Oh well, we didn’t see this one coming at all (not really!). Nokia has officially announced the Lumia 1020 featuring the much-talked-about 41-megapixel camera. The phone will first launch on US carrier AT&T this 26th and is priced $299.99 (Approx Rs 18,000) for a two-year contract. Pre-orders for the three colour variants of the 1020 – black, white and yellow – start on July 16.

Everything else can wait, let’s talk about this camera. The 41-megapixel camera is making a second appearance in Nokia’s portfolio after the inaugural Pureview phone, 808. This Windows Phone 8 device has the second-generation sensor. Nokia claims this is the largest back side illuminated (BSI) sensor available on a smartphone.

The bump on the back is quite prominent

The bump on the back is quite prominent

The Lumia 1020 also boasts of Nokia’s second-generation optical image stabilisation (OIS) engine, Zeiss optics with a 6-lens design. There’s a manual shutter and xenon flash too, to help things along. The camera can shoot full HD video at 30 fps with impressive numbers for lossless zoom – 4x in 1080p, 6x in 720p. Manual controls include flash, focus, ISO, shutter speed, white balance and exposure. On the software side of things, Nokia Pro Camera brings some new editing tools to adjust pictures after the fact.

The one accessory for the 1020 that catches the eye is the attachable leather case, which should ideally give it a better grip and make it feel like a proper camera. It has extra juice, a two-step shutter button and a universal tripod mount.

Camera Grip has an extra battery as well as a tripod mount

Camera Grip has an extra battery as well as a tripod mount

As for the rest, this one is exactly like the Lumia 920 or the Lumia 925 after that. A 4.5-inch AMOLED 720p display protected by Gorilla Glass 3 and that’s glove-friendly.  It also has the same processor as those Lumia smartphones – a dual-core Snapdragon S4 clocked at 1.5Ghz. AT&T customers get 50GB of cloud storage, but internally the Lumia 1020 has 32GB of storage.

The camera sounds great, but the phone itself looks ugly has a polarising design. We are also disappointed to see that Nokia hasn’t taken the time to update other aspects of the phone. Given the non-camera specs, we don’t see many existing Lumia 920 or 925 users upgrading to the 1020 one year later. Especially since their existing camera is still quite good. We’ll have to wait and see how much of an improvement the camera is. If it’s as good as it sounds, Nokia may have a success on their hands.

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