If taking photos of your friends, kids, family, or travels is something you care about even a little bit—and who doesn’t?—you’ll want to run to the nearest AT&T store and pick up the new Nokia Lumia 1020 with Windows Phone 8, which officially goes on sale today. The 4G LTE phone, which costs $299 with a standard contract, comes in yellow, white, and black. You can grab one at AT&T’s retail and online stores.
In-depth reviews started to hit this week, and it looks like the phone and its 41-megapixel camera sensor are living up to its billing and leaving reviewers struggling for superlatives. “This is clearly a camera phone that helps define a new era of smartphone photography,” said CNET. “The Lumia 1020 is the best Windows Phone we’ve used so far and offers the best camera in the industry,” concluded Engadget. USA Today’s Ed Baig said the camera was “about as good as you can get on a smartphone.”
The phone’s cutting-edge 41 megapixel back-side illuminated camera sensor is responsible for much of this praise (and if you really want the juicy details on how it works and why it’s so awesome, check out this interesting deep dive on the technology from Nokia). But the other key ingredient is the built-in Nokia Pro Camera app, which is designed to take full advantage of the breakthrough imaging technology and make it easy for anybody to shoot, edit, and share amazing photos and video. Pros can also use it to manually adjust flash, focus, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, exposure, and other key settings.
Speaking of apps, one other one you’ll want is Hipstamatic Oggl PRO, a new version of the popular social photo editing app made exclusively for Nokia’s Lumia 1020. For a full rundown of its impressive features, check out my other post today—or just download Hipstamatic Oggl PRO here and start playing around. One notable callout: The app can post your stylized photos directly to Instagram and other popular social networks. (Hipstamatic also released a standard version of the app that works on all other Windows Phone 8 smartphones.)
If you’re planning to pick up a new Lumia 1020, there are also a bunch of special offers that you should know about. While supplies last, the Microsoft Store is offering a free Nokia Camera Grip to customers who buy the phone there. Many of the reviews I read this week heaped lots of praise on this $79 clip-on accessory, which has a tripod mount, extra 1020mAh rechargeable battery, and makes the phone feel more like a point-and-shoot in the hand.
Anyone who buys a Windows Phone 8 at a Microsoft Store also receives a gift card good for $10 worth of apps (see if there’s a store near you).
Finally, for a limited time every Nokia Lumia 1020 comes with a voucher that can be redeemed for a free 20×30 SmileBooks print poster—the perfect way to show off those beautiful new photos.
So who’s picking up a new 1020 today?