Nokia announces the Lumia 1020, a 41MP monster smartphone with Windows Phone 8

Daniel Bader

July 11, 2013 11:12am


Although the device has leaked like a sieve, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is now official.

Today in New York City, Nokia conveyed its exceptional design prowess by engineering a 4.5-inch smartphone with a whopping 41MP camera sensor and lens combo that is not only relatively thin and light, but could very well be your next smartphone.


Running Windows Phone 8 ‘Amber’, there are a number of new software features that we’ll get to in a moment. First, the hardware:

– 4.5-inch 1280×768 pixel LCD display with PureMotion HD+ and Super Touch Sensitivity
– 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus
– 2GB RAM / 32GB internal storage (no microSD slot)
– 41MP BSI camera sensor with Xenon Flash, LED auto-assist flash, Carl Zeiss lens, f/2.2 aperture, Optical Image Stabilization
– 1.2MP front-facing camera
– 2000mAh battery
– 130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4 mm
– 158 grams

Of course, the main draw here is the massive 41MP camera on the back that manages to take ultra-sharp 5MP shots using a technique called oversampling — combining seven pixels into one super-accurate pixel — as well as relatively lossless digital zoom photos. According to Nokia’s CEO, Stephen Elop, these are “the most sensitive pixels in the industry.” Photos can also be captured at 34MP in wide-angle and 38MP in 4:3 aspect ratio.

Nokia has included six Zeiss lenses in wide-angle, which ensures maximum sharpness throughout the picture-taking process. There is a second-generation optical image stabilization system inside, based on ball bearings, to ensure excellent low-light stability.


There is a new camera app called Nokia Pro Camera, which allows users to change granular capture controls, including ISO, white balance, shutter speed and exposure. The viewfinder will show the final result of the image, and capture is instantaneous.

Pro Camera captures 1080p video, which takes advantage of the aforementioned optical image stabilization, and the phone boasts excellent audio capture along with the superlative photo and video experience.

A custom one-handed camera grip will be available for the Lumia 1020, which brings a two-step shutter button, a tripod mount, and an extra 1020mAh of battery life.

The company also confirmed Path and Flipboard will be coming to Windows Phone, in addition to the previously-announced Hipstamatic app that will allow for Instagram sharing.

The Nokia Lumia will be coming to Canada this quarter, though specific availability and colour selection has not been released just yet. We’ll update you with more when we have it.

More at Nokia.

  • beyond

    GO NOKIA!!!!!
    Awesome phone!!

    • TomsDisqusted

      Absolutely the camera sounds awesome, but (as always) we’ll need to wait for the reviews. In particular, we’ll have to see about this idea that they have effectively negated the need for an optical zoom – the lack of which has always been the Achilles heel of phone cameras. If it is true then that is great, as the Galaxy Zoom is more bulky than most consumers will accept.

  • Mythos88

    It may be a monster of functionality but it is not a monster in size.

    • Claude Poirier

      what is monstrous is WP8 🙂

  • jroc

    Please don’t be a rogers exclusive…

    • rgl168

      Elop did not mention Canada during the press conference.

    • Mitchell Leitman

      Don’t you know? Elop (and Nokia) never have to mention Canada because he’s from here. It’s like he totally ignores his home and native land.

    • Jdawg Laurence

      I think the people replying missed the point. PLEASE! Don’t be Rogers exclusive. That would be the only thing that could ruin this great phone for me and the rest of Canada.

  • Gabe

    2000mAh battery is kind of a let down for this phone. Would not be able to complete a full day at the zoo taking pics with phone. Increase the battery and you may win a convert to Nokia and Win8

    • saqrkh

      You never know, the WP8 UI doesn’t seem very intensive on hardware so battery life might not be too different from the L920, which is alright. They’re also selling a special camera grip for 1020, that might have an added battery.

    • draino

      There are already leaked photos of a case for the phone that packs in extra battery power and a proper “camera style” grip.

    • Gabe

      Extra battery and special grip are accessories hadn’t seen yet. Those would certainly negate all battery concerns

    • bigshynepo

      …and make all your size and weight concerns a nightmarish reality.

