Lumia 1020: Helpful Tips and Tricks

Nokia Lumia 1020 top angle

If the lure of that stunning 41-megapixel camera proved too much to resist, then you’ll be on the lookout for some advice on getting the most from your new Windows Phone. We’ve identified some useful Lumia 1020 tips worth a read. We’ll focus on how to get great results from that camera and what to do with your best shots, but beyond photography, there are also some ideas and hidden features worth discussing.

Camera tips

You’ll no doubt be planning to use the camera a lot. It’s worth checking out the Nokia Camera Grip accessory because it adds a classic camera grip, an attachment for a tripod, and an extra battery.

One weakness of the camera in the Lumia 1020 is the fact that it takes a couple of seconds to start up and there’s a pause between shots as it processes that massive 38-megapixel photo. It pays to be quick off the mark.

  • Hold the shutter button: To quickly switch your camera on when the phone is locked, press and hold the dedicated camera key on the right spine for a couple of seconds.
  • Camera sleep: To save battery, the camera will go to sleep if it isn’t used for a minute. Press the power button on the right spine and drag the lock screen up to bring it back to life.
  • Tap to focus: Tap on your subject to auto-focus, but bear in mind the auto-focus will struggle in low light conditions and usually takes a lot longer. You can always set the focus manually.
  • Swipe up to zoom: You can zoom in by swiping one finger up and zoom out by swiping down. This works for the video camera too.
  • Zooming is really just cropping: Remember that the digital zoom is non-destructive, so it’s effectively a cropped full 38-megapixel photo and you can return to the full version and crop or reframe it the way you want.
  • Go manual: Don’t rely on the automatic controls, they are generally good, but it’s worth experimenting with the white balance, ISO, and shutter speed.
    • Color balance: You can choose from various white balance presets to get the colors balanced correctly.
    • Mess with ISO: ISO settings will change the speed at which light is absorbed by the sensor, so higher ISO settings take in light faster, but increase noise and color inaccuracy.
    • Shutter: Fast shutter speeds are best for action shots in well-lit conditions.
  • Smart Camera App: Use Nokia Smart Camera to get a sequence of photos and combine them for the best shot. This is especially handy for group shots.

If you’d like to learn more about the camera and how it works then read Nokia’s whitepaper. It explains exactly how the technology employed by the Lumia 1020’s camera works.

Post-processing apps

Nokia has included a few apps on the Lumia 1020 to help you edit your photos, but there are several more in the Windows Phone app store that are worth getting. The first three on the list will be pre-installed on your 1020.

  • Creative Studio is your first port of call and it can be used to remove red-eye, tweak your photos, and apply various filters.
  • Glam Me Lens is good for a makeover, with options that include toning, eye resizing, and teeth whitening.
  • Cinemagraph is a fun way of making little animations. You can basically animate portions of a still image by combining shots.
  • Lomogram for a wide variety of filters, borders, and light effects that can be used to transform your photos.
  • Camera360 is very intuitive and offers a range of handy tools for photo editing. You can choose various unique themes and see a live preview of special effects.

How to use voice commands

Your Lumia 1020 can handle some voice commands allowing you to open apps or call contacts hands-free. To find out exactly what you can do, press and hold the Start key and then tap on the question mark and you’ll get a list. Scroll right to see any apps that support voice commands and right again to find more options.

How to get extra storage and backup

You get 7GB of free SkyDrive space in the cloud from Microsoft. You can set your app list and settings, text messages, and photos to automatically backup via Settings > backup. You can also upload individual photos or videos by tapping the options icon at the bottom right and choosing upload to SkyDrive. It won’t save or backup your full 34 or 38-megapixel shots, just the 5-megapixel versions.

How to add your own ringtones

You can add ringtones to your Lumia 1020 really easily. Choose your ringtone via Settings > ringtones+sounds. To add a new ringtone to the list just connect your phone to your computer via USB, open Windows Explorer and choose your Phone then drag and drop any audio file that you want to use into the Ringtones folder.

How to make the most of the new ‘Amber’ update

Nokia’s Lumia range got a Windows Phone 8 update called Amber which enables a few extra features. Here are three of the best.

  • You can flip your Lumia 1020 over to silence it when it’s ringing. Go to Settings > audio and swipe right to turn Flip to silence on or off.
  • You can double tap on the screen to wake the phone instead of using the power button. Go to Settings > display+touch and swipe right to find the Double tap to wake up phone option.
  • You can see the time on your display even when it’s on standby. Go to Settings > display+touch and swipe to Glance. You can choose to have it on all the time, to come on when you hover your hand over the screen, or to come on at specific times. There’s even a night mode which reduces the brightness, perfect if you use your Lumia 1020 as a bedside alarm clock.

That’s all the Nokia Lumia 1020 tips we have to offer right now, but you can find more useful information in our Windows Phone 8 tips roundup and the official user guide. If you have any tips you’d like to add then please post a comment below.