The Nokia Lumia 1020 changed everything when it arrived in July 2013, three years after Microsoft first launched its Windows phone platform. Nokia had had some excellent near misses, including the Lumia 800, 900, and 920 series, but then it finally delivered with the Lumia 1020 and its amazing 41-megapixel camera. After some initial tests confirmed its quality, my family headed off to Amsterdam for our home swap, and I hoped to use the Lumia 1020, and not a digital camera, for our photos during the trip. It worked---I never needed the standalone camera---setting the stage for what is now normal, using a smartphone camera for everything.
Over time, of course, the Lumia 1020’s blemishes became more problematic. The handset was slow, and having to wait for it to take photos quickly grew monotonous. Later smartphones, like Lumia 1520, which arrived within a few months, nearly matched the Lumia 1020’s photographic capabilities and offered much better performance. And then, over time, Android and iPhone caught up to and then surpassed Lumia, as Nokia and then Microsoft struggled through an era of lower-end handsets and diminishing returns.