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Nokia Lumia 1020: Hands on and first impression

Today we finally got our grips on the Lumia 1020, Nokia’s soon to be released Windows Phone sporting a 41MP camera with BSI sensor and optical image stabilization.

After the break we have a few initial photos of the device and a quick video of it in action.

What’s our verdict (so far)? It’s thinner and lighter than you would expect. We also really dig the matte yellow color, which is akin to the Lumia 720. Sure you can feel that hump a bit but ain’t it worth it to take such gorgeous photos? We think so.

The phone also packs a few other tidbits that we weren’t aware of, but more on that a bit later.

Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020

Nokia Lumia 1020

Daniel Rubino
Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

106 Comments
  • Tease
  • You're looking at the 2013 SPOTY people❕.... That's "Smartphone Of The Year" for you... Well, you know what you are.. Lol❕
  • well, gonna do money saving for upgrading to 1020! :D
  • You suck Daniel :P
  • #SOJEALOUS
  • This is so cool. Can't wait. I want it now. Dan. Snag me one. 
  • Give it all to me Daniel.
  • Never mind the hump on the backside. All that matters is what it can deliver & the experience.
  • We're still talking about phones right?
  • LOL
  • Lol.
  • Haha.. Lol.. Yes, you are right..
  • Thats What She Said!
  • Lol very funny!
  • Yellow and white are in matte... Oh yes! No more scratches.
  • Matte scratches easier than gloss..
  • My cyan Lumia 900 never had a scratch, even after numerous drops on concrete (screen broke though).
  • Maybe they got cheap with the matte on the 920. cus my Dad's black one is super scratched up. He's not rough on it either.
  • That's not what mom said
  • oooo000000000000o00
  • really?That is weird because my dad's matte black lumia 920 has taken quite a few falls and it has no scratches in sight.
  • my black 920 is used all day by me for work and goes in my pocket without protection and the finish does not have any scratches.
  • Wasn't matte having problems with discoloration on the corners?
  • Yes but the problem with matte is that when you manipulate the phone a lot specially when your hands are humid there appear glossy stains like the paint is going off :/
  • Light matt colours with burnishing or scratches don't show nearly as bad as dark matt colours. This is an optical colour effect.
  • I was first hesitant due to the "bump" but the final version came out better than expected. Saying that, I wish the camera mechanism was the same color as the phone.
  • If you get black it is. ;)
  • Unfortunately the black just doesn't look good on this model for some reason
  • I have been waiting for this
  • That's a very nice phone!
  • So does it have the same processor as the 920?
  • Same
  • Where did they confirm this??
  • PDF spec sheet
  • The spec sheet just says S4.  I wonder if it's the Pro versus the Plus.  The Pro has a better graphics processor.  Technically the Lumia 520 has a better graphics processor in it than the 920.
  • On the official spec sheet
  • It's impressive to see how much they're able to shrink the PureView 41MP sensor from the 808 to the 1020.   Nice going Nokia.
  • Definitely looks great in yellow.  I'm not sure i'm liking the black..especially with the casing.
  • Daniel can we get some pics or video of the wireless cover?
    Thanks
  • Yes, I am very interested in how the wireless cover looks and what colors it will come in. I would like to have both the grip and the wireless so cost is a factor as well.
  • Is the 925 coming to ATT? That's the phone I want :).
  • Ditto. Altho I think (more like hope) we will get something special in November for us 920 users. This 1020 is not the droids we are seeking
  • Nokia will never make Android phones, so stop talking about it! /s
  • I really like the design of the 925 too. Hoping for a 32GB with micro SD card coming later. Wouldn't mind a pureview 41mp hump either if they could still keep the body like the 925, then a wireless cover would work well with it.
  • Tmo
  • Nice!! I'm sensing a lil jealousy from my 920!
  • Simply put, a "disappointment". They should have just named it "Lumia 941". This is not a succesor to L920. Most of the main hardware components are exactly same. Same processor, same display (or atleast same as 925), same battery (biggest disappointment). I atleast expected a higher clock speed dual core processor as we already know quadcore is not yet supported.  just increasing RAM to process the imaging is not sufficient. Dont even get me started on the pricing. I'll guarantee that the price will come down within a month. I'll wait for the next gen lumia.
