Can a phone really take the place of a camera? Many a weekend snap-shooter would say no, the image quality just isn’t there, but the Nokia Lumia 1020 may change a few minds. Built around a powerful Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor, the Lumia doesn’t miss a beat, even while capturing 41-megapixel still photos and high-definition video.
Yes, 41 megapixels. That may sound almost excessive, especially given that many smartphone cameras top out at around 8 megapixels. But there’s a benefit to that fivefold jump that’s easy to overlook: zooming. Although the 1020 relies on a digital zoom, same as most other phones, those 41 megapixels allow you to crop and enlarge any area of a photo without losing clarity. In other words, you get the same end result as an optical zoom would afford, but without the bulk of a lengthy lens.
In fact, with a depth of just 0.4 inches, the Lumia 1020 has very little bulk at all. This despite it packing an up to 13-hour battery, a 4.5-inch AMOLED “organic LED” display and a Xenon flash to help illuminate low-light snapshots. Speaking of which, the bundled Nokia Pro Camera app gives shutterbugs control over settings like white balance, focus, ISO, shutter speed, and exposure—so even if the lighting is less than ideal, you should be able to take perfect shots. The really cool part: as you tweak the controls, you get an onscreen preview of how they’ll affect your photo.
If you’re looking to have a little more fun with the camera, fire up Smart Lens, which captures 10 frames in quick succession. From there you can add motion-blur effects, edit out unwanted objects, and ultimately produce action shots with multiple instances of the same person (think: soccer player moving the ball up the field). Thanks to built-in optical image stabilization, you should be able to record such shots even if you’re also moving. And if you’d rather preserve more than just still images, the Lumia 1020 captures full 1080p high-def video.
Cameras and smartphones alike should be comfortable to hold, but many products in both categories employ sharp, uncomfortable edges and corners. The Lumia, on the other hand, feels great thanks to its smooth, rounded shell—a unibody polycarbonate chassis designed to endure bumps and scuffs. And with flush-mounted durable glass protecting the display, the 1020 feels tough, not fragile.
The Lumia runs the Windows Phone 8 operating system, which Nokia stocks with Microsoft Office, a free voice-guided navigation app, and subscription-free streaming music courtesy of Nokia Music with Mix Radio.
With the Nokia Lumia 1020 in your hand, you’ve got everything you need—not just for apps, phone calls, document editing, and entertainment, but also for incredible photography and videography.