How does the Lumia 1020 feel?

by Volker Weber


Quite a lot of people got their first Lumia 1020 yesterday. And you will read lots of reviews. Measurebators will look at pixels and sharpness and chromatic aberrations. They will compare the phone with other ones, balance camera against apps.

I am not going to do that. I am going to tell you how I feel about it.

The 1020 has a little bit of history for me. Please bear with me as I go back a few years. The old Nokia developed the N8, an incredible shooter with an operating system on its last legs. It was quirky, it was full of features, and it was supposed to be the first device in a sequence of new Symbian versions. Its software may have been old, but make no mistake: the N8 would shoot better photos and videos than any current iPhone.

I loved the excellent camera, but the smartphone simply wasn't good enough for me. Fast forward to the beginning of 2012. Nokia wins the best-in-show award at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. With the 808 Pureview, which was running the final Symbian version. While the iPhone 4 was the first device that would let me leave my camera behind in the hotel room, the 808 made me leave my camera at home when I was traveling.

Later last year I was in New York for the 920 announcement, which became Nokia's first Windows 8 phone. I shot all photos and videos on the 808, but I had a bit of 920 envy. It added two features that were more useful to me than the lossless zoom of the 808 or the sheer megapixel power: low light performance and optical image stabilization.

After I started working with the 920, it quickly became my number one phone, relegating the iPhone and the BlackBerry to numbers two and three. At Cebit 2013 I started shooting video without a tripod, just from the palm of my hand. And then came the 925 with new software, which now also runs on 920 and other WP8 devices: Nokia Amber with new camera apps. Now I was able to go out of automatic mode and control lots of parameters very easily and with great feedback.

As you can see, Nokia took me on a journey to the perfect camera. A camera that was always with me.

As I was sitting at London City Airport today, making the new 1020 "mine" by installing my essential apps, creating the same collection of live tiles that I have on the 925, configuring accounts for all the social networks, downloading music for the journey to Frankfurt, it suddenly hit me.

Imagine you drive your perfect car, 200 HP, 6-cylinder engine. You know everything about it, how it handles in corners, how it stops, how it accelerates. And then somebody drops an engine five times as powerful in. Instead of 200 HP, you get 1000.

That's how the 1020 feels.


That sounds rather like a love story in development, you petrolhead you.

CHris Frei, 2013-09-13

And, your "perfect car" has 64GB inside, very nice :-)
Is there a "lens cap" included ? the camera looks (for me) very vulnerable to scratches.....

Roland Dressler, 2013-09-13

Hmmm... Not sure about that analogy. Most 200bhp cars are optimized for that 200bhp engine. Add another 800bhp, and the car will be instantly horrible; no brakes, useless tyres, awful understeer, wrong gear ratios. Every part works with every other part, in harmony. Alter any one of them radically, and the whole thing falls apart.

Mick Moignard, 2013-09-13

Mick, You are trying to analyze a feeling.

Volker Weber, 2013-09-13

Danke, Volker. Ich setze große Hoffnung auf Bandit / Lumia 1520. Kamera zwischen 92x und 1020, riesiges Display, guter Akku. Bin schon sehr gespannt auf Deine Artikel zum 1020 :)

Hubert Stettner, 2013-09-13

Old archive pages

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


Paypal vowe