10-03-2016 04:34 AM
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  1. ramiusm's Avatar
    Purchase

    A decision was made to purchase a second-hand Nokia Lumia 1020 after I came across it's availability recently. To my pleasant surprise, it was a unit which, although purchased in 2013, had never been used at all, as the owner decided that the Android operating system suited him better.

    So, after lightening my wallet for a very reasonable price, I took possession of a mint condition (still in shrink wrap) yellow Lumia 1020 with a black camera grip accessory.

    Previous (recent) Nokia device ownership

    As a person who is somewhat technical, I usually put technology first, brand second. To date, I've owned the Meego-powered Nokia N9, as well as the Windows Phone-powered Nokia Lumia 920, the first Windows-powered PureView phone (those who are well-read will remember the Symbian-powered Nokia 808, which debuted with a 41 Megapixel sensor array camera back in 2012).

    Enter late 2015, and here I am with a two-year-old Nokia Lumia 1020.

    Rationale

    Why would someone bother with acquiring a two year old smartphone (obsolete by today's standards - most folks upgrade their handsets every twelve months), and worse still, an almost obsolete operating system, due to be phased out by Windows 10 Mobile?

    Simple - I wanted the absolute best photography experience on a camera phone. Having had the experience with Lumia Camera, the PureView technology and superior lens on the Lumia 920, I was eager to get my hands on the 1020. In Singapore (as with the rest of the world), the Lumia 1020 was very expensive during launch date in 2013 - then again, I'm amazed that the Apple iPhone series now costs significantly more than the 1020.

    Package

    The 1020 I obtained came with a black Nokia camera grip, which came in handy on a recent holiday trip overseas. A pair of yellow Nokia earphones and AC charger with USB rounded off the package. The box is typically minimalistic Nokia - efficient and well-designed.

    I also managed to acquire an original wireless charging shell for the 1020, and that works superbly on my older Nokia wireless charger.

    Design

    The 1020 uses the Fabula design language, inherited from the Meego-powered Nokia N9, and carried on throughout various iterations from there. I have always liked the minimalistic design language, and really enjoy the use of polycarbonate employed in the 1020.

    Overall a clean design, and one that stands out in a sea of white/grey metal phones that dominate the mobile phone landscape today.

    Aesthetics

    This is a particularly subjective area - what's beautiful to one may not necessarily lend itself to another.

    I prefer the feel of the Nokia Fabula design language to that employed by Microsoft (current 550 & 950 devices), and also to Apple's iPhone designs.

    The 1020 feels very solid, and the reduced weight (compared to the previous flagship, the 920), is a very welcome addition. It makes the phone a lot more 'pocketable' and less intrusive when carried in the front left pocket of trousers or jeans.

    I have never enjoyed the feel of the Samsung Galaxy A or S series in the hand, and I would always worry about having the iPhone 6 slip out of my hands - bad design and the wrong use of materials, in my opinion.

    Software

    At the time of writing, the optimal software for the Lumia 1020 remains Windows Phone 8.1. I have, however, installed Windows 10 Mobile on it, and am happy with it thus far. Sure, it has its fair share of bugs and niggles that accompany any operating system that is still in development. A better experience is expected when the operating system is optimised for the 1020, expected in Q1 2015.

    Ease of use

    In 2016, using a 4.5" smartphone puts one in the realm of the "antiquated"! But there is something to be said about the usability and efficiency that accompanies the use of the 1020. For my use case, which involves the following:

    Reading PDFs and eBooks
    Reading, composing and replying to emails
    Instant messaging (Whatsapp, WeChat etc)
    Texting via SMS
    Photography
    Watching a video
    Listening to music

    All of the above perfectly suits the 1020, although some may argue that one really needs a 5.5" device in order to watch videos comfortably. Works out well for me, though.

    Camera

    Enough has been written about the camera on the 1020. I won't expand on it, except to say that the 1020 takes brilliant photos. Nothing beats it, except a real DSLR.

    And don't get me started on the latest iPhone (6s+) camera comparisons - whilst the 6s+ has a decent camera, it still pales in comparison to the 1020. Same for the Sony Z5. The only other formidable / comparable camera phone is the LG G4.

    Portability & Practicality

    Due to the small-ish (by today's standards) size of the 1020, I much prefer it to the gargantuan phablets of today. The size works well for me, and screen resolution is good enough for what I use the device for. I usually also set the 1020 to GSM 2G mode, with Data switched on, in order to minimise battery drain. When I need to browse the Internet, I switch it manually to 3G. This helps with the battery life (see below).

