Bill Bennett


Nokia Lumia 1020 rated as a business phone

Telecom NZ’s website sells the Nokia Lumia 1020 as a business phone on its website. You’ll even find the bright yellow model listed under business.

The Lumia 1020 is more a camera that makes calls than a phone that takes pictures. It has a 41 megapixel optical sensor, a Carl Zeiss lens and image stabilisation.

Does that kind of device qualify as a business tool, or more to the point, can you legitimately get away with a business tax deduction if you buy one?

The simple answer is ‘yes’ if your work involves taking photographs.

Maybe not if you’re a professional photographer. But for anyone else who regularly uses photography in their work, the phone is an ideal business tool.

Not for professional photographers

Let’s deal with professional photographers first. A bright yellow phone probably isn’t going to impress paying customers no matter what the quality of its output. It doesn’t look professional. Sadly that matters.

And anyway the Lumia 1020 doesn’t offer enough controls or functions to meet most professional photography needs. Nor is its lens good enough for most serious jobs. It is distinctly point and click.

But for the rest of us, it’s ideal. As a working journalist I can quickly shoot off a series of shots, select the best one, then crop out the uninteresting stuff to get a picture that’s more than adequate to show across 535 pixels on this website.

There’s a function that automatically shoots off a series of shots and asks you to choose the best one. The Lumia 1020 comes with plenty of other basic photography functions and apps to make life easier for occasional photographers. If I’m on a reporting job and need to get photos quickly to an editor, I can do all the preparation directly from the camera.

Lumia 1020 business beyond photography

Away from the camera, the Lumia 1020 is essentially the same at the Nokia Lumia 920, which is an excellent business phone. Much of what I’ve previously written about the Lumia 920 applies, it’s a solidly built device and it runs Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system.

Nokia’s Lumia range might not be as popular as the iPhone. Windows Phone 8 doesn’t have the broad appeal that Android has. And there are not as many mainstream apps to choose from. But in a business context much of this doesn’t matter, the phone and its operating system both have a strong business pedigree and are unlikely to disappoint when it comes to productivity.

The phone is relatively secure and comes with apps closely tied to Microsoft Office, Outlook and Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud service. If you work for an organisation that uses Microsoft products, Windows Phone 8 will slot into your technology with a minimum of fuss.

Other business advantages

Another advantage of the Lumia phones and Windows Phone 8 is they are much better at displaying text than most other smartphones. This makes everything easier to read in almost every circumstance. That’s an instant productivity gain. Many, not all, apps look better on Windows Phone and are easier to read and navigate.

For many people in business, the applications are going to make a decision for you. If there’s an app you need to work and it is only available on one smartphone OS, that’s where you need to be. Otherwise, Nokia’s Lumia range of Windows Phone devices and their direct connection to Microsoft’s world of business applications, server software, cloud and back-end systems is hard to ignore.