Nokia Lumia 1020 Review

8

Daniel Bader

October 30, 2013 3:18pm

I like Nokia. I don’t just mean as a company, but as an idea. A European enterprise continually trying to improve the design of both its flagship and less expensive products, Nokia continues to excel at creating objectively stunning hardware.

With the Lumia 1020, the company took its best technological innovation in years, PureView, and brought it to a modern mobile operating system. Microsoft’s glacial advancement of Windows Phone aside, there is no question that the Lumia 1020 is a compelling product: a 41MP camera affixed to a smartphone, promising some of the best photos and video ever seen on a mobile device.

Nokia Canada managed to convince two carriers to pick up its latest flagship, and hopes to convince Canadians who may be convinced Windows Phone isn’t for them to make the switch. But is the argument convincing? And is it worth your money? Let’s take a look.

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Specs

  • Windows Phone 8 GDR2
  • 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 SoC w/ Adreno 225 GPU
  • 4.5-inch 1280×768 pixel ClearBlack AMOLED display
  • 2GB RAM / 32GB internal storage
  • 41MP rear camera (PureView w/ 5MP shots), Xenon flash
  • 1.2MP front camera
  • 2000mAh non-removable battery
  • WiFi (b/g/n/a), Bluetooth 3.0, A-GPS, NFC, Wireless Charging (via adapter)
  • 130.4mm x 71.4mm x 10.4mm
  • 158 grams
  • HSPA+ 850/900/1700/1900/2100Mhz | LTE 1700/2100Mhz (up to 100Mbps)

nokialumia1020review-17

Design & Display

The smooth yellow curves of the Lumia 1020 remind me of the updated Volkswagen Beetle, the one released in the late 90’s to sporadic acclaim and a few cocked eyebrows. It’s a big phone, but certainly not oversized in today’s age of 6-inch Androids — wait for the Lumia 1520 to make that assertion — and the rounded contours fit nicely in the hand.

Like the Lumia 920, for which Rogers was the exclusive partner in Canada, the Lumia 1020 has an unmistakeable polycarbonate feel, a matte texture that extends throughout the surface of the phone. One feels like he’s holding a sculpture, not a smartphone. It does not feel precious, but one continuous curved extension of the hand. I said the same thing about the Lumia 920, but Nokia has invited its customers to truly gawk at this design language, this industrial precision. Apple is the only other company making phones that look this good.

From the front, the phone is practically indistinguishable from its immediate predecessor, but turning it over reveals the 1/1.5-inch 41MP camera sensor, f/2.2 lens and Xenon flash that promises the best photography experience on a smartphone today. As we’ll get to later, I have some reservations in saying that, but it’s true the results are the best, the experience not quite so.

The 4.5-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display is good, with vivid but accurate colours, impressive viewing angles, excellent touch response (even with gloves on) and whites that appear true, not blue. The screen responds quickly and Windows Phone 8 looks wonderful on the display.

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Being AMOLED, it also allows for Glance Screen, Nokia’s new always-on clock feature that allows for double-tapping the surface to access the lock screen.

There were times I wished the phone was narrower and shorter; the display extends only 80% down the chassis, making it occasionally awkward to type when the keyboard rides up above a menu icon, for instance. I had the same issue with the Lumia 920 but quickly grew used to it, as I did on this phone.

The right side of the device contains all the relevant buttons, each black as night and beautifully calibrated. The camera shutter contains two steps, one for focusing and the other for activating the shutter, and it is one of the most responsive and perfectly-weighted I’ve used on a smartphone, bested only by the camera grip add-on for the Lumia 1020 itself.

Holding the phone is relatively comfortable, though it does take some time to learn that the best place for the index finger is resting underneath the nub of the camera module. Once there, you find that the module extends just far enough to balance the device on a single digit, and it comes in handy when engaging the phone with one hand.

The camera module itself is large, and prevents the phone from sitting flat on a table, but it’s also much less conspicuous that I’d have thought such a thing could be. In truth, the extra girth — and the phone only extends to 10.4mm at its thickest — is well worth the stunning photo and video results.

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Performance & Software

While Windows Phone 8 GDR2 is pre-installed on the Lumia 1020, the phone arrives at a time when Apple and Google are at the height of their respective mobile development cycles, and Microsoft appears to be falling farther and farther behind.

