It’s been impossible to escape stories about Nokia’s new Lumia 1020 in the past couple of weeks. Espoo did a desperately poor job in keeping leaks to a minimum.
It’s been said before that its Finnish offices are like a sieve, but the last few days it seems to have been more like a punctured shipping container.
From colour schemes, camera details, design and app info, everything to know about the Lumia 1020 was already in the public domain before Stephen Elop’s press conference last night.
That’s not to say that the Lumia 1020 isn’t a seriously impressive piece of hardware.
The phone itself is solid, but the camera shows that Nokia is still capable of leading the market in at least one area. T
he detail of its shots, the excellent Pro Camera app for making images look every bit as good as those taken with compact cameras and the ability to reel off five megapixel images simultaneously with 41-megapixel snaps puts it well ahead of the competition.
Look at this way: Nokia, and Microsoft, finally have a phone, which does something that its smartphone rivals can’t match.
Last year’s PureView 808 showed what Nokia could do with imaging, but being on Symbian it was never going to stand up to Samsung and Apple’s more finely tuned efforts.
But despite all that, a nagging doubt persists. Megapixels still mean something to the average punter, even if they don’t actually mean that much to those in the know.
They can help sell phones, especially to those addicted to the likes of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Nokia knows this, hence opening up its camera SDK to get developers working with its new camera phone software. However, we’re still talking about a phone which uses a critically lauded, but unpopular OS.
No matter how Microsoft tries to dress it up, Windows Phone is failing.
Android slays all before it, while iOS corners a loyal band of followers with a developer base that’s impossible to beat.
Nokia can market the Lumia 1020 as hard as it likes, but the simple truth is it will struggle to do the numbers compared to Samsung’s Galaxy S4 and Apple’s forthcoming iPhone 5S.
The tech is there, but years of mismanagement mean the Nokia brand is light years from where it was a decade ago.
Microsoft’s decision to boost support for Windows Phone 8 to 36 months will help, but probably only power users will care.
In short, this is one of the most exciting devices of 2013. It pushes innovation and will make rivals work hard to try and compete with Nokia.
But there’s no way that this, or any other device, is the panacea Nokia so desperately craves. The road is long and Nokia has much of it left to walk.