Lumia 1020 Pureview Price, Specs and Camera Review

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Nokia Lumia 1020 is the new Windows Phone 8 handset just released with 41MP camera.

New Lumia 1020 Pureview with 41MP camera shows the world that Nokia is ready to go beyond the traditional idea of a smartphone.

Additionally Nokia believes its latest flagship device, Nokia Lumia 2010 will offer prospective users true control and confidence in capturing their lives at the click of a button.

Nokia, the Finnish Smartphone maker under the new CEO Stephen Elop is struggling for number#3 position in the Mobile phone market, since the day Elop has decided to ditch Symbian and Nokia's own OS in favor of Microsoft Windows Phone, instead Android.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Pureview Price and Camera Review

Nokia Lumia 1020 Specification

The confirmed primary Lumia 1020 specs include:
  • Dimensions of 130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4 mm and 158 grams weight
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core 1.5 GHz processor
  • 4.5 inch 1280x768 pixel resolution display
  • 41 megapixel camera with Xenon flash
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB integrated storage
  • 2000 mAh battery
You can purchase a battery/camera adapter accessory and Qi charging cover as well. The 1020 will come in black, white, and yellow.

Lumia 1020 PureView Camera Review

There's no doubt that Nokia knows how to make a phone, and with the 41MP sensor on the Lumia 1020, we're pretty excited.

There's a new level of RAM inside, a decent 32GB of memory (with larger sizes on the way) and the whole device has been slimmed down to an almost impossible level when you consider how much technology has been packed in

That the Lumia 1020 has a better camera than most point-and-shoots, and low-end DSLRs for that matter, shouldn't intimidate potential users.

For Nokia, one of the core concepts of its latest phone is putting confidence back in the hands of the amateur photographer.

According to the company's research, consumers will take 7-10 pictures with a camera just to make sure they got the right image.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Pureview Camera Review

As Nokia's reps explained to us, with the Lumia 1020, the first picture you take will hopefully be the picture you keep. Granted, it make take the phone a little longer to save the 15MB image, but the aim is that it's worth the wait.

The phone's Pro Camera app should alleviate some of the unease and uncertainty users might have about getting the shot just right, as well.

Useful features like Reframe allow you to craft multiple images from just one massive 41MP shot, while more experienced photographers will still find all the ISO, f-stop, and shutter speed options they could hope for, allowing them the same level of customization they have with a full camera in a device decidedly smaller. The features aren't inaccessible to the non-photogs among us, either.

The Smart Camera app provides a range of "been there, done that" options at a slightly lower resolution, but is still capable of offering more creative ways to personalize your pictures.

Though you won't be able to take 41MP images with Smart Camera on, you'll have much more freedom and flexibility for action shots and editing within Nokia's built-in Creative Studio.

Technically, there's a third camera app in the default Windows 8 camera, but it's not fine-tuned for the new Pureview lens like the other two Nokia-developed apps.

It will still take pictures just like you'd expect, but it doesn't offer any of the bonus features found in either Smart Camera or Pro Camera.

Regardless of which app you use, all photos are taken with the new stabilization, multi-layered lens, and flash, which should help give even novices a chance at capturing the elusive "perfect" image.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Pureview Camera Review

Unless you've got an actual photographer in your family, most of your photo albums are probably full of either close-ups or wide-angle shots.

Your smartphone camera album is probably even worse, as most digital zooms end up looking awful and distorted.

Pro Camera's Reframe takes all the guesswork out of the equation, and lets you snap pictures now and decide what the story is later, without the loss of pixel density or fidelity.

To be fair, in our time with the Lumia 1020, we found zooming in all the way for the tiniest of details left things muddled, but the range of post-photo zooming is miles above what's available elsewhere.

Reframing works as soon as the photo is saved, giving you the choice of repurposing the still to your exact specifications quickly and easily.

While more savvy photo fiends are already doing these kinds of things in editing programs on their computers, having the option available instantly and on the go certainly helps the Lumia 1020 appear more flexible for the average consumer.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Pureview Camera Review

Even if you'll be losing some of the ridiculous pixel density by using the Smart Camera app, there are still some advantages to the secondary application.

We've seen camera features like action shots, multi-shots, face-swapping, and the ability to wipe moving objects before, but that doesn't make them any less relevant for a phone like the Lumia 1020.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Pureview Camera Review

By including a wealth of options like those above, Nokia has effectively eliminated the hoping and praying typically associated with trying to get just the right shot.

In theory, users will be able to take solace that no matter what, they're going to get the shot they wanted... with a little help from Nokia's software.

Of course, there's something to be said for the lens and flash coming with the Lumia 1020 as well, as those components will do a lot of the heavy lifting in making sure photographs turn out the way you intended.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Pureview Camera Review

It still struggles when taking pictures and saving them instantly, but the time isn't horrendous and seems in keeping with what you'd expect when making photos of around 15MB.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Pureview Camera Review

The design of the Nokia Lumia 1020 is something of a marvel when considered in context. It's a lot thinner than last year's 808 Pureview, yet does that while packing in more technology, thanks to the addition of optical image stabilisation.