Windows Phone 8 is a perfectly usable operating system with some impressive features and a few great apps. The recent announcement of Instagram, along with Vine, Flipboard and many an A-list game title, proves that Microsoft’s fortunes are looking up. But these days, it’s less the app gap than the actual limitations of the OS that prove to make full-time use, at least for me, difficult. The reliance on Microsoft’s own services would be fine if there were decent alternatives, but if you’re not entrenched in the world of Office, SkyDrive, Skype or Outlook, things are going to be very, very frustrating.

Moreover, many of the great apps on other platforms languish on Windows Phone. While Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp, Rdio, Evernote and many others offer versions of their services, they are often half-baked and without the newer features their iOS and Android counterparts boast. And, seriously, my kingdom for a reliable cross-platform messaging app on Windows Phone. WhatsApp appears to be the only company, aside from Microsoft’s own Skype, regularly updating its Windows Phone version, but I still find notifications to be less than reliable.

I am an unabashed fan and user of the Google ecosystem, and many such users are going to find themselves in frustrating and often untenable positions when migrating over to Windows Phone.

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Basic Google services like Gmail are disadvantaged due to deprecation of Exchange Activesync for the email service. Native versions of Google Maps, Drive, Google+, and Hangouts — even YouTube — don’t exist, and likely never will.

Leaving all these issues aside for a moment, the basic Windows Phone workflow, with its reliance on toast messages and live tiles to convey notifications, just don’t work for me. Everything that happens on the OS feels ephemeral, and you as a user are relied upon maintain your homescreen in such a way that incoming content will not be missed in the chaos. While a notification centre has been rumoured for Windows Phone Blue, the next major version of the OS, it won’t be available for at least six months.

Nokia has done a great job not only building its own alternatives to the apps Google users rely on, from mapping with its HERE platform to its suite of excellent camera apps. But it is limited by the inherently flawed makeup of Windows Phone as a platform.

The OS that was once praised for its simplicity is now denounced for the same trait; iOS and even Android have been equally simplified, but are far more powerful. Even BlackBerry 10 feels more modern than Windows Phone. Nokia has modified what it can to suit its needs, and has extended the operating system’s functionality as far as it will go in its current form. But there is no question that the deserted apps — not just the missing ones, but those present that haven’t seen an update in months or even years — and the nearby-but-not-quite-here promise of a “unified” development platform with Windows RT, separates the OS even further from its peers. Microsoft won’t let it flounder, and there are some very good ideas contained with WP8, but the very features that were promoted as advantages — built-in Facebook and Twitter integration; Bing from anywhere via the hardware search button — are vestiges of an older time. Users want apps that work well and keep up with their counterparts on other platforms. And don’t get me started on Internet Explorer, which is treated by so many websites as a second-class citizen, and has very limited HTML5 support.

Don’t get me wrong: I like Windows Phone, I really, really do. It is fast and easy to grasp, and it does most things relatively well. If you’re already embedded within the Windows ecosystem, using Outlook and SkyDrive and Skype and Xbox Music and Bing (?), it will likely work for you, and you may even come to love it. Microsoft almost has it: Windows Phone 8 is one major update away from being great. They just have to make it happen, and soon.

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Camera

Let’s be real: you’re buying this phone for its camera. You may like Windows Phone, and Nokia may be your go-to OEM, but it’s the 41MP PureView camera that justifies the purchase.

TELUS and Rogers are rightfully marketing this as a digital SLR replacement, and while I wouldn’t go that far, it’s a far better choice for many users than a WiFi- or Android-connected point-and-shoot, and certainly cheaper than Samsung’s $1600 Galaxy NX.

At its most basic level, the Lumia 1020 uses its 1/1.5-inch 41MP sensor to take extremely sharp 5MP shots. It does this using a method called interpolation, which combines several pixels together at a point to produce reasonably-sized photos of much greater detail and clarity. The larger sensor also captures much more light than the average phone camera, and combined with hardware-level optical image stabilization makes for some of the best low-light results I’ve ever seen from a smartphone.

To perform these miracles, Nokia shipped the device with two main camera apps, Nokia Pro Cam and Nokia Smart Cam. Since Nokia World on October 22nd, those two apps have been combined into a single piece of software called Nokia Camera, which performs many of the same functions, and still facilitates manual controls, but from a single vantage point. It’s a huge improvement and I’m actually quite happy that this review written after the change took place (even if it took longer to finish, sorry).

