Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Review of Nokia Lumia 1020 - Windows Mobile 8

So I've been using the Nokia Lumia 1020 for a while now.

Now this is a top of the range phone.  There are a few things about this phone that make it special which we will go in to a bit more detail on.

First thing you and everyone around you will notice is that it is yellow. Very yellow. Tesco discount yellow. Wasp yellow. Make everyone talk to you about your phone yellow.  Fortunately it comes in other colours too. Which is great if you don't love yellow.

Photo not taken by this phone... cos that would require magic!

Camera - 41 megapixels!

Now size isn't everything. Quality matters.  So when you add the quality Carl Zeiss lens and high quality xenon flash, hardware wise, this means business.

Here's a few of my favourite pics taken with the camera itself (on auto settings, because I'm not a pro!)

sneaky milkshake before bed

twinkle twinkle

chilaxing at the hotel

To see the difference 41mp makes see the photo below.  The phone automatically take 2 versions of the same photo.  The 41mp photo below is around 11mb, whereas the smaller file is 2.3mb (5 times less!). Ideal for sharing on social media quickly and without using all of your data.  You can download and use the larger file sizes simply by plugging in your phone to your PC via the USB cable.

The charger cable simply separates from the plug part so you can use it as USB in your laptop or PC.

the zoo (41mp view - simply larger!)
the same photo, but the phones smaller file to make sharing on social media quicker and less data hungry

Now the camera software is pretty good too.  It comes with many camera apps built in which allow you to be a little more creative with what you can do.  All of the photos above have been taken with the normal camera, but there are many different apps / lenses you can use.

I typically use the Nokia Camera as it has the auto setting as default but also has all of the settings on a very nice to use menu to allow you take photos in a variety of style and play around to your hearts content. You just drag the buttons up and down to adjust all the settings.

Being Connected

Running on Windows Mobile 8, and being Nokia, it is really good at being 'connected'.

From day one, I set the phone up to link to SkyDrive, for which you get a free account just by having the phone.  All photos automatically back up as you take them (either through 3g, or WiFi).  This is a really handy feature!  I lost a phone at a gig in hyde park a few years ago and had the same set up.  I got pick-pocketed. But all the photos I took at the gig (and all the photos of my lovely family) we're safely backed up. I had phone insurance too. So apart from having no phone until my insurance sorted out my new one, it wasn't that bad an experience!

The live tiles (similar to widgets on Android but a bit more interactive and fun) also help keep you in the know.  Facebook gives small updates, news apps show the odd headline, etc etc, so that you can see a taster of the things your phone is connecting too from the home screen at any time.

Lets just pretend i check my phone every day and 78 unread emails and 22 facebook / twitter updates is normal! 
The 'Me' tile you can see is genius!  It ties together all of your social media in to one place. You can do your own status updates and check in's etc, as well as browsing a list of your facebook and twitter and other feeds all in the same place. Much quicker than going to each app to browse.

The Little Things

What makes me really love a new phone are the little things.  Now I am rather good at forgetting things. Like what I am meant to be doing on the weekends.  Turning up at an event I was invited to just days before. I assume it is because I am a man. Tell me something happening Friday and I will be 100% up for it. However if anything distracts me between being told and the actual event, I get side tracked and my thoughts may never return to it.  So now I have a new way to remember.  Who needs a brain! Pin the event to your home screen.

Your calendar can be set (easily) to sync with facebook and outlook and similar things, so it all connects nicely. Then you just pin it. I like to stick it right in the middle and make it big - it can't be forgotten that way! Post it notes on the fridge just don't work for me. I only look on the inside of the fridge.

One thing I dont love about the phone is how long winded it is to toggle things like wifi, GPS, bluetooth etc on and off. You can buy 59p apps for each thing to give you a toggle button but I really dont understand why it is not a feature of the phone.  The only exception to this is the volume can be set to silent and back to sound again with 1 touch. Perfect!

Kid's Corner

Back to the things I love.  I dont really use it much now, but as the kids get older it will be really handy if they want to use all the cool apps on my phone but I dont want them having access to everything.  Its called Kid's Corner, but I have renamed it to Dylans corner.  When you go to unlock the screen, you can swipe to the right and it effectively takes you in to another profile.  Only thing I choose to be allowed are accessible here. So all of the fun childrens apps such as the Peppa Pig Puddle Jump, and the CBEEBIES game app are free for the child to play with.  If you put a pin on your lock screen they have no way of jumping on to a web browser, calling the grandparents, or loading apps where they can spending money on pointless upgrades! Lovely and safe.  Now just the problem of toddler paw prints!

Other Things

So the phone is pretty high spec. From the processor to the display, to the battery, and the operating system. Most of the time the phone can last 2 whole days before recharging. A welcome improvement from daily with my current Galaxy S3.

The camera is so good it deserves a second mention. If you love photography but don't have a digital SLR, get this phone (or an SLR)!

The speaker on the phone is good. I only have my Galaxy S3 to compare it against, but when i have the phone playing music in the kitchen whilst cooking dinner, the Nokia Lumia 1020 gets a better sound and is a fair bit louder.

I also love how the screen you unlock from can be customised with apps too.  I prefer to have the weather app (so British) fill the screen with weather info. Mostly because I like to know if I need to wear a coat before i run out the house in the morning, and also because i don't want a weather app taking up valuable space on my precise and ever changing home screen. Second choice for most people might be the football app. Not for me though. Whats the chance of rain?

As well as being forgetful, I am utterly lazy. I expect technology to do everything for me. And when it comes to banking, this is especially true. I'm not one to dig in to letters searching for bills, and I'm not too keen on paying them when they're sat in front of me. So this kind of gruelling task needs to be so effortlessly easy that I can do it in a few clicks. I bank with Barclays. They have a mobile banking app for andriod which is exactly what I need. I pay the rent and the bills and transfer money to secret places in the click of a few buttons sat on the train on the way home. However the app is not yet available on Windows.

Now I know this is Barclays fault. Nokia and Windows are not to blame. But this for me a probably the one thing that stops me from using this as my main phone.  Barclays say that an app is on its way early 2014.  When it does eventually make it through the testing, I will for the first time in years and years and years, seriously consider changing my 'main phone' to be a phone which is not my beloved android. Maybe even a Windows 8 phone. Maybe even this Nokia Lumia 1020... even if it is yellow!

This is my review. I am a phone geek. If you want more information or more of my phone related opinions, please comment below.
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