Nokia Lumia 1020: User review

by Linas Mazgeika



In 2012 Nokia proudly announced the 808 PureView smartphone with a massive 41 MP photocamera, which was the best smartphone camera in the market. Also, this model was one of the last Nokia’s Symbian OS models and it was time to go move on to Windows Phone. After a year, in 2013 the Finns announced plenty of Lumia Windows Phone smartphones along with the spectacular 808 PureView successor the Lumia 1020. I’ve always been interested in this model because Nokia was one of my favourite brands, so I finally bought it a year ago. It was a second-hand product in a great like-new condition and warranty which is still lasting and for all this I paid only 160 Euros. So, let’s move on and review this cameraphone.


Now, let’s talk about the battery. This phone has a 2000 mAh non-removable battery which doesn’t look much compared to some of the latest high-end smartphones. However, when I bought it the battery life was OK with 2 days of casual usage (phone calls, texting, internet, etc.). But now it can only last for 1 day and I’m planning to use a warranty and take the phone to my distributor to change the battery. On the other hand, I don’t really have a lot of problems with short battery life because I often charge it in my car when I drive around which I do a lot. It usually takes 1.5 hour to fully charge empty battery.


The Lumia 1020 has a great-looking and solid-feeling unibody design. Even though its made from plastic it feels like a premium class phone when you hold it. On the front side there are 3 capactive buttons below the HD resolution screen. All the other buttons including lock, volume and camera buttons are located on the right edge of the phone. On the back side we have a bulky circle-shaped camera bump. Even though it is clear that this bulkiness is all for the image quality, the phone looks kind of strange when it lies on the back side.


After one year spent using this device every day I have to admit that it is really strong and durable compared to other smartphones that I had, for instance, Samsung Galaxy S3 which screen got broken after first fall. This one survived several of higher and lower falls on surfaces like asphalt and concrete and it’s still one-hundred percent functional. Well, maybe the falls did some damage and left some scratches one the plastic body but at least the screen looks like new. In my opinion Nokia once again proved it’s ability to make durable devices just like in the old days. nokia-lumia-1020


If someone asked me about the best features of this device, I’d start with the software. No, really. Nokia and Microsoft decided to provide its customers with some great apps for general needs. For example, you can instantly download some branded free Nokia and Microsoft apps like the great Here Maps offline voice navigation and a full Office Mobile package. Actually, the Windows Phone OS despite all the critics, fits me very well and even though the phone is 3 years old now it works completely with no lagging. The connectivity combines everything I need: high-speed Wi-Fi, GPS, FM Radio, Bluetooth 4.0 and the good-old microSD port. I am also impressed with a huge storage of 64 gigabytes, 55 of which is user-accessible. However, in the end the 41 megapixels 1/1.5″ sensor size PureView technology photocamera with Carl Zeiss optics is what this phone is all about. The picture quality is excellent no matter under what lighting I use it. Moreover it has two different types of flash: the primary is xenon and the secondary is LED, which is mostly used for focusing and video lightning. You can also use it as a flashlight, too, you just need to download a simple app form the Microsoft app store. The Lumia 1020 is also capable of making impressive quality FullHD resolution videos with 4x lossless zoom. To conclude, I have to say that this device has a nice list of various great features but the camera is the main reason I bought it.


On the other hand, let’s mention some of the not-so-good features of this device. Firstly, Windows Phone OS has a really really small list of downloadable apps compared to its main competitors. Of course, it offers most of the “basic” apps like Facebook, Here Maps navigation, Office, Flashlight, etc. But sometimes I could really use something more, for example, there is a free bike renting system in my city which is only accessible by iOS and Google Android devices, so It is disappointing that I just can’t use it. Second thing is a lack of microSD memory card slot. I mean, 64GB of on-board storage is more than enough for me but what if I need to check some files from another device? The next and very annoying problem is a lack of connectivity with Apple OSX devices. I own a Macbook Air which I use everyday and the only thing I could do when I connect my Lumia to it is photo and video transferring. This stupid competition between these two massive computer corporations doesn’t even let me transfer some music from my laptop to my phone, so I have to use OneDrive, the Microsoft cloud service. So, these would me the main disadvantages of Nokia Lumia 1020, in my opinion.


To, conclude I would say that despite all the disadvantages Nokia Lumia 1020 is still one of the best smartphones this Finnish company had to offer. It looks unique compared to Android smartphones that almost all look the the same, it feel solid in hand, it has many great features like a bunch of useful free pre-installed apps, 64GB of storage, all-around connectivity and, of course, the impressive 41MP PureView camera. Even though the hardware compared to the latest high-end smartphones is almost ancient with dual-core 1.5 GHz CPU and 2 GB RAM, Windows Phone OS still gives me no-lag user experience. It is quite a shame that Nokia is no more in the smartphone market because when I use my Lumia, it gives me an impression that the Finns really know what to do when it comes to mobile phone engineering. Rumours are saying that Nokia is coming back to market with a couple of new Android models next year, so hopefully, these won’t be disappointing. Before that, I’m staying with my good-old Lumia 1020. OVERALL RATING  9/10