Nokia Lumia 1020 evaluation
There was no scarcity of surprised faces within the viewers when Nokia CEO Stephen Elop introduced the 808 PureView at Cellular World Congress 17 months in the past. Who would have thought a Symbian-powered gadget can be a present-stealer — in 2012? In any case, Elop had all however declared the platform lifeless one yr earlier than, and the thought of a smartphone with a forty one-megapixel digital camera was an business first. Questions lingered instantly after: how is that really going to work on a telephone? Why Symbian? And when wouldn’t it present up on Home windows Telephone, Nokia’s OS of selection?
Because it seems, the 808 PureView was the end result of 5 years’ value of imaging specialists placing their heads collectively, and Nokia needed to get the proof of idea out the door whereas getting the revolutionary tech prepared for Home windows Telephone. A couple of months after the 808’s launch, we began seeing the primary fruits of this effort within the Lumia 920, however there was work but to be finished. Lastly, the time has come for the corporate to launch the 808’s WP8 counterpart, the Lumia 1020, and it is launching on AT&T this Friday for $300 as a US unique. We have been capable of peel ourselves away from taking footage lengthy sufficient to jot down a couple of ideas, so shoot under the break to take a better look.
- Greatest-in-class imaging expertise
- Good battery life
- Clean efficiency
- Strong construct high quality and supplies
- Lovely show
- Awkward and barely uncomfortable to carry
- Has a couple of bugs
The Lumia 1020 is the most effective Home windows Telephone we have used thus far and presents one of the best digital camera within the business, although it is somewhat troublesome to carry comfortably.
Have not instantly skipped right down to the imaging part? We’re pleased to listen to, as a result of regardless that the digital camera is of essential significance to the success of the 1020 — which should have initially been named the 909, since that is what it is referred to as on the About display — the expertise you have got utilizing the remainder of the telephone can also be very important to your general enjoyment of the system. Take the hardware, for instance: not in contrast to the overwhelming majority of Nokia’s excessive-finish Lumia merchandise, it is extraordinarily properly-constructed. It makes use of a unibody polycarbonate chassis, which provides us nice confidence in its sturdiness. The Gorilla Glass three on the entrance of the 1020 is flush with the sides, so you do not really feel any interruption when operating your fingers from one finish of the telephone to the opposite. Given its placement, the show possible stands a greater probability of survival than most when the handset is dropped on its aspect. (We will not say the identical about these occasions it will get dropped facedown, so watch out.)
The Lumia 1020 is available in three colours (yellow, black and white), every with a matte end and a coating that is each fingerprint- and dust-resistant. We a lot choose this over a shiny telephone any day, and whereas we did not give the handset a full nature facial to check that second function, we will at the least affirm that fingerprints barely made an look throughout our time with the gadget. Moreover, the edges and again of the 1020 are clean and rounded, very similar to a nicely-polished pebble, and the highest and backside are flat, which is incredible when you ever need to place the telephone upright. In lots of respects, it seems like a cross between the Lumia 800 and 920. That is not essentially a nasty factor, however it does have a disadvantage or two. Sadly, the matte end wasn’t sufficient texture to offer us with a greater grip, so the telephone’s capacity to slide out of my palms did not go unnoticed — particularly when making an attempt to take away it from my pocket.
The excellent news is that at 5.fifty seven ounces (158g) the 1020 truly weighs considerably lower than the 920 (6.fifty three ounces), whose heft was one in every of our largest gripes once we reviewed it. It is also 10.4mm (zero.forty one inch) thick — abysmal when in comparison with most different excessive-finish units presently available on the market, however nonetheless zero.3mm thinner than the 920. Sadly, it is also zero.6mm wider. This may increasingly not sound like a lot, however it makes an enormous distinction when it comes to the way it feels in-hand, particularly whenever you issue within the giant digital camera module that takes up a lot area on the rear aspect. Sure, the 2 parts make for a moderately awkward hand-held expertise; when the smartphone rests usually in your palms, your fingers will drape uncomfortably throughout that module within the again.
