1020ho-01

Get the current Pointer on Mobile Phones: Mobile Phone Advisor

So, finally, Nokia has stopped teasing its flagship Lumia 1020 and let’s occasion goers get some long waited for hands-on time with things. It’s certainly not your run-of-the-mill Windows Phone, but is that camera-centric kookiness enough to make the Lumia 1020 worth that $299 cost? The jury’s still out on that one, but up until now the 1020 absolutely appears like a Windows Phone worth your factor to consider.

First impressions are not in fact everything, but the 1020 is quite a looker … even if Nokia seems to be having difficulty comprising its mind in terms of industrial design. The Verizon-exclusive Lumia 928 functions tough edges and a gently-sloping back, while the 925 (perhaps the better looking of the 2) is the first to introduce metal trim. The 1020 on the other hand sticks very near the initial design language of the Lumia 800 and 900, which’s honestly an extremely welcome choice. I ‘d go as far to say that Lumia’s initial looks are nearly renowned, but your mileage is going to vary there.

As a counterpoint, our (much less geeky) intern Eliza vehemently disagrees with me – according to her, it’s much too angular and appears like a company card. To each their own, I guess. Unquestionably, the camera pod does hinder when you get the 1020 thanks to its prominent protuberance on the device’s back, however it does not look like a deal breaker.

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Considering just how huge the 1020′s camera covering is, I expected the 1020 to be much heavier. In truth, the device was nearly startlingly light – Nokia’s fondness for polycarbonate remains untempered, though I suspect the matte finish they have utilized this time around will make the 1020 a bit even more prone to scuffs and dings.

As is constantly the case when enjoying with these kinds of things in the industry, it’s difficult to actually get a feel for efficiency, but swiping with menus and firing up applications was simply as smooth as other top-tier Windows Phone. The only little stagnation I noted was while fiddling with a few of the camera setups, however that might simply be a pre-production software application problem acting up. Nokia agents verified that the Lumia 1020 runs a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm chipset (though the people I talked with wouldn’t point out which one), together with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage space. That’s rather a strong spec sheet for a Windows Phone, though the fact that Windows Phone 8 is typically an extremely lag-free OS to begin with definitely aspects into the picture.

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And then obviously, there’s the camera. Nokia would not invest almost a whole hour discussing a camera if it was not worth its salt, however the 1020′s 41-megapixel sensor truly seems to deliver … the keyword there being ‘seems’. As you ‘d anticipate, the 1020 is a really snappy shooter, and the images it caught appeared exceptionally crisp and bright on display (possibly to the point of mild over-saturation, however that’s truly nothing new for an AMOLED screen). Because none of hardware below was last though, Nokia wouldn’t enable to us move our pictures off the 1020 for more fiddling so it’s hard to say simply how excellent the images look on different displays or on paper.

Despite the Pro Camera app’s name, it was very easy to get after a couple of moments of playing. Tapping the icon brings up a collection of concentric semi-circles, and moving up and down each of lets users adjust exposure, shutter speed, iso, and focus. It’s a terribly instinctive scheme that Nokia has cooked up, particularly considering that you’ve the ability to immediately see on-screen exactly what sort of effect those changes will have on the image you take. Nokia has also included a tutorial mode to give novice users a better idea of exactly what settings can be fine-tuned and how the moving control scheme works, a welcome touch for non-photographers aiming to enliven their shots.

Is the Lumia 1020 going to be for everyone? Undoubtedly not. Can it be successful in a very competitive marketplace? It’s far prematurely to respond to that concern, however based upon my time having fun with it, there’s absolutely nothing there that’d necessarily disqualify it from success.

Earlier today, our own John Biggs took Nokia to job for using its resources to produce a gadget that focused on ‘theatrics’. I truthfully couldn’t disagree more – I am truthfully no great camera lover, Nokia did not simply put a huge honking camera on a lousy phone. The hardware seems well-crafted, the Windows Phone experience is unbelievably smooth, which longstanding app gap is lastly starting to close (albeit gradually). I cannot pass judgment till I actually play with the last gadget, however up until now it seems like that camera is simply icing on a cake that’s already quite damned tasty.

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