Our favorite shots from a weekend with the Lumia 1020

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Reviewing the world’s biggest and baddest smartphones is an awesome job, but it can also be a stressful one. Often, the time between review and release is very short, requiring long hours and a little compromise when trying to deliver timely impressions. So it’s always a pleasure when, after the initial review but before the Empty Nest and After The Buzz phases, you get to settle in with a review device as your temporary daily driver. It’s during this time that the device’s personality solidifies, its assets and shortcomings becoming more defined. And, in the case of a smartphone like the Nokia Lumia 1020, it’s the post-review period that offers a chance at some great fun.

The Lumia 1020 is one of the most anticipated smartphones in recent memory, and possibly the most anticipated Windows Phone ever. As such, we gave the device a heaping helping of comparison time before subjecting it to the full-review treatment. The results of its head-to-head bouts with the Lumia 920, HTC One, and Samsung Galaxy S 4 are all available within the body of the full review, but as that piece went live at midnight on a Friday, you might’ve missed it. Here, then, for your convenience, is the video review documenting the single biggest reason you should care about this beastly behemoth.

 

That’s right: as smooth as the Windows Phone 8 software experience is, and as nice as that futuristic polycarbonate feels under a fingertip, that’s old-hat by now. The real reason for the existence of the Lumia 1020 is its 41-megapixel camera. It’s huge, it’s full of customizations, and most importantly: it lives up to the hype.

Two of us on the Pocketnow team were so taken with the 1020’s optical performance that we ran out to buy our very own on launch day. Taylor Martin and I discussed our buying experiences with fellow Lumia-toter Adam Doud on last week’s edition of the Pocketnow Weekly podcast, and then found ourselves facing a wide-open weekend of photographic opportunities. Opportunities untainted by the spectre of a looming review deadline, and therefore sweeter.

With no further ado, then, here are a handful of photos from a weekend with the Nokia Lumia 1020. From rural North Carolina to metro Boston, from automotive adulation to lakeside levity, these are our favorite 5MP snaps from the world’s finest cameraphone since the original PureView, with a couple raw 34+ MP shots thrown in for good measure. All can be clicked and expanded for your viewing comfort.

Northern Lights (Michael)

The adjustable shutter speed is still one of my favorite features to use with this device, as this shot of Boston's Red Line subway train demonstrates. Next up: learning how to use the flash to isolate a foreground subject with background blur.

The adjustable shutter speed is still one of my favorite features to use with this device, as this shot of Boston’s Red Line subway train demonstrates. Next up: learning how to use the flash to isolate a foreground subject with background blur.

 

My girlfriend snapped this one from the passenger side of a speeding car, capturing the puffy clouds, green grass, and fortuitously-placed accent color rarely found outside of stock Windows desktops.

My girlfriend snapped this one from the passenger side of a speeding car, capturing the puffy clouds, green grass, and fortuitously-placed accent color rarely found outside of stock Windows desktops.

 

Extreme closeup of a decades-old forerunner to today's mobile phones. I particularly like how visible the weathering is, and that the old-style phone number in the center can be made out with ease.

Extreme closeup of a decades-old forerunner to today’s mobile phones. I particularly like how visible the weathering is, and that the old-style phone number in the center can be made out with ease.

 

There are no shoes more fetching to a sailor's eye than Sperry Topsiders. Zoom in far enough on the laces and you can even make out the fuzzy signs of wear from ties and unties.

There are no shoes more fetching to a sailor’s eye than Sperry Topsiders. Zoom in far enough on the laces and you can even make out the fuzzy signs of wear from repeated ties and unties.

 

My roommate and I put our game faces on for a rousing contest of who can suck more at candlepin bowling. The raw version of this backlit image is considerably darker, making us appreciate the brightening effect of PureView's processing.

My roommate and I put our game faces on for a rousing contest of who can suck more at candlepin bowling. The raw version of this backlit image is considerably darker, making us appreciate the brightening effect of PureView’s processing.

 

(34MP sample) While other smartphones produced only a washed-out mess when aimed at this bulb, the 1020 was able to render every last twisted corner of filament - while still successfully rendering the ceiling beyond.

(34MP sample) While other smartphones produced only a washed-out mess when aimed at this bulb, the 1020 was able to render every last twisted corner of filament – while still successfully reproducing the dimmer ceiling beyond.

 

Southern Comfort (Taylor)

Casper's 1020_20130727_09_55_52_Pro

The defocusing in the foreground and background on this one is great.

 

Casper's 1020_20130727_16_06_42_Pro

I love the colors on this one, and I’m currently using this as my desktop wallpaper.

 

Casper's 1020_20130727_19_54_03_Pro__highres

This was taken in very low lighting, and the television turned blue just as I snapped the shot – very cool effect.

 

Casper's 1020_20130728_12_07_56_Pro

The level of detail on the GT86 logo on this one is impressive, especially on the original 34-megapixel file.

 

Casper's 1020_20130728_14_09_43_Pro

The bokeh on this one is great, too, and you can see the individual sweat droplets on my cousin’s nose.

 

Casper's 1020_20130727_16_08_11_Pro__highres

This is a full-res shot – 34-megapixels. The level of detail around the bolt is incredible.

 

We plan to continue snapping our way through the days with our respective 1020s -we each spent full retail price on them, after all- and we’ll be sharing more photos via Twitter, Facebook, and on our new Instagram account (so toss us a follow). What’s more: before it comes time to send our review unit back to AT&T, we’re going to have our trusted pro photographer Adam Lein capture some PureView photos of his own with the beastie, so stay tuned for that – and if you have PureView pictures of your own you’d like to share, we’d love to see them. Kick off a new thread in our brand-new forums, and while you’re at it, let us know what 1020 coverage you’d like to see as the weeks roll on!

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About The Author
Michael Fisher
Michael Fisher has followed the world of mobile technology for over ten years as hobbyist, retailer, and reviewer. A lengthy stint as a Sprint Nextel employee and a long-time devotion to webOS have cemented his love for the underdog platforms of the world. In addition to serving as Pocketnow's Reviews Editor, Michael is a stage, screen, and voice actor, as well as co-founder of a profitable YouTube-based business. He lives in Boston, MA.Read more about Michael Fisher!