In the event you’ve used the Lumia 920, it will not take you lengthy to determine the place every part is on the 1020. The micro-SIM tray and three.5mm headphone jack sit atop the system, with the quantity rocker, energy button and hardware shutter key (all aluminum) located on the fitting. Down under you will discover the micro-USB port and a speaker grille; what units it aside from the 920 is the addition of a lanyard gap and a change in how the audio system are laid out. The entrance contains a four.5-inch WXGA show, with a 1.2-megapixel large-angle entrance-dealing with digital camera within the prime-proper nook, an earpiece simply to its left, and — on our AT&T-branded evaluation unit — a globe emblem sitting by itself within the prime-left nook. (That is the extent of any exterior service branding, luckily.) The usual suite of capacitive buttons (again, house and search keys) may be discovered under the display, simply as you’d anticipate.
Shifting on to the again, it is onerous to not discover the monstrous digital camera bump taking over tons of area. It is an aluminum round module with the lens on prime and two flashes — LED for video and focus help, and Xenon for stills — lining the left aspect. The remaining is taken up with Nokia’s emblem and lettering signifying its megapixel prowess. There isn’t any mistaking the bump, to make certain, because it protrudes proudly from the telephone’s chassis; this implies the 1020 will not have the ability to sit flat on its again once you need to place it on a desk or different floor. In fact, it is nonetheless a lot thinner (albeit bigger and flatter) than the 808 PureView’s module, so we’re hoping that future generations of the gadget will get progressively much less awkward.
The Lumia 1020 comes with 32GB of inner storage. That is usually loads of area for many customers, however watch out when you plan on taking full benefit of the telephone’s quite a few digital camera options; after taking plenty of footage over the course of two days, we simply amassed a pair gigabytes of photographs. We might like to see a 64GB choice for the fanatics on the market (there have been studies that it is heading to Telefonica in Europe and Latin America as an unique), however as this is not more likely to discover its method stateside anytime quickly, simply be sure to’re often backing up your prized photographs.
The four.5-inch WXGA (1,280 x 768) show has the identical decision because the Lumia 920 and 925, although the 1020 makes use of the identical AMOLED “PureMotion HD+” panel because the latter (the 920’s is LCD). And it is definitely each bit as lovely to behold as earlier than. Because of the truth that the blacks within the display are almost indistinguishable from the bezel, the show itself feels a bit extra expansive than regular. You even have a couple of choices at your disposal to regulate not simply the grasp brightness setting, but in addition the daylight readability, contact sensitivity and Lumia shade profile (this includes tweaking the saturation and temperature of the colour being proven on the display). The viewing angles are extremely large; the display is straightforward to see in direct daylight; and the colours pop with out overdoing it on the saturation.
For radios, the AT&T model (RM-877) has quad-band LTE (bands 2, four, 5 and 17, although you will not use most of them till AT&T allows them. It additionally options quad-band HSPA+ (850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100) able to speeds as much as forty two Mbps and quad-band GSM / EDGE (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900). In response to the FCC docs, this unit technically additionally options AWS HSPA+, however it seems to be disabled on the AT&T models. Moreover, the 1020 options NFC, Bluetooth three.zero and USB 2.zero. We have included the complete spec sheet under.
Home windows Telephones require little or no rationalization on the firmware aspect, since Microsoft maintains a constant consumer expertise throughout the board. Due to this, there is not a lot to shock customers who’re already conversant in the Stay Tile-smattered cellular OS; you already know what to anticipate, and we cannot go into a variety of element on the platform’s options right here.
