Why Nokia's New Windows Phone Will Almost Certainly Be A Dud

nokia lumia 1020 in yellow

Nokia made its newest Windows Phone, the Lumia 1020, official today.

Internally, the phone is nearly identical to Nokia’s 920-series of Windows Phones, but the real news here is on the outside.

The Lumia 1020 has a special camera that can take photos at 41 megapixels. The Lumia 1020 will be available exclusively on AT&T for $300 with a two-year contract. Pre-orders begin on July 16 and the phone goes on sale in stores July 26.

In short, the Lumia 1020 is pretty much same phone as last year’s Lumia 920 with a fancy camera strapped to its back. It also has some special camera software that will help you keep images stable and less likely to come out blurry.

Let’s break this down.

While it’s impressive that Nokia was able to fit such a powerful camera into a smartphone, it’s highly impractical.

Megapixels refer to image size, not quality. That means a 41 MP camera is only useful for people who need to work with giant, poster-sized images. The photos won’t look much better than those taken with Nokia’s other smartphones. Plus, images that large can eat up a lot of your phone’s storage.¬†

Most top-tier phones have an 8 MP or 13 MP camera, which is more than good enough for just about every smartphone user. Plus, those cameras are able to fit in a slim package. The Lumia 1020’s camera creates an unsightly bulge on the back of the device.

And finally, we come to price. $300 is a big ask for a phone with only one distinguishing feature: the a powerful camera. If you’re a Nokia or Windows Phone fan, you’re much better off with the Lumia 920, which is has almost all of the same features (minus the camera stuff) and costs¬†$200 less.

Bottom line: Between the price and over-the-top camera specs, the Lumia 1020 seems like it will only appeal to a niche group willing to make some big compromises in order to take extra-large photos on their smartphone.

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