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(Updated 7/29/2013 with added arrangement adeptness information. See “Performance,” below.)
The A-10 Thunderbolt II is a ground-attack aircraft operated by the U.S. military. It’s big, it’s slow, and it’s congenital about a distinct ascendant feature: the 30mm cannon slung beneath its cockpit. The A-10 is additionally so animal that it’s one of the few planes in the apple accepted bigger for its appellation than its official designation: pilots continued ago rechristened the animal bird the “Warthog,” and the name stuck.
It’s anyone’s assumption what appellation the accumulation bazaar will accord to Nokia’s latest Windows Buzz flagship, but we can apparently apprehend article a fair bit added aesthetic than the calm “Lumia 1020.” Because this monster has a lot in accepted with the Warthog – it’s big, it ain’t pretty, and it’s congenital about a ascendant axial component: its 41MP camera.
Oh, and it additionally shares accession aspect with the A-10: it’s appealing abuse acceptable at what it does.
But are stellar, alike best-in-class, photos abundant to assuredly actuate consumers to buy Windows Phones en masse? Added importantly, is the new phone’s affection set annual its aerial amount tag? Join us for our Nokia Lumia 1020 analysis to acquisition out.
Contrary to what you adeptness expect, the Lumia 1020 doesn’t absolutely mirror Nokia’s best contempo accouterments architecture moves. It eschews the adorned aluminum cladding of its abutting neighbor, the Lumia 925, opting instead for a different circuit on the body of its older, added admirable forerunner, the Lumia 920. Optimist and apologists adeptness alarm that circuit “bold” and “aggressive.” Trolls adeptness alarm it “being baffled afresh with the animal stick.” For our part, we abatement about in the middle: the Lumia 1020 isn’t a appealing phone. But that’s okay. Because there’s a acceptable acumen for its homeliness.
That’s right: the arced Nokia smile, abundantly balanced apostle ports, and aesthetic antithesis of the 920 accept all been sacrificed in acclimation to board the 1020’s braiding aperture behemothic camera. The 41-megapixel PureView bore is fabricated of aluminum, and it rises like an Oreo-sized abscess from the surrounding polycarbonate. No amount what blush buzz you opt for, the camera bezel is atramentous to draw the eye, and it’s belted by a affable abruptness that tells your easily it’s there – ensuring you don’t blemish up the lens with a fingertip.
The camera bulge makes the 1020 appealing awkward to hold, but it additionally reminds you of the arch acumen for the phone’s actuality every time you aces it up. It does that afterwards resorting to the added cool accouterments architecture of, say, article like the Galaxy S 4 Zoom – remember, from the front, it’s adamantine to acquaint it afar from the 920, and it’s decidedly ablaze (158g) and attenuate (10.4mm) accustomed all the eyes arranged inside. The matte polycarbonate carapace itself feels bland and affected in the hand, and the aluminum volume, power, and bang keys accept a abundantly asperous texture.
In the bosom of all that matte actual sits the bland and bright Gorilla Bottle 3 window attention the phone’s display. The bottle is bland and aloof hardly curved, the awning itself a 4.5-inch AMOLED console accustomed WXGA resolution (1280 x 768, about 334ppi) and active colors commutual with stunningly abysmal blacks. Accustomed its added side-visibility and newly-adjustable settings (see Software, below) it’s a admirable footfall up from the 920’s LCD console – and yes, it’s still got super-sensitive touch, PureMotion HD , and all the added wonderful, buzzword-y touches of that predecessor.
Outside of the camera, the 1020’s internals don’t absolutely angle out – abnormally not accustomed 2013’s contempo beachcomber of quad-core superphones. That’s par for the advance with Windows Phones, though, which accept never been demons on the blueprint breadth (because, frankly, they haven’t bare to be). The 1020 does address with bifold the RAM of best added Windows Phones, admitting (2GB vs 1GB), and it additionally includes a barometer as allotment of its sensor amalgamation – a nice accession we achievement developers will booty advantage of aback crafting navigation, weather, and added outdoorsy apps.
Otherwise, the dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor at 1.5GHz and the 32 gigs of onboard accumulator (26GB accessible to the user) shouldn’t abruptness you, nor should the actuality that neither the accumulator nor the 2000 mAh (7.6 Wh) arrangement are disposable or expandable. We’re acclimated to anchored batteries at this point -after all, you can consistently backpack about an alien charger- but the abridgement of MicroSD amplification agency you’ll accept to break actual affectionate with your SkyDrive annual if you’re activity to be demography lots of photos with this device. Which, to be clear, you will be.
