The Nokia Lumia 1020 has just become available in the US. It won’t arrive in the UK until September. However, the reviews are up and I’ve read most of them and watched the YouTube videos too.
This was going to be my next phone, but at the moment I believe my HTC One is a better choice as a camera. I know what you are thinking. The HTC One is a 4mp vs The 1020 at 41mp.
Well, sadly Nokia may have engineered the best damn piece of hardware ever, but it is sitting on windows phone 8 that cannot cope with it prowess. Often the key to taken a good photo, is to be able to quickly capture that magic moment.
The HTC One from removing out of your pocket, and then firing the camera up, to taking the photo can be over in a second. In fact, you could have taken a Zoe or even 20 burst photos in three seconds and put the phone back in your pocket. Smile captured, animal snapped before it ran off and so on. And this is why it’s a better camera than the 1020. The 1020 needs 3-5 seconds to take the first shot, and up to 3 seconds between shots to save the photo. WTF. So even though the 1020 is capable of capturing far better quality shots than any other camera on a phone, it takes too long.
The 1020 uses a snapdragon s4 pro processor (this has nothing to do with the Samsung S4) when in fact it could do with the snapdragon 800 which is designed to work with lenses up to 55mp. The S4 pro had to have special drivers developed by Nokia to work around this processors weaknesses.
And the other issue with the 1020 is there are 3 camera apps loaded on the phone. One is the default window phone camera app, then smartcam and the the pro app. Why on earth didn’t Nokia remove the default windows phone camera app. Then to create a panorama or burst mode you have to exit the pro app and switch to the smartcam app. WTF. Too long a process and unnecessary. I believe changing apps to get different options has to be done, as this was the only way Nokia could get windows phone 8 to work.
Now the next problem with the 1020. It’s only got 32gb but takes shots at 41mp. The HTC One has the same amount of memory but as its a 4mp shooter needs considerably less space. In addition the 1020 can take two photos at once. The full sized 41mp (actually 38mp) and creates a 5mp so you can share it easily with social networks and email. The 5mp gets uploaded to Skydrive but not the 41mp version. This has to be manually copied via USB to a computer. So in essence you are in danger of running out of memory on the 1020, but once again you won’t get that issue on the HTC One.
Nokia clearly delivered the hardware, but Microsoft haven’t matched on the software front. The HTC One wins on speed and concept of its ultra pixels. Just to make sure everyone is clear, the Nokia Lumia 1020 is by far the better quality camera in reality. If the camera is already fired up, then the shot will be captured beautifully. You will just have to learn to work around the 1020 speed of initial camera start up time, and time between shots to save photos.