      Maybe Canon should’ve just slapped a LTE antennae in their T2 line if no one cares how big a phone needs to be before it takes a nice picture.

    • saqrkh

      Lol … the other option would be to carry your phone and a separate camera (to match that quality). I’d take the extra accessory so long as I have that 1 device for taking pictures and staying in touch.

    • bigshynepo

      I can’t wait for the camera comparisons to come out, especially against the handsets being readied for market by Samsung, Sony and LG.

      The 1000mah extra battery life in the grip seems weak considering the thing is quite large and has little mechanical functionality. They should sell a wireless shutter remote for this phone if the grip has tripod mount.

    • Brent Meisner

      Camera grip accessory adds a 1000mAh battery and the thickness difference is enough to just bring it flush with the sensor protruding from the back. If you google “lumia 1020 accessories” you’ll find a few links with pics.

  • bigshynepo

    No SD card slot on a phone capable of taking such wonderful pictures….what a travesty. It would’ve been nice to see those pictures on a 1080p screen too…

    Would’ve been nice to see a greater overall spec increase but i’ll keep the 920 in the family for now.

    • Rich

      Absolutely, I can’t believe it, lol.

    • bblairt

      While I agree the no SD Card sucks the no 1080p screen isn’t Nokia’s fault.

      Phone 8 currently only supports 1280×768, 1280×720, 800×480. 1920×1080
      is expected to be added in the GDR3 update (as well as support for
      Quad-Core Snapdragons) which is coming later this year. GDR3 will be the
      last major update to Windows Phone 8 before the really major Windows
      Phone 8.1

      While some might worry about this Lumia 1020 only
      having dual-core I wouldn’t. I have an old Lumia 900 (single-core
      snapdragon at 1.4GHz) and I often race my iPhone and GS3 friends and win
      or tie. The OS really is snappy.

    • bigshynepo

      I remember reading about the GDR3 update, I thought this phone would be released with it. I hadn’t been following my 1020 news but I will say that the dual core will be sufficient as I have yet to experience any lag on my 920. I wish the WP interface would’ve launched sooner, I think people would really like it if they (and app developers) gave it a chance.

      Out of my android, BB10, and WP handsets, I enjoy navigating and using the Lumia the most. People should give this phone a chance if the Canadian launch price is 149 or less on a contract. The 920 is free on a contract right now.

    • Mythos88

      It would be nice but there are very few WP phones that support SD cards and not much interest in it either. Skydrive nearly negates the need for it.

    • hyperhyper

      Yeah but the 32GB internal storage goes a long way in offsetting that. 32GB should the standard for the upper tier phones.

  • Hilman in Edmonton

    No SD card is a fail (especially with this camera) not to mention the $300 price tag on US carriers, I don’t see this selling well…..

    • Brent Meisner

      It’s a 300$ price tag due to the 2 year term, not 3. Expect to see the same for all new android/iPhone devices in Canada as well due to the CRTC wireless code changes.

    • Hilman in Edmonton

      Time will tell but the S4 in the US on AT&T is $199 (16 GB/2 years) and is $229 on TELUS on a 3 year.

      The Q10 is $199 for a 2 year in the US and is also $199 in Canada but on a three year. Based on these prices, its likely that the Lumia 1020 will be $300 in Canada on a three year (or even more on a 2 year contract).

      This phone is $100 more on contract in the US which will turn off a lot of customers which is bad news for Nokia as they already have a tiny consumer base in the US, I see this phone being sold in small quantities as its a niche product. The reality is 99.9% of people don’t need a 41 megapixel sensor for their Facebook pics that has way too many pictures of their babies and pets lol.

    • Mythos88

      They are just grabbing an extra $100 from early adopters who will pay the price. It won’t stay at that price long.

  • Morgan Freeman Lookalike

    Slap android 4.2.2 on this and it’ll sell. Put WP8 on it and it’s already a failure. Wake up Nokia.

    • gwydionjhr

      Have you seen the numbers for LG and HTC? Entering that late in the game Nokia wouldn’t have stood a chance against Samsung. Nokia made the right choice going with WP8. Going forward “3 screens and a cloud” are going to more important than ever, and Windows 8 is going to be on a lot more devices that Chrome no matter how you look at it.

