Review of the Nokia Lumia 1020 on AT&T Wireless

I have had the Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone on AT&T Wireless for over a month now.  Overall, it’s a great phone with loads of potential.  There are several drawbacks, however, and most have to do with software issues.  Believe it or not, this is a good thing because it means that Microsoft can address them in future updates.

1. The Camera: As advertised, this camera is phenomenal.  It takes great pictures even in low light conditions.  The ability to adjust various photo settings like you would with a professional camera will appeal to those into photography.
2. Email: This smartphone handles email better than any other OS in the market.  It is a true business user’s phone and reminds me of my Blackberry days.  It handles multiple Microsoft exchange accounts flawlessly and, unlike iOS and Android platforms, allows you to easily bring up unread emails without having to scroll through all of your emails when you are playing catch up.
3. Bluetooth: The Bluetooth connectivity rocks and is the best in the biz. It is easy to set up for just about anything and provides options, such as reading and composing text messages via voice, like no other.
4. Battery: Compared to other smartphones, the battery life is excellent.  The phone lasts me practically all day without needing to charge in between, something I found myself doing quite often on other devices.
5. Live Tiles: The live tiles are way cool and allow you to gather basic information without having to open the an app.
6. Less Clicks: Engaging in tasks, for the most part, requires less clicks which translates to a more efficient use of your time.
7. Hardware: The hardware is top notch. The processors work fast and browsing is extremely fluid.
8. User Interface: The vertical structure on the home screen and calendar takes some getting used to, but I like it.  The horizontal scrolling within apps allows users to access additional information faster.
9. As stated above, most issues below can probably be fixed in future software updates.

10. AT&T’s 4G LTE data service is fast and reception is very good.


1. Multiple Clicks for No Reason: Within certain apps, there is an unnecessary need to click on buttons or icons.  For example, to open an attachment in an email, you must first click on the attachment for it to download, then click it again to open it.  All of this should be done in one click.  Or, another example is when you open your contacts app.  It should default to the search field because I can’t imagine anyone would actually scroll through contacts to find someone.  They are always going to want to search to go directly to who they are looking to find.
2. App Store: Although Microsoft’s app store is growing rapidly, you will find that commonly used apps on other platforms are not yet available.  Time will tell, I suppose.
3. Editing Text: When you want to move your cursor to a place you where you previously typed text, it keeps highlighting entire word closest to where you are clicking instead of simply placing the cursor in between the word(s) you want to edit.  Entire word highlighting should happen on double tap only.
4. Memory: There just isn’t enough disk space on this phone, especially because there is no expansion card option. You have a 41 MP camera that takes giant photos plus music and HD videos.  32GB of memory just is not sufficient, even though the operating system takes up very little space.
5. Keyboard: The keyboard does allow for good typing, but for someone coming from an Android phone with a Swipe app, typing seems very slow. The predictive text isn’t fast enough either…it should start to guess words even before you type the first letter based on the previous word you typed. Or, if you go back to a word, it should know you want to change something and predict what that is. I also find myself pressing the enter key when I want to press backspace so I hope a future update will space them a little better.
6. Call Waiting: I constantly find myself missing phone calls when I’m on a call already because the audible is not your standard call waiting sound.  I always think I received an email or text message so I never look.  This is very strange and needs to be looked at with some urgency.
7. Facebook: The official Facebook app has got to be the worst FB app ever.  It’s slow and lacks so many functions that other OS FB apps have.
8. People App: The “People” app is awesome, but you cannot “like” or share posts from others directly from within the app, rendering it kind of useless.
9. Battery Meter: You have to download an app to see your battery strength in number form.  This makes no sense.  The battery strength should be displayed next to or within the battery icon.  Knowing this number really helps in managing what I do on a phone.
10. Copying Text: You cannot always click to copy text or make a phone call directly from within certain apps. The Craigslist app for Windows Phone is an example where the text seems to be displayed more like an image.  If you need to call a phone number from within this app, you better have another phone handy or a piece of paper and pen to write it down.  SMH.
11. Viewing HTML Emails: Perhaps the most annoying feature of this phone is having to manually request to download pictures in every single html email you receive.  HTML emails do not display properly until you click the “download pictures” icon.  I can understand having to do this once from a sender to make them a “trusted” source, but there is no “safe” list to add a sender to so you have to do each and every time you receive an email.  It unnecessarily makes you add one more click with every email you are reading.
12. Silent Mode: There isn’t one.  You would think that sound profiles are pretty standard nowadays.  Not on this phone.  When you go to sleep, there is no option to put the phone on silent with vibration turned off unless you jump through several hoops first.  It is very annoying to have to hear you phone buzz all night for emails, texts and other notifications.  Just like I can switch from vibrate only to sound and vibrate, there should be a third option for silent mode in the sound profile dropdown menu.
13. Earpiece: The volume level from the earpiece does not get loud enough.  If you are in your car or in a noisy environment, you must find a quiet place to go in order to hear the person you are talking to.  On two occasions, I found myself having to use someone else’s phone to conduct a phone call because I simply could not hear them from my Lumia 1020.  The volume level is always on 10 of 10 and it’s just not enough.
14. Volume Levels: Adjusting the volume on the phone is universal rather than by app or activity.  This means that if I’m listening to a song and reduce the volume, the volume level of my phone’s ringer is also reduced.  Or if I’m watching a video and lower the volume, the volume level I set will now be the volume level for everything else.  I have to always remember to put the volume back up after or I risk missing phone calls.

None of the issues I’ve mentioned above to be specific to my phone.  I’ve googled them all just in case there is a solution that I’m not aware of and all I find is others complaining about the same thing.  The phone has been out for a couple of months now so I hope an update will be out soon to address these issues, which I feel are pretty basic.