Nokia Lumia 1020 41-megapixel smartphone now available unlocked from Microsoft Store ahead of September EOL

15 July 2014, 7:39 am EDT By Alexandra Burlacu Mobile & Apps

The 41-megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows Phone smartphone is now available unlocked and contract-free in the U.S. from the Microsoft Store, retailing for $549.

The Lumia 1020 drew lots of attention when it made its debut due to its high-end camera capabilities, as it boasts a whopping 41-megapixel sensor. Nokia had previously launched its 808 PureView handset with a 41-megapixel shooter, but the fact that it ran Symbian had severely limited its success. The Lumia 1020 retained that top-notch shooter, but came running the more popular Windows Phone platform.

Despite the fact that the Nokia Lumia 1020 is not that old, news recently broke out that the handset was approaching its end of life (EOL). More specifically, well-known and trusted tipster @evleaks revealed on Sunday, July 13, that the Lumia 1020 was set to hit EOL status on Sept. 14.

While that news remains unconfirmed, Microsoft's move to start selling the unlocked Lumia 1020 through its online store seems to bolster the claim. Many see this move as an effort to get rid of as much stock as possible before the Nokia Lumia 1020 hits EOL status. In other words, instead of discontinuing the phone, Microsoft is offering it SIM-free.

Moreover, other retailers will sell the smartphone contract-free as well. The news is all the more intriguing as the Nokia Lumia 1020 has so far been exclusive to AT&T in the U.S. It's worth pointing out that the unlocked model that is now on sale will work with AT&T and T-Mobile SIM cards, but is not compatible with CDMA carriers such as Sprint or Verizon Wireless.

As a reminder, the Nokia Lumia 1020 sports a 4.5-inch OLED HD display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage capacity. The 41-megapixel camera is the star of the show, and it comes with the Nokia Pro Camera app that provides manual controls for changing the shutter speed, adjusting the focus, and more. The smartphone also features a 1.3-megapixel front shooter and a 2,000 mAh battery. On the software side, the Lumia 1020 comes with Windows Phone 8 on board, upgradeable to the latest Windows Phone 8.1 via the Cyan update.

It remains unconfirmed at this point whether the Nokia Lumia 1020 is indeed headed toward its demise, reaching EOL status in September. Nevertheless, the handset is now available unlocked from the Microsoft Store at this link. Interested customers can still get it subsidized as well, with a $99 price tag on a two-year contract.

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