keep supporting their products. However, I'll have to pass on this model, my Iphone's still working well, but I also have another old version Nokia phone which I still use for my other number. Nokia phones make me feel nostalgic as they were all the rage before!

  2. Awww...although I once used to be a Nokia user (errr..text and call features only before...:D)... however, being in the electronics industry...I do have leaks :) sorry...

    Indeed Nokia has upgraded to provide greater functions, however, I think they have to rethink some of their apps. The market is veering towards android apps and of course (regardless of the strictness of apple)..the iphone apps as well.

    I used to dislike LG but my sister got one since she couldn't find an Iphone 5S in a nearby gadget store and since she was desperate for a new phone, got settled for LG G2 instead and might I add that I was impressed with that one..even better than what I am using now:D Photos taken from my Samsung and My hubby's Iphone got nowhere compared to that taken from LG..and I heard it is now making its way to the top 3.

    With this, Nokia I guess is trying to make a name that is not branded as generic (similar to apple) , however, it needs further reviewing yet (in my opinion)if it aims to top the market again.

  3. Currently using a Nokia Lumia phone, too! But it's just the 625. Hehe. I like the simple and classy look of Windows phones.

  4. Nice work with the camera, Nokia! But I'd still choose my Android. I think Nokia should focus more on updating or developing their apps. I don't think smartphone users would consider a phone with a good resolution of camera over the apps Android and iPhone offer. Besides, most smartphone users have digital cameras already.

  5. Woah! This post caught my attention, I just saw this on the series Teen Wolf and the demo there (which is likely promotional) is totally awesome. I mean I saw the light adjustment. Even in the dark, you can adjust the camera so it can have crisp images. ;))

  6. Kat C: Lol! I share your sentiments. I remember, i used to lust over the 8210 haha!

    Majorie: I think that's the best feature of this phone. :) It's great for taking photos in clubs!

    Rizza: Yeah, that's true. And maybe they should consider changing the interface? Haha.

    Winnie: Thanks for sharing your insight. Very helpful! Agree, they have to make it easier to use and speed up the downloading time and oh, accommodate the popular apps too.

  7. Very nice review of Nokia Lumia 1020 specially i like its camera effects.


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