With that stated, the Lumia 1020, very similar to most of Nokia’s Home windows Telephones, features a full suite of OEM- and service-particular purposes — greater than 20, actually. This consists of Nokia Care, Music, Professional Cam, Sensible Cam, in addition to a set of Right here-based mostly packages, reminiscent of Metropolis Lens, Drive+ Beta, Maps and Transit. On the AT&T aspect, you will see Handle Guide, FamilyMap, Locker, Navigator, Radio, Cellular TV, myAT&T and YPMobile, all of which might be simply uninstalled when you do not discover any use for them. There’s additionally ESPN Hub, Pockets and a bunch of imaging-centric lenses, which we’ll talk about in additional element within the subsequent part. The 1020 additionally provides the identical fast look display that we noticed on the Lumia 925, which permits customers to verify the time whereas the display is off; you’ll be able to disable this function or, when you want, add an evening mode that dims the look’s brightness routinely in the course of the hours of your selection.Digital camera
The protruding module. The wondrous sounds of a mechanical shutter. Two several types of flash. The listing goes on. You possibly can’t not discover how central a task the digital camera performs within the Lumia 1020’s existence. Its entire objective is to make sure that you, pricey images fanatic, can benefit from the closest factor to a DSLR-like imaging expertise on a smartphone. Maybe likening it to a prime-notch Canon or Nikon is a bit a lot — we have now a tough time believing that a telephone is able to exchange skilled-high quality gear — however units just like the 808 PureView and the 1020 are giving a number of the greatest level-and-shoots a run for his or her cash. Such a risk was a laughable idea at greatest a number of years in the past, so how is Nokia pulling it off?
Should you’ve learn up on the 808 and researched the thought of PureView, you will understand that Nokia’s second-era strategy to the tech is not overseas. It is merely making use of most of the intelligent imaging rules already used within the 808 and enhancing them, including them to a extra related working system and throwing in a couple of further options to make it much more tantalizing. We determine it is best to start out from the start and supply a quick historical past lesson on what PureView is all about.The way it works
The 808 PureView digital camera boasted a whopping forty one-megapixel CMOS, which sounds intimidating — in any case, the mainstream smartphone market nonetheless hadn’t begun producing units with 13MP cameras but, so forty one felt like an awfully huge leap. So what is the level of getting so many pixels at one’s disposal? Briefly, the magic is in oversampling. Whereas it is attainable to snap 38MP (and 34MP vast-angle) photographs at will, the 808 has a “artistic mode” which takes decrease-res photographs — eight, 5 and three megapixels, to be exact. Not solely are these pictures simpler to share, the telephone oversamples the pictures, which suggests it combines a number of pixels to create one excessive-high quality superpixel. The thought behind that is so as to add sharpness, scale back noise, get rid of Bayer-sample issues and enhance low-mild efficiency. It additionally helps the digital camera obtain one other superpower: lossless zoom. In different phrases, you possibly can zoom in on an object with out dropping element and resorting to interpolation.
Quick-ahead to the Lumia 1020, which takes the PureView tech and improves upon it. As an alternative of getting to decide on between artistic mode and excessive-res photographs, the 1020 now takes each concurrently, supplying you with a 38MP photograph (34MP for vast-angle) and an oversampled 5MP model with lossless zoom as properly. The digital camera advantages from a six-component lens array (in comparison with the 808’s 5), which consists of 5 plastic lenses and one manufactured from glass. With the brand new gadget additionally got here a shift from an FSI sensor to BSI and a wider aperture (it is now f/2.2, in comparison with f/2.four on the 808). Each of those elements equate to raised low-mild efficiency, however that is not all: the telephone additionally provides barrel-shift optical picture stabilization (OIS), because of a set of ball bearings which are moved by tiny motors anytime the gyroscope detects shaking. Professional tip: activate the digital camera and wobble the telephone to listen to the varied elements shifting round inside.
Let’s dive into extra technical specs. At 1/1.5 inch, the sensor is considerably bigger than some other flagship system (the GS4 is 1/three.06 inch, whereas the One is 1/three inch), nevertheless it’s barely smaller than the 808’s 1/1.2-inch providing. The dimensions of every pixel is 1.12µm, which is identical because the GS4, however smaller than the 808. The 1020’s 35mm equal focal size is 26mm, which is greater than 3 times so long as the 808’s 8mm providing. (Replace: it seems that the 808’s 35mm equal focal size is definitely 26mm for sixteen:9 and 28mm for four:three. Thanks, @bharadc23!) Minimal focus distance for macro photographs is about at 15cm.