Nokia set up the hardware shutter button to launch the updated camera app, even when the phone is off, giving users quick access to a quick shot wherever they are. Even in Auto mode, the Lumia 1020 takes eye-opening photos, with near-perfect sharpness and colours that look better than even the AMOLED screen can convey. While an add-on is coming in the next few months to allow the device to capture RAW photos, at this point users have the option of taking 5MP+38MP photos (the former accessible on the device; the latter only when transferred to a computer) or just 5MP shots. As stated above, even these relatively small-sized shots are full of liveliness, with a feel far closer to a high-end point-and-shoot than even the most capable of smartphones from other OEMs.

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But the high quality is not the only reason to celebrate the imaging experience on the Lumia 1020. Nokia has put a lot of work into making it pro-friendly, giving users the option of changing light sensitivity (ISO), white balance (frame of reference for light source such as “sun” or “cloud”), shutter speed (length of time the lens is opened and closed), exposure (manual increase or decrease in light) and focus (auto or manual). With the optional camera grip/battery mount accessory, the Lumia 1020 can be affixed to a tripod, proving a base for longer exposures and more accurate bracketing.

Once you’ve lined up the perfect shot, it’s time to hold down the shutter. Unlike some phones like the iPhone or Galaxy, it’s not possible to snap multiple shots quickly with the Lumia 1020. This can be forgiven, as the phone is capturing and processing a lot of data, but each photo takes up to five seconds to save to storage. There are ways around this, though: now incorporated into Nokia Camera, Smart Cam is a truly remarkable experience.

Smart Cam captures a number of photos at once, and uses a vertical swipe to switch between modes. There’s Best Shot, which lets you swipe through the series to find your favourite; Action Shot shows a customizable composite of all the photos, and lets you create a weird and often illuminating action mashups; Motion Focus uses software to artificially put the focus on one or more objects that the Lumia extracts from the series of photos; Change Faces and Remove Moving Objects are self-explanatory and less useful.

The additions to Smart Cam, and the photo-centric apps outside Nokia’s main apps like Creative Studio, Panorama, and Cinemagraph, don’t feel tacked-on. While each takes some practice to perfect, taken together they represent far more than just gimmicks, but the best first-party implementation of a smartphone camera sensor in existence today. What you’d find in 10 disparate apps on the App Store, and to a lesser extent bundled within Samsung’s Android camera app, Nokia has managed to built themselves while maintaining the integrity of the whole.

Not all is rosy in the land of PureView. Due to the rather wide f/2.2 aperture, the Lumia 1020 does not focus very closely, making it difficult to frame great macro shots. Similarly, it struggled with the dynamic range of, say, a blue sky framed against a dark building. These issues are not unique to PureView, but I was disappointed that such advanced optics did not solve the issue on its own. Of course, with apps like Creative Studio, it’s possible to tweak photos after the fact, and Nokia provides a good suite of tools to do so.

In terms of video capture, the Lumia 1020 captures it in a number of ways, including 1080@30fps, 1080@24, 720@30 and 720@24. Unfortunately, there is no high-frame mode, something I believe is a limitation of the Snapdragon processor, not the optics. Still, video capture is incredible; the optical image stabilization makes for some of the best results I’ve ever seen from a phone, if not the best. Audio also sounds full and rich from the Lumia. While the upcoming Lumia 1520 uses four microphones to capture 360-degree audio, the 1020’s dual-mic setup is just fine, and prevents loud sound, like that of a concert, to be blown out and distorted.

The Lumia 1020 is quite simply the best smartphone on which to capture photos, video and audio. It isn’t the fastest piece of technology, and I wish there were more options for video capture, but this just portents good things for the future. As far as I’m concerned, though, this is a camera with a smartphone strapped to the back, not the other way around.

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Battery Life & Connectivity

As it uses an earlier Snapdragon S4 SoC, now nearly two years old, the Lumia 1020 suffers from “last generation-ness.” Not only are LTE speeds limited to 75Mbps in the downlink, but I found battery life to suffer proportionately to the newer iPhones and Android devices on the market.

