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Nokia unveils 41-megapixel Lumia 1020 Windows Phone

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July 11, 2013

Nokia today unveiled the Lumia 1020, marrying the most ambitious smartphone camera to date...

Nokia today unveiled the Lumia 1020, marrying the most ambitious smartphone camera to date with the familiar Lumia hardware and Windows Phone 8 software

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During the last few years, smartphone cameras have steadily improved. But every now and then a product comes along that doesn't have the patience for steady evolution. Nokia's new Lumia 1020, for example, takes the current 13-megapixel benchmark of phones like the Galaxy S4, and blows that spec out of the water. This Windows Phone 8 handset isn't messing around, rocking an impressive 41-megapixel sensor.

Putting the "camera" back in camera-phone

Nokia wants the 1020 to take smartphone photography to the next level

With the Lumia 1020, Nokia took the impressive camera from last year's PureView 808, removed the defunct Symbian operating system, and replaced it with the much more relevant (but not without its own struggles) Windows Phone 8. The result just might be the most serious smartphone camera ever made, married with hardware and software that you might actually want to use.

Along with its 41 megapixels, the Lumia 1020's camera features 6-lens Carl Zeiss optics, Optical Image Stabilization, and high resolution lossless zoom. The digital zoom on nearly every other smartphone is essentially nothing more than a crop of a non-zoomed image, which is then upscaled. The Lumia 1020's full resolution image, however, is so dense that zoomed portions stay sharp.

The camera also implements a new feature called Dual Capture, which takes simultaneous 38 MP and 5 MP shots. The idea is that you send the 5 MP version to a friend or upload it to Facebook, and then really go to town on editing the high-resolution version when you get home.

Nokia also threw in a software goodie bag that claims to let regular folks tweak some advanced photography settings. Dubbed Pro Camera, the app lets you quickly adjust settings like white balance, ISO, and manual focus.

Other specs, release

The Lumia 1020 sports a familiar 4.5-inch display

The Lumia 1020 also has a well-rounded set of supporting hardware. It rocks a dual core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, a 4.5-inch 1280 x 768 (332 PPI) display, and 2 GB of RAM. It sports a 2,000 mAh battery and will run on LTE networks, at least where it's supported.

The 1020 sports a solid 32 GB of internal storage, along with SkyDrive syncing. But it would have been nice to see a 64 GB option or a microSD slot. All of those high-resolution shots could eat away at those 32 gigs pretty quickly. And if you're on a capped data plan, the last thing you'll want to do is upload them all to SkyDrive while on the go.

The Lumia 1020 will launch first in the US, exclusively on AT&T on July 26. It will ring up for a relatively steep price of US$300 with a 2-year contract. Nokia says the handset will launch in Europe and China later this quarter.

Sources: Nokia, Windows Phone, via Wired

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica.
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7 Comments

I'm impressed with the camera side of the phone, not happy about the price difference I can expect to pay double that in Australia even though the exchange rates are similar

Graham Winks HomeMaint
11th July, 2013 @ 02:51 pm PDT

I'm really happy with my Lumia 920, but I could get tempted to make the jump.

I'm looking forward to seeing some camera comparisons tests for sure.

BZD
11th July, 2013 @ 03:52 pm PDT

I remember Nokia advertising the tech a year back. Images were on par with an less expensive point and shoot.

With 32 gb and 64 gb external, storage will not be an issue. Just hope they incorporate USB3 support into the phone because downloading a lot of large images off internal memory will be tedious.

Also I would like to think more research will be invested into other aspects of the image sensor other then pixel density.

Not necessarily by making the sensor larger like HTC's Ultrapixel, but by doing smart tricks to capture low light or high dynamic range.

Here's a thought. Every odd pixel on the sensor(might only work on CMOS) , crank up the ISO. Even pixel keep it steady at around 80-100.

Then use software to combine the image, balancing highlights and shadows based on user preference.

There are certainly enough megapixels to go around. And frankly, a brilliant 4 Megapixel shot is still worth more then 40Mp of rubbish.

Last I checked most people only upload 1 -2 Mp images to social media sites anyway, so 40Mp is only really good if combined with software to fully extract detail out an image and downscale it appropriately.

Nairda
11th July, 2013 @ 05:12 pm PDT

Love the idea of having 41 MP on my phone but.....who really need it, plus having 8 MP video and photo already eat away my storage on the phone can't imagine how much it will take to stored a 41 MP pictures. Also usually I upload my pix to facebook and other social network, so I hardly find the need to zoom or blow up the photo like that. Unless...maybe you are out there trying to find treasure in the pictures or maybe ghost at the haunted house??

phissith
11th July, 2013 @ 05:37 pm PDT

I think that this is a really good move, and one of Nokia's strongest selling points is excellent camera hardware on their phones.

The biggest letdown of other current models is the simple lack of a lens cover.

I have found it hard to tell if this has one or not from the photo's or literature, but the biggest reason my photos come out flawed is the glass has a sweaty palm print across it from using it as a phone.

A physical lens cover is a must for anything like this.

Notcha
12th July, 2013 @ 01:27 am PDT

Megapixels on a phone over 8 is superfluous fluff. Add low light capabilities and you will have something everyone will use.

Mark A
13th July, 2013 @ 08:28 am PDT

Am I the only one that struggles with the method used to describe sensor size? The Lumia 1020 is listed as having a 1/1.5 inch sensor. Maybe things have changed, but when I was at school fractions were simplified to show only whole numbers. 1/1.5" means nothing to me until I convert it into 2/3". Maybe it's just me....

Jason Catterall
17th November, 2013 @ 10:53 am PST
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