This is the phone that will save Nokia

This is the phone that will save Nokia
Is the light at the end of the tunnel for Nokia a Xenon flash?

It's a bold statement, I know. But the Lumia 1020 is going to be the device that not only reminds people how good Nokia used to be, but will also herald a real change in the company's fortunes… and bottom line.

If you're not familiar with the new handset incoming from Nokia (and let's face it, that's embarrassing for you, given the overflowing glut of leaks appearing from every corner of the internet) the once-behemothic brand is finally taking the excellent Pureview technology it so heartlessly stuffed into a terrible Symbian handset and whacking the 41MP sensor it into a decent chassis.

Not only that, it will be powered by Windows Phone 8, an OS that, while not perfect, is a much better platform to navigate and is fast becoming entrenched as the third smartphone ecosystem.

Oh, and did I mention it would be a real upgrade in terms of spec too? The processor it'll use is a little woolly right now, but 2GB of RAM is nailed on, which is a first for a Windows Phone and will really help with chugging through those high-end snaps.

It will even be packaged in something that doesn't require a spare bag to carry around; sure, it will be chunky as that sensor isn't slim, but multiple renders show a fairly slimline chassis that should slide into the pocket with ease.

Wait, I remember that…

So, a phone that doesn't look hideous and brings a real howitzer of a USP? That sounds like the Nokia I used to know, and you did too. The Nokia that showed the mass market it could own a cameraphone with the 7650, the Nokia that was the main proponent in bringing a colour screen to handsets… heck, the Nokia that gave us mobile gaming on a grand scale with Snake.

Three years ago smartphones were all about convergence, and if Nokia had tried this kind of thing then it would have failed miserably because it needed a phone that did everything really well to take on HTC and Apple. Oh, wait, hang on… we had the Nokia N8, didn't we? Point proven.

But now things have changed. The base level of functionality on most phones is awesome and more than most will ever need. People are getting tired of really powerful handsets that have a whopping screen in a predictable rectangular design.

And ask most of those buying a new phone what they care about most, and they'll say something about battery and 'I want a decent camera'.

The game is afoot

And that's what Nokia is about to do. Bring out a phone that can compete on spec generally, but obliterate the competition on the imaging front. It's been dabbling with such a thing with the Lumia 920 and 925, but this is a whole new level.

The fans are going to go nuts...

Actually, that's the only downside. The Lumia 925's anodised aluminium exterior is barely cool, and already we're seeing a new flagship device that usurps it. When the 1020 was rumoured to be called the 909 (as a nod to the previous 808) I thought it fitted perfectly: a great USP, but not as strong as the recent flagship, keeping the masses who bought into Nokia's recent marketing happy.

And yes, they'll be annoyed when the see the Lumia 1020, but I've changed my mind now. Nokia needs to go big with a handset. Really big.

It needs something that will turn the heads of those umming and ahhing about buying an HTC One or an iPhone. Something that those who love looking through their albums will get a real kick out of, without feeling they've had to compromise on spec, design or price.

Of course it's not going to rival the Galaxy S4 for sales, as it's still going to be a niche product, albeit a niche device that many will want to sport.

If, in a year or so, Nokia is announcing booming profits and Samsung, Apple and HTC are all looking nervously over their shoulders, this is the phone to point to as the reason.

Of course, that might not happen, so if things are dire at the Finnish firm and it's finally been bought by Microsoft, then just point to the N8 as the reason it all fell apart…

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.