This new OIS actually uses ball bearings and little motors to keep things all shapely, which Nokia claims you can hear working when you wiggle the phone around when taking pictures.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Pureview Camera Review

Beyond that, it's mostly a Lumia 920 / Lumia 925 with a large sensor bolted onto the back. It's got a large and bulbous rear, as you might expect given the large sensor and lens elements needed for Pureview, but it's not bad when lobbed in the pocket. As you can see by this picture, the fingers do cover the sensor when you're using the phone normally, which does feel a little uncomfortable and may lead to smudges, but it's not terrible thanks to the thinner overall dimensions of the phone.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Pureview Camera Review

It's as impressive a piece of kit as anything else in the Lumia range - that Puremotion HD+ screen is OK, but at WXGA resolution it's a long way from Full HD, which is one of the few easily demonstrable areas where Android's HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 excel. The screen is good in outside light and such, but we'd still rather see something sharper here.

The camera functionality is something we'd have trouble saying too much about, as there's simply so much excellence under the hood when you quickly snap a photo or two. We'll talk about a few of the negatives: for instance, the camera app is curiously sliced up into three. You've got the standard Windows Phone 8 app, the new Nokia Smart Camera, and the even more nascent Nokia Pro Camera, all of which have very different functions.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Pureview Camera Review

You've also got the issue of speed of snappery: the Lumia 1020 does take a while to take and process a picture, but given we're looking at options that top out at 15MB with an incredible level of detail, the pace of photography doesn't feel too bad.

There's a whole world to play with in the Pro Camera app, and most of it is easy to use and understand. The manual focus element was our favourite, allowing you to set the focal length of the Lumia 1020 with a simple wiggle of the finger. You can easily open up all these options by sliding the camera button to the right, which was a rather neat trick.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Pureview Camera Review

The picture quality is just bamboozling. On stage CEO Stephen Elop showed off some pictures taken from a helicopter, and zooming in to show fine levels of detail. These came out looking rather noisy and blurry at full zoom, which we encountered when playing with photos on the device itself.

However, it's only when you get REALLY close up does this effect show itself, and most of the time you can easily zoom in most of the way on a picture and see more information with pin-sharp clarity. You also get the option of reframing the picture when you've taken it, so whether you want to change the aspect ratio, move the image around or just rotate you can do so to get a new snap.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Pureview Camera Review

Want to try again? Even after saving you can head back in and re-open the original image, with all the information stored right there. The oversampling technique is really effective, and we really like that you can take 5MP snaps from the full 38MP option for Facebook sharing and the like. It's odd you can't seem to save the photos you've re-framed, but it's still a nice feature, and you might be able to log your crops somewhere else in the phone.

Video quality deserves a nod here, as it's simply awesome. The same oversampling technique has been used to good effect, and a video of some bees which was zoomed into during the filming was simply mind-blowing - the image below is from about a foot and a half away, which shows just how much detail can be captures.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Pureview Camera Review

While we're in love with the Pro Camera functionality, Nokia appears to be persisting with this idea of putting the name of the app, be it Pro Camera, Smart Camera or Cinemgraph under each photo to allow you to open the app. It seems a bit too much to ask people to do this, as it's not an intuitive gesture and doesn't seem to be overly obvious.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Pureview Camera Review

It would be far more useful as a menu option, or just grouping all these app together under one program, although Nokia hinted to TechRadar that this was a technical limitation rather than anything else.

We did notice one nice little touch though: your most recent snap, when using the camera in Pro mode, is shown in a little 'Chat Heads' style circle in the top left-hand side of the screen, next to the icon to look through all your gallery at once. It's always good to review your snaps on the go, and this provides an easy way to do so.

New Lumia 1020 Release date

So far Nokia has announced only a specific release date for the US. The Lumia 1020 will launch on the AT&T on 26 July. It has said that other markets will get the smartphone 'this quarter' which means by the end of September. Mobile operator Three has said that the Lumia 1020 is due "later this year".

Nokia Lumia 1020 Price in US, UK, Australia

New Nokia Lumia 1020 price in US is $299.99, Nokia Lumia 1020 price in UK is £199 and Lumia 1020 price in Australia is $327 in Australian dollars, all with standard two-year carrier contact.

The Lumia 1020 is still a costly, compared to some competitors, like Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One. Based on our earliest impressions, every aspect of the Lumia 1020 has been fine-tuned to appeal to the snap-happy consumers that have flooded social networks with pictures of everyday life, while also offering power and performance that should impress pros.

As it will be arriving in just a few weeks in the U.S., we won't have long to wait to discover if consumers are willing to shell out premium prices for the convenience, and confidence, the Lumia 1020 provides.
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