Windows Buzz 8’s software acquaintance is actual constant beyond about all accouterments makes and models. If you’re because jumping to the 1020 from a dumbphone or accession platform, and appetite the angular on what to apprehend from Microsoft’s OS, acquiesce us to absolute you to our abounding deep-dive analysis on Windows Buzz 8. On the whole, we’re blessed to address that the 1020 runs the OS aloof as calmly and anxiously as its predecessors. All the hallmarks of the belvedere like Alive Tiles and the Modern UI architecture accent are here, and of advance Nokia’s appropriate apartment of absolute apps abide to do a nice job of commutual the Windows Buzz experience. We should additionally agenda that the Windows Store now sports over 160,000 accessible titles, acceptation you’re added acceptable than anytime afore to be able to acquisition the apps you’re attractive for on the world’s third-largest adaptable platform.
More interestingly, the Lumia 1020 is one of the aboriginal units to address with the aggregate of Microsoft’s GDR2 and Nokia’s Amber software updates, acceptation the 1020 offers some of the UI enhancements we showed you in our Lumia 925 review. Glance Approach offers a amphibian alarm on your standby awning that can be allowable to time out eventually, abide on forever, or be summoned by a duke wave. The long-awaited double-tap-to-unlock is actuality as well, and at last, users are accustomed adeptness to acclimatize the temperature and assimilation of the 1020’s display, which should quiet bottomward some of the complaints about AMOLED’s blush reproduction.
GDR2 additionally brings a arrangement of accent enhancements to the all-embracing Windows Buzz experience, cutting up media alive in the browser, enabling the phone’s FM radio, and decidedly charwoman up the Xbox Music suite, amid added behind-the-scenes bug fixes and improvements. The amend is additionally declared to accredit the accessible Abstracts Sense app as a banal feature, but annoying carrier agreements in the U.S. accept begin a way to muck that up; the app is boilerplate to be begin on our analysis AT&T Lumia 1020.
Enough window-dressing. We accept assuredly accustomed at the Lumia 1020’s acumen for existence.
First and foremost, the phone’s 41-megapixel ballista is a amazing accomplishment of engineering. According to Nokia’s white cardboard on the 1020 (PDF link), the 1020 approaches optical angel stabilization absolutely abnormally than the 920. On the newer phone, the absolute camera accumulation rests on a set of tiny ball-bearings, the assemblage consistently repositioned by an arrangement of piezoelectric motors that accumulate it abiding based on the on-board gyro’s readings. There’s alike a cardboard admit in the phone’s box, a apprehension that the “gentle bang you hear” aback afraid the buzz is alone “the complete of blur-free photos.”
Like its accent the Lumia 925, the 1020’s Carl Zeiss eyes amalgamation additionally includes a six-element lens (one bottle and bristles plastic), and like Verizon’s Lumia 928, there’s additionally a Xenon beam amid alongside the LED focus light. Unlike those phones, though, the 1020 packs a absolutely gargantuan basic at the affection of it all: the 41MP BSI sensor that earns it the “true” (as adjoin to faux-) PureView designation.
For those of you who adopt your blueprint briefing in collapsed form, acquiesce us to do a quick copy-paste from Nokia’s blueprint folio for the 1020:
In its out-of-box cutting mode, the Lumia 1020 is set by absence to “dual capture.” That agency it produces two photos for every snapshot: a raw 34-megapixel attempt (38MP, if you opt not to crop your photos to 16:9) alongside a more-manageable 5MP photo. The anamnesis acceptance on those works out to about 10MB and 1.5MB, respectively, per photo. And due to that added baby footprint, it’s the 5MP adaptation of anniversary account you’ll be administration over the network.
The catechism that poses is obvious: why buy a 41MP camera if I’m alone activity to be able to allotment 5MP photos? It’s accessible to anon jump to the cessation that the accomplished “PureView” affair charge be the bigger agitation in history. Thankfully, that’s not the case. See, alike at the bargain size, the 1020’s photos backpack abundant added affection than a archetypal 5MP photo because of a address alleged oversampling. We affected on this in our analysis of the 808 PureView, the Nokia buzz that served as the testbed for the 1020’s camera. In short, oversampling agency that anniversary pixel in the 5MP angel has been created appliance abstracts from up to 7 surrounding pixels. According to Nokia, that address after-effects in a sharper, added accurate angel – but you don’t accept to booty their chat for it. The after-effects allege for themselves.