  • Show me where the Lumia 920 is held back but its current hardware and I'll show you my $1,000,000,000 bill I've been hiding. No reason to update the specs if the current hardware works perfectly.
  • I  agree with you,
    but i wish if possible, Nokia would add an SD card (64Gb or 128Gb) on this camera grip so that those of us wishing to have more storage would have something to fallback on. Since they do not want to increase storage or put SD card on the actual phone
  • Weird that you're surprised about this since all this has been known for a couple months now.
  • What exactly is it that people want to do with these quad cores and 1080p screens? Can anyone offer a scenario where these specs are needed? They exist in android phones today, so there must be numerous example where these higher specced devices are superior, right?
  • The camera is going to save 2 pictures one at 30s MP resolution and another 5MP resolution by oversampling. As u can understand with the better processor these tasks can handled much better than the current one. I expect there's going to be few lag issues with the camera. I dont understand y u ppl dont want ur phone to be a little future proofed??? Is it too much to expect from a flagship device at such a price point??? When GDR3 update comes and nokia starts making phones with quadcore processors how will the ppl respond then??? 
  • most of the "main hardware" are the same on 820 and 920 as well....I cant understand what the difficulty in seeing the reasoning behind the name is.....1020 is a higher end model to the 920....not a next gen model. that camera costs a bomb....a company like nokia not only takes into consideration the final production cost but also the r&d costs that the technology has incurred over the last 6 years of development....costs will come down over time and parts of the tech will trickle down to lower priced models. Next gen models will have 1080p screens and quad core....but the 930 or 940 will still be cheaper than the 1020....or its successors. its as simple as that
  • What's in a name? Nothing....
  • It's not meant as a successor to the 9xx series as it's a new 1xxx series with ultra high end camera hardware.  The 9xx series upgrades will come in the fall/winter when Blue arrives and things like 1080p screens, newer CPUs and such drop.  WP8 has only been out since November, the full year cycle for WP has not happened yet.
  • What are the two sensors that are pictured?  1020 vs 920???
  • I hope that we will see the glossy finishes return with future products. I love the gloss yellow and gloss white 920.
  • Same
  • Me too...my purity pro headset is glossy too! Thought it would just match nicely with this...but it's matte! Oh well...still getting it though, lol!
  • They should have both available as I much prefer the matte finish.  Either way love these Lumia phones.  
  • yellow looks impressive on this phone :o
  • The video doesn't show up in the app...
  • We'll get that fixed soon and are fixing the underlying problem in the code early next week :)
  • Great to hear that, keep up the good work :)
  • Cool!
    Out of curiousity, what's the other sensor in the comparison shot? 
  • Why There is no HDMI port ?! For a phone featuring a 41 MP camera the logical thing that's comes in your mind is the ability to screen it in a bigger screen to see the amazing pictures that the phone can take.
  • I can't say that I find your conclusion to be that logical. Even a 4k TV is out-resolved (by 5x) by this sensor, and it's not like 4k TVs are in every house.
    Or maybe you're just equating a high megapixel count with superlative image quality, which wouldn't be a reliable indicator, either. 
    In any event, I think that they Nokia Play To app will scratch your particular itch. 
  • Auto upload to SkyDrive and get on any PC with access to the internet?
  • why do you need a hdmi port when u can just use playto
  • Man I want one of these so bad... but I'm on Verizon, so the chance of them getting this any time soon isn't good!  Can't see moving to ATT just to get this, so got to hope this or a similar version comes to VZW once of these days!
  • The camera hump might actually help me not touch the lens. I have the problem with my 920 where I wipe my finger oils onto the lens by mistake and it causes blurry pictures until I wipe it. 
  • Yum, that buttery yellow color.
  • Slimmer than 920, 2 giga ram and epic camera!
