Finally the Nokia Lumia 1020 is de-throned as the best camera on a smartphone – details on the new champion – Updated

I have fond memories of my Nokia Lumia 1020. It had a camera that was in a class of its own. And it has held on to this crown despite being obsolete in smartphone terms. 

By today’s standards the Nokia Lumia 1020 is a compromise. It’s runs Windows Phone which despite being one of my favourite operating system lacks the same level of apps in terms of content and quality versus android and iOS, and is extremely slow from shot to shot. 

So what phone has de-throned the Nokia Lumia 1020. 

Well it’s the LG V10. 

I can hear loyal Nokia fans screaming in disbelief. Well facts are facts. Steve Litchfield and I went out armed with our respective phones, Steve with his Lumia 1020 and 950 and myself with my iPhone 6S Plus and LG V10. 

Steve went to his favourite church to demonstrate the quality of the 1020 low light shots. The subject matter was a sign/plaque high up on the church wall. So Steve went first and took a great shot of the sign in low light and showed me the level of detail. It was impressive. So I took a shot on the iPhone 6S Plus which was ok and good enough but not as the same level of the 1020. So next I used the LG V10. Well the LG V10 produced a shot significantly better than the 1020. And this was all auto. Surely a one off, so another shot was taken. Same stunning shot and way better than the 1020. 

And the story continued with a few other low light shots. However, I do expect the new flagships from LG and Samsung to improve further in the camera department.

One small point, both of Steve’s Lumias (1020,950) both crashed in a space of 30 minutes several times. 

PS Steve had a Mozo leather back on his Lumia 950 which looked much better than the default plastic back. But sadly the standard 950 even with a leather back felt cheap and nasty. Shame. 

Below is shot from LG V10. It was actually fairly dark inside the church so the V10 did a stellar job. The plaque writing when zoomed in is really visible. 


Update – Steve has emailed me his 1020 shot which was taken using xenon flash. Note that’PureView zoom’ was done at capture time, for best quality. Not ‘afterwards’. In my opinion it is still a good shot as I said above but not as good as the LG V10. But do you agree? 


13 thoughts on “Finally the Nokia Lumia 1020 is de-throned as the best camera on a smartphone – details on the new champion – Updated

  1. Slightly disingenuous, Gavin, in that we didn’t try the 950 on that plaque. From my own tests, it would have equalled the V10’s shot, I think.

    I’ll be doing specific V10 vs 950 photo testing in February,


    1. Hi Steve. I don’t think so. The V10 is a step up from the G4 already tested by yourself. Also there is no mention the 950 shots in the article. It was quite clear the V10 shot was better. Also I never said the 1020 took a bad shot , actually said it took a good shot. At some point the ageing 1020 had to be surpassed. Just a matter of fact. That day has come and it took the competition ages to achieve it. We can agree to disagree but this is my opinion. πŸ˜€


  2. Hi Gavin! You should have bought the Asus Zoom too πŸ™‚ I suppose LG V10 used flash too? I will download the photo later and look at the exif…


      1. Low light mode for Zoom would have been good? Does it take a long time to take a photo in this mode, and is a tripod needed for it? Thanks.


      2. The Asus Zenfone Zoom low light or night mode can be used without a tripod. They would help but low light reduces photo to 3mp. Ideally manual mode plus tripod and a longer exposure would be needed with maybe 2-4 seconds. Then a reasonable shot might be obtained.


  3. Nice and Nice but unavailable officialy in France … I waiting the LGG5 for two point, less overheating and nice camera and nice size with my small hands. I hope and i don’t hope that LG launch also in the end of 2016 an LG Note with Stylus, it’s could perfect but it could be kill my money^^. In all the cases, for me, LG is more attractive than Samsung.

    Gavin, The weight of LG V10 was not a problem ? I remember the nice Note 4 in my pocket^^


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