In Review: Nokia Lumia 1020

So I pretty much have been using an iPhone since the first gen. (Remember? It didn’t even support MMS at the time…It wasn’t ‘cool’ to have one at the time) eventually upgraded over the last few years and I’m currently using a iPhone 4S.

I’ve had a Sony Xperia which runs on Android and I also had a HTC somewhere along the lines. But I’ve always gone back to the iPhone as it just does everything I wanted it to plus more, and having a Mac setup, I never ran into any issues syncing data across and what not.

A couple months back I got a Nokia 1020 sent through. I’d been pretty excited to give it a test drive, it has a 41 megapixel camera. Ok I tell a lie, I wasn’t really bothered about how many pixels it had, I mean, you don’t generally see what a 41 mpx camera can do for you unless your planning to print the shots in a very very large size.

What I WAS excited about was the fact that the camera on this thing supported an Aperture of f2.2. Holy cow – My Sigma 24-70mm is a f2.8 and so is the 70-200. Of course you can’t trade in a solid lens for a camera, but it’s pretty damn good going to have such lowlight support on a handset for sure, I go to a lot of gigs and I have that plague…You know the one where by if your normally shooting a gig and you go to a show, you can’t help but take your phone out and still get some photos for personal keepsake.

I got one of my fave  music shots on an iPhone last year.


The handset that came through was the White finish – I also have seen the Yellow version – I loved the colour of it on first look, and it’s got a sold feel to the handset. It’s available in a black finish too. They have a matte feel and look to the casing.

The display size is 4.5” and it’s got a beautiful glossy finish to the screen. I generally am a fan of matte screens, even my mac has a matte finish to it and my iPhone is secured over with a matte screen protector. But damn this screen is gorgeous, I totally love it.

The display res is 1280 x 768 16 million colour pixels, super vibrant and even under the sun and reflection it’s good going.  The whole front section is touch screen including the home button, it took a couple of days to get use to the different UI.


The handset runs off of a Micro Sim, it was unlocked so I was able to just pop my 3 sim card in and straight up go with it. The 1020 has a 3.5mm audio connector, so if you have a in-car system / sound station which runs off a 3.5mm connection, you can go right ahead and use it on the phone as normal. It charges off a Micro USB connection and a mains power plug and cable is inlcuded with the handset as is a pair of new in ear earphones. The handset supports USB 2.0 and also Bluetooth 3.0. For indepth specs and info you can just head on over to Nokia and check it there.

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The handset is longer and wider than the iPhone 4s, but again I am a fan of a chunky phone. When it’s in my handbag or pocket, I like to know it’s definitely there!

I was totally stunned by the camera. The iPhone I’m currently using has been battered for a while- dropped it in a boiling pan of water, dropped it on concrete, plenty of other things but it’s still working. However after it dropped in the boiling pan of water…the camera has been a bit…ill! But it does it’s job & there’s no need to replace a phone because of it. (Until I tried the 1020, basically want one!)

I had the phone on me for a few weeks and took it out and around with me and used it as my main device. I thought my iPhone 4S was incredible for a phone and camera all in one when I first got it, but the capture and image quality on this handset blew my mind!

Nokia have also made a camera hand grip for the phone. I was constantly worried about dropping the phone, so when I got the handgrip through a few days later – it was awesome to test it out.

Ergonomically, it was SO much friendlier to use it attached to the phone! It does of course add bulk to the phone but I loved it – I think it’s so convenient to have such a device that you can throw in your bag and take with you. I dont know about you guys and gals but I love going out with friends and just having the ability to take some shots and share them instantly via email or social media – MINUS red eye when the flash goes off! The handset even boasts more colour than a point and shoot camera I use now and again, mostly on holidays as I don’t want to damage my phone in ocean water etc!




The handset itself runs off Windows 8. I had a chance to play with Windows 8 on a tablet a while ago and I didn’t know whether I liked it or not. After having had access to it for a longer period of time, I’m open to the idea of using it on a mobile device.

The Nokia 1020 comes with software pre-built into the handset. Two of the main apps for camera are Nokia Pro Cam & Nokia Smart Cam.

When you head into the Pro Cam app, you have the option to go fully manual on the camera. You’re either going to love it or hate it!

I think it’s a great way of learning different settings that you would find on an actual camera, of course not to the full extenct but it would give you a great way of familiarising yourself if you were thinking of purchasing a camera.

For instance you have the option to change Flash settings, White balance, ISO and Shutter Speed and Aperture. They’re the basics of a point and shoot cam in manual mode and also what you’d be working with on a digital camera.

