August 1, 2014

Nokia Lumia 1020 (Unlocked) (White) Review

Nokia Lumia 1020 (Unlocked) (White) Review

The Price of a Smartphone with the Power of a Pro Camera

The fact that I was able to announce and release a new album on my secondary business, Pix Perfect, thanks to the Lumia 1020 from Nokia should say more than enough. I been on the fence of purchasing a new device, a smartphone or a camera, but the Lumia 1020 has the best of both words all wrapped in a beautiful body that is very similar to the Lumia 925’s.

What’s in the Box?

Before I can even get to all of that greatness I want to introduce you all to everything that you receive within the box:

  • Nokia Lumia 1020 (International)
  • SIM Card Ejector Tool
  • Welcome Booklet (English & Spanish)
  • Information Sheets
  • 41 Megapixel Information Sheet (English & Spanish)
  • Micro USB to USB Cable
  • Wall Charger (Country Specific)
  • Earbuds (with Three Ear Tips Sizes)

 Nokia Lumia 1020 (Unlocked) (White)

Where Does the Nokia Lumia 1020 (Unlocked) (White) Exceed?


Nowadays, companies are making their devices larger, lighter, and thinner. A great example is the Galaxy S4 from Samsung but on the other hand you have the Lumia 1020 from Nokia. It doesn’t skip any meals by displaying a thickness of 10.4 mm which is about half an inch thick but is closer to half an inch thick with the rear facing camera that pokes out at the back. Thanks to this enhanced camera piece the Lumia 1020 doesn’t play nice with curve or even flat surfaces. I found it slipping to the left or the right and always having to hold it whenever I want to use it. This isn’t a giant problem for myself but I find that it may be one for the average consumer that wants to leave it on the table.

Otherwise, you will find yourself holding it a lot more than usual. The weight tops at 158 grams which isn’t lite at all thanks to the large battery, screen, and camera. I do wish it was a bit less heavy but then again the added weight allows me to have a good sense in which I know that I’m using a smartphone that has a great build quality and material rather than cheap plastic, such as the Galaxy S4 from Samsung.

Sadly, but surly, I wasn’t able to play many games on the Lumia 1020 but the experience of watching Netflix was more than enjoyable thanks to the 4.5-inch (WXGA) OLED display. The pixels are extra small and the image was always clear with the resolution topping off at 1280 by 768 Pixels (334 ppi). I had no problem zooming in and out of text and images. Matter of fact, the display resolution on the Lumia 1020 is extremely close to my 15.6-inch laptop (1366 by 768 Pixel) – crystal clear display with additional features.

  • Brightness Control
  • Nokia Glance Screen
  • Refresh Rate 60 Hz
  • Sunlight Readability Enhancements
  • Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3
  • Easy to Clean
  • High Brightness Mode
  • Lumia Color Profile
  • PureMotion HD+
  • Sculpted Glass
  • Wide Viewing Angle
  • Super Sensitive Touch Screen Technology
  • ClearBlack Display Technology


Those who do a lot of traveling internationally won’t find the Lumia 1020 the best device for them when it comes to being able to use two SIM’s at one time, but don’t shy away so fast. The reasoning behind this little set-back is due to the device featuring a Micro SIM card slot and that’s all as far as card slots are concerned.

Thankfully, the Lumia 1020 recovers with featuring a Micro USB for charging and syncing, a 3.5mm audio jack for your earbuds and headphones, Bluetooth 4.0 Connectivity, Wi-Fi Connectivity, along with NFC Pairing. These features are all great and since NFC is starting to grab hold on life it’s great to have it pre-installed on this device since it enables you to ease your mind and life. The only valuable reason I found for NFC Pairing is simply for swapping files from my Lumia 810 to the 1020. It’s similar to Bluetooth for devices and Bump for iOS.

NFC (Near-Filed Communication): is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into proximity, usually no more than a few centimeters. [Source: Wikipedia]

These features aren’t running on magic and the love for the Lumia 1020 but by a whooping 2000 mAh battery that isn’t that large for today’s standards. Yet, it’s more than enough juice for the Lumia 1020 since it doesn’t feature high-battery consumption like other devices, such as the Galaxy S5 and iPhone 5S. The one upside that the Galaxy S5 has over the iPhone 5S and Lumia 1020 is the ability to remove the battery for a new one. So, what does 2000 mAh mean in English? You will be able to do the maximum performance of talking on the phone, surfing the web, or playing back music and video.

  • 2000 mAh Battery
  • Non-Removable Battery
  • 16 Days of Stamdby Time
  • 8.2 Hours of Talk Time (2G)
  • 12.5 Hours of Talk Time (3G)
  • 53 Hours of Music Playback
  • 6.8 Hours of Video Playback
  • 6.7 Hours of Browsing on Wi-Fi

 Nokia Lumia 1020 (Unlocked) (White)

In my testing, I was more than able to meet all of these features that Nokia has provided us with. Man, I was shocked by how long I could simply listen to music and looking at the device every now and then just to see that the battery level hardly decreased and it did bring a smile to my face.