    • Dylan D’Croix

      Have you noticed that they are STILL selling more than Nokia? While their numbers are hurting (slightly) they are turning numbers way higher than Nokia.

      Not that I’m against Nokia.

    • pinilinilo

      Maybe you’re the failure. More Android users who woke up are switching to WP.

  • Ken K.

    Hardware wise, it’s impeccable. Software wise, it runs WP8 (with 3% marketshare). Sorry Nokia, put stock Android and this phone will be among the best in the market.

    • bigshynepo

      Market share aside, there is getting to be a better selection of apps on WP and if you’ve had a chance to play with one, it simple, fast and pleasing to the eye. I’m glad someone is trying something different than android, my android phone gets the least use of the 3. And my android tablet? I haven’t touched it in weeks. Each to their own but competition is never a bad thing.

    • Brent Meisner

      People keep using Market selection as an indicator of success, but of the 750k apps on the apple store, most are zombies. Quality over quantity. That being said, what WP8 really needs is the big dogs like official Instagram.

    • Deli

      I’m preetty sure they will. But the problem is that the stigma of a “dying company’ in Nokia is hard to reverse. But then again, Apple was thought to be king just 5 years ago. Competition is good!

    • pinilinilo

      Jealous? Nokia is already 6% marketshare and still moving needle. Android is nothing but a bloated piece of junk.

    • Ken K.

      no not jealous. Just want to point out Windows is doing so well that the whole company is undergoing massive reorganization.

      That being said, the camera is absolutely sick.

  • saqrkh

    All this makes me wonder if we’ll see a variant of the Lumia 1020 in the Fall housing better specs, e.g. quad-core CPU and 1080p screen… A refresh would be a good way to push to other carriers in U.S and abroad.

    • bblairt

      It’s very possible. Windows Phone 8 GDR3 (general distribution release 3) will add support for both these features in the coming months.

      I’d love to see a WP8 with a Snapdragon 600 or 800!

    • saqrkh

      Just saying, I think a phone with this camera deserves quad-core Snapdragon 800 (although it may not need it). I’m sure they can use that extra power to speed up the camera, or give it new features or even step-up the options available in the in-phone editing suite.

    • Dylan D’Croix

      I mean its possible, but for as long as Windows Phone (7 ++) has existed, its always been behind in leading technologies. One, mainly because it doesn’t need it. Nothing on the app store will ever require 4 cores of processing, the OS itself doesn’t handle multitasking to require 4 cores.

      Windows Phone just isn’t the top-tier spec phone OS.

      I mean if you’re looking for just specs, go for android. The problem is nothing really takes advantage of these specs, its all just big numbers in your face pushing you to buy. While companies like Apple (it kills me to say), and Microsoft (windows phone) focus on tweaking the OS to actually USE what it has, and performing well at it.

  • Benjamin Clay

    Can anyone point me to an equivalent smart camera (ie minus the phone)? Thanks

    • Brent Meisner

      Samsung Galaxy Camera would be my first guess.

    • Deli

      Would love to see how the new mirrorless Galaxy Camera performs.

  • deltatux

    As great as the camera may be, I don’t like the fact that the camera assembly protrudes out that much, I’d rather have a thinner protrusion or just get the Lumia 920 instead…

  • mrdeeds72

    Good luck to Bell getting this one…

  • Christopher Robert

    I can’t believe it doesn’t have a micro SD slot. How can you have a 41MP camera and not have the ability to add extra storage. I don’t even want to think about how fast you will fill up 32gb with that thing. Also 2000 mAh battery seems weak.

    • Henry

      Yes surprising. Seems logical for a sd card slot when you can store only 800 photos at max res.

    • Dylan D’Croix

      not sure if sarcasm or…

    • Henry

      Not sarcastic. It’s still a real nice device but since the camera is the driving feature here it should have expansion. Some people could chew through 800 photos in a couple days on outings like hiking, camping etc when you might not have any access to cloud storage.

    • Dylan D’Croix

      Okay yes I entirely agree, just didn’t want to seem like an a*s and explain something you already meant. :p

      Because that many pictures alone would fill the phone, not to mention apps, music, maps, etc.