Curiously, the Lumia 1020 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus chipset. That is commonplace fare for Home windows Telephones, however it’s fascinating to notice that the SoC technically does not help such excessive-decision cameras. In line with Anandtech’s Brian Klug, Nokia collaborated with Qualcomm to do an entire rewrite of the chipset’s imaging stack in an effort to make every thing work correctly. With that stated, a future replace to the platform known as GDR3 will reportedly help Snapdragon 800 chipsets which are able to getting as much as 55MP, which is a reasonably strong indication that future generations of Nokia’s PureView lineup will proceed to extend in decision and options.Consumer interface and lenses
The inventory Home windows Telephone digital camera software is for chumps, and Nokia’s aim is to show it. Whereas you should use the vanilla app should you favor, we do not know what profit you’d get from doing so — photographs taken inside the app are restricted to 5MP, no matter which facet ratio you select. The default lens featured on the Lumia 1020 known as the Nokia Professional Cam, and it is probably the most complete WP8 imaging app we have ever used (and arguably the most effective on any platform). The consumer expertise is fairly intuitive, and it has extra guide adjustment choices than we’re used to having fun with. Drag the digital shutter key barely to the left and one thing that appears like your grade faculty’s diagram of the Photo voltaic System seems earlier than your very eyes. It is arrange as a collection of sliders, every one representing a unique adjustment setting: white stability, guide focus, ISO (as much as 3200), shutter velocity (1/sixteen,000 to four seconds) and EV are all right here, lots of which have the power to regulate in actual time. Attempt altering the white stability settings, as an example, and the viewfinder immediately exhibits you what your image ought to appear to be.
The whole course of could not be smoother, and it helps make sure that you are not spending valuable minutes trying to correctly body your shot. (Video has an analogous wheel-fashion setup, by the best way, however it solely options white stability and focus.) Nevertheless, there are conditions through which even this technique takes too lengthy and also you simply have to tweak one specific facet of your shot; in that case, all the settings can be found on the highest of your viewfinder, and might be accessed individually just by urgent down on whichever one you need. (As an apart, this app shall be coming to the Lumia 920, 925 and 928 after they obtain an replace to WP8’s Amber refresh.)
You possibly can change from stills to video by sliding your finger down on the shutter key. To work the digital zoom, slide your fingers up and down on the viewfinder. Within the prime-left nook, you will discover choices to both edit your final shot or go immediately into the digital camera roll. An icon within the backside-proper nook enables you to change to different lenses, comparable to Cinemagraph, Panorama, Sensible Cam or others. Lastly, a collection of three dots within the prime-proper nook is your go-to put for settings and miscellaneous menu choices: that is the place you’ll be able to change to the entrance-dealing with digital camera, allow shutter delay and alter the shortcut assigned to your hardware shutter button. That is additionally the place you will discover the toggle to trip from normal 38MP pictures to broad-angle 34MP (and vice versa, in fact). Moreover, you possibly can snap simply 5MP photographs if you don’t need a excessive-res shot hogging up space for storing. Frankly, this toggle is the one letdown concerning the consumer interface — we might a lot choose the power to modify forwards and backwards immediately from the viewfinder, as an alternative of taking three additional clicks to get the identical desired impact.
As briefly talked about earlier, Nokia’s additionally thrown in its Sensible Cam lens, already out there on the Lumia 925. It is value a quick point out, a minimum of, since it can undoubtedly play a big position in how you employ the 1020’s digital camera. Sensible Cam takes a collection of burst photographs over the course of some seconds; from there, you’ll be able to seize the perfect shot, an motion shot (assume Drama Mode for the Galaxy S four), add blurring to emphasise movement or take away photobombers (identical to Eraser Mode on the GS4). Thankfully, you are able to do a number of issues with the identical collection of photographs: as an example, it can save you your motion shot after which return and do one thing else.
Artistic Studio is a picture manipulation app included as a part of the general imaging package deal on the 1020. Launched on the Lumia 925, it presents a number of submit-manufacturing, Photoshop-like methods so as to add a bit additional aptitude to your excessive-res photographs: you’ll be able to manipulate focus, blur, colour (supplying you with the prospect to spotlight particular hues, as seen above) and make a collage, amongst different issues.