This very battery powered the brain of the whole operation which is the 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Processor and 2GB of RAM that made using the Lumia 1020 a pleasure no matter how much junk….I mean useful multimedia on it. It seem like I couldn’t get the device to the half level of storage but this is understandable for the ability to backup my photos and videos to OneDrive. I used this feature a little but don’t see myself using it a ton anymore. I’m thankful for the 32GB of RAM which is more than enough to install apps, games, photos, videos, and pretty much anything else that you may find useful.


The one part of the review that matters most is most likely the camera that’s built-in the Lumia 1020. It features a 41 Megapixel PureView rear-facing camera but in reality it’s not the full resolution that you expect. What do I mean? Well, in my testing I took photos of objects of many different colors, shades, lighting situations, and positioning of those objects.

If you’re viewing the photo on your device you will see a single photo but if you manually transfer the photo from the device to your computer you will see two photos: one with the ending of “##_Pro” and “##_Pro_highr”. The first one indicates the photo has been taken with only 35 Megapixels while the second one indicates the photo has been taken with 41 Megapixels (35 + 5). If we compare them you will notice that the first one is about 50% automatically zoomed in while the second one is about 100% automatically zoomed out.

For example: I have taken a picture of a white-tail deer. If I manually zoom into the ‘Pro’ photo with a photo viewer I can see the animal pretty clear, a little grainy, but manages to retain its color. On the other hand, the ‘Pro_highres’ photo shows the same detailed animal but a lot more washed out. In conclusion, the ‘Pro_highres’ photo captures a lot more screen estate and still will give you the same quality of a the ‘Pro’ photo.

If you ever watched the Nokia Lumia 1020 advertisements on social networks or TV you will be familiar with the one in which the parents are at a play and refuse to sit up closer since the Lumia 1020 can “supposedly” zoom in further and take a perfect picture. Correct? I tested that theory but an animal – the white-tail dear to be more precise. It was a medium-distance shot and I zoomed it onto the animal fully. I capture the photos, as still as possible, but yet the photo came our blurry and unprofessional.

Note: The lighting was perfect, sunlight lighting to be exact.

I still pulled out of the Lumia 1020 with a grainy shot of the animal. As far as focus is concerned, which I tested with close-up shots, such as posts, flowers, and still objects. The focus was spot on most of the time but I usually found myself manually focusing with the pre-installed Nokia Pro Camera app that’s free from the Windows Store.

Also See: Image Comparison (Above)

The last piece or pieces of hardware on the rear is the Xenon flash that I didn’t use a lot because I didn’t find it necessary for 90% of the photos I took. In low-lighting situations I did find that the photos were a but grainy and not as pretty as I hoped for them to be. I’ll stick with day-time and well-lite environments for my photo adventures. If I find that the photo could be a bit more beautiful then I could switch to one of the pre-installed photography apps:

  • Nokia Pro Camera
  • Creative Studio
  • Cinemagraph

 Nokia Lumia 1020 (Unlocked) (White)

Last, but not least of course, is the front-facing camera that puts out images up to 1280 by 960 pixels which is about a 11-inch laptop. I used the front-facing camera a couple of times and was pleased with the photos so those who love taking selfies are gonna love taking them with the Lumia 1020.

Music & Audio

The ability to listen to music is great but being able to enjoy it is even better. The Lumia 1020 doesn’t feature front-facing Beats speakers like the HTC One but does feature a pretty decent speaker that’s pointing toward the ground due to it being on the bottom of the device. I usually would hate a design flaw like this but since I’m right-handed and I’m required to “cuff” the device I actually was able to re-direct the audio to myself without ever feeling uncomfortable. The process is repeated in landscape mode as well.


Nokia has created the rear-facing camera to do more than capture beautiful photos but also shoot great-quality videos at 30 fps with a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels in Full High-Definition. These are specs directly from the Nokia site but I can honestly confirm that they are all true.  I recorded a short video testing these details and was blown away with minor flaws here and there. Otherwise, the camera has done its duty of capturing great photos and videos with a smartphone functionality.

Where Does the Nokia Lumia 1020 (Unlocked) (White) Lack?

There’s not many flaws that the Lumia 1020 has but they are worthy of being noted of. This device doesn’t feature Dual SIM but this isn’t a major problem for the average consumer or myself due to the fact that I don’t do a lot of international traveling. The biggest setback is when it came to finding out that this device also don’t feature a Micro SD Card Slot so I was forced to move all my content to my Windows 8.1 Update 1 computer and sync it back to the Lumia 1020 which took a couple hours in total. I find this process annoying.

Nokia Lumia 1020 (Unlocked) (White)

How Does the Nokia Lumia 1020 (Unlocked) (White) Fit in my Life?

Personally, I would purchase the Lumia 1020 from Nokia primarily for the 41 Megapixel Rear camera and then for the phone functions. I had many dropped calls or interruptions which could of been from the device or just something with my carrier.

Why Should You Purchase this for Yourself?

Why wouldn’t you? You will be purchasing an enhanced smartphone that has a camera built-in that could cost you hundreds if sold separately. If you’re a photographer or looking into photography then the Lumia 1020 is your device. If you want to get started off the ground and get places then visit Pix Perfect.

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