Nokia has announced its latest Windows Phone 8 smartphone in the form of the Lumia 1020 which features a 41 megapixel sensor.

Nokia Lumia 1020 Launched Imaging
Nokia has launched the Lumia 1020 focusing heavily on imaging with a 41 megapixel sensor.

Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop announced the new smartphone at a media event in New York on Thursday which focused almost exclusively on the imaging and photography features of the phone.

The phone's standout feature is the 41-megapixel sensor which was first seen on Nokia's PureView 808 phone which launched last year.

The camera technology allows for taking high resolution images as well as letting you to zoom in up to six times without losing an image quality.

While the PureView 808 was very bulky due to the huge sensor and ran Nokia's dated Symbian software, the Lumia 1020 is just 10.4mm thick, weighs 158g and runs the latest Windows Phone software.

Dual capture

The 41 megapixel sensor allows the Lumia 1020 to do some very interesting things with the images that it captures.

Using a feature called dual capture, the Nokia Lumia 1020 simultaneously takes a high resolution 38 megapixel image and a 5 megapixel picture that is suited for sharing on social media.

The 5 megapixel image is created using "oversampling" and to create the image up to seven pixels are combined to create one "perfect pixel."

Nokia Lumia 1020

Like the two previous flagship devices from the Finnish company - Lumia 920 and Lumia 925 - the Lumia 1020 features a 4.5in AMOLED screen and is powered by a 1.5GHz processor, features 2GB of RAM and comes as standard with 32GB of storage to keep all those high resolution pictures.

Windows Phone devices are struggling to gain traction in a market where iOS and Android dominate. Nokia is the leading manufacturer of Windows Phone devices but it has seen relatively low sales figures so far and despite the radical new imaging technology, the Lumia 1020 is unlikely to change that.

Tony Cripps, Principal device analyst at Ovum said: "The combination sets a new benchmark for high-end smartphone engineering - and a timely reminder of Nokia's R&D capabilities - but the company must still overcome incumbent rivals, slow adoption of Windows Phone and a modest marketing budget if it is to finally help the company turn a financial corner after its recent time in the doldrums."

Wider image

Nokia played up the ability to zoom without losing any image quality and if you are zoomed in, the Lumia 1020 captures a wider image meaning you can reframe the image if you missed something in the original picture.

Nokia also announced an camera software development kit (SDK) for third party app developers which will them to take advantage of the new technology in the camera.

Nokia has also redesigned its camera app (now called Nokia Pro Camera) which allows you to control the white balance, shutter speed and ISO using a new radial layout - similar to the kayour seen on Samsung's Galaxy cameras.

The phone will be available first in the US exclusively on the AT&T network costing $299.99 on a two year contract, which is the same as a similar iPhone 5.

Elop announced on stage that the new phone would be coming to China and key European markets "this quarter" with Three in the UK already confirming it would be offering the Lumia 1020 when it comes to these shores - though no pricing has been announced.