Your whole saved pictures, no matter which Nokia lens or app you employ to create it, get aggregated into the digital camera roll. Every of them could be edited after the very fact by clicking on the app hyperlink that exhibits up beneath. The identical goes for top-res photographs: whereas the digital camera roll solely options the 5MP variations, head into the edit choice to behold it in all its full-res glory. Talking of which, one of many modifying options we loved was the reframe choice. This provides you the prospect to straighten out crooked footage, rotate your picture or change the facet ratio (three:2, 1:1, sixteen:9 and four:three are all there).
Moreover, the revealing of the 1020 introduced concerning the introduction of Nokia’s new imaging SDK, which is presently in beta and presents builders entry to most of the PureView options and APIs; in truth, Artistic Studio was developed utilizing the SDK. Devs can reap the benefits of partial JPEG decoding, the power to supply cropping and reformatting, full WP8 compatibility and as much as 50 filters and results.Imaging efficiency
So we have gone into loads of element about how the Lumia 1020 digital camera works, which undoubtedly has a number of you drooling. Nokia has a prolonged historical past of backing up its boastful imaging claims, and thankfully that fame continues with the 1020. Merely put, the digital camera is beautiful. In most conditions, the automated settings work properly, particularly with regards to white stability, low mild and focus. However the digital camera shines even brighter should you get adventurous and begin tinkering with guide settings. Pictures taken at the hours of darkness turned out with extra mild, extra element and fewer noise than the HTC One and 808. The lossless zoom on the 1020 utterly blew us away; we might legibly see indicators from a distance of over one hundred yards, and we have been capable of zoom in on faces of people that have been barely noticeable within the unique picture. We have been additionally very impressed by the huge quantity of element in each shot. As you possibly can think about, there’s quite a bit to like.
No digital camera is ideal, nevertheless. When taking footage within the shade, we observed that colours popped slightly an excessive amount of in comparison with different flagship cameras we examined — in truth, there have been occasions they did not seem pure (although this might probably be fastened in publish-processing). We additionally observed that the 1020 struggled with the excessive finish of the dynamic vary at occasions; as an example, the digital camera was unable to select particulars within the wall of a sunlit constructing that the 808 and Galaxy S four had no drawback seeing. The 1020 lacks impartial density, a function that the 808 possessed and aids the digital camera in actually brilliant mild; sadly it takes up area, which is a potential cause why it was neglected on this iteration.
In fact, many of those observations are solely potential issues if you’re utilizing auto mode. Most individuals all in favour of shopping for this telephone are probably a bit extra savvy within the imaging division and are prepared to mess around with the settings, and that is the place the 1020 makes the most important distinction. ISO, shutter velocity, white stability, EV and guide focus are simply tweakable, which suggests you’ve gotten free artistic reign in making the digital camera take no matter pictures you need. It is superb what just some minor changes can do — particularly in low mild. We’ll proceed to experiment with the digital camera’s capabilities and report our findings in an upcoming function; if you would like to try our excessive-decision photographs, we’ll have them out there in your perusal shortly. Replace: for top-res pictures, head right here; we additionally added a set of 5MP photographs right here.Video high quality
By default, the 1020 data video in 1080p and at 30 frames per second (encoded at a bit fee of 20 Mbps). Because the telephone is all about customizable choices and guide management, nevertheless, you may as well set your films to report at a decision of 720p together with body charges of 24 and 25 fps (for each resolutions). The lossless zoom applies to video in addition to stills: full HD is able to 4X, whereas 720p bumps that quantity as much as 6X. Rounding out the guide changes are white stability and focus lock, in addition to a tweakable audio bass filter that allows you to tune out decrease frequencies — extremely useful in instances of wind and visitors.
We have been impressed by how easily the digital camera was capable of deal with jostling, shaky arms and slightly panning. Whereas telephones with 1080p video seize are a dime a dozen on this business, only a few truly do a very good job of creating you are feeling such as you’re truly watching a excessive-def video; thankfully, the 1020 is a type of few. The camcorder is able to doing both steady, macro or infinity focus, however we might’ve favored the chance to do our personal guide changes for these few instances by which we needed to give attention to totally different elements of the display or when the digital camera did not focus correctly by itself.