    it is just the PERFECT phone!!!!
    any ideea of the price of the unlocked version?
  • They said the unlocked version will be $699. CMIIW
  • This might be an odd question for some.
    But does anyone know what watch he's wearing??
    Besides the watch, amazing phone. Truly, truly love Windows Phone!
  • ÃARK Timeless in Onyx
  • This is one sexy looking phone. Although the bump is massive, it looks way better than the 925 bump. I also like how they have put the usb at the bottom -- it doesn't look cluttered.
  • I would prefer it to be thicker and don't have that atroucious enourmous hump.
    Apart from that, nice phone for those who search for a camera above everything else. I can see it competing with the Samsung Galaxy Camera in that aspect.
    As for me, no thanks. I registre happily that it has 2GB, something I expect to be standard or increased on the next generation devices. But the rest, I don't care. I actually like it better with the camera cover on. As long as the phone is black, of course. Unlike Daniel, I have absolutely no love for yellow or bright coloured phones =P  
  • Uhh...that is an ugly phone!
  • Uhh... Another fandroid here?
  • Agreed sir
  • The let him be, anyone may underestimate ours, but when ours get stronger, they will see themselves struggled with theirs.
  • Too bad no red (yet).  However I'm not planning to replace my 920 until next year anyway so I'll wait for the 930/940 or 1030/1040 or whatever the next gen versions will be post WP Blue and later in 2014.
  • I'll be waiting for a release on a good carrier.
  • Love it, and love the grip
  • I'm sure its a great phone , but the design language is getting stale , I thought the EOS was supposed to start a new design language for the Lumia line.
    They need to come out with a new Design before they become like Samsung & their Egg snapped phones
  • I totally agree. Its been on since N9 and 920 should've been the peak. I'm guessing they're treating this as the last 920 boost and their next flagship should have a new design language. After all its Nokia and they know design!
  • Revolutionary. Samsung can kiss it with their galaxy zoom crap.
  • Bye bye crapsung
  • Sick!!! I love it I love my 920 but this is gorgeous! I'm not that much into photography but I'm into video and this baby can record 24, 25 or 30 fps, and a 4x zoom without losing any detail, (on 720 p its 6x zoom) besides the great microphones, sick! I'll get this and star shooting some crazy stuff. Time to start saving fellas!
  • if you watched the big reveal steve said there would be another big annoucement later this year their working on making the wireless charging built in so i think the big announcement then will reveal that?
  • It's probably the next generation of Lumias? One could hope. A 930/830 maybe?
  • Daniel was the round lens cover alloy or plastic?
  • The camera hump looks a lot smaller than how I thought it was going to be. The more I see it, I realize it's actually really slim!
  • I WANT ONE SO BAD!!!
  • The best Windows Phone on the worst US cellular provider. Good job Nokia.
  • Seriously, you guys are never happy with any of your networks in the US! Every one of you is moaning about it! If you like the device this much just get it and get on with it!
  • Omg I almost shit my pants
  • Can see this having availability issues, read of a lot of ios and android users saying they are jumping ship for this... Nokia is king
  • It's so beautiful!
  • My next phone! Well next year when my contract with 920 finishes! I hope Nokia will have something even exciting with 1020 around that time then!
  • I have to admit Nokia did a good job with product placement. With the 1020 you have a new phone to lust for, but it also leaves the 920 and 928 with its own benefits. I still love my 920 for it's top notch photos housed under such a smooth case without any distortion with the camera module. It doesn't scream "I take photos" but gives you good results. To me this is a perfect mobile device with integrated wireless charging. 1020 is also great for its own purpose and if I didn't have a 920 id get the 1020 for sure. But the 920 serves me just fine and even up to the near future. I'm guessing the next real flagship at the end of the year will have Qi integrated. On the other hand im not sure why they would take away integrated Qi with 925.....
  • Now I see the video I likey alot more..
  • anyone know what the camera piece is made of?
  • Is the white one also matte?
  • Set up my Gazzell buy back of my 920 for $115 last night. Helps to take the sting out of the $300 price.