Granted, the 2000mAh battery cell is comparatively small in today’s market, but I rarely found the phone to last through the day. Usually I had to top up by 4 or 5pm, which is in the lower end of the spectrum these days.

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Of course, one of the better additions to your arsenal is the $70 Camera Grip, which adds a larger, two-step shutter and the aforementioned tripod mount, along with an extra 1020mAh of juice for the battery. If you’re going to take shooting seriously on this phone, it’s worth the extra money. Another lower charging friction is the $40 wireless charging backing. It’s a thin plastic shell that snaps on to the back of the phone and lets you use an existing Qi-enabled wireless charger, including the one that was sold in conjunction with the Lumia 920 a year ago.

Ultimately, though, the middling battery life was the only drawback to using this device as a daily driver; calls were solid over the Rogers network (it’s also available on TELUS) and the single bottom-facing speaker was full-sounding when listening to music or engaging the speakerphone.

It’s also worth noting that the Lumia 1020 comes with 32GB of internal storage, which is perfect for all those photos and videos, but Microsoft emphasizes the ease at which users can upload their files to SkyDrive, which had admittedly been improved over the last few iterations.

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Final Thoughts

The Lumia 1020 is simultaneously projected forward by Nokia and held back by Microsoft. The former is at the peak of its design game, but as it moves into Microsoft’s headquarters it needs to do for Microsoft’s software what it has managed to do for its hardware. I just can’t rely on Windows Phone to get the job done. Whether it’s delayed notifications from Facebook, or sites rendered poorly in Internet Explorer, there are just too many problems with the OS in its current state. Nokia has done all it can — a tremendous amount, considering the hole Windows Phone would be in without Nokia’s considerable app contributions and brand parterships — but it’s not enough to provide a better experience than iOS or Android.

I have faith that Microsoft can make it right, but even in its current iteration the Lumia 1020 is a remarkably capable alternative to a dedicated camera. It doesn’t do everything well — macro shots aren’t great, and the phone takes too long to process images — but the list of pros is far longer than its cons.

Available in black and yellow variants from both TELUS and Rogers, the Lumia 1020 currently costs $199 on a 2-year contract. It is $599 outright at Rogers and $700 outright at TELUS.

8

Final Score

8.5

Design

7

Software

7.8

Display

8

Performance

9.5

Build Quality

9.8

Camera

8

Connectivity

7

Battery Life

  • Gabriel Mak

    Weird. Someone told me the screen was better than the note 3.

    • Hilman in Edmonton

      Did they have a white cane?

    • jellmoo

      Might they have been talking about the yet to be released 1520 instead? Part of the marketing campaign for that device is a direct comparison to the screen of the Note 3.

  • fc000

    Sounds like the battery hasn’t gone through a few cycles yet. I had a similar issue the first day using my 1020, now it makes it to about 55% by the time I’m plugging it into the charger after a day. With lots of photos and uploading, the lowest I’ve ever had it drop to was 25%.

    • Jeeverz

      Should I let it fully drain and then charge it? I have just been topping it off and I am getting pretty poor battery life

    • Goran Mihajlović

      Perhaps for a few days. Li-ion batteries aren’t meant to be fully discharged regularly. You should try to keep to at least 40% if possible, and fully discharge once or twice a month.

    • Jeeverz

      Thanks!

    • disqusmy

      How does it compare to your other phone with same usage?
      Last longer or shorter?

  • Eric Sylvain

    What do you mean with “Back button behaviour unreliable”? Also, the battery life can usually be improved when minimizing the number of background tasks – not sure whether you tried that.

    I’m also curious about the display score – I know it isn’t 1080p, but in my opinion, I thought it seemed to be pretty exceptional for an AMOLED.

    Otherwise, nice review.

    • Senseless

      I suppose you are going to suggest turning off the phone when not in use too? Seriously, this day in age, apps are constantly running in the background of phones, whether with android or apple phones. We can only base the battery comparison on similar usage, as you would normally use with other phones…

    • Eric Sylvain

      Haha, well I guess it’s pretty clear you don’t know how Windows Phone works. Apps that you’d see in the multitask screen aren’t running – they’re in a paused state.

      I’m talking about the actual background tasks – ones that run in the background to update tiles, show toast notifications, play music and whatever else. Often there are apps that turn on background tasks without notifying you, and whether or not they’re useless to you, they will still drain your battery as they do their work in the background.

