PureView may as well be Nokia's curse. It was the gun salute at Symbian's funeral, now it pans out to watch Nokia ride off into the sunset.
So much for the irony of it. Now, let's talk business. And we don't mean buying and selling. Though Redmond knew darn well what they were paying for.
Many who care about Nokia, believe Windows Phone was a mistake. Now, go ahead and call the Lumia 1020 a mistake. The best camera in business and one that probably will only be bested by its successor, whatever the logo on the tin.
Lumia 1020 is The One That Got Away. We didn't realize it until we were through with our review and we knew this is probably Nokia's farewell with the world. There are a few more devices to come from the Finns, but none of them will come close to the Lumia 1020. And yet, lots of people won't get this gem even though they love it.
It all started with the first PureView phone back in 2012 - the Nokia 808. The technology was so ground-breaking that people were whispering the name and the number of pixels with disbelief. Then we got our hands of the monstrous cameraphone and we were beyond impressed. Nokia showed the world you can pack so much camera magic in a standard-sized smartphone shell.
Then we turn on the phone and after a quick set up, we find the Lumia 1020 shoots amazing pictures, offers life-time voice-guided worldwide navigation, great mapping service and even Nokia's own Music streaming app. But there is more - the music player has rich equalizer options, the battery life is excellent, you can even use the screen with gloves or keys. The iconic glance screen is also here. We are sure Nokia's name once again popped up on a few occasions.
We all need to remember what Nokia was and that this is pretty much the same company today. And the Lumia 1020 is a great example of Nokia's dedication to its fans.
Samsung Galaxy S4 and LG G2 flagships offer similar fluid Android experience, great 13MP camera capabilities and top-notch video quality. Both droids costs about €100 cheaper than Lumia 1020. The Galaxy S4 has a few more advanced camera features and is capable of shooting amazing 60MPs panoramas and excellent HDR shots. If you need an even richer and highly customizable OS experience and you are ready to sacrifice some of the camera quality in favor of a bigger application store, then the Galaxy S4 or the LG G2 might be the right alternatives for you.
HTC One is far greater in terms in build quality thanks to its aluminum unibody shell. It also comes with optical image stabilization and big camera sensor though limited up to 4MP resolution. The One flagship captures great photos even in low-light and offers one of the best Android launchers available on the market. HTC seems to be also struggling lately but it is still providing amazingly fast Android updates on its latest devices. HTC One is beautiful both on the inside and the outside and has already won lots of users on its side. It's definitely a one to look forward to.
Sony Xperia Z1 has just hit the shelves and is priced closely to the Lumia 1020. The latest Japanese flagship also relies on a newly developed camera sensor and technology. It comes with a 20.7MP Exmor RS Sony sensor with a Superior Auto mode that produces 8MP shots from the raw 20.7MP images - Sony's answer to Nokia's PureView photos. Unfortunately, the Z1 can't keep both the full resolution shot and the downsized shot like the Lumia 1020. It also lacks optical image stabilization and a xenon flash. Not to mention that even the downsampled shots are nothing to write home about and the full resolution 20MP photos are lackluster. Despite having a 1080p display, the Xperia Z1 TFT unit is nowhere near the quality of the Lumia 1020's AMOLED screen. In fact, Sony's only advantages over the Lumia 1020 are its water-protection shell and probably, the Android OS (which is not little by all means).
The Lumia 1020 is and will be probably remembered as Nokia's crown jewel. It is a great exit for once a legendary company that believe it or not, has been the same since its beginning. Most of the users out there consider the Windows Phone OS as its major flaw, while they shouldn't. The Lumia 1020 is a solid phone, with great hardware, amazing innovative camera technology and powerful messenger and office skills. It's a true Nokia destined to become a legend when it's probably too late. And that's why Lumia 1020 will be always The One That Got Away.
PureView took more than a year to walk the distance between Symbian to Windows Phone. Well worth the wait, the 1020's camera is an improvement on an already mind-blowing camera.
It's a brilliant cameraphone but the smartphone isn't without its issues. The camera shot-to-shot time is rather appalling, the screen has only average sunlight legibility, the battery is not exchangeable and you cannot expand the internal storage with a microSD card. Yet, these are things you can live with if you get something in return, something to make up for these inconveniences. And the Nokia Lumia 1020 delivers.
Better yet, it's Nokia that has delivered one last time. It's not the fact that they may never do it again that makes the Luma 1020 special. And it's definitely not why we're heaping praise on the phone. On their way out, Nokia are looking back at a lifetime of achievement. One last view from the top.