    Battery life

    On Windows 10 Mobile (Build 10.0.10586.36), battery life isn't great - I'm looking at around 6 hours whilst on 3G mode, with medium to heavy usage. An external battery pack is necessary when I'm out and about, or if I'm travelling, I make use of the camera grip, with its 1000mAH capacity, to help keep the unit topped up. I don't usually switch Mobile Data on when travelling, so that helps with the battery life - plus the fact that I take a lot of pictures with the 1020 during travelling.

    That's it - hope you enjoyed reading this.
    12-28-2015 11:29 PM
  2. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Very nice review! I'm glad you like your 1020.

    Perhaps you'd like to share some of your pictures here
    Guytronic likes this.
    12-28-2015 11:38 PM
  3. Steve Adams's Avatar
    I agree with everything you say. Its an amazing phone even 2 years after its release. I am hoping that with the official 10 release for it everything will be worked out. I love w10m, but its not up to snuff on our 1020s. I get awesome battery life on my 1020 besides taking LOTS of photos (best camera ever in a phone btw. Still mops up the lastest from every other manufacturer), and while on GPS. But just plug it into a 2.1v charger and your good to go!

    I have lots of amazing photos from our two 1020s. I bought them first for their cameras and then we both fell in love with them. We had same songs ativ s before these and the 1020 is just sooooooo much better in every way.
    12-29-2015 06:12 AM
  4. ramiusm's Avatar
    The 1020 is probably the best phone I've ever used. Windows Phone 8.1 & Windows 10 isn't perfect, but Nokia really nailed it with the hardware design of the 1020. I honestly don't quite like the design of the more recent models like the 640, 550 & 950.
    12-29-2015 09:34 AM
  5. Steve Adams's Avatar
    I like the 950 xl. as I like the 830.
    12-29-2015 03:09 PM
  6. ramiusm's Avatar
    The 830 & 930 models looked great, actually. The metal band around the frame of the devices added a nice premium touch.
    12-29-2015 06:04 PM
  7. Chintan Gohel's Avatar

    Portability & Practicality

    Due to the small-ish (by today's standards) size of the 1020, I much prefer it to the gargantuan phablets of today. The size works well for me, and screen resolution is good enough for what I use the device for. I usually also set the 1020 to GSM 2G mode, with Data switched on, in order to minimise battery drain. When I need to browse the Internet, I switch it manually to 3G. This helps with the battery life (see below).