      A good example of this is Nokia Drive. By default it runs in the background just to keep it as up-to-date as possible on your location and the route you need to take. Most people find this useless since people usually use Nokia Drive while driving…and chances are, you aren’t going to be going to different apps, turning off the screen, or whatever else. So turning off the background task will save battery.

      To clarify a bit further – in settings you can see every single app that has background tasks that are registered, and you can choose to enable of disable any of them as you please.

    • Senseless

      And I suppose android/iOS don’t have these background apps running in the background? They don’t have notification systems? They don’t have Location access services? They don’t run email notifications? I would bet that iOS and android have far more background processes than WP8 (I am just making an educated guess based on the capabilities of these systems, and and shear amount of apps that available to both systems).

      The reality is that the Lumia 1020 is fitted with an inadequate battery, whether you look at it as a spec (which is not I like to look at), or from a software perspective. It’s true that you can turn off some of the background services, as you can with iOS or android. But I am sure the review was based on very limited tweeking of the phone (ie. factory condition). That is the only fair way to compare these phones.

    • Eric Sylvain

      I think you’re looking at it from the wrong perspective. For any given reviewer, if they’re doing a review on a phone from their platform of choice, they tend to know all the ins and outs of the apps and the OS. Along with that, they will pretty much always look into issues that they find, especially ones concerning the battery. On top of this – there are things that simply become a habit. With Android, it’s closing apps in the multitasker that you know take up ridiculous amounts of battery when in the background. With Windows Phone, if your battery is performing unusually bad, you tend to just check the background tasks and disable the one or two that you don’t want. (And don’t try to pretend like this is only something an experienced user will do with Windows Phone – my mom figured out how to do this on her own).

      So, exactly as you stated – this is done with very limited “tweeking” of the phone. It all depends on experience – and I’m going to assume this reviewer simply didn’t think to look at the background tasks out of inexperience.

    • Nadefrenzy

      No back button on browser.

      If you minimize to home screen, return to the app and then press back, it takes you to the home screen again. Pretty idiotic really.

    • Eric Sylvain

      Ahh, true. I forgot about that – I’m not sure what they were thinking when they implemented the navigation with IE…it’s pretty bad in general. I don’t use the browser much on my phone anyways, but that part might be half the reason why.
      At least it works mostly as expected when you don’t go to another app or the home screen. But still, pretty annoying.

    • Raagi Pandya

      Uhh… what are you talking about?

      In IE browsing. Click home to go home. Click email to view emails.
      Click back (goes home) back (goes to IE).
      If I click back again it goes back in the browser.
      What do you expect it to do?

    • Nadefrenzy

      Try going from browser to home and then to browser again.. if you press back, it goes back to the metro screen.

  • Vineet Sharma

    Great Review…
    Good Product..
    Nokia + Windows = No, Thank you!
    Nokia + Android = Yes, Please!!! (Which will never gonna happen)

    • WP74Life

      You’re fat and you have no taste.

    • Amparipaa

      Nokia + Android = AH HELL NAWH!
      Nokia + Windows = fine to me, but still room for improvement
      Nokia + Ubuntu = SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!

      unfortunately nokia had to get bought out by microsoft, leaving a great Finnish institution dead.

  • Nakilio

    Hum.. You might want to correct your Specs…

    The OS is Windows Phone 8 GDR2 not Windows 8.1 GDR2…

    • Keegan

      I *think* GDR2 and WP8.1 are seen as equivalent

    • Eric Sylvain

      They most definitely are not. 8.1 comes after GDR3. Think of 8.1 as GDR4.

    • iPlunks

      you are incorrect

    • Keegan

      Ok guys, I made a mistake you can all stop the PMs now…

  • TomsDisqusted

    “I like Nokia. I don’t just mean as a company, but as an idea. A European enterprise…”

    So did I. I even wrote code for both their symbian and their Maemo platforms. But that Nokia is gone (there is little doubt that the acquisition will go through).

    And while that won’t stop them creating great hardware, it should stop us from romanticising a company that is effectively gone. Very sad.

  • uln

    * The camera grip does not add a two step shutter. The phone already have a two step shutter, something that no other phones have.

    * If you use the phone’s zoom function at minimal focusing distance, the reproduction ratio for macro is about the same as other phones.

