The Engadget Interview: Nokia's Stephen Elop on the Lumia 1020

As expected, the Nokia Lumia 1020 arrived with 41 megapixels in tow at today's event in New York City. Got questions? Yeah, us too. Thankfully, we had a bit of time to sit down with none other than Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who was fresh off the on-stage Q&A, wearing a slick pair of bright yellow Converse All-Stars, in honor of the eye-popping color scheme of the handset he showed off earlier today. Elop seemed genuinely excited by his new device (even jokingly correcting me when I called it his "new toy"), taking a picture of us immediately after entering the room -- or, rather, he took a picture of our own Richard Lai and zoomed out to reveal me. The concept of re-framing is a huge part of what Nokia's selling -- take a picture first and worry about framing it later. With 41 megapixels, it's easy enough to zoom in or out after the fact.

Richard brought along a trio of handsets for comparison, including the N8, 808 PureView and the recent Lumia 925, so naturally we started with a little history -- much like the press conference itself. Of interest was at precisely what point Nokia began to envision optics as one of, if not the, key focus of its handsets. It was an appropriate visual from Elop's point of view -- the executive sees all of the above as entries in the company's evolutionary line. Nokia's focusing on improving the experience a bit with each and every link, says Elop, with the latest handset building atop of the lessons learned. The Lumia 1020 is, naturally, a culmination of those lessons.

We asked Elop whether he was worried about cannibalizing 925 sales with this new edition and whether he was worried that the company might lose focus on other parts of the hardware experience, after investing so much of its efforts on optics. We also spoke about Nokia's plans to bring lessons learned with the 1020 to devices for developing nations and about how the company plans to expand its reach in the Chinese market.

Edgar Alvarez and Joe Pollicino contributed to this report.