The audio is encoded at a bit fee of 256 Kbps and a sampling fee of 48KHz, however we discovered a bug: any audio we captured utilizing the Professional Digital camera lens wound up with one dominant channel. In different phrases, video playback sounded prefer it had been recorded in mono, even though an ever-so-tiny quantity of audio crept out of the second channel. We did not expertise any of those issues within the inventory digital camera app, so we’ll get a brand new unit from Nokia shortly to see if that is simply restricted to our personal gadget and can replace our evaluation after we have carried out some extra testing.Efficiency and battery life
So how does the telephone carry out, except for the digital camera? Fairly properly, however was there any doubt? No matter your views towards (or towards) Home windows Telephone, we have not often encountered any issues on WP8 — particularly when a twin-core Snapdragon S4 is concerned. Fortuitously, that is true of the 1020 too: it sports activities an S4 Plus chipset with Adreno 225 GPU and 2GB RAM, so it is definitely acquired some oomph behind it. In fact, given the uncooked energy essential to course of pictures, a pair gigabytes virtually appear to be the minimal requirement. So far as regular duties go, the display is responsive, the telephone seldom stutters and multitasking is extremely clean.
The 1020 advantages from a 2,000mAh battery, which ought to serve most energy customers fairly nicely; Home windows Telephones have a status for being energy-environment friendly, and the 1020’s AMOLED panel does not require fairly as a lot power to function. Typically, we have been in a position to make use of the gadget as we usually would — this consists of taking a ton of images and movies for this evaluate — for round 12 to 14 hours earlier than it died. Granted, the WPBench battery endurance check signifies that battery life is weaker with processor-intensive actions than the 920 or 925, however with regular utilization, runtime nonetheless seems to be higher than what we often see on different platforms. As a further observe of warning, it seems that the battery drains quicker whenever you’re making guide imaging changes, versus if you let the digital camera make the choices for you.
The audio system are completely common for listening to music and films, primarily because of the quantity. We sometimes did not have an issue listening to particulars in podcasts or songs when the telephone was inside a foot or two, however as quickly as we stepped away from it to stroll throughout the room, we observed that the lows have been barely audible in any respect — even when the audio system have been dealing with our course with none obstruction. Whereas calls have been additionally fairly clear, the voices on the opposite finish sounded barely tinny, although it wasn’t so dangerous that it distracted from our dialog. Lastly, GPS was capable of finding our location inside just some seconds.
Not all is bunnies and butterfly kisses with the 1020’s basic efficiency, as we got here throughout a pair slightly vital bugs that might be a trigger for concern. First, we have been by no means capable of get the mic to work once we have been on speakerphone, even after making a number of check calls. Secondly, on one event, our assessment unit’s buttons utterly froze — we might use the contact display, however not one of the hardware or capacitive keys responded in any style. Taking the SIM out and placing it in, an motion that usually forces the telephone to reboot, did nothing; we have been solely capable of get it to work correctly after holding the down quantity, energy and shutter keys for a number of seconds. We’ll obtain an additional assessment unit to check out these oddities and we’ll replace our evaluate once we know if we’re capable of replicate the bugs.Wrap-up
We have been ready a very long time for the 808 PureView to get a Home windows Telephone counterpart with the identical (if not higher) imaging prowess. Lastly, it is right here. Now that we have had the chance to make use of the gadget, we will confidently say that the Lumia 1020 is the most effective Home windows Telephone system so far. In case you’re a WP8 consumer who enjoys crafting the absolute best pictures, it’s worthwhile to make the bounce, even in case you are paying a premium for the digital camera.
However what if you must make the change from one other platform? That query is sadly rather more troublesome to reply. Whereas Home windows Telephone has come an extended methods since its days as a nascent OS, Android and iOS customers — lots of whom probably content material with the number of apps and providers at present provided to them — might want to weigh the professionals and cons rigorously. Loads of flagship telephones have actually good cameras. They only aren’t this good. So is it value leaving your consolation zone and forging a brand new path to imaging bliss? If taking fabulous glamour photographs are that necessary to you, the choice to modify (or to not change) has by no means been so tempting.
Edgar Alvarez contributed to this evaluation.