Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone (preview)

The Nokia Lumia 1020 comes with a 41-megapixel PureView camera

After a wealth of leaks, Nokia has officially unveiled one of the worst kept secrets: the Lumia 1020 Windows Phone. The flagship smartphone comes with a 41-megapixel PureView camera, building on the technology first seen on last year's 808 PureView.

The Lumia 1020 might be a phone but that's clearly the secondary function here. It's all about that camera. Nokia has used Carl Zeiss optics and a Xenon flash along with a 41-megapixel sensor. Before you wonder why you would ever need that many megapixels on a phone camera, you can't actually capture a true 41-megapixel image. Instead, the Lumia 1020 uses what's called oversampling to combine up to seven pixels into one "pure" pixel when taking typical sized shots (5-megapixels).

According to Nokia, this means it will eliminate the visual noise found on other mobile phone cameras while at the same time allowing you to zoom in up to 6x without losing any detail. You can see some of Nokia's sample images here, but we'll be keen to take our own as soon as we get the device in for review.

The Lumia 1020 uses what's called oversampling to allow users to zoom into shots without losing detail.
The Lumia 1020 uses what's called oversampling to allow users to zoom into shots without losing detail.

The Lumia 1020's camera also comes with a feature called "dual capture mode", which captures two pictures every time you take a photo. A 34-megapixel or 38-megapixel full resolution image is stored for editing, while a 5-megapixel image is available for sharing. Each time you edit or crop your original photo, a new 5-megapixel image is saved to phone's camera roll. However, you'll need to connect the phone to a PC if you want to access the full resolution image file.

Along with that huge sensor, the Lumia 1020's camera also includes optical image stabilisation and a xenon flash, the same used on dedicated point-and-shoot cameras. The camera doubles as a full HD 1080p video recorder with 4x zoom, or 6x zoom if you opt to shoot at the slightly lesser 720p quality. It's also the first Windows Phone to come with the company's "rich recording" feature. This combines a digital microphone with algorithms: Nokia claims this will enable the phone to record distortion-free audio at levels of up to 140 dB.

The camera doubles as a full HD 1080p video recorder with 4x zoom.
The camera doubles as a full HD 1080p video recorder with 4x zoom.

The Lumia 1020 also debuts a new camera app called "Pro Camera". It allows users to manually adjust settings like exposure level, white balance, shutter speed and ISO and features a new interface. Conveniently, users can immediately see the effect the settings will have on the image as they are being adjusted.

Nokia will sell two accessories for the Lumia 1020, a wireless charging plate that clips to the back of the phone, and a Camera Grip accessory. The latter clips to the phone and comes with its own 1020mAh battery, a shutter button and a tripod mount. The company claims the Camera Grip will give users up to 55 minutes more shoot time.

Aside from its camera, the Nokia Lumia 1020 has very similar specifications to both the Lumia 920 and the newer Lumia 925 smartphones. It has 2GB of RAM and uses a 4.5in AMOLED screen, but all other internals are almost identical, including a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, a 1280 x 768 resolution display and 32GB of internal memory. Like most Lumia phones, there's no microSD card slot, so the on-board memory can't be expanded.

The Camera Grip accessory has its own 1020mAh battery, a shutter button and a tripod mount.
The Camera Grip accessory has its own 1020mAh battery, a shutter button and a tripod mount.

The PureView camera adds a bit of bulk to the back of the Lumia 1020, but the device is both slimmer (10.4mm) and lighter (158g) than the Lumia 920. It's still thicker and heavier than most flagship smartphones on the market, but we suspect its a tradeoff most potential buyers will be happy to make given the imaging capabilities.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 will be available through Telstra from Tuesday, 17 September, and through Optus from Tuesday, 1 October.

Nokia also confirmed the phone will be sold through "major retailers" across Australia including Harvey Norman, Dick Smith, and Allphones. It will retail for an outright price of $899.

A promotional video of the Nokia Lumia 1020 can be viewed below.

Tags Nokia Lumia 1020PureViewNokia LumiaNokiasmartphonesWindows Phone

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

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