A camera is not enough: My Lumia 1020 dilemma

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So, I’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good news is that I’ve eliminated one of the three phones I’ve been debating for my forthcoming new phone purchase:

The Lumia 1020. I’m sorry, bring me your torch. The Tribe has spoken. “But Adam! You’re a Windows Phone fan! How can this be? I hate you you lousy son of a…” Trust me people, I get it. I really want a 41 megapixel camera. I do, I do. But it’s just not enough to fork over ~$400 just to upgrade one component of my phone.

Here’s a little background. I am currently toting a yellow AT&T Lumia 920 as my daily driver. It’s true, I do stray into Android territory every now and then and often for stupid reasons, but I always come back to Windows Phone. To me, it’s compelling and doesn’t bear the quirks I generally have to deal with on Android. What quirks? Here’s a piece of dialogue you will commonly hear coming from my mouth when using my GSIII – “Yes, Samsung. For the last @#$@# time, I want to use @#$@% SwiftKey instead of your piece of @#$@# stock keyboard.” Like I said – quirks.

You sexy thang...

You sexy thang…

Windows Phone > Android

Anyway, Windows Phone offers me a great experience with a few tradeoffs that I barely even notice any more. The only reason I carry my GSIII with me is so I can use it at my day job, supporting an Android app. It is true, I anticipate I’ll hop back onto the Android train for a stint once I finally decide to stop stalling and just buy the darn red Nexus 5. I mean as the mobile tech enthusiast that I am I have to put it through its paces. But let’s circle back to the Lumia 1020.

I have wanted this phone since it came out. I didn’t have the upgrade available when it did though, so I sat back for a bit, waiting for the price to come down and the contract to come up. There have been some disappointments – reports of the wireless charging ugly hat shell not working that well, reports of general battery life concerns, but reports of the camera quality and the lossless zoom (God, I would have killed to have this at the Blackhawks Parade last year) have easily outshone all of those other concerns.

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But then I sat back down and took a long hard look at it. Lumia Black? Yep, I got that. Live Tiles? You betcha. Folders? Now I do. In fact, ever since two weeks ago when I was surprised by an AT&T Lumia Black update before my children graduated college, I have everything on my 920 that the 1020 has except that darn camera. The Lumia 1020 offers me the exact same experience that I have already but with that one (extremely huge) caveat.

Now, this is not a knock on Windows Phone. It is still my preferred platform by a large margin. I anticipate similar Swiftkey-based arguments with the Nexus 5 as I had with the GSIII. In fact, I will still carry the Lumia 920 with me even with the Nexus as a daily driver just for the camera, because lord knows the Nexus 5 ain’t gonna measure up in that department. So if I already have 95% of the same great experience, why spend another $400 on a used Lumia 1020? I just don’t see it.

Huge upgrades

1020-1520

I think Nokia is doing it right in that the experiences offered by the next logical upgrades for me are very different in either a 41 Megapixel camera from the 1020 or the six inch screen from the Lumia 1520. It’s not exactly the difference between a GSIII and a GSIV if you know what I mean. The hardware differences almost literally could not get bigger. But the software itself is a virtually identical experience across all devices. For me, it’s a tough sell, but for spec hounds, 41 megapixels and six inch screens are both very good reasons to upgrade.

In the meantime, as much as I would love the 41 Megapixel monster that comes on the Lumia 1020, the Windows Phone experience itself is what I’m much more invested in, and that itself has not changed. So for someone who already owns a Lumia 920, 925, or 928, in my opinion, there really is no reason to upgrade. Your mileage may vary.

Having said that, if you don’t own one of those phones, then the Lumia 1020 for $400 is a great deal and you should definitely jump on it. I’ll be envious, but even more, I’ll happy that another Windows Phone user has joined the ranks of the mighty 3%. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go have another argument with my GSIII.

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About The Author
Adam Doud
Adam joined the tech world after watching Jon Rubenstein demo the most epic phone ever at CES 2009. He is webOS enthusiast, Windows Phone fan, and Android skeptic. He loves the outdoors, is an avid Geocacher, Cubs/Blackhawks fan, and family man living in Sweet Home Chicago, where he STILL hosts monthly webOS meetups (Don’t call it a comeback!). He can be found tweeting all things tech as @DeadTechnology, or chi-town sports at @oneminutecubs.Read more about Adam Doud!