Nokia Lumia 1020 preview: Take two

GSMArena team, 12 July 2013.
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Nokia Lumia 1020 360-degree spin

There are two ways to look at the Nokia Lumia 1020 dimensions. At 130.4 x 71.4 x 10.4 mm the smartphone certainly isn't the most compact around - it's somewhat wider and much thicker than the Galaxy S4 (136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm) and that one has a 30% larger battery and 23% bigger screen.

On the other hand, the Lumia 1020 has the same footprint as its predecessor, the Lumia 920 (130.3 x 70.8 x 10.7 mm) and is even slimmer than it if you don't count the bulge for the camera. The comparison with the 13.9mm thick 808 PureView is also favorable for the Lumia 1020. Granted the original PureView handset had a larger sensor, which means much larger camera module, but the Lumia 1020 has a brighter F/2.2 lens and OIS and both of these require quite a lot of room.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Preview Nokia Lumia 1020 Preview Nokia Lumia 1020 Preview Nokia Lumia 1020 Preview
Nokia Lumia 1020 sized up against the 808 PureView and the Lumia 925

The weight of 158g is easily felt when you hold the Nokia Lumia 1020 in your hand or in your pocket, but it's still better than the 185g Lumia 920 or the 169g 808 PureView.

Design and build quality

Looking at the front of the Lumia 1020, the smartphone is almost identical to its Lumia 920 predecessor. The only giveaway is the fact that the bulging camera module makes it sit at an angle when placed on a table or other level surface.

The build and finish quality are certainly among the best in business, although we have to admit the design isn't as striking as it was nearly a year ago, when the Lumia 920 launched. But even if it's a little played out now, the unibody feels impressively sturdy and with the color being inherent to the material and not simply painted on top, it will certainly last a for quite a while and scratches will be harder to spot.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Preview Nokia Lumia 1020 Preview Nokia Lumia 1020 Preview
The design is a bit worn out now, but the build quality and finish are supreme

At its launch, the smartphone will be available in three color versions - the yellow one (like our test unit here) is the so-called lead color, meaning that it stars in most promo materials, but there's also a black and a white version.

We guess Nokia will add a few more options to the range further down the road (the Lumia 920 is available in 5 different colors), but even as it is now, the smartphone offers more choice than many of its competitors.


The Nokia Lumia 1020 comes with the same PureMotionHD+ AMOLED display as the Lumia 925. There's Gorilla Glass 3 protection on top, to keep scratches away and provide extra impact resistance. The company chose to move away from LCD panels for its flagships after the Lumia 920 and we suspect the reason for this is keeping the thickness to a reasonable level.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Preview
The PureMotionHD+ AMOLED screen is pretty nice

Of course an AMOLED panel has many other advantages such as more vibrant colors and far superior contrast. Nokia has even supplied the Lumia 1020 will a cool color profile app that lets you tune the saturation and color balance to your liking - if oversaturated colors aren't your thing you can go tune them down to more realistic levels and if you like that effect you can go all the way up.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Preview Nokia Lumia 1020 Preview
Display profile settings

The Nokia Lumia 1020 touchscreen also supports operation with gloves, which might come in handy when operating the flagship in the winter.

As far as image quality is concerned, the Lumia 1020 display performs excellently - it has good brightness levels for an AMOLED screen and excellent viewing angles. Blacks as typical for the technology are as deep as they get.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Nokia Lumia 1020 0 172 0 398
Nokia Lumia 920 - - - 0.48 513 1065
HTC One 0.13 205 1580 0.42 647 1541
Samsung Galaxy S4 0 201 0 404
Apple iPhone 5 0.13 200 1490 0.48 640 1320

Sunlight legibility is pretty decent, although not exactly as great as on the 808 PureView and its much brighter AMOLED screen.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
  • Apple iPhone 5
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Samsung Omnia W
  • Samsung Galaxy S
  • Nokia N9
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
  • HTC One S
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
  • Huawei Ascend P1
  • Nokia Lumia 900
  • HTC One
  • Sony Xperia Z
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
  • Motorola RAZR i
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
  • Apple iPhone 4S
  • HTC One X
  • Nokia N8
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
  • Oppo Find 5
  • BlackBerry Z10
  • Apple iPhone 4
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
  • HTC Butterfly
  • Sony Xperia V
  • Sony Xperia U
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
  • HTC One V
  • LG Optimus Vu
  • HTC Desire V
  • LG Optimus G Pro
  • LG Optimus 3D
  • Nokia Asha 302
  • Nokia Lumia 610
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
  • HTC Desire C
  • LG Optimus L7
  • LG Optimus L9
  • Meizu MX
  • Sony Xperia E dual
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
  • Sony Xperia tipo
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2

The only part of the screen that is not class-leading is its resolution. 768 x 1280 pixels still adds to a pixel density of 332 ppi, meaning that you won't be able to discern individual pixels, but flagship Androids have already crossed the 400ppi mark and are even sharper. Granted, the difference isn't huge, but it's there.

The Lumia 1020 employs a PenTile matrix, which means that it has two sub-pixels per pixels, and that reduces the perceived sharpness on some occasions. It's certainly not too irritating and you probably won't even feel the difference until you put the Lumia 1020 next to, say, the HTC One, but it's there.

Nokia Lumia 1020 display matrix

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