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  1. tgr42's Avatar
    So I'd been using a Samsung Focus S every day for almost 2 years, running WP 7.5, and just switched to a 1020 last night. Here are some early first impressions...

    Summary:
    It will take some getting used to, but this is a substantial step up.

    The camera:
    Breathtaking. I was worried about speed. Well, launching the Pro Camera app and taking pics feels plenty fast to me. I haven't taken too many pics yet but the auto setting hasn't done the greatest job. I can get a much better result with the manual settings, which seemed surprisingly pleasant to use. I need to play with it some more to get a better feel for the auto behavior though. I took some great indoor pictures at night with and without flash and it was pretty easy and quick. Being able to easily end up with a pixel-perfect 5MP image even in less than ideal conditions is amazing. Shooting at 16:9 (33.5MP) I saw zero blurriness in the corners when examining the full-res image. Need to test more with 4:3 later. I went through the Pro Camera tutorials and they were very basic but a nice touch. Haven't tried video yet.

    Feel in the hand:
    The 1020 may be thinner and lighter than the 920 (which I rejected immediately upon trying out in the store) but it's still a very large phone! When looking at specs I figured 71.4mm wide vs. the Focus S's 66.8mm was not such a big deal. What's 4.6mm, right? Only 6.88% wider. Well, it makes a world of difference. It's a LOT harder to grip and operate by thumb with one hand. Switching back and forth between these two phones during the transition process was a real eye-opener. I think Samsung really nailed the optimal size with the Focus S. But, I expect to get used to the 1020 with time. It's a lot heavier as well (158g vs. 110.6g) which doesn't help, but that seems a bit easier to deal with than the large size.

    The hump:
    Mostly harmless. If you have a light touch, as I do, the phone works fine when sitting on a hard surface. It won't roll to the side, and will only pitch backward if you tap medium to hard on the upper third or so of the display. It's tilted toward you but only very slightly, not that different from being flat. In the hand, your fingers can just go across it and it doesn't really get in the way of holding the phone. In the pocket of dress pants it's no big deal as it's natural to have the flat display side facing forward anyway.

    The display:
    Absolutely gorgeous. I think this complaining about pentile is nuts. I always thought the Focus S had a great display (also AMOLED) but the 1020 absolutely puts it to shame - as it should, with the advancement of technology over time. It's bright, white, easy to read outside, no visible banding or truncation, and you can adjust the color temperature and saturation however you want. Side by side with the Focus S, I was shocked at how cool (blue) the Focus S's display was. I ended up having to adjust the 1020 to be a little on the cool side and with a little less saturation. It's truly great to have this level of control over the display.

    Networking:
    This thing picks up way more wifi networks (10 vs. 3) with better strength than the Focus S, though in practice I rarely had wifi signal strength issues with the Focus S anyway. Being able to leave wifi connected all the time is wonderful! No more waiting for it to reconnect every time I wake up the phone, lest I waste precious cellular data. Speaking of cellular, the LTE seems way faster than the "4G" HSPA+ I had before, though I'm not about to burn up data with a speed test. Since the CPU and web browser are probably much faster as well, I'm not sure where the true bottlenecks were before but whatever - it's fast! Of course web browsing is still not as fast as on a PC, but it's notably improved. Now, if I could just get AdBlock Plus somehow...

    USB connectivity:
    I LOVE being able to just browse files on the phone without having to rely on some stupid sync app (Zune). Also, the speed of copying files to/from the phone is much better and on par with a fast USB 2.0 flash drive.

    Speed:
    Everything feels faster now. Animations were smooth before but now they're really smooth. App startups are faster. Some more intensive tasks within apps are faster. This is a welcome and expected improvement.

    OS/data migration:
    Going from old phone to new phone and WP7.5 to 8 was fairly easy. It was basically done after an hour or two, plus a few more hours of messing around with apps. I don't know why they can't store contact groups on the server. It was annoying to have to manually redo that. Going to my purchase history on the web site and hitting "reinstall app" worked well for almost every app and was a lot quicker than searching for and installing each one individually. A few apps that worked on WP7.5 are no longer available or working (WeatherLive???) but oh well, no big loss, and well worth it to get the apps that are WP8-only.

    The bottom buttons:
    The haptic feedback (vibration) when touching the back/start/search buttons is VERY WEAK. I can't even feel it sometimes depending on how I'm holding the phone. This decreases usability of the phone by introducing uncertainty as to whether or not the phone has registered your button press. Not good. The Focus S had very good feedback for this and I miss it.

    Sound:
    With nice headphones (Sennheiser HD-555) the audio quality sounded perfect to me, zero noise or distortion, plenty of volume. There was even an OS-wide graphic equalizer (thanks Nokia) but I didn't find any need to use it. It would be great for more road-friendly headphones though. Without headphones, the speaker on the bottom of the phone is passable. Nothing special but it's loud enough and hard to block. The Focus S had the speaker on the back, which could be good when sound was reflecting off your nearby hand, but bad when the phone was resting on something that could block it and make it hard to hear.

    USB cable and charger:
    The USB cable included in the box is garbage. Poor quality connectors for an unpleasant fit on both ends, and too short! I ended up using the one that came with the Focus S instead, which is still the best micro-USB cable I've ever come across. A minor issue but still disappointing given the high price paid. The charger seems ok, nothing special but no complaints either. The phone did seem to charge very quickly from 48% to full but that was just the first charge.

    Sleep mode stuff:
    Double-tap to wake is kind of cool, but seems slower and less reliable than pressing the power button so I probably won't end up using it. The power button works well enough. As for glance, I'm not sure it's a good idea for battery life and screen burn-in reasons, but I'm curious to learn more about it.

    Ok that's it for now.
    Last edited by tgr42; 07-26-2013 at 03:04 PM.
    07-26-2013 02:44 PM
  2. BIGPADDY's Avatar
    It great that your enjoying your 1020 and it a massive upgrade from the focus and your review makes me want to purchase the 1020 even more!
    07-26-2013 03:05 PM
  3. gsquared's Avatar
    I'm surprised they went cheap on the USB cable. The one that came with my 920 is very high quality.
    07-26-2013 03:14 PM
  4. tissotti's Avatar
    I'm surprised they went cheap on the USB cable. The one that came with my 920 is very high quality.
    According to Nokia's site, Lumia 920 comes with CA-190CD cable, same as on Lumia 1020.

    That is if AT&T hasn't gone even cheaper. Outside of US, Lumias come in Nokia's own box that includes in-ear headphones.



    07-26-2013 03:56 PM
  5. Darren Walsh's Avatar
    No way, never knew that they didn't come in the original Nokia box with headphones etc. In the US. Load of crap if ya ask me
    07-26-2013 04:01 PM

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