Nokia Lumia smartphones have come a long way since they burst onto the scene in October 2011 in the shape of the vibrant Lumia 800, the first Nokia handset to run Windows Phone.
In the two-and-a-half years that have since followed, Nokia has introduced a wealth of mobile innovation, adding pieces to the puzzle in the journey towards current flagship smartphones, like the Nokia Lumia 1520, the photographers’ favourite Lumia 1020 and, most recently, the flagship Lumia 930, and uncompromised Lumia 630 and Lumia 635.
Following part one of our evolutionary series, we continue with the Nokia Lumia 1020…
We should start with that 41MP sensor. Originally a standout feature in the PureView 808 Symbian handset, this second-generation interpretation paired the giant sensor with the Optical Image Stabilisation tech for best ever images seen on a smartphone.
The introduction of the Pro Camera app with professional settings made easy and reinvented zoom, was also a huge step ahead of the competition.
All of this combined ensured both a full resolution image and a 5MP shot – perfect for sharing on social media – were captured every time the shutter was pressed.
The Zoom Reinvented feature also offered lossless zoom when cropping, editing and discovering new elements of those full resolution photos. The Lumia 1020 also introduced a next-generation Xenon flash that illuminates shots for the 1/1600 of a second it takes to take a photo.
Beyond the camera, RAM was doubled to 2GB, while Nokia Rich Recordings boosted the sound quality of full-HD 1080p video recordings.
The smartphone has gained huge critical recognition and most recently won the most Innovative Handset of the Year award at the Mobile News Awards 2014.
Almost exactly two years on from the Nokia Lumia 800 came the Lumia 1520 and what a difference a couple of years make. The latest flagship also brought a number of firsts to the table. It was by far the largest Lumia yet at six-inches, while that big screen was also the first Lumia to pack a full HD 1080p display.
Powering it all is the first Lumia with a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor. It also brought a 20MP sensor, second in size only to the PureView 41MP snapper in the Lumia 1020.
Also announced alongside the Lumia 1520 was the peerless Nokia Refocus tool, which allows users to change the focus of photos after they’re taken and is now available for all Windows Phone 8 Lumia handsets.
How about the industry-first four stereo microphones that allows directional audio recordings when shooting video? That’s double the two featured within the Lumia 1020. That’s better sound. That’s evolution.
All of that design nous, breakneck innovation and a now-superb range of in-house applications came together for the first tablet device in the range, the Nokia Lumia 2520.
The introduction of the Windows RT slate (the first and only to boast a 1080p display) also saw the arrival of some brand new Nokia apps to brighten the experience further.
Among them is Storyteller, which displays your photos and videos in the form of stories and utilises HERE maps to assist with location data. It also saw the introduction of the Video Director app, which makes it easier than ever for Lumia users to transform their photos and videos into beautifully edited home movies, without the need to engage with complex software.
Better still, the companion Beamer app allows you to shoot the video on your Lumia smartphone and transfer it wirelessly to the tablet.
The innovative ‘glowing’ shells might be the first thing people think of about these phones that were launched at Build 2014. However, the Lumia 630 was the first Lumia ever to offer Dual-SIM capability.
The Lumia 630 and Lumia 635 would also be the first Nokia smartphones to come with Windows Phone 8.1 built-in, and the innovative new SensorCore, which offers low power motion sensing for apps like Bing Health and Fitness.
If we’re talking cutting-edge design and state-of-the-art features, then the gorgeous Lumia 930 is at the top. Nokia’s designers created a smartphone that is compact, while still managing to integrate a 20MP PureView camera and wireless charging.
The 5-inch screen was also among the first to show off the extra column of tiles that Windows Phone 8.1 allowed. Years of innovation presenting the best of Lumia and the best of Windows Phone together in one package.