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Product Listing

Nokia Lumia 1020 - 41MP PureView Comes To Windows Phone 8

By James Lu - 6 Sep 2013
Launch SRP: S$999

Performance Benchmarks, Battery Life & Conclusion

Performance Benchmarks

Other than an extra 1GB of RAM, the Lumia 1020 is essentially identical to the Lumia 920 and 925, utilizing the same Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 dual-core 1.5GHz processor and Adreno 225 GPU.

Sunspider Javascript

SunSpider Javascript measures the browsing performance of a device. It not only takes into consideration the underlying hardware performance, but also assesses how optimized a particular platform is at delivering a high-speed web browsing experience. The extra 2GB of RAM didn't make a difference in this benchmark, with the 1020 posting almost identical scores as the Lumia 920 and Lumia 925.

Browsermark

Browsermark also measures the browsing performance of a device, testing page loading and page resizing speeds, as well as JavaScript, HTML5, WebGL and CSS performance. We saw a similar result here, with the Lumia 1020 performing about as well as the Lumia 920 and 925, although all three were notably worse than both the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4.

Having said that, our actual experience with the 1020 was excellent. Browsing was smooth and responsive, even with multiple tabs open and other programs running in the background.

Battery Performance

Our standard battery test for mobile phones includes the following parameters:

• Looping a 800 x 480-pixel video with screen brightness and volume at 100%

• Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on

• Constant data streaming through email and Twitter

Like its predecessors, the Lumia 1020 has a relatively low capacity non-removable 2000mAH battery. In our video looping test, it lasted just just under five hours, which is better than both the Lumia 925 and 920, but still slightly under average.

In day to day usage, we found battery life to be generally sufficient for an entire day, which included taking about 10-20 photos each day, with battery life falling to around 10% by midnight. We did however notice that taking pictures using custom settings on the Nokia Pro Cam app seemed to drain life much faster than when left on the default auto settings. Using the Creative Studio app also sapped battery life fairly quickly. Photographers planning to do a lot of shooting with the 1020 will definitely want to pick up the Nokia Camera Grip accessory which adds a secondary 1020mAh battery.

Portability

We measure the portability of a device by calculating its battery life to (weight x volume) ratio. The Lumia 1020 scored better than the Lumia 920 due to its lower weight and slimmer profile, however you should take this with a grain of salt, as the official volume measurements for the Lumia 1020 don't take into account its sizeable camera bump.

Conclusion

Is an amazing camera enough to get people onto Windows Phone 8?

Nokia has done a fantastic job integrating the incredible 808 PureView imaging technology into its Lumia range and, while there are a few niggling concerns, like a lack of expandable storage and a somewhat chunky design, the Lumia 1020 is still, by far, the best Windows Phone 8 device to date. Of course, its biggest problem is just that: it's a Windows Phone device.

A great camera alone wasn't enough to make the 808 PureView successful, and even though Windows Phone 8 is light years ahead of Symbian, it's still a work in progress - for now at least, it just isn't as compelling a choice as either Android or iOS. Now imagine, for a moment, if the Lumia 1020 was running Android 4.2.2. I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one rushing out to buy one. 

As it is, the decision to switch to Windows Phone 8 has never been more tempting - there are plenty of good camera phones out there, but there's nothing quite this good. Of course, if you've already made the switch to Windows Phone 8, and you have even the slightest interest in photography, upgrading to the Lumia 1020 should be right at the top of your to-do list.  

8.5
  • Design 7.5
  • Features 9
  • User-Friendliness 7.5
  • Performance 9
  • Value 7.5
The Good
Incredible camera performance
Gorgeous AMOLED display
Solid build quality
Smooth browsing experience
The Bad
Average battery life
Windows Phone 8 still lacking compared to alternatives
No microSD card slot
Chunky design with huge camera bump