With selling points like "advanced Zeiss optics" and "full manual control," Nokia's Lumia 1020 is a lot like the Samsung's Galaxy S4 Zoom in that it tilts more camera than phone. Although the 1020 was originally scheduled for an official unveiling Thursday, leaked commercials from AT&T's YouTube channel confirm the 41-megapixel Windows Phone is on its way. (Engadget managed to nab the videos before they were taken down about an hour later. Go take a look.)
So what does this new camera/phone do? According to the leaks, the chimeric 1020 doubles down on an impressive bundle of photo- and video-shooting capabilities. It allows for 720p video shooting with 6x zoom, "optical image stabilization," an F/2.2 lens, and a "Pro Camera" app that mimics the capabilities of a DSLR, with controls for white balance, ISO, focus, shutter speed, and more.
There's a Windows Phone in there, too, with a 4.5-inch AMOLED display, 2GB of RAM, and 32 GB of storage.
But let's talk about that 41-megapixel PureView camera. Is it overkill? A desperate bid for attention? Bear in mind that Canon's best DSLRs top out at around 22 megapixels, which you would only really need if you plan on blowing up photos to the size of a billboard.
This isn't the first time Nokia has waved the eye-popping number flag (remember the Symbian-based 808 PureView?). And shooting photos at that size all the time will quickly fill up the phone's hard drive (and would be a pain to upload, I imagine). Vizileaks has a few snaps purportedly taken in the 1020's "Standard" and "Hi Res" modes at night, and they look pretty sharp.
The Lumia 1020 also appears to be a bit more pocketable than Samsung's Galaxy S4 Zoom, and looks less like a point-and-shoot and more like a bright-colored Windows Phone. Unlike Android, though, Microsoft's mobile platform has yet to receive Instagram — just a few weeks ago, CEO Kevin Systrom said Instagram wasn't coming to Windows Phone or BlackBerry "anytime soon." That's a bummer for a phone as optically tricked-out as the Lumia 1020; why spring for a new Porsche if you're going to be stuck in traffic every day?
Still, the Lumia 1020 appears to be another nice addition to the growing but niche market of phones aimed at photo geeks who would appreciate a powerful little pocket-shooter with an always-on connection to the internet. We'll update this post when we get wind of the Lumia 1020's pricing and availability, hopefully later today.
Update: The Lumia 1020 will be available exclusively on AT&T for $299.99 (!!!) on a two-year contract, reports The Verge. Preorders start July 16, and the phone goes on sale July 26.