Microsoft keeps a pretty tight control over the hardware of Windows Phone devices, so understandably the Lumia 1020 brings little surprises here.
Above the screen you will find the earpiece, the ambient light and proximity sensors, as well as the 1.2MP front-facing camera.
Below the screen are the three touch-sensitive buttons for getting around the Windows Phone 8 UI. These are probably the most generously spaced capacitive keys in business. That and the extra space below them will be much appreciated for allowing an extra solid grip of that big and heavy handset.
Two-thumb typing in landscape is quite comfortable, but the uneven thickness makes getting a secure hold harder.
There is absolutely nothing on the phone's left side but things get a lot busier on the right. The volume rocker is there, along with the power/lock key and a dedicated camera button. The latter would launch the camera even if the phone is locked.
At the top you get the 3.5mm audio jack, the secondary microphone and the microSIM tray. You'll need the SIM eject tool supplied in the retail package or another suitable sharp object to release the tray, but that's often the case with microSIM-packing devices, so we won't be deducting any points here.
Moving on to the bottom of the phone we find the microUSB port, which is flanked by the loudspeaker and the lanyard eyelet. There's no visible hole for the primary microphone, so it should be located behind the grille, too.
The back of the device is where the a large round place featuring the 6-element ZEISS lens for the 41MP camera, the xenon flash and the LED flash, which also doubles as a video light. The bump is noticeable, but it's certainly smaller than those earlier leaks and the official photos made us believe.
Unfortunately it's located too low on the phone, so when you hold it one of your fingers usually ends up on the bump. Now that doesn't add too much to the thickness feel of the smartphone but it means you might get the occasional fingerprint on it, so make sure you clean the lens properly before starting the photo sessions.
The Lumia 1020 doesn't have a removable battery cover, which means you can't access or replace your battery. You can extend its capacity by another 1000 mAh if you get the optional grip cover, which also adds a larger shutter button and a comfortable grip.
Even without it the Lumia 1020 is said to last for up to 13h 20 min of talk time or 384h of stand-by on 3G networks, which is pretty decent. We'll have to wait to spend more time with the smartphone and do a proper battery test before we see how close those numbers are to reality.
The two dots at the back are used to connect to the optional wireless charging shell. Unlike the Lumia 920, the 1020 lacks that feature from the box and you have to get the optional cover to make it work. The combo of the two is certainly bulkier but you only need to connect the cover when you are actually using it, so we find this the better solution.
Aside from the non-removable battery, the other sacrifice mandated by the unibody design is the lack of expandable storage. Now 32GB should be enough for most users, but if you are not among them, you'll have to take your business elsewhere.