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The absurdly high-quality rear-facing camera of the Nokia Lumia 1020 is its most prominent feature, whereas its 1.3MP front-facing camera is good enough for simple videos and selfies. The large, round camera module located on the rear of the Lumia 1020 protrudes slightly.
A combination of the powerful camera, the Nokia Pro Cam app, a Xenon Flash and a focus assist light results in good quality photos with excellent detailing particularly when taken in good lighting. This is further enhanced by the optical image stabilization and floating lens features which can be used for videos as well. Marked at 41MP, the camera of the 1020 is completely off the charts among those of other smartphones. Nevertheless, this 41MP can be misleading since the 1020 takes two photographs with one push of the shutter button. One photo is at 34MP and the other at 5MP with the former photos giving you the option of cropping in order to make smaller photos. The upside is that you get to capture memorable moments but with slower processing speeds, you still end up taking fewer shots. The 5MP photos are easier to share and uses up less storage space but the aforementioned processing speeds are not increased.
Photos can be uploaded directly to Microsoft SkyDrive or downloaded onto your computer. Should you choose to delete either the 34MP or the 5MP versions of a photo, you will lose its respective counterpart. Continuous use of the 1020 camera, as well as keeping the phone on standby, drains the battery faster than normal use. Additional features are the camera grip accessory, making the 1020’s camera more like that of a proper camera, an extra battery (necessary due to its battery’s short life), as well as a tripod mount. Apart from the camera, the Lumia 1020 is characteristically larger than other phones in its category. It weighs a modest 158g making it not too heavy but not exactly the lightest of phones. Available in black, white and yellow, the matte finish coupled with the Gorilla Glass screen makes this phone quite luxurious. The screen, quite small when compared to the overall size of the phone, has the highest resolution of any Windows 8 phone resulting in a display that can be used easily in the outdoors, has good colour reproduction and contrast.
Processing speeds are fair thanks to the 1.5GHz S4 dual-core processor and 2GB RAM. However, some apps and settings do take slightly longer than desired to load. Internet access on the 1020 is quite fast. Connectivity is not limited to the standard Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The Nokia Lumia 1020 has NFC and 4G LTE which allows users to access the cellular service internet with faster speeds. With 32 GB of internal memory, any need for extra memory is curtailed by the lack of a microSD card slot. Running on the Amber version of Windows Phone 8 one of the most exciting features is Glance which displays a clock when the screen times out as well as peek which shows the time when you sweep your hand over the 1020 screen. The Windows app store comes with a whole host of apps of which photo-sharing with Instagram and other apps commonly found on Android and iOS phones are remarkably unavailable.