Picture the Lumia 1020 Helping Nokia Reinvent Itself

After several leaks, Nokia officially took the wraps off the Lumia 1020 camera-smartphone on Thursday. A day later, the tech media were still buzzing about the handset maker's latest Windows Phone device. Is this a new beginning for the company?

The phone's major competitive differentiator is its 41-megapixel camera with high-quality Carl Zeiss optics that use six physical lenses and feature a 3x optical zoom. That, combined with Nokia's PureView technology, which provides optical image stabilization even in low light, promise some of the sharpest images on any digital camera.

The Lumia 1020 also promises blur-free videos with stereo sound even in loud settings, via Nokia Rich Recording, which reportedly handles sound pressure levels six times louder than conventional smartphone microphones.

Nokia's Secret Sauce

Nokia's secret sauce is hardware technology combined with an app called Pro Camera that helps even novices take professional quality images. Here's how it works: Either before a picture is taken or after it has been shot, the zoom capability lets users frame the shot. The user interface visually demonstrates how settings will affect the final images.

The Lumia 1020 also features what Nokia calls "dual capture." The smartphone simultaneously takes a high resolution 38-megapixel image that sets the stage for plenty of editing options, then also creates a 5-megapixel picture that users can share on social networks.

Nokia is seeking to push its lead in smartphone cameras by offering an imaging software development kit (SDK) that makes image editing features easily available to app developers. The company hopes to get developers on board to add more capabilities through additional Windows Phone apps.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is exclusively available through AT&T for $299 with a two-year contract, and features a 4.5-inch 1020p HD AMOLED display protected with the latest Gorilla Glass 3.

A Nokia Revival?

Jeff Kagan, a telecom analyst...

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