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printed April 19, 2014
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Review: Nokia Lumia 1020 for AT&T

Form Basics Performance Extras Wrap-Up Comments  2  

Screen

Like all of Nokia's high-end displays, the 1020's screen measures 4.5 inches across the diagonal and has 1280 x 768 pixels. The display uses OLED technology and includes Nokia's ClearBlack technology to deepen blacks. It’s very bright and colorful, and the on-screen elements are all easy to read and see. Text and icons are free of pixelated edges. Viewing angles are very good, and there's no brightness loss or color shift when the phone is viewed from an angle. The 1020's display was easy to see and read outdoors. It's a good screen, though given the size of the 1020, I wish it were bigger.

Signal

The 1020 performed on par with other AT&T smartphones when it came time to talk to the network. On average, it showed the same number of bars that several other AT&T devices did during my tests. More importantly, it always worked when it came time to make calls and surf the web. I had no trouble connecting calls on the first dial, and the device never dropped any calls while I used it -- no matter what the signal meter read. Browsing the web was consistently good, even when the 1020 showed only a single bar of coverage. The 1020 worked as well on AT&T's LTE network as it did on AT&T's HSPA+ network.

Sound

The Lumia 1020 is a good voice phone -- as long as you use the earpiece and skip the speakerphone. The earpiece produces warm, clean voices that I found pleasant to listen to. There were no interference problems. It is loud enough for most environments, but extremely loud places will drown it out. The speakerphone is another story. The quality is mediocre at best, but the real problem is volume. It's hardly loud enough for use in a quiet office, let alone anywhere there's a even a modicum of background noise. In the car, at the mall, in a coffee shop? Forget it. Ringers and alert tones were good, but could have been better. The vibrate alert was barely acceptable.

Battery

The Lumia 1020 has the same 2000mAh battery found in the 928 and 925. It provides more than adequate power for the 1020. I had no trouble getting from morning to night with the 1020, even when I used the device intensely to surf the web, fire off tweets, and shoot video. The 1020 often had plenty of power to spare at the end of the day and typically still had some leftover the following morning. As with most modern smartphones, the 1020 should be charged nightly.

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