x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone just a little too serious

Lumia 1020 is a phone for the photography enthusiast who does not wish to carry a camera.

A visitor tries out the Lumia 1020 during the Gitex Shopper event in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
A visitor tries out the Lumia 1020 during the Gitex Shopper event in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

Awkward. That is the initial sensation from handling Nokia’s latest flagship device, the Lumia 1020. It is noticeably smaller than its predecessor, which should make it easier to handle, but the massive lens at the back makes it all so awkward.

The camera sensor has a whopping 41 megapixels. It takes splendid pictures for a smartphone camera, but the bulge of the lens gets in the way. Using the phone with one hand becomes slightly uncomfortable as a result.

Once you become accustomed to the bulge, the fun can begin. Nokia has shifted almost all of its focus on to the camera, but in doing so it has sacrificed other possible innovations and upgrades.

The 1020 has a 4.5-inch screen with the same resolution and pixel density of the Lumia 920, as well as the same 1.5GHz dual-core processor. It is lighter and thinner than the Lumia 920 though.

The lack of upgrades is quickly forgotten when you start taking pictures. The Lumia 1020 provides a superior photography experience on a phone.

Besides the digital single-lens reflex-compatible megapixels, the sensor and the flash are also top-notch. There are two camera applications to choose from – the standard Windows 8 that is quickly loaded by pressing the shutter button, or the Nokia Pro Cam which gives manual control over shutter speed, ISO (film speed), white balance and focus, but not the aperture.

Making these changes is simple with the overlay of rings on the screen that you can adjust accordingly in real time.

While it gives you greater control over picture effect, this camera is not for those who want to take pictures quickly without much hassle. The Pro Cam needs either expertise or practice. It can take quite some time to understand exactly what each control does. And for those unfamiliar with ISO and shutter speed, it can be a little too complicated.

Lumia 1020 runs the Windows 8 operating system, which is decent enough, but is let down by the lack of apps in its store. It simply is not as fun as an iPhone or Android smartphones. The lack of control over the background colour becomes somewhat annoying too.

Essentially, Lumia 1020 is a phone for the photography enthusiast who does not wish to carry a camera. Those after a smartphone that provides variety should consider something else.

thamid@thenational.ae