    That's it - hope you enjoyed reading this.
    I do the same thing you do, having 2G helps a lot on battery life. I'm also using 10586.36 build and I agree with you on battery life, it is reduced. Battery life can improve significantly if you hard reset but I don't want to do that as there's some issue with messages syncing back and I have Nokia camera and Nokia creative studio installed. I haven't updated either of them to the lumia version on purpose as they have features not found on the lumia versions of the apps
    12-30-2015 03:36 AM
  8. J3rry1401's Avatar
    Is it worth to upgrade to wp10 ? Its okay for daily use ?
    Thanx for honest review.
    01-01-2016 09:20 AM
  9. Ten Four's Avatar
    Is it worth to upgrade to wp10 ? Its okay for daily use ?
    Based on one person I know who is technically skilled, NO! W10 has basically ruined the camera for him--doesn't focus reliably, horribly slow, many other bugs. Not to mention all the other W10 bugs that mean for example sometimes FB messaging doesn't work, sometimes calls don't work, sometimes the battery is dead in a few hours, etc. Stick to 8.1 as long as you can.
    01-01-2016 09:59 AM
  10. Chintan Gohel's Avatar
    Is it worth to upgrade to wp10 ? Its okay for daily use ?
    Thanx for honest review.
    The experience depends on each person and how they use it. I find WM10 pleasant and exciting to use. They have added some features we wanted and so far the only reall issue I have is the battery drain on standby and normal use. It's 1.2 to 1.6 times higher than in 8.1
    01-02-2016 05:58 AM
  11. ramiusm's Avatar
    I much prefer using the current Win 10 build on the 1020 than WP8.1 on the 1020. It's buggier (Lumia Camera doesn't save the photo at times - needs a phone restart), but other than that, I'm enjoying the improved Office and OneNote apps. Outlook isn't bad (better than 8.1), and Edge browser is finally a proper browser than that nonsense that was Internet Explorer in 8.1. Groove player now supports FLAC audio (I have a lot of music in that format), display resolution is sharper, and a lot of overall improvements over WP8.1. It will only improve as Microsoft updates and optimises W10 for older hardware. Battery-wise, I guess it's a given that one has to carry a portable battery charger for most phones today, unless you're using a BlackBerry Passport.
    01-02-2016 09:57 AM
  12. Ten Four's Avatar
    Battery-wise, I guess it's a given that one has to carry a portable battery charger for most phones today
    Maybe so, but I routinely go from 8am until midnight with my Lumia 635 on 8.1. If I need to I can make it last a couple of days. To me a minimal requirement is to be able to go all day without recharging since I am routinely places with no electricity.
    01-02-2016 10:02 AM
  13. ramiusm's Avatar
    Even on 8.1 on 2G mode with data on, my 1020 couldn't exceed 8hrs, so your 635 must have a really good battery. With data off, that's another story...
    01-02-2016 10:14 AM
  14. Joel Gaviola's Avatar
    Like you, I recently got a 1020 for a fraction of the price at launch price. However, I'm waiting for a stable WM10 build before updating. I did that with 930 and my 930 I gave away because of the too many bugs present.
    Jim Bob4 likes this.
    01-02-2016 10:21 AM
  15. Steve Adams's Avatar
    My 1020 gets awesome battery life.....maybe your 1020 has a bad battery. I run LTE, 5g on , bt on, everything, moderate user, and at the end of the day when I plug my 1020 in I'm anywhere between 60-70% left. works great for me!
    01-02-2016 10:34 AM
  16. ramiusm's Avatar
    That's amazing battery life, Steve. It may be also due to different operating frequencies - I'm in Singapore, and we use GSM here - so far my experience here is that even other makes, like the iPhone and Galaxy models, suffer from terrible battery life - my old Lumia 920 and BlackBerry Q10 also exhibited this 'characteristic', as does a friend's brand new Samsung Galaxy A5. Probably something to do with network congestion here in Singapore that causes the battery to drain faster. Most folks I know don't get more than 6 hours of battery life, regardless of which phone they're using, unless it's a Passport or phablet-class device.
    01-02-2016 07:29 PM
  17. Steve Adams's Avatar
    I am on GSM here too. I think its 1900 MHz frequency. Dont' quote me on that. I had a recent death in the family. While rushing to get out of my Jeep, my 1020 fell to its demise. Cracked the screen again.....I think I'm going to buy a new sealed unlocked version instead of the at&t version I had before. No wait for the updates then! I am having another. I am using my old galaxy products and they SUCK!
    01-05-2016 05:02 AM
  18. ramiusm's Avatar
    Sorry to hear about the death in the family. You may want to consider a new 950 - Microsoft hasn't released the new 950 & 550 here in Singapore yet, sadly, so I haven't had a chance to play with one. I do enjoy the photos taken by the 1020, although they tend to turn out yellowish when taken with the flash ON.
    01-05-2016 05:44 AM
  19. ramiusm's Avatar
    I went back to 8.1 today. On W10M, the battery on the 1020 drained too quickly, and I kept getting errors with Lumia Camera and Groove music. Hopefully the subsequent builds of W10M will get better optimised for the older devices.
    01-05-2016 05:47 AM
  20. Steve Adams's Avatar
    Well, I bought a new screen. See how it goes. Right now I am using my rooted galaxy note 1. When it works, with a custom Rom, its actually quite good. But within a few hrs, its slowed to a crawl.

    Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
    01-06-2016 11:00 AM
  21. ramiusm's Avatar
    I've never owned an Android device before, although I have heard of the lagging issue that plagues the operating system. Is it really that bad?
    01-10-2016 05:18 AM
  22. Steve Adams's Avatar
    I know on my note 1 it is horrible. and most I have used yes. I am buying a asus phone and watch to play with to see how it works on that.
    01-12-2016 06:07 AM
  23. ramiusm's Avatar
    Right. I'm thinking of switching to Android after what will probably be my last Windows device, the 1020. Unless Microsoft really does something special with W10M.
    01-12-2016 06:03 PM
  24. Steve Adams's Avatar
    Don't do it. Andriod is horrible and flaky. I am sick of it already. Stick with w10
    01-17-2016 09:55 AM
  25. ramiusm's Avatar
    Right..
    01-17-2016 11:10 PM
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