The Nokia Lumia 1020 has gone and done it…
Over the past year I have been hard pressed to find interest in much in the field of Smartphones. The wave of innovation seemed to have run its course and each new phone or OS version was an iteration or homage to the last. Some borrowed from other platforms but at the end of the day I had to ask, had smartphones reached their peak of development?
This afternoon Steven Elop demonstrated what having a poker face means by pulling a colossal rabbit out of Nokia’s hat against expectation. I read the live tweets from the Windows Phone account as he presented the live demo of the much anticipated Nokia Lumia 1020 and I was excited and captivated once again.
Contrary to the predictions of the pro-blogging Naysayers and Prophets of Doom (whose editorializing was sparse on fact and laden with agenda and negativity) Nokia and Microsoft together delivered a phone that exceeds all expectation and not simply because of more photographic punch (still and video): 41 Megapixels, Zeiss optics, Oversampling, OIS and more.
It’s Not Just the Hardware Mate
Hardware and spec aside for a moment, Nokia and Microsoft had tied the Lumia 1020 to the announcement that big name apps like Path, Vine and Hipstamatic would be joining the Windows Phone App family (for Windows Phone 8). Once again both companies demonstrated their new receptiveness to consumers by understanding that an awesome OS is not enough without competing over the same popular Apps as are on Android and iOS.
The Warptest POV
Was this due to some wheeler-dealing by Nokia and Microsoft? I don’t think so. These companies get it;
The Nokia Lumia 1020 has pushed the boundaries of photography providing a holistic platform made of OS + hardware + apps. What’s more they have done it without compromising the fundamental form factor of the phone. This isn’t your camera with a phone glued on, right Samsung?
One hopes that these apps are not going to be limited to the Nokia Lumia but available for the Samsung Ativs, HTC 8s and any other Windows Phone 8 handsets.
However, the underlying idea of oversampled, day or light, 41 megapixel photography and video is a stimulus to app designers to find innovative ways of harnessing this unparalleled resource.
What are issues to be aware of?
- Onboard storage: 32 Gb is going to fill up with 41 megapixel photos, over-samplings and videos fast. The obvious solution should have been more onboard storage, a micro SD slot and a bundled upgrade of 1 Tb of SkyDrive cloud storage with each purchase of the phone.
- Appreciating the full beauty of these images and videos: what device can support viewing or printing to full resolution? Possibly not even a Retina enabled Macbook. Otherwise just a HD TV and as such the Nokia Lumia 1020 should have a micro USB to HDMI cable in the box and the ability to connect up and use the TV screen.
- Wireless charging is an add-on, not built in. Still there is only so much horsepower you can fit under one hood. I will be interested to see how battery life measures up though.
- If you take this phone and are planning to upload your photos to the cloud in full resolution I’d make sure you have a well-priced, unlimited data package.
- Carriers: so far the phone is only being carried in the US by AT&T, hopefully this will change with time.
So my advice to anyone developing mobile apps that are built on Smartphone cameras – it’s time to accept that if you don’t want to be left behind with a humdrum low-resolution app, you need to be developing your App for Windows Phone and especially to exploit every last one of those 41 megapixels.
Don’t listen to me though, listen to Path, Vine and friends.