    * messaging isn’t that bad. Line, wechat, viber all available on the OS. the Vine and Instagram client is actually very very good.

    * Full(ish) office support out of the box, actually better than Android and iOS. You don’t need to be deep in to the MS system to use Word, Excel or PP.

    Source: phone in my hand.

    • neodoru

      I was thinking the same thing about the macro (and I’ll try tonight if I get the phone), but since the zoom is digital, you don’t get the same bokeh (I guess).

    • robinottawa

      This is not digital zoom. This is zoom, just not optical. When not zoomed in, you resample the sensors pixels. When zoomed in, you just use the central pixels for 5mp shots. No digital zooming done.

      Have a look at Flickr for great bokeh with the 1020.

  • Billy

    My next phone will be a Nokia.

  • neodoru

    I’ll give it a shot. I’m a bit disappointed that google is douchey and doesn’t release any app for WP. Also where are the banking apps? I’ve been waiting for Rbc for ages.

    • neodoru

      unfortunately I’m with RBC and their mobile version is the ancient wap one (they have a modern version as well, but that doesn’t work with WP).
      I can only hope that the new lumias will push these jokers to make some decent apps for WP!

  • jellmoo

    A pretty fair review over all. I would personally bump up the design score a smidge (it really is an attractive device) and the software score (coming with Office, and the Micorosft/Nokia equivalents of the Google products are really quite good).

    The battery is the big disappointment though. I would have preferred a larger battery, even if it made the device bulkier.

    • thomas nguyen

      hard to say, personally i dont like it, but of course it is all up to personal opinion, i can see where the design is unique and would look interesting compared to the bland standard looking phones in the market now

    • jellmoo

      I think that’s one of the inherent problems with having a “Design” category. It’s almost purely opinion. The other categories can be measured in some ways, but Design is a very personal one.

    • Keegan

      If anything, I think the display should be upped for the super sensitive option.

    • Nadefrenzy

      720p in a world of 1080p and heck even 1440p. Good luck with that.

    • Amparipaa

      1080p vs 720p at 4.5″ would only be a marginal noticeable improvement… 1080p vs 1440p at anything 6″ or lower is just pointless. no one will be able to tell the two displays apart!

    • Nadefrenzy

      720p on note 2 vs 1080p on note 3 with only a 0.2″ size difference, the difference in screen clarity and sharpness is huge.

    • Amparipaa

      well the note 2 is 720p at 5.5″, well below the pixel density of, say, the retina display on the iphone, so the difference would be night and day, just like comparing a Note 2 to the HTC 8X (8X is silky sharp, at 341ppi, which is just about at the “retina ceiling”, the note 2 is not even at 270ppi – but i doubt i’d be able to tell the difference without them being side-by-side)

      but a note 4 at, say, 550ppi vs the note 3…. that i guarantee will be zero difference in sharpness. hell, compare the note 3 with the S4. both look just as sharp, don’t they?

    • Nadefrenzy

      Of course, but there are also improvements besides the resolution that are not very common unless there’s a big spec bump on the res. Sure if they can make a similar res screen with many other improvements then yes i’m all for that too.

    • oz

      How was this a fair review at all? He basically said he only used Google services and didn’t seem willing to try out the Microsoft/Nokia offerings that offered that functionality. I mean it’s not like MS Office apps in WP are second rate apps or that Nokia Here Maps/Drive can’t hold its own to Google Maps. It’s not like Google is ever going to put these services on WP. It’s kinda of like a Guy entrenched in Canon DSLRs, reviewing a Nikon, complaining he can’t use his Canon Lenses on his Nikon and dismissing the features found on said Nikon that are better then withing his Canon system. Also, many of the big apps like FB and Twitter are actually more advanced then their Android or iOS counterparts.

  • Harold Mitchell

    Going to hold out for the 1520.

  • Mythos88

    During your smear of Windows Phone you could have appeared more balanced by mentioning its biggest strengths over Android. It is spyware/malware free; more stable; MS doesn’t email your personal details to developers when you buy an app; it dos not have CarrierID and carrier bloatware can be uninstalled in seconds. Though WP does need to address some missing features but not nearly as bad as Google needs to address the rampant spyware/malware running amok on Android.

    • Nadefrenzy

      CarrierID is history. My Note 3 is quite stable. So I’m not sure how you can really claim that WP is more stable.