My first SLR was a Canon 450 at the back end of 2010- Safe to say I didn’t know what the heck I was doing with it at first!

If a camera isn’t a biggie for you on your phone, you still have the option of the point and shoot as you would as normal. The results are awesome even in auto mode, the images are being processed super sharp and the colours are incredible.

I do love the ability to customise and personalise your device.

Windows 8 brings that back on to the phone (as does Android) and to be honest, on the Nokia 1020, it didn’t crash even once in the time I had it.

The OS ran really quick and the issue I use to have with iPhone dropping off my home wifi network, I found the 1020 wasn’t doing that.

Switching back from a 1020 to iPhone 4s I’ve noticed the lag and delay in performance between the two handsets. Then again I know iPhone 4s is getting on abit now!

I was missing some apps on the marketplace though. I don’t generally use too many apps anymore on the iPhone in all honesty – some pointless games and what not but it’s something I can use on the iPad should I want to.

Some basic apps that I DO use on a daily basis are the following for iPhone

  • Pages Manager – To access the photography page and run updates through it
  • Hootsuite – I love the interface for Twitter via this app
  • Instagram – To share content – I tend to share photos / new work and some pointless photos of, you know, food cats and dogs!
  • Whatsapp – Instant Messaging to friends and fam
  • iTunes – Browse and download music – costs me way much!
  • Notes – Self explanatory

I couldn’t find an alternative to Pages Manager on the marketplace which was efficient and user friendly like the iPhone version. There was a couple priced at £1.49 but since it’s a trial – I didn’t really want to fork out and give it a try! Hootsuite is also not available for Windows 8 – Boo!

Instagram was released shortly after the handset came through – It’s still missing the video feature but in all honesty, I didn’t miss it too much. Whatsapp is available and Notes is too- preinstalled.

I did miss having iTunes on there since I do use my phone alot for music purposes. It’s not just popular music I tend to download or chart music, alot of stuff I download are EP’s which aren’t necessarily available through Amazon downloads and most definitely not available on things like the Nokia music store. There is the option of using Spotify and Nokia’s own music store plus things like SoundCloud – I guess this would come down to your habits as a user e.g.; streaming or buying and downloading.

I loved the little customising options I found within the settings menu. One of them was the Theme option – which is such a tiny tweak and option but actually it’s ace! It gives you the option to change the background from dark to light ie; black bg or white bg and the accent colour which is the colour of the tiles. You have the option of 20 different colours on the palette – so you could go crazy and change it everyday if you wanted to! I did like having a purple theme one day and pink or blue the next.

There’s even a COLOUR PROFILE tweak within the settings. HELLOOO! You have the option as a user to change the colour saturation and the colour temp of the display. What a cool and useful little tool to have.


If you have been using a smart phone or a while, the navigation and setting up of the phone is pretty intuitive, takes a couple days to get use to but then you kinda fall in love with the phone and it’s functionality.

Here are some test shots from the phone – They have been taken into Photoshop simply to re-size the width and height of the photo – So no editing has been applied to any photos apart from the two stated in captions.

I have a slant when I take photos – can you feel it!?
Captured on the 1020 and later shared to Instagram – Filter was applied but nothing else
Captured on the 1020 and later shared to Instagram – Filter was applied but nothing else
Took the phone out with me minus whilst taking the dog out on his walks – Love how the colour has been captured
Moon the the left, Sun to the right
Over the Christmas period in the city

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Standard kitty photos 😉
Hanging by the fire
This was captured a couple of feet away from Benji to test the zoom on it – Pretty good going for zoom but over contrast – Grass looks ace though!
Caught green nosed drinking rain water! Naughty boy… Check out the detail of his coat though – You can see the detail really clear

All in all I’d switch over to the Nokia Lumia 1020 without a doubt – Go have a play at your local phone store!

P x

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7 thoughts on “In Review: Nokia Lumia 1020

  1. Since I bought a Sony semi-DSLR camera called DSC HX 200V last summer, I think I made a mistake. I’m no professional photographer nor do I intend to do so, hence, a point and shoot would’ve been best for me. But I bought this camera for the 30x Optical Zoom. The camera no doubt is great, BUT!!! Is a hassle carrying along. I still feel like going again for Lumia 1020. Although, I now think I’ll wait for Microsoft Lumia 1020 equivalent instead of the soon to be gone brand Nokia, Lumia 1020. 🙂

    Oh & by the way, I loved the review. Never too harsh anywhere. And yes, Windows Phone OS with Nokia’s add-ons, makes one fall in love with the OS.

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