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Nokia Lumia 1020 a strong device backed by inadequate app ecosystem

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is turning heads thanks to its 41-megapixel camera, but the lack of Windows Phone 8 apps hurts the device's potential.
by Richard Hall Modified: September 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm •  Published: September 9, 2013

While some companies, like Samsung, are going bigger by adding inches to their smartphone screens, Nokia has a different idea: to go bigger by adding megapixels to their cameras.

Enter the Nokia Lumia 1020, a 41-megapixel camera that happens to have a smartphone attached to it.

Running on the Windows Phone 8 operating system, the Lumia 1020 has smooth and intuitive functionality that helps it soar above other Windows phones. The device's ergonomic and slim design means it's comfortable in the hand and in the pocket.

It's hard, however, to talk about the Lumia 1020 like it's a normal phone. Sure, it functions like any smartphone does with regards to making calls, surfing the Web and so on, but it's first and foremost a digital camera, so any discussion about the device needs to have the photographer in mind.

Forty-one megapixels is nothing to scoff at, especially considering other popular devices range from 8 megapixels to 13 megapixels. But with great power comes great responsibility, and users who are unfamiliar with the more detailed operations of digital cameras might feel a little intimidated by the features the Lumia 1020 packs in its tiny package. If there were ever a time a consumer should read the operating manual, this would be it.

The Lumia 1020 has features typical to the modern smartphone: 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB nonexpandable storage, high-def Super AMOLED display, 1080p video recording and so on.

But then it also packs manual shutter speed, focus and ISO controls, a 26 mm Zeiss lens, a Xenon flash, and a 3x lossless zoom, which means image quality won't suffer as you zoom in on your subject.

How the Windows OS handles the large images is pretty neat. When a photo is taken with the phone, the system stores it as a 5MP oversampled image. These are images you can easily share via social media sites, texting and email. When plugged to a computer, the full-size large images are transferrable, just like they are with your everyday digital camera.

These features are all well and good, but only if the camera performs well. Thankfully, it exceeds expectations.

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by Richard Hall
Digital Media Specialist
Richard Hall is an award-winning newsroom developer, editor and blogger for NewsOK. He was born in Austin, Texas, spent his childhood in southern California and has lived in Norman since 1999. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2008.
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