The Microsoft/Nokia partnership is finally in full force with the Lumia 1020
If you’re currently using Windows Phone on a Nokia device, this article will probably not make much sense to you initially. Surely Nokia devices aren’t as popular as many Samsung Galaxy phones are, but they are the most popular Windows Phones, and that’s not necessarily because they’re well designed. Have you ever tried using Windows Phone on any other device that’s not a Lumia? Up to a couple of months ago, that was a sad story. Things are better now that Nokia has launched most of their unique features to other Windows Phones with the HERE apps bundle, but before that happened, the reality of other partners was weak.
So far, I’ve only used Windows Phone on non-Nokia devices, my first being the Dell Venue Pro, and then moving to the HTC Titan, and recently the HTC Windows Phone 8X. The main reason why is because all these phones had the characteristic of being unique when it came to their hardware offerings to the platform, since the Venue Pro included a QWERTY keyboard, the Titan was the biggest Windows Phone in its time, and the 8X was supposed to push the signature mentality to Windows Phone. Sadly, once I unboxed each of these and the entire buzz was gone, the hardware didn’t prove to be compelling enough for me to keep using any of these.
Nokia’s approach has always been different. They haven’t only made the most handsome Windows Phones in the market, but they’ve also made the Nokia experience evident with their software. It’s clear that Nokia has been the company that has invested the most in building on top of the platform, and that’s proven to be the success story for their Windows Phone popularity, even if it still is limited.
That said, even with pretty hardware and with enhanced software, the phrase that I’ve always heard Steve Ballmer say in each of his keynotes is that “Microsoft will provide the innovation in software and Nokia will add their innovation in hardware”. Surely we did see this to a great degree with the Lumia 920 last year since it included Optical Image Stabilization, aside from new display technology, and other features. Sadly, as popular as this phone has been, it clearly didn’t push the needle enough to create the Windows Phone awareness that Microsoft was betting on.
The Lumia 1020 changes this. Instead of having two companies working on differentiating a platform through software, we can now see how both companies pushed the hardware boundaries as well. Seriously, how many DSLR cameras use a 41-megapixel sensor? And yeah, I’m sure you can bring lossless zoom to any professional camera with the adequate lens, but I’m also sure you can buy at least five Lumia 1020s for the price of that lens alone, and you still won’t be able to make a phone call with the lens.
I’ll give you a clear example of why this hardware differentiation matters. When you see ads for an iPhone, you’ll never see Apple promoting iOS. Instead of focusing on the engine that runs the phone, they focus on showing you what you can do with the phone through specific features like the camera, or the huge app selection. In the case of the Lumia 1020, the camera innovation is so unique that the phone is no longer about the operating system it runs on, but about the phone itself. I know many of you will debate this, so here are my arguments as to why the partnership is truly evident with this innovation:
There should’ve been 41 Mega-excuses, and they delivered
One of the biggest demonstrations of a healthy partnership is the simple fact that this Lumia 1020 can run on Windows Phone 8. In our Pocketnow Live today, Taylor showed us that the chipset that powers that phone shouldn’t be able to actually push those 41 megapixels. Apparently the architecture isn’t ready for such graphics performance, and even though Stephen Elop wasn’t specific as to how Nokia pulled this off on a Windows Phone, it’s clear that they nailed it. Obviously we’re still a couple of months away from this phone to be launched, so this could most likely mean that the software isn’t really ready, but this also says a lot about the versatility of Windows Phone when needed.
The Lumia 1020 has 41 Mega-reasons
I know that there are some of you who feel that having a 41-megapixel camera is either a gimmick or just for a specific niche, but hey, then that would mean that the point-and-shoot camera market is just for a niche, right? My personal opinion is that the Lumia 1020 is the first Windows Phone that I’ve ever really wanted to buy. I love candid photography, and I love the ability to share it when it’s meaningful to me, and I guess that’s one of the biggest reasons why I currently use an iPhone 5. Yes, I know the Lumia 920 has a better camera than the iPhone 5, but the differences were never big enough for me to want to switch platforms for it. If I had to do this same comparison with the Lumia 1020, things change dramatically. The differences in the camera technology are just so insane that it makes me want to buy a 1020 just for the camera, and when faced with a price that matches an unlocked 16GB iPhone, or a carrier 32GB iPhone, things are even more compelling.
Yes, this phone is not as affordable as the Galaxy S 4, but would you really consider it fair that Samsung makes the same amount of money for a phone that’s less innovative? I’m not saying that I don’t wish Nokia would shed a Benjamin off the Lumia 1020, but I still feel that products that push the bar should also be priced to feel differentiated.
The bottom line
Those of you who’ve followed my editorials in the past, know that I’m not Microsoft’s or Windows Phone’s biggest fan. I always became irritated that press events were always about the “beautiful live tiles” and never about the unique things that Windows Phones could do, aside from stacking my Facebook and Twitter into one hub. Today I’ll admit I’ve changed my mind. The Lumia 1020 is the Windows Phone that I’ve been waiting for, ever since I was forced to leave my beloved HTC Touch Pro2 in a drawer almost four years ago.
As much as many of you have debated with me for years, this is the first Windows Phone in which I see true innovation. I’m not sure if it’ll be enough to actually place a significant dent in the market shares of its competitors, but it’s clearly an awesome “first step” in the right direction. Yeah, so it doesn’t have a 1080p display, or a replaceable battery, or expandable storage. Honestly, as much of a fan as I am of all three things, this phone makes me forget about those things. I’m tired of having to carry a separate camera to specific events where the bulk is an issue, and the fact that Nokia figured out how to keep this megapixel monster in a slim profile is just one of the reasons why I want one.
What about you? Is the Nokia Lumia 1020 your next phone? Do you see evolution in the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft here? Leave us a comment down bellow.