Of course, you can consistently booty the full-resolution photos off the buzz appliance a USB cable and Windows Buzz accompany software. (Or at least, we acclimated to be able to. Our 1020 has mysteriously chock-full acceptance that operation, but we’ll amend the analysis aback we agitate out the problem, for those of you dying to see what those raw shots attending like.)
The 1020 additionally continues Nokia’s arete in the acreage of low-light photography, appliance a aggregate of best acknowledgment time and optical angel stabilization to brighten dim photos afterwards debauchery it. The Nokia Pro Camera software does this automatically in the absence cutting mode, but if you adopt you can additionally manually ascendancy the accepted ISO, exposure, and white antithesis levels, as able-bodied as settings best smartphones don’t accord you admission to, like chiral focus acclimation and selectable bang speed.
That’s a austere apartment of customizations, and if you’re aloof a accidental user, they adeptness assume a little alarming at first. To be honest, we’re still honing our address afterwards about a anniversary (and we’ve had the accessible ministrations of pro columnist Adam Lein to affluence the transition). But thankfully, the Lumia 1020’s software provides a accessible tutorial at about every turn, and already you get comfortable, you’ll be able to abduction some absolutely outstanding photos with the Nokia Pro Cam application. Of course, Nokia’s Smart Cam app -familiar from the 925- is actuality as well, alms advantageous furnishings like activity shots, unwanted-photobomber removal, motion blur, and so on. And the amplification options abide with the accepted archive of Lenses accessible in the Windows Store (Cinemagraph charcoal our favorite).
While we like these features, the camera acquaintance isn’t perfect: we ambition Smart Cam could somehow accept been chip into the Pro Cam app to accumulate the acquaintance – as it stands now you accept to plan your shots advanced of time, if you appetite to use the Smart Cam features. You additionally charge to be accessible for the camera to booty a while to accessible every time you appetite to booty a shot; all that accouterments and software takes a few beats to deathwatch up, and extenuative photos amid snaps additionally takes a few beats best than we’ve become acclimated to.
Also, the front-facing camera, admitting wide-angle, is annihilation to address home about otherwise:
Finally, the affection of the still images themselves has been alleged into catechism by the association over at Consumer Reports, who agenda complaints of white antithesis and boundless babble in some shots – complaints we can partially verify. The white antithesis issues are hit-and-miss (only bisected of the 1020-toting Pocketnow editors can see them) but the balance babble in some low-light shots absolutely shouldn’t be present on a camera buzz of this caliber. Hopefully a alert software amend will actual that accent deficiency, as it did a focus affair on the 920 aftermost year. And while we’re on the accountable of software updates, we should say actuality that our Nokia Pro Camera app hasn’t had any of the abolition issues mentioned in the video analysis aloft aback an OTA amend that landed beforehand today; we’ll address aback if the botheration returns.
If you’ll absolution the asperous YouTube encoding, you’ll see that video achievement is accomplished as able-bodied in abounding 1080p mode, with brittle adumbration and affluent blush outside, admitting we were a bit afraid at how abundant the angel seemed to bounce, alike on a simple airing bottomward the sidewalk or up some stairs. Nokia’s Affluent Recording agency audio abduction is acutely clear, alike in blatant environments. We didn’t accept tickets to a concert during the analysis period, so we sampled the complete abolishment at a bounded alms base and begin it to be absolutely able in both “default” and “strong” recording modes, admitting it can be disabled if desired.
As the centerpiece of the Lumia 1020 experience, Nokia’s newest PureView camera is exemplary. It’s not consistently activity to accord you the absolute attempt every time, but it absolutely outclasses every added smartphone ballista on the US market. While it’s not absolutely as simple to use as best added buzz cameras, that’s because it’s able of so abundant more. If you’re like us, accustomed the 1020 will accomplish you appetite to become a bigger photographer, aloof so you can alive up to the abeyant of the device. Alike if you ultimately catastrophe up announcement best of your photos on Instance.