      Carrier bloatware as well as built-in native software crap can be easily uninstalled or frozen with Android phones too.

      Go read up on that statistic at phonearena titled “Google says less than .001% of Android malware evades Google Play security to cause harm”.

    • realitycheck

      what about the bbm fiasco last month? bbm’s fault?

    • Nadefrenzy

      Yup.

    • Mythos88

      I don’t know where you got the idea that CarrierID is history because it is not. Trendmirco classifies 30% of apps on Android as spyware/malware.

    • Nadefrenzy

      Google claims that 99.3% of malwares/viruses are cleared thanks to the playstore scanner so I don’t know.

  • Joseph Hailu

    I think the knock on the battery is a bit more to do with the apps. Not too big on ‘scores’, but the software score should be lower and the battery higher. Other things I found interesting was that the music player controls are lacking simple things like a repeat song button, you can’t create playlists on the phone easily, and trying to move the cursor to add a spacebetween words is a bit tricky. All in all it is a beautiful device, macro shots require you not use the auto mode and press the focus button(who knew, huh?) I was taken aback by the night shots especially the flash is truly impressive even in near pitch black conditions. The Facebook app is unreliable and too shoddy, but there are some great apps and alternatives. Coming from windows 6.1 to this I am still on cloud 9 but it is curious to see what features my Samdung Omnia had (more like a pocket PC, also had a 2step shutter) that Microsoft has chosen to leave out now. Just my random opinion.

    • Joseph Hailu

      You are right. Guess I should be using the stock music app over the Nokia one, strange thing to forget for a music player.

  • Abez316

    I wish I liked WP, I tried but Android is just what works for me. I really do like Nokia though and there designs. Too bad about the battery though.

  • Seppo

    I got my Lumia 1020 two weeks ago. Great phone, and the camera is phenomenal. Particularly video, and outdoor photography. Indoors the images are very sharp, but sometimes too yellowish. The solution is to manually disable flash and/or change white balance to incandescent light. Since the camera has real OIS, the images look good even w/o flash.

    The OS and app situation is a non-issue for me. I like WP, very easy to use, nice and colorful, and easy to administer.

    Battery life was an issue the first week, but since then I rarely run below 50% during the day. Clearly something changed after a few days usage.

    Datasense is a great app (integrated to the OS). It monitors your data usage, and automatically will conserve bandwidth when you start to reach your monthly quota.

    All in all I am very happy with the phone. It does exactly what I wanted, combining two devices in to one (a point-and-shoot camera and nice smartphone).

  • thedosbox

    Heh, refreshing to see a lack of accusations about a biased review and low score. Perhaps because Windows Phone owners are more mature than the hardcore Apple or Android owners who comment on blogs?

  • Petra

    A lot of people seem intent on punishing Microsoft for mistakes it made 10-15 years ago- what amounts to the late Triassic period in terms of technology. Google, for example, has pulled the Windows Phone YouTube app repeatedly for B.S. reasons. It wouldn’t surprise me if more shenanigans like that were behind the lack of Google apps that the reviewer laments. Google can do this because they’re at the top of their game and they have the weight to throw around- just like Microsoft did back then. Funny how they’ve become the thing they always hated.

    • Nicolas V.

      Pretty much exactly what I was gonna write regarding the lack of YouTube and google apps on WP. The platform and MS are not the one to blame for that, far from it actually.

  • AReid

    If I was a PC user, this would be on my short list.

  • Akaz1976

    What is that weather app in the final shot in the article?

  • GQDRU

    This is one of the most biased reviews I have ever read. As someone has phones running on all mobile OS platforms, the Lumia 1020 is by far my favorite device. The build quality, buttery smooth feel of the OS, the stunning curved edge gorilla glass and mind blowing camera. What exactly is there not to love about this device? Is it the lack of Windows Phone 8 Apps? There are no lack of apps. Instagram, Flipboard, Vine are all on the way.