    • Mythos88

      You must either have a feature phone or an Android phone without seamless cloud integration. A SD slot is a nice-to-have but it is just not that important for Windows Phones.

  • DGB23

    1st problem, WP8, second problem, screen too small, third problem, no sd card slot, 4th problem 2000mAh battery. Did anyone else catch that the 41MP camera cant actually take 41MP pictures? It’s essentially an average phone with a supposed great camera. Not exactly coming out strong IMO.

    • gwydionjhr

      1st Problem: You have no understanding of how oversampling works

    • DGB23

      Actually I do, I am going by what they stated. 38MP in a 4:3 format is the highest they state. By default the camera is a 5MP with pixel-binning and oversampling to make them look better.

    • Dylan D’Croix

      because thats not the camera’s purpose. its using the technology from the purview 808, getting an image that large, but then cropping it to your average size to reduce the download size.

      Its taking more in, on average, of a smaller area, giving you detail you would never have on a 8mp camera.

    • beyond

      2nd problem, get your facts straight before posting

      “The Lumia 1020’s optically stabilized 41MP image sensor that can snap 40MP
      and 5MP photos at the same time – one straight off the sensor and one after
      Nokia’s Super sampling has been applied. The other 41MP cameraphone – 808
      PureView can only shoot one or the other at a time.”

    • Deli

      I can agree with screen too small and sdcard slot but WP8 has its own merits and fan-base and the 2000mah may serve WP8 well.

  • Wet

    seeing as how I have the 920. Idk if I want to upgrade to this phone.

    • bblairt

      I’d wait it out for a true hardware successor. This is basically the 920, extra 1gb of ram, wireless charging removed (to make it slimmer but still a optional add on case), and a 41mp sensor with a better camera app.

      I’m currently using a 900 with WP7.8 which isn’t getting any more love, it may be time for me to upgrade.

  • kvwah

    Telus?!!! Telus?!!! Anyone home? Get with the Windows phones already!!!

  • Young Park

    pixel doesn’t matter that much. it’s just going to eat up storage……

    • Dylan D’Croix

      If you researched anything about the PureView technology behind this camera, you’d learn that it has nothing to do with the pixel count. It uses a huge image to then cut to your prefered image size, which benefits instead of using opitcal/digital zoom, its just a single image cropped. The actual image saved on your phone will be the smaller image.

    • Henry

      Apparently it does both..

      “The 41MP sensor can capture 34MP and 38MP image files at 16:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios respectively. In addition to the 38MP and 34MP full-resolution images, the Lumia 1020 camera captures 5MP oversampled images so that every pixel in the 5MP image has been created using the data from up to seven pixels of the sensor. The oversampling technology ensures that these 5MP images are incredibly sharp, natural and low noise. The best part is that the camera saves both the full resolution and oversampled image simultaneously. This is referred to as dual capture. It enables creative post-processing while still allowing users to share a
      high-quality small file size image straight after shoot.”

      straight from Nokia.

  • Dylan D’Croix

    This is the phone we have been waiting for, but it almost seems like its too late.

    I mean this is essentially the 920, with the pureview camera. The camera is amazing, yes, no doubt it will beat everything out there.

    The design, the technology behind it, its all the same as we’ve seen before though. Behind an os that developers just aren’t behind. I think thats the main reason I won’t be getting this phone, as much as I want that beautiful camera, the lack of app selection and quality just destroys what would be the best out there.

    • Dylan D’Croix

      Not that I don’t like Windows Phone, its that I wouldn’t find it as useful…

  • ElectricBee1

    Leave a message…Yay!!!

    • ElectricBee1

      Darn you wii u!!!

  • MalKuh

    GSMArena stated that there is apparently a variant that supports AWS frequencies. Fingers crossed for it to be out in Canada unlockable.

  • Jim Bros

    Are the people at NOKIA comatose?
    People who DO NOT want an SD CARD SLOT on their phone = ZERO
    People who DO = EVERYONE

  • Xfour00

    think that’s what he meant by “etc” lets face it europe is going into the dumps the uk is barely surviving being a banking hub and that’s going to be gone and they’ll have nothing left except royal tourism lol