Nokia brought out the big guns at the beginning of the presentation - two PhDs, who were involved in the creation of the Lumia 1020. And it seems that all that knowledge was needed as the team had to completely redesign the Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) that was introduced with the Lumia 920 to accommodate the far larger sensor. The new Nokia flagship uses the biggest Back-side illuminated (BSI) sensor in any consumer device and 6-lens optics from ZEISS (the most of any smartphone).
Here goes a brief hands-on video of the Nokia Lumia 1020 and its original accessories.
From the presentation it seemed that the Nokia Lumia 1020 is all about photography - it's not just snapping photos, Nokia also wants to redefine how apps interact with camera. The star app, however, was the Pro Camera lens, which is how you make the best use of the camera.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 has a protruding camera on the back (unavoidable with such a big sensor), but overall it's not a huge device - in fact, (camera aside) the Lumia 1020 is 0.3mm thinner than the Lumia 920, with height and width being the same. And the camera bulge doesn't really damage the handling either - you hand is normally sitting lower so you don't really feel the extra thickness until you put the smartphone in your pocket.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 is also lighter by 27g than its predecessor and that's a difference you can feel.
Okay, let's jump straight to the camera, we know that's what you want to see. It protrudes ever so slightly from the back - honestly, with the 808 PureView in mind we thought it would be much worse. And yes, the sensor is a bit smaller here, but the OIS also adds quite a lot to the volume so kudos to Nokia for this one.
The camera lives on a black circle that is separate from the rest of the back (and the phone's color). That circle houses the lens, which features a mechanical shutter, a xenon flash and a LED light.
As we already noted the Lumia 1020 doesn't use the image sensor found in the 808 PureView. A completely new 41MP sensor was designed for this one. It's smaller than the previous sensor - 1/1.5" instead of 1/1.2" - and this means it has somewhat smaller pixels - 1.12 microns instead of 1.4 microns.
However, the new sensor has a BSI design, which improves light sensitivity. This means it needs less light for the same image quality, so that probably makes up for the difference in size. And in case it's not enough, the new lens which are faster than the old ones (f/2.2 instead of f/2.4) will certainly do.
Then there's the Optical Image Stabilization (a completely redesigned mechanism) that also improves low-light photography and lets you produce smooth videos instead of the shaky mess that many other smartphones deliver. The xenon flash will give the Lumia 1020 an edge in the dark as well.
The sensor can snap 34MP images in 16:9 mode and 38MP images in 4:3 mode.
As with all Windows Phone handsets, the Nokia Lumia 1020 has a dedicated shutter key. It's a two-position one, so the photography experience is as good as it gets.
Nokia also announced an official Camera Grip - it improves your handling of the phone and adds a bigger shutter key. There's more - at the bottom of it is a standard tripod mount and Nokia demoed how that can be useful with some Gorillapods. The Grip also packs a 1,020mAh battery, which augments the 2,000mAh battery already in the device (for comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom has a 2,330mAh battery).
The Camera Grip is smaller than it looked in those leaked photo and turned out quite nice to handle. It will cost the somewhat steep $79, so we wouldn't be happy with anything less.
There's no wireless charging built-in, Stephen Elop was asked about it on stage and said that after talking to consumers it seemed that a snap-on charging shell is the better option (adds thickness and weight only if you want wireless charging).