November 5, 2013

Nokia Lumia 1020 Review

Nokia Lumia 1020 Review Nokia Lumia 1020 Review Nokia Lumia 1020 Review

Nokia Lumia 1020 Review

The Nokia Lumia 1020 continues Nokia’s obsession with camera phones by packing in a 41 megapixel sensor. However not a whole lot else has changed since the previous two Lumia’s (the 925 and the 920), so is that enough for it to stand out from the crowd?

Nokia Lumia 1020 Review Scoring Summary

Style & Handling
User Friendliness
Feature Set
Battery Power
Overall Score grey star

Pros : : Incredible camera and a good screen.

Cons : Underpowered and no real stand out features other than the camera.

Verdict : The Nokia Lumia 1020 is the best camera phone available right now. Unfortunately it’s not particularly inspiring in any other way.

Get this 4G phone on Superfast 4GEE

Nokia Lumia 1020 Full Review


The Nokia Lumia 1020 continues the long Lumia tradition of brightly coloured plastic rectangles. It’s not the classiest look around but it is at least distinctive. While most phones are happy being black or white the Lumia 1020 is also available in bright yellow or red.

However the Lumia 1020 does look a little different to other Lumia’s by virtue of having a large black camera module on the back. It’s a lot larger than camera’s on most phones but that’s presumably necessary to pack the 41 megapixel sensor in.

At 130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4mm it’s not particularly slim or compact, while at 158g it’s not all that light either, though the over sized camera lens is likely to blame for that.


With a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM the Nokia Lumia 1020 is reasonably powerful, particularly by Windows Phone 8 standards, but it’s a far cry from the quad-core processors found in Android handsets or the 64 bit A7 processor in the iPhone 5S.

It doesn’t feel particularly sluggish in general use, but nor does it feel as slick as most other top end phones. If power is an issue for you then this will be a problem, but most people probably won’t really notice.

On the plus side it does support 4G LTE, so while performance might not be top flight web browsing and other data hungry activities are. It will breeze through downloads at superfast speed.


The Nokia Lumia 1020 has a 4.5 inch 768 x 1280 AMOLED display with a pixel density of 332 pixels per inch. It’s reasonably high resolution and more importantly it’s bright and vibrant, really letting the colours pop out of the screen. It’s not the best display we’ve ever seen but it’s certainly up there.


The camera on the Nokia Lumia 1020 is the real star of the show. It has a 41 megapixel sensor, a Carl Zeiss optics lens, optical image stabilisation and both an LED and Xenon flash. So it can take fantastic high detail shots even in low light conditions and with those 41 megapixels shots can be blown up onto even a canvas without too much loss in quality, or alternatively those extra megapixels can be leveraged to provide lossless digital zoom.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 also has a 1.2 megapixel front facing camera and can shoot 1080p video at 30fps.

Other features

The Nokia Lumia 1020 runs Windows Phone 8 and can be upgraded to the latest Amber version. It comes with 32GB of storage or 64GB if bought direct from O2; however there’s no micro SD card slot, so either way you’re stuck with the onboard memory.

It supports Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC, which is a pretty good collection of options, but there’s no Bluetooth 4.0 and no infrared port.

The battery in the Nokia Lumia 1020 is rated at 2000 mAh and can manage up to 384 hours of standby time, 13 hours and 20 minutes of talk time or 63 hours of music playback, which isn’t bad as such but it’s not particularly great either.


The Nokia Lumia 1020 has a phenomenal camera. One that’s genuinely good enough to replace a low to mid range compact. So if your number one want from a smartphone is a good camera then it’s probably worth buying for that reason alone.

Beyond the camera it’s pretty decent in most other ways too, with nothing objectively wrong with it, but it all just feels a bit middle of the road, with average specs, an uninspiring build and a good but not great screen.

Get this 4G phone on Superfast 4GEE

Nokia Lumia 1020 Review Specification

Dimensions: 130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4mm

Weight: 158g

Screen size: 4.5 inch

Screen Resolution: 1280 x 768 pixels

Pixels per Inch (PPI): 332

Processor: 1.5 GHz dual-core processor


Battery capacity: 2000 mAh

Onboard Memory: 32GB / 64GB (exclusive to O2)

Camera: 41 megapixel / 1.2 megapixel (front-facing)

Operating system: Windows Phone 8

Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE: Yes / Yes / Yes

Bluetooth / NFC / Infrared LED: Yes / Yes / No

Colours: Black, White, Yellow and Red

Launch Date: Out now

Price: £420

  • Simon


    As a Semi Professional Photographer I would run a mile from any compact camera or phone that boasted that many Megapixels. Within photography circles it has been an established fact that the more megapixels you place on a tiny sensor the worst the picture quality. This is simple physics as the pixels being so close together collide and interfere with each other and create noise especially at high ISO settings where it will really get stressed. You will find many of the old 16mpx compacts are being sold off cheap now and replaced with more expensive lower mpx cameras. My professional camera that I use for weddings is 21mpx and that is on a very large full frame sensor. So unless Nokia has defied physics i would stay well clear. I am very pleased to see Apple have realised what we have known for a long time and kept their mpx to 8 and increased the size of their sensor. Their camera phone would be the most appealing to me out of all of them.