    • Stylinred

      Im an 808 pureview owner and a longtime Nokia supporter. I have 4 main gripes with this device
      1. the battery dies fast especially if you’re using the Xenon flash with the 808 pureview which is great on battery when you’re using that Xenon flash it drains but at least the battery is removable (so i can use my spare from my N8)

      2. no microsd (especially when RAW support comes 40mb .dng files will fill the phone fast) When I go on vacation or go out for a day I snap a lot a lot of pics with my 808 pureview and I can fill my 64gb microsd + my phones memory up fast and filling up the 1020 will be even faster due to the lack of space and the RAW image files

      3. the 1020s camera while packing a punch against the competition is far from ideal especially when compared to my 808 pureview (its better).
      Ignoring the 808 pureview though since most won’t care to use it.
      The 1020 has little to no detail on the edges of the images making a landscape image pointless and somewhat mindboggling given the sensor.
      There is shutter roll (stretchy warped images) due to the lack of a mechanical shutter but somewhat alleviated by Nokia through software algorithms since the prototype 1020.
      There’s no ND filter (not a concern for most but coming from a previous nokia camera device there is one)
      There is an excessive amount of sharpening and saturation applied again for a mobile phone user not a concern but for someone that wants a camera thats also a smartphone that is one
      Slow image taking when taking full resolution images. takes around 4 seconds for the 1020 to save a photo at full resolution
      There are still several features/options in terms of image settings unavailable under Lumia due to Windows Phone constraints that are readily available under Symbian/Android/iOS

      4. Windows Phone, its still a very lacking OS and Im not speaking about apps but in terms of settings/features/customization, This may not be a concern for everyone as OS choices if very much a personal opinion but for me Windows Phone is still very much lacking

      That isn’t to say Im not wiling to give Windows Phone a shot, I have a Lumia 920 But I wasn’t a fan so I gave it to my dad and while he uses it, he doesn’t like it either and keeps insinuating that he would like something else

  • Mark C

    Lol 1020 pls go. No one is paying attention to you after the N5 leaks/announcement.

  • Tiago

    it would be amazing if one day Google uses Nokia as their manufacturer , prolly do Nokia a lot of good as well

  • Nadefrenzy

    Or he could just go with Android and get the option of a native app instead. Remember people. Always COMPARE options. Don’t just make excuses to live and struggle with your purchases.

    • neodoru

      I’m not making up excuses and struggle with my purchase, I know exactly what I’m purchasing and in this case the camera is far more important for me than some $hitty bank (app). I’ve just switched from android and I’ll probably go back in a few months, but for now, lumia 1020 is exactly what I want.

    • Nadefrenzy

      Well cool. To each their own then.

  • Nadefrenzy

    Nope. Just use Android instead.

  • Nadefrenzy

    Except.. you don’t watch tv from 10-15 inches away. It’s usually a couple of feet/metres.

    At normal viewing distance (for phones), the difference between 720p and 1080p is easily discernible especially for big screen devices.

  • wrc

    “The reliance on Microsoft’s own services would be fine if there were decent alternatives, but if you’re not entrenched in the world of Office, SkyDrive, Skype or Outlook, things are going to be very, very frustrating.”

    Hi Daniel, Office, Outlook and Skype are the de facto productivity applications in each of its respective categories. If you can’t be productive with Office, Outlook, Skype or Outlook then the PROBLEM is YOU not the phone’s fault.

  • Gianfranco Minnella

    Love the phone but the battery life sux a*s….. Takes amazing pix

  • Raagi Pandya

    Frankly I’m not sure why you bothered doing this review.

    At least you had the decency to state your bias – but why did you bother doing this review then? If I reviewed an android phone based on using Microsoft services I’d hate it – and would be called out on it, and rightly so.

    The tired app gap statement just shows that you don’t have a clue about the WP app ecosystem. Pretty much every major app is there, and just like android & iOS the 3rd party apps are typically much better than the first party apps. WP’s various youtube & instagram apps are the best I’ve ever used on any platform.
    99% of the apps on every app stores are complete junk. Android has the worst, most garbage filled-malware infested ecosystem – and you think this is good?

    WP’s integrated services of Here Maps, Drive, Skydrive, Office, OneNote and Skype are WAY better than any other device.
    If you aren’t using these WTF are you doing? Seriously why did you bother doing this review?

    Please get someone who knows the WP ecosystem to do reviews of Windows phones, otherwise what’s the point – this just makes you look like a fool.

  • MSCCAG

    Cool and lovely camera cap attached the leather case for lumia 1020, the cap can turn 360 degrees,it is anti-dirt and scratch, easy to clear and also to be a shockproof protector.source from gadget2us