It seems like ages ago now, but back in January I had the chance to trial a Nokia Lumia 1020 through the Trial a Lumia scheme. It’s free to do and anyone can do it, so if you’re interested in technology I highly recommend you take advantage!
I know technology isn’t something I write about on here often, but I do have a background in IT support (did that for 3 years to help pay for my undergraduate studies!), have done stints as both a Google Tester and Twitter Tester, worked in the eCommerce and Software as a Service industries, and love checking out new tech and systems to see how they work. (Specifically from a user experience point of view – I’m not keen on programming/coding/markup myself!) In short: I’m interested in technology.
To put this trial into context, about 18 months ago I made the switch from an iPhone 4 to a Samsung Galaxy S3, and later this year that contract will be ending. I’d heard great things about the Lumia 1020’s camera, so I was keen to see just how good that camera was and how the phone’s interface compared so I could get an idea of if it was something I’d want to commit to with a 2 year contract.
I fell in love with the phone’s camera during the 3 weeks that I had it, and because my family was in town for the wedding while I was trialling the Nokia Lumia 1020, I of course got to take lots of pictures of iconic London while showing them around. (And you probably noticed that a bunch of my pictures on my wedding blog post were taken on the Lumia 1020, too!)
It was great at balancing the light – especially in challenging situations, such as with bright sun and dark shadows or multiple light sources – to present an even picture with lots of detail.
Here are two examples of when I would have expected the shadows to be near-black without details:
And on that note of great detail, the camera really could capture tiny details in focus! Just look at the veins in the dried flower petals and the fine hairs on my makeup brushes:
It was stellar with night photography, too, totally beating the quality of both my Samsung Galaxy S3 and former iPhone 4 cameras. But while the quality of the night images was significantly better than my previous mobile phone cameras, it still wasn’t a quality I’d be happy with printing because the lines were still a bit blurry and the image slightly pixelated. (Yes, I get that even the best DSLRs on a tripod can struggle to get the right exposure/great focus with night photography and it isn’t easy. I’m just hard to please!)
A few times when I used the flash the images had a bit of a foggy haze that made them look antique-y, and while I’m not sure what causes this I have seen it happen with other mobile phone cameras from time-to-time.
Unfortunately, the phone crashed twice during that 3 week period and I wasn’t able to sign into my Gmail account – I haven’t yet been able to figure out if it’s because the OS doesn’t support 2-step verification sign in or for some other reason all together. Either way, I couldn’t check my email on the phone and that was pretty annoying. The Lumia 1020 also seemed to have a slower response by the end of the 3 weeks, which I suspect is probably due to how many photos I’d taken (about 500) and hadn’t cleared out.
Overall I loved the Nokia Lumia 1020. For me, it was basically like carrying around a brilliant camera with internet access and apps. (Which, let’s face it, is how many of us use our phones these days!)
But I’m still not sure if I’ll make that switch when my contract ends. Only time will tell…