When you write about the Lumia 1020, let’s just get real. You are writing about its monster of a Camera. All 41 megapixels of it. This phone turns an “OK” photography enthusiast into an artist. I can’t imagine what it turns an artist into. It’s simply that good.

The Nokia Camera gives you a granularity of control that’s quite rare for phones. Everything from depth of field, to white balance, exposure time, shutter speeds…all available through the comprehensive camera app.

The low-light shooting of this camera is phenomenal! It rivals that of high end DSLR cameras. It’s probably the closest thing you can get to night vision goggles..albeit one pic at a time.

Away from the camera, the Microsoft office suite really shines on this device. Special mention: the Office Lens app that converts presentations and white-board notes into One Note documents. This seamless integration is what makes the windows phone a joy to use for professionals.

I decided to upgrade the operating system 1020from 8.0 (Lumia Black) to 8.1 to see what the new platform has to offer. There are some significant wins right out of the box:

The ‘Swype’ style keyboard is borderline genius. It works almost flawlessly…tripped up by my insistence in using sheng…which, understandably, the American language device was stumped by.

Cortana has a vastly improved audio search feature. Once again, my accent cultured on the fertile hills of central often through off the very polite lady who more often than not would reply that she “didn’t quite get that”. My bad Cee. I’ll work on my elocution.

I quite like the Kids do my kids. I can let them play the myriad games available without fear that they’ll hit a key someplace and mess with settings that prove hard to fix.

On the bad

The device seemed to have issues with certain secure WPA2 sites where it would continually ask for login credentials without logging in. In comparison, several android devices in the same vicinity had no issues at all connecting to the same network. I suppose this is a drivers issue that will need to be resolved.
The battery drain on the device, especially with extended use of the camera is rather dismal. I have had 3 “instawalks” terminate prematurely after only an hour of photo shooting. That camera has no qualms devouring the battery.

While on the battery, I should mention that when using Maps (Nokia Drive, Google or Waze) the battery drain would border on alarming and the heat the phone would generate would be quite appropriate for these cold July mornings (tip: turn on the maps then place phone in pocket for toasty warmth).

These detractions should however not stand in the way of what is a solidly built, beautiful device. If you want to be the talk of the techy party, bust out one of these babies and watch geekdom melt down.

If they don’t, you can take a pic of the ungrateful bastards’ pundits and share that with the world. In glorious high resolution.


  • The camera is a beast!
  • The build quality is top notch
  • Surprisingly intuitive to use


  • The battery life won’t win any awards
  • Struggles to maintain connections on secure Wi-Fi