Nokia announced its flagship imaging smartphone, Lumia 1020, at its 41 Million Reasons event, in New York. With it, Nokia reinvented the "imaging phone" class of devices for today's smartphone ecosystem. Unlike the PureView 808 that trumped even full-fledged point-and-shooters, yet lagged behind with dated Symbian software; the new Lumia 1020 is designed for the day, running Windows Phone 8. The 41-megapixel sensor is carried over, but with with more compact active optics, and an infinitely better primary camera application, called Pro Camera.
The device starts off with a design that isn't unfamiliar to people following Nokia's Lumia family of Windows phones. On its back side, a large black circular platform holds the camera's lens, an LED flash for video recording, and a prominent xenon flash for stills. You can make it use both flashes, or even LED flash for stills. On the front, a piano-black bulge frames the device' 4.5-inch screen, with 1280 x 768 pixels resolution, and three capacitive action keys.
Its user-interface is stock Windows Phone 8, but with a couple of Nokia's apps that make up this device' feature-set. To begin with, there's Pro Camera, its primary camera app, which lets you select portions of the image from the viewfinder to focus on it, and make key capture adjustments by swiping around a number of concentric arcs. There are arcs for flash (toggle/auto/intensity), capture method, focus, sensitivity (ISO), shutter speed, white-balance, and exposure. Aside from its staggering resolution, the camera features OIS image-stabilization, and a combination of LED and xenon flashes (LED for videos, xenon for stills). Stills are captured at 7712 x 5360, while videos are captured at 1920 x 1080, at 30 fps. The front-facing camera can capture video at 1280 x 720 pixels.
The next big feature introduced with the Lumia 1020, is Nokia HERE, a suite of location services, including HERE Maps, which are GPS-assisted maps that can be locally cached; HERE Drive+, which is a turn-by-turn navigation app, and HERE Transit, which lets you plan your trip around the city across multiple mods of public transportation (guiding you to take the right vehicle at the right time, to get where you're headed, quickest).
Aside from the two, the Lumia 1020 is a typical premium Windows Phone 8 device. It runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon Pro dual-core SoC, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and 7 GB of complimentary SkyDrive storage.
Along with the phone, Nokia unveiled a couple of handy accessories. The first one is a cover that gives the phone a Qi induction coil, and with it, wireless charging, using an induction base. The second one is a camera grip, which gives the phone the ergonomics of a proper compact camera, and a tripod mount. Both are each sold separately for $79.
Now for the pricing and availability. Nokia expects its retail partners to have Lumia 1020 stocked by July 26. In the US, AT&T will pilot a contract scheme for $299.99.
Today, Nokia established a new benchmark in smartphone imaging with the arrival of the Nokia Lumia 1020, boasting a second generation 41 megapixel sensor. Unlike any smartphone in the market today the Nokia Lumia 1020 reinvents zoom, enabling people to discover more detail than the eye can see. With Nokia's innovative PureView technology, including optical image stabilization, the device is able to produce some of the sharpest images possible by any digital camera.
This is made possible by leading hardware technology combined with a new application called Nokia Pro Camera, which makes it easy for anyone to take professional quality images. Either before a picture is taken or after it has been shot, the zoom capability enables people to discover and then rediscover the personal stories each image can tell. With a beautiful interface that visually demonstrates how settings will affect the final photo or video, Nokia Pro Camera makes it easier than ever to capture, edit and share photos and videos with unrivaled clarity.
Using a new feature called dual capture, the Nokia Lumia 1020 simultaneously takes a high resolution 38 megapixel image for endless editing opportunities, and creates a 5 megapixel picture that is easy to share to social networks with Windows Phone 8.
The Nokia Lumia 1020's 41 megapixel sensor features leading ZEISS optics with six physical lenses, plus optical image stabilization, delivering crystal clear pictures even in low light conditions. It also captures blur free videos with stereo sound even at the loudest concerts thanks to Nokia Rich Recording, which handles sound pressure levels six times louder than conventional smartphone microphones.
"We want to take people on a journey from capturing pictures to recording and sharing their lives," said Stephen Elop, President and CEO, Nokia. "The Nokia Lumia 1020 will bring new meaning to pictures and continues to strengthen Nokia's leadership in imaging."
Nokia also released a new imaging software development kit (SDK) that provides key image editing features of the Nokia Lumia 1020 to developers. The SDK is available today at developer.nokia.com with a number of developers including Vyclone, Yelp and CNN integrating these features into future releases.
Hipstamatic showcased Oggl PRO, an exclusive application for the Nokia Lumia 1020 offering the most advanced smartphone camera controls for their creative community. It was also announced that popular applications Vine, Path and Flipboard will soon be available on Windows Phone.
Adding further professional capabilities and additional battery life, Nokia announced the new Nokia Camera Grip. This is an accessory that complements device features usually reserved for stand-alone cameras, like the Nokia Lumia 1020's built-in xenon flash and mechanical shutter. The Nokia Camera Grip also has a tripod mount, and is expected to be available this month for an estimated retail price of USD 79.
The personal nature of Windows Phone makes it the perfect platform for the Nokia Lumia 1020, showcasing live images on the Start screen with the Photos tile, quick sharing to social networks, and easy access to files across a number of devices with SkyDrive. With the dedicated camera button, Windows Phone is designed with imaging in mind.
To help people see what's around them and discover new places to take photos, the latest developments in LiveSight will available in HERE Maps soon. The Nokia Lumia 1020 also comes with ad and subscription free Nokia Music streaming.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 will arrive first on U.S. shores exclusively with AT&T, with sales expected to start on July 26 at a price of USD 299.99 on a two- year contract.
The Nokia Lumia 1020 is then expected to arrive in China and key European markets this quarter. Nokia plans to ship an exclusive variant of the device with Telefonica to select European and Latin American markets. The Nokia Lumia 1020 will be available in yellow, white and black.