What Pocketnow Editors think of the Lumia 1020

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The Lumia 1020 continues to be one of the most talked about phones, despite the handful of newer phones being announced and made official. Its camera puts the phone on a pedestal and in a league of its own. We’ve reviewed it, we’ve written about it, and we’ve shot various videos on it. We’re also in the process of comparing the two 41-megapixel smartphone cameras against one another in an in-depth camera comparison.

But after a few weeks of several Pocketnow editors carrying the Lumia 1020 as a personal phone, how do we feel about it, individually? Below are the thoughts of Adam Lein, Brandon, Michael, and myself.

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Adam Lein

Senior Editor

I’ve been using the Lumia 1020 for a little more than a week and I’ve been extremely impressed. The fast, stable, unique, feature-rich Windows Phone operating system is exactly what Nokia’s fantastic hardware and ground-breaking camera technology needed. Of course, the camera is the most impressive part of the Lumia 1020. The 41 megapixel sensor gives you lots of room for creative cropping without losing too much detail and still creates incredible photos. Yes, it degrades image quality the further you zoom, but having the flexibility to recompose an image after shooting and still having enough resolution for gorgeous photo sharing is a huge luxury for smartphone photography.

While the Lumia 1020 does greatly reduce many of the limitations generally associated with smartphone photography, it still has a few limitations that could use improvement. Processing speed for both a 38 Mp and 5 Mp image is one issue. It takes quite a long time to save those images before you can take another photo. Launching the camera software can be a bit slow as well. As a photographer, I’d want everything to happen instantly. Though it’s certainly understandable that processing such a large file would take some time.

Overall, it’s still an extremely impressive smartphone. My friends are always impressed with the image quality and especially the ability to zoom in to see the time on a wrist watch from a group photo of a couple people.

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Brandon Miniman

Editor-in-Chief

The problem is that the Lumia 1020 doesn’t do everything well. Whereas an iPhone 5 or Note II does. In the case of the Lumia, it takes amazing pics, the screen is pretty, the OS is fast, and the hardware is a site to behold.

But in my life, where personal and professional are equally important, I need balance. It is laughable how terrible Windows Phone is in the apps it lacks. What an embarrassment! I think it’s better to have no YouTube at all than 25 crappy, terribly impostors that make quality control at Microsoft look non-existent.

I am so limited in what I can do from this phone that it negatively impacts my day. And I can’t carry two phones. Maybe the 1020 is a great weekend phone.

Pictures are breathtaking. But the images the aforementioned other two phones take are plenty good enough, and both are due for an upgrade within a month that will make them even better. And while the zoom is insane too, what good are 34MP images if you can only experience them on the phone? And no, I’m not plugging in my phone to my PC. It’s not 2002. At the minimum SkyDrive should sync them. Make me pay for more storage, fine! But leaving the high res images on the phone is a gimmick. Great for marketing, bad for the user.

This hardware is always beautiful. Nokia killed it. I’ve never spent this much time with a Nokia Windows Phone, and I’m very impressed with the flawless build quality. If this phone ran Android, it would quickly join the million unit sales club.

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Michael Fisher

Editorial Director

Michael reviewed the Lumia 1020 for Pocketnow. Some of his thoughts:

“Now, if a solid camera is a nice bonus but not your number-one concern, there are plenty of alternative devices at lower price points – including Nokia’s own Lumia 920 series. But if you’re someone who puts camera performance at or near the top of your priority list when it comes to smartphone shopping, you need look no further than the 1020. Nokia’s latest is no mere publicity stunt; this phone’s camera truly does demolish the competition. The smartphone surrounding that big Oreo is nothing special, really – but it doesn’t need to be. The entire mobile-tech landscape is littered with devices claiming to be the “biggest,” the “best,” the “boldest,” and so on; it doesn’t need another. The 1020 does most things competently, and one particular thing -taking photos- incredibly well. So well that its mere existence is almost guaranteed to accelerate advancement of the smartphone-photography world as a whole. In our view, that’s more than enough to justify the price tag.”

You can read all of Michael’s thoughts here.

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Martin

Taylor Martin

Senior Editor

I bought the Lumia 1020 on launch day, July 26, right after the store opened. I immediately put the camera through its paces. I wanted to know if it lived up to the hype, if it was worth my $700.

I had tried the Lumia 900 because the praise Nokia gave the camera on its first Windows Phone. Unfortunately, that camera had all sorts of trouble and definitely had more bark than bite. I ended up returning the Lumia 900 just a week into the 14-day return period. And I opted to skip the Lumia 920 and let the rest of the tech reviewers weigh their opinions on the device before I spent my hard-earned cash again. And I’m glad I did.

The 1020 was a totally different story. Its camera boasted PureView technology, but not only the optical image stabilization found in its predecessor, the 920. It also came with the original PureView technology – lossless digital zoom. As soon as it was announced, I was all-in. But I had my concerns. I’m a huge Google user, and Windows Phone has very little (official) support for Google Apps and other services. I can’t play my Google Play Music. I can’t access Google+ (save for the horrendous mobile Web client). The YouTube experience is … paltry. And such is the case for practically all Google services (with the exception of Gmail), and many other services that require third-party clients.

The app situation is improving. It’s much better than it was when I tried Windows Phone 7 last year. And, if it weren’t for all my needs with Google Apps, I could see myself using the Lumia 1020 full-time as my only device. Unfortunately, this is not a vacuum, and I do need Google – it’s where all my content and data is. And because of that, I’m forced to carry the Lumia 1020 alongside an Android phone.

On the upshot, I don’t plan on getting rid of the Lumia 1020 anytime soon. The camera is irreplaceable and still blows my mind after taking hundreds of photos.

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The Pocketnow Reader

Now it’s your turn, readers! How has your Lumia 1020 been treating you? Have you enjoyed it, entirely? Are you experiencing some of the same problems we’re having with this camera phone? Or did you hate it so much you returned it immediately? Share your thoughts and experiences with the Lumia 1020 in the comment thread below!

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About The Author
Taylor Martin
Based out of Charlotte, NC, Taylor Martin started writing about technology in 2009 while working in wireless retail. He has used BlackBerry off and on for over seven years, Android for nearly four years, iOS for three years, and has experimented with both webOS and Windows Phone. Taylor has reviewed countless smartphones and tablets, and doesn't go anywhere without a couple gadgets in his pockets or "nerd bag." In his free time, Taylor enjoys playing disc golf with friends, rock climbing, and playing video games. He also enjoys the occasional hockey game, and would do unspeakable things for some salmon nigiri. For more on Taylor Martin, checkout his Pocketnow Insider edition.| Google+