Review: Nokia Lumia 1020 for AT&T
The 1020 runs Windows Phone 8 from Microsoft, so it behaves exactly like every other WP8 handset on the market, including the recently-reviewed Lumia 925.
The 1020 has a clock that appears on the screen when the phone is not being used. This clock is easily visible. The lock screen has its own clock, which is paired with the date. The lock screen can be set to include alerts, if you so choose, and the alerts can be prioritized. The notifications pop up on the lock screen to tell you how many unread messages or missed calls you might have. You have to unlock the 1020 to access those messages or calls.
The 1020's home screen, called the Start screen by Microsoft, is a jumble of squares and rectangles that are known as Live Tiles. The Tiles each represent an individual app and act as a homescreen shortcut to that app. The Tiles can be resized and rearranged however the users chooses. The best part of the Tiles is that they also act as widgets and can be set to display active, changing content, such as unread counts in your inbox, or the latest top story on CNN.
The main app menu is accessed by swiping the Start screen to the left. It lists all the apps installed on the 1020 in alphabetical order. This screen cannot be customized, nor can the settings screens, which are packaged together in their own app.
The 1020 has a dual-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus processor. The S4 Plus gave the 1020 more than enough computing power to handle any task. Windows Phone is a fast operating system and it was extremely quick on the Lumia 1020.
Calls and Contacts
The WP8 phone app functions the same across all WP8 smartphones. It is a stark and simple app that doesn't take much brain power to master. When opened, the call history is the default view. There are four main functions: voicemail, dialpad, contacts, search. The buttons are laid out plainly and include the features most people expect of their devices these days, including the ability to mute or hold calls, merge calls, or route them to the speakerphone or Bluetooth.
Thanks to its WP8 operating system, the Lumia 1020 has one of the best contact apps available on a smartphone. Microsoft thinks the people in your life are more important than serving as sterile "contacts," and has thus named the contact app the People Hub. The Hub is not just a list of phone numbers and email addresses. It is a much more involved space that ties in users' Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profile data. It provides a virtual flood of status updates and posts to go along with the faces and phone numbers.
The 1020 covers all the messaging basics, which include email, SMS/MMS/IM, Skype, social networking, and so on. There is only one email app, but it can handle any type of email account, including Gmail, Exchange, and other internet-based email types. Perhaps its best feature is that it lets you pull multiple email accounts into a single inbox.
There is a single app used to handle all non-email messaging tasks. The messaging app includes text and picture messages, instant messaging, Facebook messaging, and Skype. Some may appreciate having all these messages locked down in a single place. What I like best is that it will link SMS and Facebook conversations with the same contact into a single thread rather than keep them separate.
Other WP8 messaging tools include Groups and Rooms. These are both subsections of the People Hub. They essentially let you manage, communicate with, share photos with, and coordinate calendars between small groups of people.
Though the People Hub incorporates Facebook and Twitter for basic messaging, you're better off downloading the full Facebook and Twitter apps from the Windows Phone Store for full functionality. They aren't pre-installed.