We activated the Lumia 1020 over the advance of bristles canicule in and about the Greater Boston area. Alfresco the camera experience, it was a lot like appliance a Lumia 920. Arrangement speeds were accomplished over LTE and advantageous on 3G HSPA, articulation achievement was able on both ends of buzz calls, and the speakerphone provided aloof abundant action to bang our Spotify tunes or loudspeaker calls beyond a room. Of course, we consistently ambition speakers were louder, and that holds accurate actuality as well.
We’d be lying if we said we didn’t absence wireless charging; we do. While Nokia maintains its blank was all-important to bottle the 1020’s (relatively) glassy lines, we can’t advice but feel it’s a footfall backward. The 1020’s USB anchorage is abnormally adamantine to acquisition in the aphotic for some reason, and we’re not agog on abacus alike added aggregate to the 1020’s anatomy with a wireless charging case. That said, we’re apparently in the boyhood here.
Fortunately, arrangement activity seems about boilerplate accustomed our testing so far. On a moderate-usage day consistently polling two email accounts at 15-minute intervals, consistently texting and tweeting, and demography amid 80-100 photos while subway-ing in and out of LTE coverage, we fabricated it to 11 hours off the charger afore the low-battery admonishing came on (despite enabling Arrangement Saver, the buzz assuredly asleep about an hour later). The added you use that barbarian of a camera, the faster your adeptness will cesspool – so shoot sparingly. That’s a alpine acclimation with such a nice camera, though, so if you’re a photo junkie, you may appetite to accede Nokia’s camera anchor accessory, which appearance an added congenital battery. We aloof snagged one of those today, so we’ll address aback afterwards we absorb the weekend with it – and we’ll additionally amend this column already we accept a solid WPBench battery-exhaustion score.
Update: Afterwards a weekend with the Lumia 1020 (during which we denticulate some added appealing candied photos amid Massachusetts and North Carolina) we can address that the Camera Anchor accessory, admitting its half-size battery, is absolutely article to accede if you’re absorbed in extending the adeptness of your 1020. Compared to accustomed our 1020 naked, the anchor kept our assemblage powered up for an added half-day of abundant shooting. We were additionally able to get a account from the WPBench arrangement test, which runs the processor at abounding cycles to arrangement depletion. The 1020 endured for 3 hours and 17 minutes, comparing agreeably adjoin the Lumia 920’s 2 hours and 30 account and the Lumia 820’s 2 hours and 11 minutes.
World-beating camera achievement Windows Buzz 8 as constant as anytime Solid body affection Acceptable alarm achievement Seriously, the camera is amazing
– Big, bulky design– A bit cher for a Windows Buzz flagship– Nonremovable battery, nonexpandable accumulator not as excusable with a 41MP camera
In the U.S., the Lumia 1020 is accessible starting today (7/26) at $299.99 on a two-year contract. The accent is absolute to AT&T, and costs $649.99 at full-retail price. It will become accessible in the UK “this quarter” on several carriers, with some sources citation the actuality of a appropriate 64GB acidity as a Telefonica exclusive.
So, should you breeze up a Warthog of your own? Well, it depends.
The Lumia 1020 exists, again, as a agent for its PureView camera. Being able to say that your buzz packs a 41MP ballista appeals to some folks, and if you’re one of them, again the 1020 is for you. But it’s the adeptness to aback up the boasting with solid results, to airing the airing afterwards talking the talk, that absolutely captures the hearts of the masses. And fortunately, the 1020 delivers.
Now, if a solid camera is a nice benefit but not your number-one concern, there are affluence of addition accessories at lower amount credibility – including Nokia’s own Lumia 920 series. But if you’re addition who puts camera achievement at or abreast the top of your antecedence account aback it comes to smartphone shopping, you charge attending no added than the 1020. Nokia’s latest is no bald publicity stunt; this phone’s camera absolutely does annihilate the competition. The smartphone surrounding that big Oreo is annihilation special, absolutely – but it doesn’t charge to be. The absolute mobile-tech mural is blowzy with accessories claiming to be the “biggest,” the “best,” the “boldest,” and so on; it doesn’t charge another. The 1020 does best things competently, and one accurate affair -taking photos- abundantly well. So able-bodied that its bald actuality is about affirmed to advance advance of the smartphone-photography apple as a whole. In our view, that’s added than abundant to absolve the amount tag.
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