Meet the new king of phone cameras: The 41-megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020, arriving July 26 on AT&T

Meet the new king of phone cameras: The 41-megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020, arriving July 26 on AT&T

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Phone or camera? Nokia just made the line a lot more blurry. The company today took the wraps off the Nokia Lumia 1020, a new Windows Phone 8 flagship that packs a whopping 41-megapixel sensor, a pixel count that puts even most DSLRs in the dust and sets a new benchmark for smartphone photography.

The best news: you won’t have long to wait to get your hands on it. The phone—which comes in yellow, white, and black—will initially debut at AT&T for $299.99 with a two-year contract. AT&T kicks off online preorders on July 16. The phone, which runs on the carrier’s 4G LTE network, officially goes on sale July 26. China and select European countries should get it later in the year, Nokia said.

The Lumia 1020, said Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, was designed to “firmly establish Nokia as the leader in mobile imaging.”

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I’d say they did that and more. The Lumia 1020 also comes with a built-in app called Nokia Pro Camera that’s designed to take advantage of the phone’s record-setting image sensor and make it easy for anybody to shoot, edit, and share pro-quality photos and video. Pros can also use it to manually adjust flash, focus, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, exposure, and other key settings.

Another neat trick: the Lumia 1020 actually creates two images every time you press the camera button in Nokia Pro Camera—a super high-res version for editing and archiving, and an oversampled 5-megapixel copy for easy sharing via email or social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. (For more on the Nokia Pro Camera app and Lumia 1020, don’t miss my interview today with Nokia’s Kevin Shields and Windows Phone’s Joe Belfiore.)

Record-setting sensor

Camera buffs will certainly geek out on the sensor specs: Featuring a maximum 7712 x 5360 resolution, it’s the largest backside illuminated image sensor of its kind in any smartphone and a generation beyond the one Nokia included in its 808 model released last year. The sensor sits behind a sandwich of six Carl Zeiss lenses, which combined with the camera’s optical image stabilization technology, help deliver super-sharp photos even in low light. There’s a xenon flash for stills, an LED flash for video, and a 1.2 megapixel wide-angle front-facing camera for HD chats.

The Lumia 1020 records HD video in 1080p at 30 frames per second and lets you zoom in up to four times closer to the action with no loss of quality (up to 6x closer in HD 720p). It also has a technology called Nokia Rich Recording, which handles sound pressure levels six times louder than conventional smartphone microphones. The upshot? Movies that will look and sound amazing on a home theater system.

The phone itself sports a 4.5-inch AMOLED display (1280 x 768 pixels, 15:9 aspect ratio) made with Gorilla Glass 3, 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, 2000 mAh battery, 2 GB RAM, and 32 GB internal memory.

A wave of new apps—plus Vine, Path, Flipboard

The new phone is also likely to unleash a new wave of advanced photo and imaging apps, thanks to a new Nokia imaging software development kit released today that gives programmers access to the phone’s groundbreaking camera technology. Nokia said Yelp, CNN, Vyclone, and others are already working on new apps that take advantage of it. At the New York press event, Hipstamatic demoed Oggl PRO, a Lumia 1020 exclusive that lets you set manual focus and exposure, reframe shots, and more.

Nokia also announced that the popular apps Vine, Path, and Flipboard will soon be available on Windows Phone.

And watch out for cool new accessories, too. Nokia today unveiled the Nokia Camera Grip, a multipurpose accessory that helps further blur the line between smartphones and high-end cameras. Expected to go on sale this month, it features an ergonomic, bumped-out grip on the side like DSLRs have, a universal tripod mount, and extra battery power. Price tag: $79.

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Head over to the Nokia Conversations Blog or the company’s website for more coverage of this groundbreaking new device.

14 Comments
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  • KAmran
    0 Posts

    Windows mobile are really getting better an d better. I started following up the news on http://www.mobileosworld.com and subscribed on their feed via email. looking at the new advancements and apps on windows, i can see its future bright. Nokia is especially the main contributor to windows success Right?What do you say?

  • Honey23
    0 Posts

    when it willl come in India ?

    plz plz tell me....

  • this should help you out with Vine: www.windowsphone.com/.../f3e56189-4be6-4e43-9ea4-c85c08a1c8ba

  • I can't believe I'm just now posting on this... Man WPCentral really is killing it... Still waiting for that official WP Blog app.. I think it's been 2 years now..

  • duus
    0 Posts

    Please help: I would love to get the lumia 1020 but i can't seem to contact att (every support feature they have require that you log as a existing customer) so I hope somebody here can help with a few questions:

    I am going to the states from the 23rd until the end of december to study. I would love to have a phone contract while I am there but there seem to be only a 1year or 2year option besides the month to month pay as you go. Can anybody recommend how I should buy it in order to make it as cheap as possible and also be able to use the phone when i return to Denmark? (I realize I will not be able to use the 4g in denmark but that is a sacrifice I can live with).

    I would really love to have the lumia 1020 during the first month where I plan to travel around. The pictures would be priceless :D

    Thanks in advance to any kind soul who can answer

  • abm
    268 Posts

    @TommyBot2000, "no apps"??

    Which century you are living in? Windows Phone Store sports around 200,000 apps. C'mon and give up bashing WP on that one. Its not even funny!!

  • Enable d ability 2select 1No frm a contact wit 2Nos when sendin an SMS on #Lumia1020 . It ws a big flaw in @Nokia #Lumia920 c;@windowsphone

  • Thats a really big hit in the smartphone cameras.

  • Windows phones on Verizon are a joke, putting the newest stuff on just in carrier is lame and so 5 years ago.  

    This is why Windows phone won't sell (other than no apps too) because you screw out buyers by not offering a killer phone like this on multi carriers.

    Android phones suck, Windows on Verizon is a bloody joke, this is why I stick with my iPhone. Give me a reason to switch to Windows on Verizon. But until you do that, Windows phones  will always be tied with Blackberry for last place in sales.

  • OMG!!! Stop with the AT&T exclusives!!!  I had to wait 9 months for my 928 on Verizon.  This is getting stupid.

    I was eagerly anticipating this phone, but now, who cares.  By the time Verizon  (or any other carrier) gets it, the Galaxy S5 or iPhone 6 will be out with a 50 Megapixel camera and better software.  Cmon guys, throw us Win Phone lovers a bone!!!

  • They give AT&T exclusives on the best phones, only bringing them to other carriers in slightly warmed over versions once their processors and features are 8-9 months old.

    Not excited at all by this phone, because by the time I can get one on my preferred carrier, it'll be outdated. I don't sign 2-year contracts to get my hands on year-old tech. I'm sure that by next spring, there will be Android phones that blow this out of the water.

  • I'm glad I waited on upgrading. I will definitely be getting the new Nokia Lumia 1020! :)

  • Does that mean the the Oggl app will only be available for the 1020? Or just a special "PRO" version will be exclusive to the 1020, and a regular oggl will be available to the rest of the phones?

  • can you get the information if Vine will be avaliable for WP7.x? Thanks, and nice day for Windows Phone...wonderful news.