Review: Nokia Lumia 1020, Part 1: Looks and impressions

Today I received mail from Nokia: A sneaky little package with a handwritten letter in it from Nokia. The headline already says what was inside: The Lumia 1020 with some goodies and the camera grip – and all this even before the official release in Germany. I am honest: I never was as excited about a phone, maybe because it’s one of the last phones made by Nokia, or maybe because it’s the most innovative smartphone I have ever heard of – I don’t know, but it feels great to hold this piece of uniqueness in the hand.

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The device is yellow, just like my personal 920 but matte. The material feels like soft touch which means awesome. On the front the design is almost the same as the 920 only a little better because there is no border around the screen which makes it look more minimalistic and smooth. When you take the phone in the hand you’ll be surprised by its weight – it’s not light, but much lighter than you’d expect. Only one thing really destroys the great feeling of the device: The bulky camera on the back. You don’t really know how to hold the device because the camera is always in the way but the lens is so well positioned that you will never touch it, which is good, because a clean lens is important for a good picture. And the pictures are good. No, they aren’t, they are absolutely mind blowing. But more on this in a later part.

Of course also the build quality is great – there are no gapes and nothing jiggles. Also the buttons are now matte and not glossy anymore; I think they feel a little worse now but some people surely prefer it that way.

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After turning on the device I noticed the screen: It’s awesome, although it’s – in my personal opinion – a little worse than on the 920. Because it is an OLED screen the contrast as well as the black are better but the skin colors (which, actually, are also better than on the 920) are oversaturated (even after changing the color profile in the settings), the viewing angles are worse (when looking from the side the colors are washed out) and the screen is not as sharp (it’s still awesomely great but because of the PenTile-Matrix you can notice pixels). Because of the oversaturation the yellow on the 1020 does not match with the housing completely while the 920’s does, but that is only a very small thing. However, another positive effect of the OLED screen is that it’s slimmer which means the screen is directly underneath the glass – the screen looks flatter. The 920’s screen is deeper inside the housing and you can see that it’s not directly under the glass, so the 1020’s screen really feels edgeless.

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Although not very good, still visible: The 1020 (left) has a more saturated OLED screen.

Hell, the 1020 simply feels unique and premium in every way and I am totally looking forward to testing it out more!

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