In addition to using the Lumia 1020 in a variety of everyday usage scenarios, we also conducted some formal performance testing to see how well the handset compares to other smartphones. WP Bench is a performance-oriented benchmarking application within the Windows Phone Marketplace. To date, it's one of the only effective ways to test the small-but-growing stable of WP handsets. We've compared CPU, Data and GPU benchmarks below with the Dell Venue Pro, Samsung Focus, Lumia 900, and Lumia 920.
Performance-wise, we've never seen a Windows Phone tear up the benchmarks like the Lumia 1020... except for the Lumia 920, which debuted last November. When compared to single-core offerings that employed Windows Phone 7 there's simply no comparison. The 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon is a good fit for the phone, and it helped to deliver WPBench scores that would have been completely impossible given the hardware limitations tied to the WP7 platform. Windows Phone as a mobile OS has always been silky smooth, even on last-gen hardware. But with a potent SoC, 2GB of RAM and a mobile OS that simply doesn't need a ton of resources, you'll be hard-pressed to overtax the Lumia 1020. Everything from sifting through apps to playing a complex game seemed to be no trouble at all for the device.
That said, we're looking at the scores here in something of a vacuum. The reality is that the phone scores either equal or slightly below the Lumia 920, which shipped in 2012. The same CPU is used in the Lumia 1020, with the only major addition being a move from 1GB to 2GB of RAM. In too many ways, this is just a Lumia 920 with a snazzy camera. Nokia didn't go through any real trouble to update the internals in any other major way. That said, at least the 1020's extra RAM will afford you more responsive handling in higher-end functions like HD video playback, gaming etc.